Understated, affordable ($99), and has an elegant design, the Zoom H1 delivers quality stereo recording with a minimum of fuss.
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Most of the H1's controls are located on the sides of the device, preventing them from cluttering the unambiguous record button on its front.
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The front end of the H1 sports a pair of condenser mics arranged in an X/Y stereo pattern, protected behind an oval-shaped mic cage. Samson includes a 1/8-inch mic input on the Zoom H1. Below the built-in mics is a small, backlit LCD for communicating all the basic track and duration details.
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My favorite feature of the H1 lays smack in the middle of the device: a solid, red, uncluttered record button. For audio recorders--especially for documenting important interviews--nothing is more reassuring than an easy-to-locate record button.
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A windscreen, power adapter, USB cable, carrying case, tripod, and mic clip are available separately for $24.99.
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One possible use of the Zoom H1 is for adding improved audio to your video recorder.
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The H1 records to an included 2GB microSD card, but it supports capacities up to 32GB. After you're done, you can review your audio using headphones or the built-in speaker, or transfer recordings back to your computer using the built-in USB 2.0 port, or a microSD card reader.