Hugh Palmer

MELBOURNE SOUND RECORDIST & AUDIO ENGINEER

Professional Sound Recordist based in Melbourne, Australia.

Offering a range of audio related services including Sound Recording, Sound Design, Music Recording and Audio Restoration.

Zoom H6 VS Tascam DR 680

I've spent the past 3 weeks researching what is going to be the best way for to go about recording audio while away from the studio. After some careful deliberation I boiled it down to two units the Zoom H6 and the Tascam DR 680. 

Both of these units are entry level in terms of price, they both have the ability (with some attachments and modifications) to record 6 channels of audio and they both record 24bit/96kHz audio. And while I do think that the DR 680 would ultimately be the superior unit, for my immediate needs and unfortunate lack of funding, the H6 has come out the champion. 

In the end and after weeks of head scratching it came down to a good old pen on paper list of pros and cons. Here's how I eventually broke it down:

h6.jpg

Zoom H6

Price: $435

4 ins

Ok pre amp, not as good as 680

Lighter and compact                    

Comes with 2 stereo mics

~ 5 - 8 hours battery life

 

Tascam DR 680

Price: $635

6 analog ins / 2 digital ins

Quieter pre-amps

More professional looking for clients

Would have to buy atmos mics

~ 30 - 90 minute battery life

Basically, its clear that the DR680 would give me a decent recording device. I would however be left to have to go and buy microphones for atmosphere recording and a battery to sustain it for longer than the often cited 30 minute recording time with 8 (!!!!) AAs. With the savings in cash here I could then invest in a far superior NTG3 (over the NTG2), as well as putting cash away to eventually get external mixers (like the sound devices 302) in order to improve the sound quality of the H6. 

 

So in conclusion if you have the extra 500 ish dollars then I would probably nab a DR680 and upgrade it all the way. If however, you are like me and are still waiting for people to start throwing money at you, the H6 seems like a good answer for the meanwhile.