New from Zoom: The Very Handy H4n Pro 4-Channel Handy Recorder


Zoom often comes to mind when pondering portable digital recording, whether you’re considering the H5 for mobile interviews, or the F8 MultiTrack for 8-channel field capture. Now, Zoom is expanding upon the H4n with the H4n Pro 4-Channel Handy Recorder, a palm-sized unit that can record up to four channels of CD-quality audio—and then some. Sporting the same preamps as the H5 and H6, this device serves the requirements of those looking to capture interviews, lectures, rehearsals, and meetings with clarity. Indeed, the noise-floor is significantly lower than its predecessor, and what’s more, the unit has been upgraded to handle up to 140 dB of SPL. As such, the H4n Pro is equally suited to recording the wings of a butterfly as it is to capturing crushing metal performances. With its built-in chromatic tuner, five-timbre metronome, built-in effects, and onboard Combi jacks, this unit meets the needs of instrumentalists as well; now any practicing musician—guitarist or flautist alike—can record and edit well-tuned, well-timed performances on the go.

Both of its onboard inputs have 48V phantom power, while a single mini-jack provides connections for other kinds of devices and microphones. Using the H4n Pro, you can record in MP3 or WAV formats, capturing audio in 16- or 24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz sample rates. Store your audio to an SDHC card, or transfer it to any Mac or Windows computer via USB. A bonus: route this recorder into your computer over a USB connection and you’ll find yourself with a live audio interface. Now, that’s handy.

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I've had an H4N for at least 7 years, maybe longer, and it seems to have all the same features as this new "Pro" model. I love my H4N and a new iteration of it will also probably be a terrific product. I'm just not sure what improvements this holds over the old H4N. Would have been helpful if that were specified in the write-up. 

The biggest improvement is that they brought over the preamps from the H5 and H6, which are much, much better than the ones in the original H4N.  Looks like they made some improvements to the x/y mics as well.  The XLR connectors are now locking, if that matters to you.  Mostly an evolution rather than a revolution, excepting the preamps.  Those will be a big improvement.  More info here:

 The improvements would be largely internal.  The overall sound has been improved, with the pre-amps sounding cleaner and more natural.  Also, the XLR connections are now locking.

Other than $40, why would someone choose the H4NPro over the H5?  The removable modules and longer battery life of the H5 seem like a no-brainer to spend the extra few bucks on.  Is there something I'm missing?

The H4npro features the same preamps and electronics as the H5. It is smaller and catering to people who don’t need the interchangeable mics.