Zoom is all set to launch the H4n, which it describes as its "most sophisticated handheld recorder to date". This is an evolution of the H4 and H2, and offers a number of new features and improvements.
The built-in X/Y condenser mics allow variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°, and there's a digitally controlled mic preamp on board. Internal and external mics can be used simultaneously for 4-channel recording.
Additionally, there are Hi-Z inputs for recording guitar and bass, the option to play back at different speeds, built-in studio effects and 50+ guitar and bass amp modelling settings.
You'll also find a large LCD screen, what's said to be a more intuitive interface and an onboard reference speaker.
The H4n can record at 24-bit/96kHz quality and on SD/SDHC cards of up to 32GB capacity. Its said to be a robust device (there's a rubberised shock-resistant body), while a new 'stamina mode' promises 10 hours of continuous recording on a single set of AA batteries.
Bundled with the recorder are a 1GB SD card, windscreen, mic clip adapter, AC adapter, USB cable, case and a copy of Cubase LE. A remote control is an optional extra.
The H4n will be showcased at CES in Las Vegas this week and at the Winter NAMM show next. The price is expected to be around $500.