Reviews say the Samson Zoom H2 digital voice recorder offers extraordinary sound for the money, making it a favorite for podcasters and musicians. One complaint is that the plastic housing makes the Zoom H2 look cheap, but that is why it weighs just 4 ounces. The Zoom H2 runs on two AA batteries and records on removable memory cards. It's also compatible with PCs and Macs. The Zoom H2 is unique among handhelds because of its four microphones, which enable it to record from all directions. The Zoom H2 does not have a speaker; users must plug it in to a speaker or utilize the included earbud headphones for playback. If you have more to spend, Samson's Zoom H4n (*Est. $270) is twice as expensive, but offers improved build quality, slightly better recording quality and some extra features.
The best review available of the Zoom H2 is by musician and tech writer Mark Nelson for O'Reilly Digital Media. His thorough report is supplemented by hundreds of reader comments. There are also reviews by dictation/transcription experts, broadcasters and customers, including lots of largely positive ones on Amazon.com.
1. O'Reilly Digital Media
Musician and audio reviewer Mark Nelson says that the Zoom H2 is good for its price, though not in the same league as more expensive recorders designed for recording music. There are also hundreds of questions and comments from readers and users posted on this site.
Review: Review: Zoom H2 Handheld Surround Recorder, Mark Nelson, Sept. 13, 2007
AudioTranskription.de is a German website. Reviewers Thorsten Dresing and Thorsten Pehl say they don't like the Zoom H2's plastic shell, but conclude that the recording quality is the best you'll find at this price.
Review: Zoom H2 Handy Recorder -- Test Report, Thorsten Dresing and Thorsten Pehl, March 13, 2009
Transom.org is a website devoted to helping contributors to public radio. While editors don't say which product is the best to buy, they otherwise offer a comprehensive review that includes a dozen sound clips.
Review: Zoom H2 , Jeff Towne, November 2007
Stephanie Wingfield is a retailer, but her review of the Zoom H2 appears to be unbiased, and she provides sound clips so you can decide for yourself. She tests battery life and finds it "excellent" at 8.48 hours (though she notes that it will vary depending on the size of the file you record). She says the Zoom H2 is "an incredible bargain for its price."
Review: Zoom H2 Review, Stephanie Wingfield
The vast majority of the more than 475 customer reviews at Amazon.com give the Zoom H2 4 or 5 stars. Some owners say it feels like the Zoom H2 is cheaply built because of its plastic casing, while others report that it is difficult to use.
Review: Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder, Contributors to Amazon.com