Photo: Josh Jancourtz

Everyone is looking for the Zoom H2, a nifty portable flash recorder with a merciful street of around US$200 and a built-in mic. We know because you’ve all started hitting our ancient page on the H2. It in fact isn’t shipping yet; Sweetwater has an explanation on their site:

The Zoom H2 is expected to begin arriving in stores in August (slightly delayed by an improvement to the microphone design).

Just to demonstrate I’m not linking to them for affiliate cash, I’ll, erm, not link to them. But I expect you can find them (add a dot-com to their name) or try your favorite retailer and perhaps get a similar story.

It looks very nice, and I have to admit I’m myself looking for a new portable recorder. It seems like it’d actually be worth spending the extra US$100 and getting a Zoom H4, which adds XLR/line ins and phantom power for when you need them. (It’s also got four-tracking capability and effects, but the external mic in to me is the big draw.) Advice?

There’s such interest in this, I think we may need to make a portable recorder mega-page. Leave your suggestions here.

We broke the story on the H2 and deferred to our friends on O’Reilly on reviewing the H4. But you will find lots of reader comments (surprisingly, more H4 feedback on the H2 story — check out comments). Could help you make a smart purchasing decision; I’ll be using it to make mine:

Recording@NAMM: Zoom’s $199 USB H2 Mobile Mic/Recorder, Found in the Wild
O’Reilly Reviews Zoom H4 in Hawaii: Good, with Quirks