Using a Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics | Interviews On-The-Go

Plugging 2 lavalier mics into the Zoom H1 is a great way to create a portable and quality in-person interview setup.

zoom h1 with 2 lavalier mics

Recording remote interviews online might've been the default way for podcasters to chat through most of 2020. But it won't be that way forever.

Remote recording is great; the tools available to do it continue to get better and better. But, having face-to-face, in-person conversations will always be the most natural and engaging way to record interviews. We've written a full series on the various setups and equipment you can use to capture in-person interviews. In this article, though, I'm going to talk about using the Zoom H1 with 2 lavalier mics.

A quick heads up here that we occasionally use affiliate links in our posts when pointing to any gear or products we recommend. This means we'll earn a small commission, should anyone buy through them – though at no extra cost to the buyer. Affiliates help support all the free content we put out on the site. And with that all said, let's talk about using the Zoom H1 with 2 lavalier mics.

The Zoom H1

The Zoom H1 might be a little overshadowed these days by its bigger cousins, the Zoom H5 and H6 (not to mention the new PodTrak range coming down the pipe soon!). But, the H1 is still a great little recorder. It's very affordable, portable, and still offers you a few different options for how you record.

You can read our full review of the Zoom H1 here, and it has since received a facelift, being upgraded and re-released in 2018 as the Zoom H1n. It's every bit as good as the older model, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.

Using the Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics

Like most digital recorders, you don't need additional equipment to record with the Zoom H1. However, plugging in 2 lavalier mics is a great way to create a portable and quality in-person interview setup. In the video below, I'll show you how it all works. First up, though:

What Is a Lavalier Mic?

Lavaliers, or ‘lavs' are very small mics that pin on to the speaker's shirt or jacket. They're common in the TV and video world, because they're so unobtrusive and easy to hide. They're also ideal for creating engaging interviews because your guest can feel more natural and at-ease without you shoving a mic right up in their face.

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You can run this setup with pretty much any digital recorder. Another low-cost model it could work well with, is the Tascam DR-05. Aside from your recorder, you just need a simple splitter, and 2 lavalier mics.

Traditionally, we've recommended the ATR3350s. However, they're becoming harder to buy, having been discontinued. The Rode Lavalier Go is a worthy alternative, and you can read our full review by clicking the aforementioned link.

You can read our lavalier mic and digital recorder roundups for more buying options, and to see the infinite range of ways you can create this simple in-person interview setup.

One other setup you might want to explore too, is running the Rode Smartlav+ lavalier mics into your smartphone. Here, your phone negates the need for buying a digital recorder. There are pros and cons here, of course. It can help keep costs down, and reduce the amount of kit you need to carry about. But a phone will never do as good a job at recording audio as a dedicated digital recorder. As always, in podcasting, there's no “right” or “best” setup: it's all down to your own unique situation, budget, needs, and content.

Sound Sample of Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics

Here's a completely unprocessed sound sample of myself and Colin testing the Zoom H1 with 2 lavalier mics.

Summary

As I've talked about already, this setup is great because of its small size, simplicity of use, and relatively low cost to put together.

It's worth mentioning that if you're looking for a setup that enables you to record participants on individual audio tracks, then it's worth opting for a recorder like the Zoom H5 or H6 instead.

But that's certainly not a deal breaker for most folks – especially if it's sheer simplicity you're after.

Need More Help Choosing Podcasting Equipment?

If you need some more tailored advice for your own setup, or want help with any other aspect of podcasting, then please check out The Podcast Host Academy.

In there, you'll get access to all of our courses, resources, and downloadable checklists. On top of that, we do weekly live Q&A sessions too, so you'll always get the help and advice you need to keep you moving forward.

15 thoughts on “Using a Zoom H1 With 2 Lavalier Mics | Interviews On-The-Go

  1. Hello, thank you for the great article.
    I’ll be moving around while interviewing someone, perhaps during a hike or a walk down the street. I’m wondering if you could make any recommendations for a wireless setup that might help me accomplish this?
    Also, do you have an opinion on the Zoom H1 vs. the Sony ICD-UX533?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. I am ordering the Zoom H1 and the two AT-3350 lav mics. Just wanted to check on what conclusion you came to. Is it worth investing in a zoom 5?
    this set up seems a bit simpler for somebody new to all this.

    1. Hi Amisha, this is a great portable/beginner setup. Reasons you might want an H5 instead… if you plan on working with XLR mics, recording through a mixer, recording Skype etc. Depends on what you think you’ll need it for!

      1. Hi Matthew,

        I have been using a set up which has been working well. Zoom H1 and two ATR-3350 lav mics. It worked great for maybe 14 episodes. Then I took them to India and Bali – and now at around 30 mins in – interference happens. I have wind sounds (when indoors) or other static interference. The annoying thing is it isn’t in the sound check, so I don’t know it’s happened until I come to edit the interviews. Could it be a battery thing, or would you recommend at this stage I upgrade to better lav mics like rode or sennheiser. I wonder if the mics got damaged being in hot countries and if they needed silica gel to be kept with them.

        Any advice? It’s effected 6 upcoming episodes for The Future Is Beautiful. Some which I may have to redo. I have an interview tomorrow, which I want to record smoothly.

  3. Is there a limit to how many mics you could attach in this way?

    You said you were using a 5 way splitter? I’m presuming you’re not splitting the two mics on to left and right channels.

  4. Hi. If i were to only use one lav mic with the h1 zoom, will I still be able to do an interview via using the mic on the h1 for my self or guest, and the lav mic for the person being interviewed? Or will that just not work, and would need to have two separate lav mics? Thanks so much.

    1. I just watched the video… damn damn… so it deems the mic on the h1 useless when external mics are plugged in. That’s too bad.

  5. If using the splitter will the audio from each lav mic be on separate channels (right speaker and left speaker) or will the audio from each lav be heard on both speakers at the same time?

    1. I want to know this answer too! It’s a stereo recorder, so two separate channels should be possible, but I suspect maybe it is not. Anyone?

  6. Can you please share a link to the 5-channel splitter you were using in the test? I am also interested in using (say) 3 mics in similar way. Have you tested that?

  7. The sound sample recording had a lot of background noise. Was that an AC or a fan or was it an artifact of the sound set up?

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