I’ve recently noticed that my Zoom H1 drains the battery, even when it’s not turned on. But I just figured it was me, and worked around the problem by only putting batteries into the unit when I needed to use it. Then, this weekend, I was doing some sound tests, and inadvertently discovered an even more serious problem with my Zoom H1. As I was recording, I was listening very carefully to the noise floor of the device, and noticed a strange pulsing sound. It was worst with an external mic (like my Tram TR50 lav used to record the sample below). But in fact, I couldn’t get a clean recording out of it no matter what I tried, even with the built-in mics.
Here’s what it sounds like (pay close attention to the silence at beginning and end of clip).
Sounds like a helicopter hovering in the distance, with the woop-woop-woop of rotor blades cutting through what should be silence.
That was enough to send me to Google in search of an answer, and sure enough, I found a few conversations about the issue, but nothing definitive. So I emailed Samson, the maker of the Zoom H1, and and this morning, I got back this definitive email:
We are aware of an issue affecting a limited number of H1’s. If you are within the United States, please call customer service at 1-800-372-6766, 9am-5pm M-F EST.
They will issue a return authorization number and arrange to have a new, tested replacement sent to you.
This kind of customer service rocks: not only do they acknowledge the problem, but they immediately arrange for a swift resolution. Go Samson.