Getting better sound out of a Zoom H2 (or any recording device or microphone)

zoom recorder padding for better audio

The Zoom H2 handy recorder is an amazing recording device. As are the other Zoom devices that have come out, the Zoom H4, Zoom H4n, the Zoom Q3HD. All are what I call (and coined the phrase for, in 2008) the “Studio on a stick.” I use a Zoom H2 on a gooseneck stand to get amazing quality sound on my Freedom Feens podcast.

But the Zoom’s recording quality is only as good as the sound in the room. If you’re recording in a room with a lot of bare walls you’re still going to get echoy sound. That’s why I came up with the idea of a quick and cheap sound baffle that slips over the end of the Zoom, and cuts out almost all ambient sound, recording only the person talking directly in front of it.

Construction is easy, and under a dollar. Simply cut some egg crate foam into a rectangle about one foot by six inches, then tie over the Zoom using shoelace material. Here’s how it attaches on the back:

It helps if you have someone else to put their finger on the knot before you pull it tight.

Here’s how easily it slips off:

For even more acoustic isolation, you can jam another wedge of egg crate foam into the top:

You could use this same technique on any recording device or microphone.

–Michael W. Dean