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Zoom H8 Overview
With three app-driven modes that instantly configure the color touchscreen for podcasting, music production, or location recording, the Zoom H8 portable handheld recorder lets you quickly record up to eight simultaneous input signals via a workflow that's highly optimized for your task. Plus, it's compatible with an array of capsules (available separately) for easy expansion into 10-input recording, Ambisonics 360-degree audio, and more.
Like other H-Series Handy recorders such as the H5 and H6, you can hold the H8 in your hand, attach it to a mic stand or tripod, or mount it to a camera (shoe mount available separately); the H8 packs an impressive array of features into a lightweight body that's more than ready to meet the varied demands of podcasters, musicians, sound designers, and content creators. The bundled Cubase LE and WaveLab Cast software programs give you the tools you need to edit, refine, export, and upload your projects.
From the intuitive, tactile controls to the plentiful battery life and powerful audio processing functions, the H8 is well equipped for producing pristine audio for complete musical arrangements, independent films, and panel podcasts. It can supply phantom or plug-in power for condenser mics, or accept direct connections from guitars, keyboards, or drum machines. No matter the source, selectable auto-recording and pre-recording ensure that you'll never miss the start of a take, and stereo safety track recording provides duplicate tracks at a lower level to avoid distortion.
Operating the H8 is extremely intuitive and user-friendly thanks to the 2.4" color LCD touchscreen and the three app-driven modes optimized for podcasting, music, and field recording workflows at the touch of the screen.
Podcast App: With four mic channels and two sound pad channels readily available, the Podcast app makes high-quality podcast production easy. Use the 13 pre-loaded sounds or load your own from an SD card to trigger sound effects, music beds, and more from the dedicated Sound Pads.
Music App: Record up to 10 input tracks, overdub, mix, and enhance your recordings with EQ and compression, all while the Music app puts important controls such as audio levels, faders, and metering at your fingertips. Plus, you can connect to Zoom’s Guitar Lab via USB to access a vast assortment of amps and effects.
Field App: Designed for location sound, sound design, conferences, and more, the Field app gives you instant access to large meters for every track, so you can make sure your recordings never clip. It also lets you quickly adjust input type, lo-cut filtering, compression, limiting, the noise gate, and other key settings.
X/Y Stereo Microphone Capsule
Leave your external mics at home and travel light; the H8 includes a stereo microphone capsule equipped with two unidirectional mics. With nothing more than the H8, you're set to record speech, practice sessions, concerts, or ambient and environmental sounds, even ear-rattling ones up to 136 dB!
Zoom Capsule System 2.0
Zoom’s Capsule System 2.0 allows up to four channels of audio to be added to the H8's capsule connection, creating new ways to expand your recording capabilities through the addition of new separately available capsules.
XAH-8: The XAH-8 capsule delivers pristine stereo recordings via its two condenser microphones. Easily rotate the capsules from a tight X/Y pattern to a wide AB pattern to enhance the stereo image of your recordings.
VRH-8: The VRH-8 is an Ambisonic mic capsule that utilizes four condenser microphones to deliver immersive 360-audio recordings. A built-in accelerometer helps ensure the capsule is always perfectly aligned, while the onboard Ambisonic decoder automatically handles the necessary conversions, saving you time in post-production.
EXH-8: The EXH-8 capsule provides four additional XLR inputs, giving you a total of 10. Each additional input has a dedicated gain knob and pad switch. You can even use your favorite condenser microphones—just connect a power source to the EXH-8 capsule to supply phantom power.
Supports Existing Zoom Mic Capsules
The Zoom mic capsule input on the H8 accommodates Zoom's existing line of separately available interchangeable capsules, which can be swapped out as easily as the lenses of a camera. With shock-mounted X/Y, Mid-Side, and mono or stereo shotgun mic capsules to choose from, you can be ready to record music, dialog, or sound effects without carting an external microphone setup. Opt for the EXH-6 combo input capsule to accept two additional mic/line signals via XLR-1/4" jacks.
Fast, User-Friendly Operability
The H8's front panel is ergonomically arranged with its most essential and commonly used controls—transport buttons for record, play/pause, and stop, individual record-arm buttons that double as mute switches during playback, large gain knobs, and pad switches. For added safety, a hold switch disables all front-panel buttons to prevent accidental operation during recording.
Instant Access to Gain Adjustments
Each H8 input has its own dedicated gain control knob. There's no track selection or button pressing required to optimize your recording levels; just turn the dials (clearly labeled from 0 to 10) anytime you need to adjust the gain. If your XLR input sources are so loud that you need even less gain than the preamps provide at the "0" setting, use four front-panel pad switches to attenuate the XLR inputs by 20 dB.
Eight Channels of Microphone/Line Inputs
Equipped with four XLR inputs, two XLR-1/4" combo inputs, and a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input (on the XYH-6 capsule), the H8 can accommodate condenser microphones (via 12, 24, or 48 VDC phantom power), +4 dB balanced line-level sources, or signals from unbalanced instruments with active electronics. Whether you plan on recording studio condenser mics, feeds from wireless receivers, or a lavalier and shotgun mic combo for an interview, the H8's preamps are ready to deliver low-noise performance.
Record All Channels Live or Overdub Layers
The H8 boasts multichannel recording at up to 24-bit / 96 kHz resolution; up to 12 tracks (mic capsule, backup recording, XLR 1-4, XLR-1/4" combo A and B, and LR stereo mix) are available.
Record all channels simultaneously or utilize the overdubbing function to add layers of instruments after an initial recording. Adjust levels and pans for your tracks, then use the H8's internal mixdown function to blend your tracks down to a stereo file.
SD Card Recording and Audio Interface Functionality
Maximize portability by recording directly to an SD card (up to 2GB capacity), SDHC card (up to 32GB capacity), or SDXC card (up to 512GB capacity). A 2GB card will yield over three hours of 16-bit / 44.1 kHz stereo recording time using the BWF-compliant WAV format for uncompressed audio quality and industry-standard file compatibility. Note that media cards are available separately, and larger capacity cards will increase startup times.
Alternatively, use the H8 as a 12-in/2-out USB 2.0 audio interface (at up to 24-bit / 96 kHz) with your Mac or Windows computer. For audio interface operation with an iPad, an Apple Camera Connection Kit is required and available separately.
3.5mm Outputs for Simultaneous Hookup to a Camera and Headphones
The H8 boasts 3.5mm line and headphone mini-jack outputs for simultaneously feeding your camera/DSLR and a pair of headphones. For quick playback reference, a built-in monophonic speaker is also provided.
Powered via AA Batteries or AC Adapter
Power the H8 via four included AA batteries, or plug it into a wall outlet with an AD-17 AC adapter (available separately). Alkaline batteries can keep the H8 running for over 20 hours of continuous recording. When using the H8 in the stereo USB audio interface mode, USB bus powering is possible.
Rugged and Portable, Handheld or Mounted
The durable, ergonomic body lends itself naturally to handheld use. Should you need to mount it on a mic stand or tripod, a threaded hole on the back of the H8 obviates the need for stand adapters. Obtain a hot shoe adapter (available separately) to attach the H8 directly to a DSLR.
Signal Processing Adds Sonic Polish
The H8's onboard effects allow you to add polish to your recordings. Compression and limiting compensate for fluctuations in input level, while a low-cut filter helps eliminate wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low-frequency rumble.
Special Recording Functions
The H8 offers selectable recording functions designed to prevent you from accidentally missing the start of a performance. By keeping moments of audio that happen prior to you pressing the record button, the pre-record option ensures that you'll never cut off the beginning of a great take. Auto-record can automatically start recording when a user-set sound level is detected, making it great for voice-activated recording.
Backup record enables the H8 to automatically record a duplicate of the L/R input with less input gain. Even if your original track is distorted, chances are the backup version will be fine!
Supports External Remote Control
You can use your iPhone or iPad to monitor level meters and press record, play, and stop in each H8 application mode. Just insert the BTA-1 Bluetooth module (available separately) to your H8 and connect to your iOS device.
Includes Audio Software
The H8 comes with free download licenses for Steinberg's Cubase LE music production software and WaveLab Cast audio editing software, representing a complete audio production toolkit.
Podcasting: WaveLab Cast connects you directly with podcast directories such as Spreaker or Podbean. You can upload episodes quickly, plus directly create and publish RSS feeds.
Audio for Video: Import your video file and WaveLab Cast will automatically extract the audio. You can use the editing tools to lower unwanted noise, change levels, and remove loud sibilants. Metering options allow you to build new tracks, fade-in your music, and use EQ and compression. Re-attach the audio to the video file using WaveLab Cast’s export functions.
Field Recording: WaveLab Cast supports up to 96 kHz audio quality and includes a high-end re-sampler. RestoreRig removes noise and unwanted sounds. You can assemble new files using the snap functions and crossfade options. Once you’re done, export your sound files in any popular audio format.
Number of Tracks
12 (8 s + Stereo Mix)
Max Sample Rate/Resolution
96 kHz / 24-Bit
Interchangeable Cardioid Condenser Stereo Pair, X/Y Configuration
Yes, 400 mW Mono
2.4" / 6.1 cm Color LCD Touchscreen
Memory Card Support
Memory Card Support
SDHC (4 GB to 32 GB)
SDXC (64 GB to 512 GB)
Audio File Formats
BWF, MP3, WAV
44.1 / 48 / 96 kHz
16 / 24-Bit
Compressor, Limiter, Low-Cut Filter
4 x XLR 3-Pin Female Balanced Mic (Lockable)
2 x Combo XLR-1/4" TRS Female Balanced Instrument/Line/Mic (Lockable)
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Line/Mic
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Line Output
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Female Unbalanced Headphone Output
+12 / 24 / 48 V (Selectable on Individual s)
1 x Micro-USB
Batteries, USB Bus Power, AC/DC Power Adapter
4 x AA (Included)
Approximate Battery Life
AC/DC Power Adapter
5 VDC at 1 A (Not Included)
1/4"-20 Female (Bottom)
4.6 x 1.9 x 6.4" / 116.4 x 48.6 x 163.3 mm (Recorder)
3.1 x 1.8 x 2.4" / 78.9 x 45.2 x 60.2 mm (X/Y Mic)
12.5 oz / 354 g (Recorder)
4.6 oz / 130 g (X/Y Mic)