Zoom H6
6-Channel Handheld Recorder with 2 Interchangeable Microphone Capsules


Zoom H6 - MSH-6 MS Microphone CapsuleZoom H6 - XYH-6 X/Y Microphone Capsule
Zoom H6 - Side ViewZoom H6 - Side ViewZoom H6 - Bottom View
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The Zoom H6 is a versatile portable 6-channel recorder with 4 interchangeable input capsules—X/Y, MS, Shotgun, and dual XLR/TRS combo. Applications range from live recording, professional film/video work, or broadcast ENG (electronic news gathering), and more.

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.

Each of the six inputs (that is, 1-4 as well as L, R) has a dedicated gain control knob. In addition, the four main inputs and the EXH-6 capsule feature a -20dB pad, allowing you to prevent distortion even when high-level signals are introduced. In fact, with the use of the Pad switch, the H6 can input a signal 30dB louder and 14dB softer than any other Handy Recorder model. In addition, all capsules utilize higher voltage preamps (5 volts instead of the more commonly used 3 volts) for distortion-free recording, even at high volumes. A built-in instrumentation amp allows signals to be transmitted with minimal noise even when long cables are used.

If you're using high-quality condenser (powered) microphones with the H6, no problem—a simple menu option allows the unit to provide Phantom Power (either +12, +24, or +48 volts) to any or all of the main inputs (inputs 1-4). Inexpensive condenser microphones requiring Plug-In Power (2.5 volts) can be connected to the X/Y capsule's stereo 1/8" Line In jack.

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.

Zoom H6 Includes:

  • Operation manual
  • XYH-6 X/Y mic capsule
  • MSH-6 MS (Mid-Side) mic capsule
  • SD card (2GB)
  • AA size (LR6) battery x 4
  • Cubase LE Software
  • WSH-6S Foam Windscreen
  • USB Cable
  • Case

Zoom H6 Features:

  • Interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped-out as easily as the lens of a camera
  • Six-track simultaneous recording
  • Four mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors
  • Gain controls (real knobs!) and -20dB pads for each input
  • Phantom power for all main inputs: +12/+24/+48V
  • Large full-color LCD display, angled so it's easy to read in all environments
  • Records directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards up to 128GB
  • Up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Auto-record, Pre-record and Backup-record functions mean that you'll never miss that perfect take
  • Multitrack to stereo internal mixdown
  • Independent monitor and playback mixes
  • Virtual VU meters
  • Voice memo and up to 99 marks per recording
  • Overdubbing, up to 99 takes
  • Built-in effects, including low-cut filtering, compression, and limiting
  • Onboard MS decoding
  • Normalize, Divide, and Trim editing
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • Loop Playback with user-defined start and stop points
  • Variable playback speed, from 50% to 150%
  • Variable pitch per track without affecting playback speed
  • USB port for data exchange to and from computer
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac/iPad
  • Camera strap mounts
  • Mounts directly to DSLR or camcorder with optional HS-1 Hot Shoe Mount adapter
  • Accepts standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Over 20 hours of operation with 4 AA alkaline batteries

X/Y Mic Technique
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 supplied XYH-6 X/Y capsule adds two matched high-quality unidirectional microphones to your H6. 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 Technique
Enter 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.

Although the H6's supplied 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.

Zoom H6 Specifications:

  • Recording media: 16MB–2GB SD cards, 4GB–32GB SDHC cards, 64GB–128GB SDXC cards
  • Inputs L/RXY mic (XYH-6):
    • Mic Type: Unidirectional
    • Sensitivity: –41 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
    • Input Gain: –8 to 46.5 dB
    • Maximum Sound Pressure Input: 136 dB SPL
    • MIC/LINE IN:
      • Connector: 1/8" stereo mini jack
      • Input Gain: –8 to46.5 dB
      • Input Impedance: 2 kO
      • Plug-in Power: 2.5V supported
  • MS mic (MSH-6):
    • 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: –8 to 42.5 dB
    • Maximum Sound Pressure Input: 120 dB SPL (unidirectional),
    • 122 dB SPL (bi-directional)
  • Inputs 1 to 4:
    • Connectors: XLR/TRS combo jacks (XLR: 2 hot / TRS: TIP hot)
    • Input Gain (PAD OFF): –8 to 55.5 dB
    • Input Gain (PAD ON): –8 to 35.5 dB
    • Input Impedance 6.8kO
    • Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu (PAD ON)
    • Phantom Power: +12V / +24V / +48V
    • Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): –120 dBu or less
  • Line Out:
    • Connector: 1/8" stereo mini jack
    • Rated Output Level: –10 dBu (when output load impedance is 10 kOhms or more)
  • Phone Out
    • Connector: 1/8" stereo mini jack
    • Output Level: 20 W + 20 W (into 32 Ohm load)
  • Built-in Speaker
    • 400 mW/8 Ohm mono speaker
  • Recording Formats
    • WAV setting:
      • Sampling Frequency: 44.1/48/96kHz
      • Bit Rate: 16/24-bit (Mono/Stereo, BWF-compliant)
      • Maximum Simultaneous Recording Tracks: 8 (6 + L/R backup)
    • Backup recording: 12dB lower than set L/R input gain
    • MP3 setting]:
      • Sampling Frequency: 44.1kHz Bit Rate: 48–320kbps
      • Maximum Simultaneous Recording Tracks: 2
  • Recording Time (with 2GB card):
    • 03:08:00 (44.1kHz/16-bit WAV)
    • 34:43:00 (128kbps MP3)
  • Display:
    • 2.0-inch full-color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
    • USB  [Mass Storage Class operation]
    • Class: USB2.0 High Speed
    • Audio Interface operation:
      • Multi-track mode:
           -Class: USB 2.0 High Speed
           -Inputs / Outputs: 6 / 2
           -Sampling Frequency: 44.1/48/96kHz
           -Bit Rate: 16/24-bit
             Note: Use with Windows requires a driver, but Macintosh does not.
      • Stereo mode:
           -Class: USB2.0 FullSpeed
           -Inputs / Outputs: 2 / 2
           -Sampling Frequency: 44.1/48kHz
           -Bit Rate: 16-bit*
             Note: iPad operation supported in stereo mode only.
  • Battery Life (with alkaline battery):
    • XY mic, 44.1kHz/16-bit (stereo x 1): 21 hours*
    • XY mic and Inputs 1, 2, 3, and 4 used, 96kHz/24-bit(stereo x 3): 9 hours 45 minutes*
      *Note: The above times are estimates. Approximate continuous recording times when using battery power were calculated using our own testing method. Times may differ greatly depending on operating conditions.
  • Power:
    • AA size (LR6) battery x 4
    • AC adapter: AD-17 (DC5V/1A/USB-type) (optional-sold separately)
    • USB bus power
  • Dimensions:
    • H6: 77.8mm (W) x 152.8mm (D) x 47.8mm (H)
    • XYH-6: 78.9mm (W) x 60.2mm (D) x 45.2mm (H)
    • MSH-6: 58.0mm (W) x 67.6mm (D) x 42.1mm (H)
  • Weight
    • H6: 280g (without batteries)
    • XYH-6: 130g
    • MSH-6: 85g
  • Optional Accessories (all sold separately):
    • SGH-6 Shotgun Mic Capsule
    • EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Capsule
    • HS-1 Hot Shoe Mount
    • APH-6 Accessory Pack (includes RCH-6 wired Remote Controller, AD-17 USB-type AC adapter, WSH-6H Hairy Windscreen)
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