Am looking at Zoom H4n for 269 pounds UK. Does anyone have any alternatives that would be better?
I'm not up my my handhelds! Just want something portable
You can go round and round driving yourself crazy about which pocket recorder is "better". The one that's the best is the one that's with you.
The number of sounds that I missed while I was trying to decide which piece of kit was "the best" is far more agonizing than the thought that I could've gotten something better, cheaper, more versatile, etc.
look at the "Related" box to the right of the discussion. I vote Sony PCM-D50 (I have the M10). Don't be fooled by the lack of XLR inputs. It's all about ergonomy and durability. Sony have put in a lot of effort.
Sony PCM M10 if you want a small device and don't need XLR inputs.
Roland R-26 if you do want a compact XLR-enabled recorder.
I am a fan of the Marantz PMD 661.
"The better one" questions are the trickiest ones because the answer depends of what you are going to record. I really liked my H2, and I'm not in love in H4n, yet it is still useable.
For the price I don't think it gets better than the H4N. If you are using separate mics, make sure you go 1/4" in and not XLR in order to bypass the noisy preamps. Otherwise I've captured some great sounds with it. I'd also recommend the RedHead windscreen for wind protection.
H4n is great for the price.
I vote Marantz PMD-661
The H4n is a fantastic value! Phantom power, XLR and TRS inputs, 4 channel mode, extremely versatile internal options.... All under $300!
I don't think you can go wrong with the Zoom.
Zoom H4n is a great recorder. Best in this price range < $300