Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Wind Shields for Zoom H1, H2, H4 and H4n Audio Recorders

Needing a portable hand-held audio recorder to replace my exhausted Nagra Ares-M, I eventually opted for a Zoom H2. Whilst it's not the most expensive audio recorder on the market and by no means the most feature rich, Zoom recorders are renowned for their audio quality, especially from such low-cost devices.

However, unwrapping the unit from the box and taking my first trip out to record, it became apparent the included foam wind shield only worked in the lightest of breezes. I needed a better one!
My search led me to a unique wind shield, in fact the only one I could find that offers full body wind protection. The Zoom H2 wind shield from not only covers the microphone capsules, it also covers the entire body of the recorder eliminating any 'rumble' from wind hitting the device.

Initially I was worried this design would itself be problematic due to the fact that the Zoom's controls would be buried inside the wind shield. However the perfect fit of the wind shield meant I could quickly and easily slip the Zoom H2 inside once I hit record and it slips back out with ease.

Wind Problem?
My first test of the wind shield's effectiveness was when recording birds out in the countryside which was quite an exposed location. Although it wasn't blowing a gale, the wind was certainly strong enough to pose potential problems with wind noise. I tried several positions to capture the right ambience including facing the recorder into the wind, all with excellent results. The wind shield stood up to the test and my recordings were clean and wind free. Time to really test it out...

Next was recording waves down at the local beach. I deliberately waited for a windy day to really test the wind shields effectiveness and again tried several different positions all of which were facing into the wind. I have had issues with recording in this windy location many times before with many other wind shields. However, I was amazed at just how well this wind shield worked as my recordings were mostly wind free and the wind shield didn't dampen the high frequencies of the recordings at all.

Ok, so wind shields won't give complete protection in extremely windy situations, but no wind shield can, not even ones by the leading manufacturers. But this wind shield certainly stands up there with the best, offering great all round protection against wind noise. The design is fantastic offering a classic yet funky look. It has a soft, cosy interior that protects the mic and comes in a range of colours to choose from. The size of the wind shield means it won't just slip into your pocket but is why it is such a successful and popular product. make wind shields for the Zoom H1, H2, H4 and H4n and prices start at just £14.50

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