Ambient sounds can be a great addition to your music. You can warp them, change their pitch, reverse them, and create music that is innovative and interesting. But to do this, you first need to capture and record these sounds. With some of the best field recorders out there, doing that has never been easier.
Without further ado, here are the best handheld field recorders you can use to capture the sounds around you and make inspiring music.
1. Zoom H4n Pro
The H4n Pro is our first choice, as Zoom is one of the world’s leading companies in the field recorder business. This field recorder has great battery life, a movable mic, an additional pair of line inputs, and a wide stereo. You can record sounds in mp3 resolution, which also helps you save up on storage.
When it comes to the price, this model is somewhere in the middle on the affordability scale. Right now, it costs $219.99.
2. Tascam DR-40X
This model is the main competitor of our first pick, and it is also one of the best field recorders you can find. As one of the companies with the most experience and the longest tradition, Tascam makes some of the field recording equipment on the market.
The DR-40X has built-in XY microphones, as well as combo jacks you can use to attach external gear. It is a bit more affordable than our winner, costing $199.
3. Zoom H2n
This model has a different design from our choices above. Namely, its compact housing directly contains the mic array. There are five microphones in total, so you can record mid-side, in standard XY, and several surround configurations.
The H2n is perhaps the most compact pick on our list, and yet it still has all the features necessary to be close to the top. Standing at $169.99, it is also one of the most affordable field recorders on the market.
4. Zoom H6
The H6 is Zoom’s most expensive and high-quality recorder. It has four external microphone outputs and six simultaneous tracks. This model is aimed at pros, and it boasts features that ordinary field recorders don’t have. That is mirrored in its price: $329.99.
If you are not a pro, you might find the H6 a tad confusing, and you probably won’t need all the features it has to offer. But if you are a pro, this model is perfect for you.
5. Tascam DR-07X
This model has great capture quality and an XY mic array that you can angle at 120 degrees. It offers the possibility of multi-track recordings, which can come in handy if you are a professional producer. As the DR-07X is rather affordable, it offers a great number of features for its price.
6. Sony PCM-D10
Some of the best handheld field audio recorders come from Sony. However, these are also the most expensive models on the market.
This particular model is a high-quality pro recorder, and it has the best AD/DA conversion out of all our picks. This quality of the conversion means that you can play and hear your recordings in the highest quality on the device itself. It also has a headphone amplifier, perfect for professional work.
7. Tascam DR-100 mkIII
This model delivers extraordinary sound quality and can be useful even in the most demanding of recording situations. It has a pair of stereo directional mics, as well as two omni mics. These enable it to capture sounds as realistically as possible. It is rather affordable, as it costs $299.99.
As you have read, some of the best field recorders might be just what you need to amplify your producer experience and abilities. Hopefully, our list helps you find the device best suited to your needs and preferences. Research the models even further, and then make your decision. Whichever you pick, we promise you you won’t be disappointed.