Zoom H8 Handy Recorder | Adaptive and App-Driven

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The Zoom H8 Handy Recorder is the latest, highly adaptive recording device from Zoom. With up to 12 tracks of simultaneous recording, interchangeable microphone capsules, and a touch screen user interface, this recorder and audio interface is a powerful piece of technology, great for capturing field recordings, live performances, and podcasts.

This recorder follows notable former models, like the Zoom H6, the Zoom H5, and so forth. My first field recorder was a Zoom H2N, a workhorse recorder that has been one of my best investments. The Zoom H8 Handy Recorder offers many of the great features of these former makes, plus more.

Main Features of the Zoom H8 Handy Recorder

  • Custom applications and interfaces for field recording, music, and podcasting
  • 12-track simultaneous recording
  • Interchangeable input capsules
  • Four XLR microphone inputs
  • Two XLR/TRS combo connectors
  • Gain control knobs and -20dB pads for each input
  • A supplied XYH-6 X/Y microphone capsule provides secondary input via a stereo 1/8″ Mic/Line In mini phone jack
  • Phantom power for all six XLR inputs: +24/+48V
  • Large color LCD touchscreen display
  • Records directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards up to 512GB
  • Up to 24-bit / 96 kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Auto-record, Pre-record, and Backup-record functions to never miss that perfect take
  • Built-in effects, including low-cut filtering, compression, and limiting
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac/iPad
  • Accepts standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Over 15 hours of operation with 4 AA alkaline batteries

3 Apps on the Zoom H8 Handy Recorder

The Zoom H8 Handy Recorder’s app-driven touchscreen interface allows you to switch between three distinct apps: field, music, and podcast. Each app has its own display and settings. The recorder also comes with a free download license for both Cubase LE and Steinberg’s WaveLab Cast Software, where you can edit and mix for any one of these project types.

FieldUse the H8’s Field app for pristine field recording. This app is ideal for environmental sound, sound design, foley, and conferences. It includes large meters for every track, and you can adjust parameters like input type, lo-cut, compression, limiting, and noise gating.
MusicMix, overdub, and enhance recordings with the Music app. In this app, you can easily capture a large group of performers, with 10 inputs and 12 tracks. Then, you can overdub, mix, EQ, and compress as needed.
PodcastProduce a podcast with ease using the Podcast app. It can accommodate up to 4 microphones and 2 Sound Pad channels. You also have the option of triggering sound effects using either the 13 built-in sounds or ones you load in with your own SD card.

Interchangeable Capsules

If you are interested in having an even greater scope of functionality, there are a variety of interchangeable capsules to be found:

Capsule:Description:Best used for:
MSH-6 MS CapsuleA forward-facing, unidirectional mic with a side facing, bi-direction mic, captures fully mono-compatible stereo imageFilm, video, and TV projects
XYH-5 Capsule2 matched unidirectional condenser microphones set at a 90 degree angleLive rock concerts, extremely loud sounds, electronic news gathering
SGH-6 Shotgun CapsuleHighly directional microphone, compact, shot-gun styleDialogue or narration
EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Capsule2 more inputs added, device becomes world’s smallest 8-track recorderRecording up to 8 different signals
SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun CapsuleSuper-directional mic along with a bi-directional micCapturing dialogue/narration with center mic, then mixing in desired amount of environmental sound with side mic
XAH-8 CapsulePristine stereo recordings, easily rotate capsules from tight X/Y to wide A/BVersatile stereo imaging
VRH-8 CapsuleAmbisonic mic capsule that utilizes 4 condenser mics for immersive 360 audio, comes with built-in accelerometer to ensure capsule is always perfectly aligned, on-board ambisonic decoderAmbisonic, immersive, or VR audio
EXH-8 CapsuleProvides 4 additional XLR inputs with dedicated knobs and pad switches for a total of 10 inputsRecording up to 10 different signals
Additional capsules are not included with the Zoom H8 Handy Recorder


The Zoom H8 Handy Recorder will soon be available for purchase from a variety of pro audio resellers. I encourage you to read more about this product and related gear on Zoom’s website.

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Sam Proctor
Sam Proctor

I'm a recent Arizona State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Culture (Music). I am an aspiring musician and immersive media developer, and am deeply fascinated and inspired by experimental, interactive, and spatial sound. I love to produce house and techno, as well as ambient and downtempo music.