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Audio Recorder Showdown: Zoom H6 vs. Tascam DR-60 vs. JuicedLink RM333

08.15.13 @ 6:36PM Tags : , , , , , ,

Audio Recorder ShowdownWe’ve all heard the age-old adage that audio is half the battle in filmmaking. When you’ve got a proper crew with a dedicated team of audio professionals, getting proper audio isn’t much of a hassle. However, when you’re working with small crews or as a one-man-band, juggling the technical aspects of creating the image and recording the sound can be downright daunting. That’s where devices like the Tascam DR-60, Zoom H6, and juicedLink RM333 come into play. But which of these devices is best suited to meeting your audio needs on set, and what problems might you face with these various devices? Robert Rozak of juicedLink has put together this impressive comparison video that should help you find the best audio recording solution for your needs.


First and foremost, you might be asking yourself how a video produced by the President of juicedLink could be objective in how it presents the competing products. Having watched this several times now, I can assure you that this video is very objective in its presentation and depiction of all tested products. Additionally, the RM333 is not an audio recorder at all, but a quality preamp that you jack into your camera in order to eliminate the need for dual-system sound. It’s in this video as a point of comparison.

Also it’s highly recommended that you watch this with a good pair of headphones so that you can hear the differences in the signal to noise ratios between the products. With all of that said, check out the video below:

For me, there are several major takeaways from this video. Perhaps the biggest one is that the Tascam DR-60 has some major drawbacks to accompany its plethora of awesome features. Beyond the fact that it has terrible battery life (something which can be remedied with external power,) the inefficiency of its digital pots makes it nearly impossible to mix on the fly (check out the 6:48 mark in the video.)

Another major takeaway from this video is just how significant an upgrade the Zoom H6 is from is predecessor, the H4N. Not only does it boast a significant upgrade in features with its additional inputs and modular components, it’s also significantly better in terms of audio quality.

However, the H6 has its own set of drawbacks as well, most notably the fact that the mic input attachment for the top of the device does not provide phantom power.

What do you guys think? Have you used any of these audio devices? If so, what are some of the pros and cons that you’ve discovered? Let us know in the comments!

Link: JuicedLink Review Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-60D, RM333 – Cheesycam

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  2. Get Better DSLR Audio Quality by Using a Good Preamp: Beachtek vs. juicedLink vs. Zoom H4n
  3. Tascam DR-40 Audio Recorder Gets Update, Competes with Zoom H4n at Fraction of the Cost

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Hi Guys,
    I am in purchasing mode to record some interviews for Youtube. I am looking to purchase the Zoomh6 with a stereo lavalier mic from Giant Squid called the Podcasting stereo mic. However, I got this warning from Giant Squid that makes me wonder if their mics will work with the Zoomh6

    “Don’t plug into any XLR or 1/4 inch jack or the mics will get fried by the high voltage. The maximum volts my mics can take is 10 volts.”

    Does the Zoomh6 have inputs for this type of mic? Can I use an adapter and still plug into XLR? I also would like to connect a Rode Boom to it. Can I expect to connect the lavalier and the Boom simultaneously. What do you guys recommend? Is there a better solution?

    I hate the word “Newbie” but ok it is spilling out….

  • I think this is a very good comparison video, while obviously Juiced Link making it’s argument that in-camera audio is just as good as an external recorder. Juiced Link makes fine products. I just was amazed how much noise there was on the Zoom H4N demo. I own two of them, and despite their shortcomings, I think they are very capable recorders producing excellent, clean sound. I personally do not get anywhere near the amount of noise presented in these tests. My biggest complaint of the H4N is that if your battery dies while recording, you loose your entire sound clip. An extremely poor and significant design flaw. I hope Zoom has fixed this in the H6!

  • Thanks for this great post. I’ll add one benefit to dual system sound, that was overlooked. Any editor knows that with interviews in particular, a majority of the interview will be covered with Broll. That means that a camera glitch, battery/card change, or other snafu that happens at just the wrong moment can be covered seamlessly if the audio recording doesn’t shut off at the same time. Same can also be true with run and gun stuff.

    Anything can go wrong with any setup you choose and all of this will take practice for each filmmaker to get right, but I feel a bit more comfortable knowing that even if the camera isn’t rolling, I’m still getting crisp seamless audio that may have some useful gems in it.

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