The Zoom iQ6 is a tiny, reliable replacement for some aspects of the much bulkier Zoom H4n, with a few quibbles.
I’ve long used the Zoom H4n to record my audiobooks, and it’s proven to be a reliable, if chunky, piece of hardware for that purpose. I always knew, however, that I was only utilizing a small fraction of its potential uses, and as such was probably lugging around far more machine than was necessary.
Enter the iQ6. This device has the same microphones as the H4n, but instead of perching them atop a device that (let’s be honest) looks like it time traveled from the late ’80s, it snaps snugly into place at the bottom of your iOS device, via the Lightning port.
Now, this is one of my problems with this particular mic. It’s awkward holding your phone upside down, if only because it seems so strange and unwieldy. This mic also occupies the Lightning port, as I mentioned, so it’s impossible to charge your phone while using the mic.
I will say that thus far this hasn’t been an issue, due to the battery longevity of the iPhone 6s Plus. I will also say that, after handling your phone upside down in this fashion a few times, you kind of get used to it. You can also mount your phone in many different ways to achieve something like a proper mic stand that you might find in a recording studio.
The H4n still works a little bit better in terms of eliminating static from too-high audio, and though turning down the gain knob a little bit helps, the main solution I’ve found thus far is just being careful about how close you hold it from your face; a hard-limiter would be nice, but perhaps wasn’t feasible on something this size.
The size factor, though, has still made using it worthwhile, particularly over the massive H4n. The quality from Zoom is still there, and if I only have to make a few minor adjustments to how I work in order to get those same results in a tiny, easily packable package, then I’m more than willing to do it.
Zoom iQ7 (for atmospheric recording, like music)