Zoom H6 Handy Recorder


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  • Zoom has been building innovative products for the past thirty years. But with the revolutionary H6 six-track recorder, the bar is raised further still. Four interchangeable input capsules – X/Y, MS, Shotgun, and Dual XLR/TRS Combo – make the H6 the ultimate chameleon of the audio world, and its advanced preamps make it the best-sounding one too. Whatever your application – live recording, professional film/video work, live broadcast or electronic news gathering – the H6 can handle it with ease.


    • XY mics capture remarkable stereo depth and clarity
    • Mid-side mics provide continuously variable stereo width
    • Four XLR/TRS inputs for external mic/line connections
    • Up to six channels of simultaneous recording
    • High-definition audio of up to 24-bit/96kHz
    • 6-in/2-out USB audio interface
    • Over 20 hours of operation with 4 AA batteries
    • Supports SDXC memory cards up to 128GB
    • Optional Shotgun mic and external XLR/TRS inputs available
    • Optional Hot Shoe Mount to attach your H6 to a DSLR video camera

    The H6 offers four main inputs (1-4), plus two additional inputs (L, R) that are derived from whichever capsule (X/Y, MS, Shotgun, or Dual XLR/TRS Combo) is plugged into the unit. The supplied XYH-6 X/Y capsule also provides a secondary input for connecting an external mic- or line-level signal via a stereo 1/8" Mic/Line In mini phone jack. When a connection is made to that jack, signal from the X/Y microphones is muted. All four main H6 inputs (inputs 1-4) are combo connectors that can accept either XLR or 1/4" balanced or unbalanced phone cables. They can handle both mic- and line-level signals, which means that you can connect either external microphones or line-level devices like mixers, portable music players, electronic keyboards, or electric guitars or basses with active electronics (passive electric guitars or basses can also be connected with the use of a mixer or effects device). Internal switching contacts automatically detect the circuit of choice. On the H6, all connectors use the industry standard Pin 2 hot on XLR connectors and Tip hot on TRS connectors.

    The H6 Line Out is an unbalanced stereo 1/8" phone jack, located on the bottom of the H6, beneath the LCD display. It carries the analog stereo output signal, as determined by the H6's internal mixer. The H6 USB port, located on the side panel to the right of the LCD display, provides a digital output of either a stereo mix or the six individual input signals, depending upon the setting of the "Audio Interface" function in the USB menu. In addition, the H6 provides a headphone output with a dedicated volume control, located on the side panel to the left of the LCD display. Connect your headphones to the stereo 1/8" mini phone jack for private monitoring of the stereo output signal.

    The H6 even has a built-in speaker, located on the underside of the unit, for fast monophonic monitoring of the recorded signal without the need to make any connections whatsoever. This speaker is automatically disconnected when connection is made to either the Line Out or Headphone output.

    A little X, a little Y, a whole lotta stereo
    The X/Y miking technique is optimal when you want to cover a wide area and still capture sound sources in the center with clarity and definition, making it great for all types of live stereo recording.

    The XYH-6 X/Y capsule comes standard with the H6. The capsule adds two matched high-quality unidirectional microphones to your H6 or H5. This kind of microphone is most sensitive to signal coming from directly in front, and less sensitive to signal coming from behind or from the sides; in technical terms, they are said to utilize a cardioid polar pattern. These mics have the largest diaphragm size (0.579” = 14.6mm) of any ever available on a portable recorder.

    Playing back stereo X/Y tracks in mono results in a fuller sound than you would get with one microphone, but if mono compatibility is critical (for example, in television production), the Mid-Side (MS) mic technique can be a better choice.

    Mid-side mic magic.
    MS (“Mid-Side”) recording: an incredible technique that allows you to actually adjust the width of the stereo image after it has been recorded, making it especially useful for film, video and television projects. Sound like magic? Read on.

    The MSH-6 comes standard with the H6 and can be used with the H5. Although the MSH-6 MS capsule appears to be just one microphone, it actually contains two mic elements, positioned directly on top of one another. One of the microphones inside the MSH-6 is unidirectional (that is, it is mostly sensitive to signal coming from directly in front, and less sensitive to signal coming from behind or from the sides) while the other is bi-directional (that is, it is mostly sensitive to signals coming from directly in front and directly behind, and less sensitive to signal coming from the sides).

    The basic concept behind MS recording is that the Mid microphone picks up signal coming from the center, while the Side microphone creates ambience and directionality by adding or subtracting information from either side.

    The Mid-Side technique works well whenever you need a variable amount of room sound. It can also be used for studio recording, and its convenience and flexibility make it a good option for rehearsal and live concert recording as well. Another benefit is that it provides total mono compatibility, making it an excellent choice for stereo recordings that may eventually be played back in mono, such as TV broadcasts.

    Louder. Closer. Cleaner.
    X/Y stereo recording allows you to cover a wide area yet still capture a strong center image. The XYH-5 X/Y microphone capsule provided with the H5 features two matched unidirectional condenser microphones set at a 90 degree angle and housed within an advanced shockmount to minimize vibration and handling noise, making it ideal for location videography and live broadcast/podcast applications. The design of the XYH-5 also allows it to handle extremely loud sounds, making it perfect for use at live rock concerts and for electronic newsgathering. The XYH-5 can also be used with the H6.

    Riding shotgun.
    The SGH-6 Shotgun capsule adds a professional-quality hyperdirectional (that is, highly directional) microphone turning your H6 or H5 into the perfect audio recorder for anyone working in film, video or live theater, or for ENG (electronic news gathering) applications.

    A “shotgun” is a long, cylindrical microphone which excels at picking up sounds in front of it while rejecting sounds to the sides and rear. Shotgun microphones are often used when you cannot position a microphone directly in front of a sound source. For example, if someone is speaking in front of a video camera and you don’t want them to hold an interview microphone up to their mouth, the solution is to use an off-screen shotgun mic.

    Shotgun mics have a narrower focus (sometimes referred to as more "reach") than an average microphone. However, shotgun mics are not the audio equivalent of a photographic telephoto lens. Even though they do an above-average job of picking up sounds that originate from a short distance away, they always sound better when they’re physically close to the sound source. That’s why whenever you use the SGH-6 shotgun capsule, you should always strive to get as close as possible to the sound source, which often means hovering right at the edge of the frame of a shot.

    Need more inputs?
    If you need more inputs, simply plug in the EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule. It allows you to connect two additional discrete channels for external microphones, instruments, mixers or portable music players.

    Both EXH-6 inputs are combo jacks that accept either XLR or ¼" balanced (TRS) or unbalanced (TS) connectors. They can handle both mic- and line-level signals, which means that you can connect either microphones or line-level devices like mixers, portable music players, electronic keyboards, or electric guitars or basses with active electronics (passive electric guitars or basses can also be connected with the use of a mixer or effects device). Internal switching contacts automatically detect the circuit of choice.

    Each EXH-6 input offers a dedicated analog gain control knob as well as a -20dB pad that allows you to prevent distortion even when high-level signals are introduced; in fact, with the use of the Pad switch, the H6 can input 30dB louder signal and 14dB softer signal than any other Handy Recorder model. In addition, a built-in instrumentation amp allows signals to be transmitted with minimal noise even when long cables are used.

    Here's what comes included with the H6.

    • Operation manual
    • XYH-6 X/Y mic capsule
    • MSH-6 MS mic capsule
    • AA size (LR6) battery x 4
    • Cubase LE Software
    • Windscreen
    • USB Cable
    • Case

    Optional H6 accessories

    • SGH-6 Shotgun mic capsule
    • EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule
    • HS-01 Hot Shoe Mount adapter
    • APH-6 Accessory Pack includes RCH-6 wired Remote Controller, AD-17 USB-type AC adapter and Hairy Windscreen
    • Carrying bag
  • Recording Media
    SD card: 16MB to 2GB
    SDHC card: 4GB to 32GB
    SDXC card: 64GB to 128GB
    XYH-6 X/Y mic
    Mic type: Unidirectional
    Sensitivity: -41 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
    Input gain: - to 46.5 dB
    Max sound pressure input: 136 dB SPL
    Connector: 1/8 stereo mini jack
    Input level: - to 46.5 dB
    Input impedance: 2 k
    Plug-in power: 2.5V supported
    MSH-6 MS mic
    Mic types: Unidirectional and bi-directional
    Sensitivity: -37 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (unidirectional)
    -39 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (bi-directional)
    Input gain: - to 42.5 dB
    Max sound pressure input: 120 dB SPL (unidirectional)
    122 dB SPL (bi-directional)
    Shotgun mic (SGH-6)
    Mic Type: Unidirectional (mic unit x3)
    Polar Pattern: Super-cardioid
    Sensitivity: –39 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (each mic unit)
    Input Gain: – to 50 dB
    Maximum Sound Pressure Input: 122 dB SPL
    INPUTS 1 to 4
    MicConnectors: XLR / TRS combo jacks
    (XLR: Pin 2 hot / TRS: Tip hot)
    MicInput gain: (PAD OFF) - to 55.5 dB
    MicInput gain: (PAD ON) - to 35.5 dB
    MicInput impedance: 6.8 k
    MicMax input level: +22 dBu (PAD ON)
    MicPhantom power: +12V /+24V /+48V
    (Phantom power can be turned on/off independently for Inputs 1 - 4)
    MicEquivalent Input Noise (EIN): -120 dBu or less
    Jack type: 1/8 stereo mini jack
    Rated Output Level: -10 dBu when output load impedance is 10k or more
    Jack type: 1/8 stereo mini jack
    Output Level: 20 W +20 W into 32 load
    Built-in speaker 400mw 8 mono speaker
    Recording Formats  
    Sampling frequency: 44.1/48/96 kHz
    Bit rate: 16/24
    (Mono/Stereo, BWF-compliant)
    Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 8 (L/R + INPUT 1 to 4 + L/R backup)
    (Backup recording: -12dB lower than set L/R input gain)
    Sampling frequency: 44.1kHz
    Bit Rate: 48/56/64/80/96/112/128/160/192/224/256/320kbps
    Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 2
    Recording Time 03:08:00 (44.1 kHz / 16-bit WAV)
    With 2GB Card 34:43:00 (128kbps MP3)
    Display 2.0-inch full color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
    Mass Storage Class operation
    Class: USB2.0 High Speed
    Audio Interface operation: Multi-track mode
    Class: USB2.0 High Speed
    Inputs / Outputs: 6 / 2
    Sampling frequency: 44.1/48kHz/96kHz
    Bit rate: 16/24 bit
    USB bus powered operation possible
    Audio Interface operation: Stereo mode
    Class: USB2.0 Full Speed
    Inputs / Outputs: 2 / 2
    Sampling frequency: 44.1/48kHz
    Bit rate: 16 bit
    USB bus powered operation possible
    (iPad operation supported in stereo mode only)
    Power AA size (LR6) battery x 4
    Alkaline or NiMH type
    AC adapter: AD-17 (DC5V/1A/USB-type) (optional)
    USB bus power
    Battery life (with alkaline battery, continuous recording) Over 20 hours
    Dimensions and Weight
    H6: 77.8mm (W) x 152.8mm (D) x 47.8mm (H), 280g
    XYH-6: 78.9mm (W) x 60.2mm (D) x 45.2mm (H), 130g
    MSH-6: 58.0mm (W) x 67.6mm (D) x 42.1mm (H), 85g
    Included Accessories
    • Operation manual
    • XYH-6 X/Y mic capsule
    • MSH-6 MS mic capsule
    • SD card (2 GB)
    • AA size (LR6) battery x 4
    • USB cable
    • Sponge windscreen
    • Cubase LE software
    • Case
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