We’ve been waiting for a sub$200 field recorder. CDM’s Josh Jancourtz found this one at NAMM: no availability, no PR, but some interesting details.

Here’s a serious play for budget mobile recording from Zoom: a US$199 recorder with an integrated mic and some unusual flexibility thanks to 3 integrated capsules. Translation: point this at whatever you want to record, then adjust to one of five mic patterns to “frame” it exactly like you want. Zoom had only a spec sheet and non-functioning unit on the floor of the NAMM show, but here’s the summary — at least on paper:

  1. 3 mic capsules and mid and side patterns allow front 120-degree cardioid, front-90 super cardioid, rear 120-degree cardioid, rear 90-degree super cardioid, and 360-degree polar

  2. USB interface; works as an audio interface — meaning this doubles as a USB mic

  3. WAV 96/48/44.1 KHz, 320kbps VBR MP3

  4. External mic for plug-in power stereo mic

  5. Time stamp function

There’s no mention of a flash card slot, but I’m guessing the slot would at least be there. This could finally hit the sweet spot for a mobile mic, both in terms of design and price. Availability: unknown. We’ll be watching.

And just in case you wondered how we figured out those specs — this is one way of releasing information about upcoming products: