My recommendations on digital recorders are pretty simple, mainly because I’m a big fan of the Zoom range. They produce excellent quality equipment, and have a large price range to suit just about any budget.
Budget Recorder Recommendation: Zoom H1
For the simple recorder setup I discussed in the video, you’ll be looking at the Zoom H1.
The Zoom H1 is their entry level model, bit still a great little recorder. Very mobile, very simple, and does the job.
Mobile Recorder PLUS USB Microphone: Zoom H2n
The next up in the range is the Zoom H2n. This is an excellent recorder, coming in at around £100 ($150), so not quite in the budget range any more.
But, the advantage is that it’s on-board microphone is really quite good, and you can plug it into your computer to use it as a good quality USB microphone. So, spending a little extra on the H2n gets you both a good digital recorder for mobile or co-host recording AND a really good USB microphone for your solo recording. This is a pretty good option to consider if you can’t afford the next level.
Gold Standard: Zoom H5
Next up are the recorders at the top of the Zoom heap, the H5 and the H6.
The Zoom H5 is around £220 or $270, so a fair jump in price. But, with that jump you get multiple XLR inputs. That means you can plug in professional quality microphones, and more than 1 of them too. You can have two mics plugged in and control the levels of both individually, which is a big advantage. With the add-ons you can get, as well, you can add more inputs, recording 4 microphones at the same time, with full control.
The Zoom H6 is a lot more expensive, at £300 or $400, but it adds the option to record 6 tracks separately. This means you can actually have 6 separate voices in 6 separate files, all ready for editing. That’s a lot of control over what you can do in post-production.
The choice here comes down to your normal setup. If you’ll be recording two people, or perhaps 3 or 4 occasionally, then the H5 will be perfect for you. If, however, you’ll be recording up to 6 people on a regular basis, then you might want to get the H6.