Recommendations for a mobile recorder

@shiftr I’ve been using the M10 for a little under a week and I have to say I’m pretty happy with it. What can I say; it’s small (here is a photo comparing its size with the H1), feels well-built and sturdy, and is extremely easy to operate. Recordings sound perfectly fine with what feels like a very natural stereo image to me. Only thing I haven’t tried yet is to record with an external microphone which I’m planning to do soon.

@t2k … How is the M10 doing?
Today i noticed my H1 is generating all kind of noise on it’s own. I’ve probably had it for 8 years and used it in all kind of bad conditions so i’m not surprised it’s giving up on me. So i need something new…

I still like the M10. It’s a solid piece of gear, a bit like the better walkmans and MD players Sony made back in the days.

The omni mic setup also seems to work great for the kind of environmental or “found sound” stuff I do. Maybe the directional thing Zoom does is better for more traditional band recording.

hmm… I now also actually considering the Sony pcm-d100 as all the reviews say it’s the best one out there. Although quite expensive. Only thing i liked about the zoom h-1 is that it’s always somewhere in the bottom of my backpack ready to record. I don’t think i’ll do that with the d100.
hmmm. Does the M10 also take stereo plug in power mics?

The M10 works fine with the tiny “plug-in power” microphones I got for my MD recorder back in the days. It also works great with the pair of LOM Uši mics I got recently.

The D100 is better, but I’m not entirely sure it’s the 3.2 times better that you’ll pay more for it. Also keep in mind that the biggest feature of the D100 is native support for DSD (Direct-Stream Digital) which to me sounds like one of the biggest audiophile ripoffs in recent history. :slight_smile:

The M10 is solid, sturdy, and goes with me in a backpack everywhere. I wouldn’t do that with something in the price range of the D100. YMMV, but for me the D100 would be a bit like the big expensive DSLR I bought a decade ago but never took with me, while the M10 is more like the Lumix LX7 I never think twice about throwing in a bag.

But again, your usage might be completed different than mine. :wink:

I’m wondering if the Zoom IQ6 might be a good bet.

I borrowed one of the standalone Zoom recorders with the same mics from work last week, and it sounded good.

I like the idea of a standalone recorder, but realistically, I’m more likely to keep a plugin mic for my phone in my bag, than a much bulkier dedicated recorder.


Tried that with another brand in the past. Didn’t work for me because I’m rather particular about not wanting to use apps which I don’t like the UI of.

I’m sure the hardware and sound quality of the IQ6 will be great.

+1 m10. Also decent line in recording.

I am also looking to get a good mobile recorder to do some field recording :slight_smile: I have narrowed my list down to the Zoom H5

seems very reasonably priced considering the specs :slight_smile:

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I know it’s an old thread but I am looking for recommendations. What are your thoughts and experiences in 2018 ?

Zoom. H4n Pro might provide the best value for most people and most applications at this point.

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It depends on what you want and for what you want to use it.
I’ve got the Sony D100 and it’s very expensive compared to others and not very flexible. But i love it because the recordings i make with it are just really beautiful.
And i’ve got the Zoom H1 which i love because it is so light i always have it chucked in my bag. I also don’t mind leaving it unattended on a spot recording for a while. And i sometimes use the H1 as a direct USB microphone for recording directly in Cubase. But the sound quality is way of from the Sony. But quite often good enough. Especially when you are using it as raw material for further processing.

I’ve used the H4n for a few years but almost entirely to record computer line output while avoiding continuous operating system audio driver updates/compatibility issues. I suggest the later version H6 probably has a faster processor/boot time which is meaningful when adding up minutes of wait time over years.

Did you use the H4n or the H4n Pro?

H4n. I got it at an end-of-shelf-life discount during a professional recording emergency lol.

I’ll just throw in another interesting suggestion: Instamic. This is a TINY (I really mean tiny, 1.5"x1"), microphone with built-in memory/recorder. One controls settings from a bluetooth device such as an iPhone, several of them can be linked together to record simultaneously, there are mono and stereo versions, with furry animals, etc. etc.

The 1,000,000 dollar question is: “how does it sound”?. Well, it sounds about what you would expect from a tiny electret mic recorder for under $160; the high end seems emphasized, it’s a little bit brittle, lacking in low end, but all of that is outweighed by the fact that you can put this mic ANYWHERE - did I mention it’s WATERPROOF?

The majority of my field recordings are ambiences, and for that work I use my Nagra’s, either my LB or my SD, which are both excellent in terms of sound as one would expect; Instamic (and Zoom for that matter) pale in comparison. But the advantages of the Instamic should not be overlooked for field recordings of specific sounds, and perspectives which would just not be available using a standard mic/recorder setup.

Plenty more info here:

I had the chance to use a sound device recorder with a double m/s shoeps mic in a workshop recently with Felix Blume and yes, it was another world. I would recommend 5/5.

But who could invest in such material without regular gigs in the film industry?

On the m/s topic : do you use it often in your field recording or most of you get along with the x/y couple?

I have an H5 and it’s handy (go figure) when you want line in and the built-in mic sound to mix down later.

Honestly, what I end up using the most is a cheap Sony Voice IC Recorder that was an impulse buy at the electronic’s store. It’s small and simple and immediate. When I use the mic recordings for samples, the built-in compression and processing gives it more character (still way less than a cassette recorder but in a similar vein) and the line input is indistinguishable from the H5.

I’ve got the Pro and it’s really snappy. According to Zoom, it also now offers the same sound quality and uses the same preamps and convertors as the 5 and 6.

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Could you elaborate a bit on the H4N Pro please ? It looks like there is one selling at a local second hand store for 129€.