Zoom H4n vs H4n Pro

Audio recorder may sound outdated but they are still very popular and useful, especially for professional users since they are designed to offer the proper features and long running to be reliable anytime. Zoom H4n vs H4n Pro are two of the best recorders we can have today thanks to the amazing audio quality and fairly affordable price but, before you go shopping for one, see what they can offer below and pick the one that has the best suitability for your application.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Which to Choose Between Smartphone and Audio Recorder
  • What are Zoom H4n and H4n Pro
  • What Zoom H4n and H4n Pro Look Like
  • What Zoom H4n and H4n Pro can offer
  • What Inputs are Available in Zoom H4n and H4n Pro
  • How are the Performance of Zoom H4n and H4n Pro
  • Zoom H4n Vs H4n Pro

Audio Recorder

The advanced in technology has bring so many benefits to us bust most of them are about convenience and people tend to want everything to finish quickly as well as effectively because time is precious and we can’t rewind them back. Among those tools that was designed for human convenience, smartphone is probably one of the best if not the most popular because they are heavily used by almost everyone nowadays; doesn’t matter if you are a student or adults, smartphone is always near our hand.

This is for the fact that we can do almost anything with it from entertainment to productivity and this convenient is indeed making them the go-to for many tasks including audio recording. In the past, we need to use a proper audio recorder like the small box we used to see being handled by reporters when questioning their source. But today, everything is different and it seems even some professionals are no longer using this piece of tool anymore and relying more to smartphone.

 Zoom H4nZoom H4n Pro
Shop now at Amazonclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions2.9 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches6.2 x 1.5 x 2.8 inches
Shipping Weight2.03 pounds1.54 pounds

The question we often hear is whether it is still worth the effort and budget to get a proper voice recorder today when smartphone is already in your hand. The answer of course will differ from one person to another because not all of us will have the same need and purpose of using one but, there are some concerns that you may want to consider when choosing between these two different tools.

  1. It is about audio quality because all of us know that sound quality differs from one app to another and compared to a dedicated audio recorder in general the latter will be able to capture superior audio file quality.
  2. Since our smartphones are used for other activities as well mostly for entertainment, there is a high chance to harm the device and unless you store the audio file in cloud, the risk of data loss is also higher.
  3. Latter smartphones are packed with huge storage and while this surely provide a better room for keeping files, many of us are fond of storing lots of files like images and videos as well, thus, the amount to put your audio files may decreased a lot too.
  4. The last but not least point we often consider between using smartphone or an audio recorder is their battery because if you are professional and records much, relying on smartphone that we used often is very concerning remembering we also need to safely secure some juice for other activities.

About Zoom H4n and H4n Pro

If you have already decided to get a reliable audio recorder, now is the time to see what the market has to offer because there are lots of them out there and chances it will take an amount of time to get the perfect unit both for your application and budget. However, make sure that they have a good audio quality and the type of connectivity that we need to have to work with. Additionally, weight and form may play an important part in your decision making as well. See also: Zoom H4N vs Tacam DR-40.

Audio recorders have been around for so long and there are so many companies or brands offering the product on their catalogue but among those plethora of choices, Zoom is one of the best to check out. This is because they are well-known for supplying devices with abilities to record high-fidelity audio for both music and film as well as creating various models or versions for their customers to pick conveniently. Another great thing we love from Zoom is their competitive price which makes them the go-to for many of us.

When talking about the popular model from this brand, we are sure most people will refer to the iconic H4 which was released back in 2006 and has been used widely by filmmakers, podcasters, reporters, etc. Continuing the journey, today we have Zoom H4n and H4n Pro that are based on the same models and just like their predecessors, they are still as reliable but being a different units, many of us are confused about which one to bring home for there must be some differences as well.

For starters, the “n” on their last name means next so for those who are familiar with the original models, there will be some upgrades in these two as well especially with the H4n Pro. The best features of these recorders is probably the prerecord and voice activation which mean they are excelling when it comes to capturing simple audio like in a lecture session or interviews, making them a great companion for anyone who is aiming to be a musician and other amateur producers like YouTube users.

Zoom H4n and H4n Pro Design

Being a close brothers, Zoom H4n and H4n Pro are very identical to each other in a glance but we are sure most people will instantly able to tell the difference because their name is practically printed at the face area. What you can see that set them apart first is the body which is now black and rubberized while the display somehow looks better or clearer because the backlit is upgraded to be brighter as well to make you see them easily.

But, when you handle both of them one at each palm, the latter is actually slightly heavier in comparison probably about 14 grams heavier yet, this recorder still feels comfortable to hold because of the new body. Additionally, we also have new bezel on the front and side panels that are designed purposely to guide your finger to its rockers or record level and output level. The rest of the I/O and controls remain the same but slightly improved such as the volume rockers that is slightly protrude and firmer when touched.

Zoom H4n and H4n Pro Features

On the specification sheet, Zoom H4n and H4n Pro are a very identical models because they bring the same technology and capabilities for the users. Both of them are capable of recording in stereo, 4CH, and MTR so they are fine with any stereo recording tasks that you may assist to the latter. The audio recorded on any of them can be uncompressed PCM WAV with 16/24-bit, 44.1/48/96kHz or compressed MP3 format in 48-320kbps or VBR. Overall you will get every common capabilities we often see in a recorder.

Zoom H4n and H4n Pro Input

Additionally, input also stay the same with built-in X/Y microphones which you can switch to 90 degrees or 120 degrees. You will also get a pair of combo 0.25-inch jack or XLR socket or an external microphone through the stereo mini-jack input. On the other hand, as for storage we can keep the audio files in an SD or SDHC cards but the maximum size is only 32GB while the A/D conversion is still 24-bit. The built-in microphones we have can be used up to 140dB SPL since the input can deliver phantom power.

Zoom H4n and H4n Pro Performance

Specifications are the same in both Zoom H4n and H4n Pro so we instantly think the performance will be the same as well while counting out the user experience side first. When used together, there is no difference in sound quality between these brothers and while the firmware is not the same as what we found in the former, H4n Pro delivers the same menus and options. This means if you already used to the older version, the latter will not bring any additional learning curve as well.

Talking about audio quality, even the original H4n is not a top recorder thus, we can’t hope to hear a superb quality but they are always reliable and do the job properly. What’s good is Zoom used the same preamps like in H5 and H6 in this H4n Pro and this what makes the sound quality improved because recordings are clear and distinct with a very natural sound while if you hear them on headphones, the stereo field will appear to be wide and clear, making it almost like a binaural recording.


Zoom H4n and H4n Pro are a good dedicated recorder you may want to check out if budget is limited because they are working very well but in comparison, the H4n Pro model will be more comfortable and give you slightly better user experience due to some design changes and when it comes to audio quality, we can hear that H4n Pro is indeed a better sounding recorder as well since in comparison, the H4n will sound slightly dull and a bit more center of the stereo.

Zoom H4n vs H4n Pro

- Japanese Version
- Japanese Manual Only
- No US Warranty
- Four-channel recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz. Built-in stereo x/Y microphones, up to 140 dB SPL
- 2 XLR/TRS inputs with locking connectors. Records directly to SD/SDHC cards up to 32 GB
- 4-In/2-out USB Audio Interface. Monaural speaker: 400 mW 8 Ω


All in all, there is no bad choice between these models because it all depends on your needs but, if you are here to get a better recorder, we highly recommend to get Zoom H4n Pro for its clear and nicer stereo quality.

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