Zoom H1: Studio-Quality Audio Recording On a Stick

The Zoom H2, an ice cream sandwich-shaped portable audio recorder, has long been a favorite for its sturdy build and studio-quality mics. Now there's the H1, its smaller, popsicle-shaped brother; it still sounds great, and now it looks great, too.

The H1 is Zoom's smallest recorder to date, but nothing is sacrificed for its size; the new model keeps the blocky H2's X/Y microphone configuration and delivers 24-bit/96 kHz stereo recordings of lecturer ramblings, guitar noodlings, and everything in between. The new unit also packs a track marker and auto record function, as well as level and volume controls.

You can feed the H1 32GB micro SDHC cards for up to 50 hours of recording, and one AA battery will get you about 10 hours of record time. The H1 will be available in June, and here's the sweetest sounding bit of all: a $99 price tag. [Zoom H1]