while I'm happy of the portability of these two, I'm pretty disappointed with the noise floor of both

I must add that I tend to record fairly quiet sounds most of the time (like the internal tics of a wall clock or flicking a cous cous grain on the table and such... so no loud sources..)

so I was wondering if there's a way to mod them to reduce the internal noise..especially the SGH6 which has a slightly louder and "thicker" inner noise compared to the XY's... bumped into few articles but they were related to the H4n and not strictly noise related..

any input is appreciated


2 Answers 2


If you need quiet sounds like subtle atmos you need to get a better recorder that has better converters. Good converters with low noise cost.

The zooms are really only good for loud stuff, originally being marketed to musicians for band rehearsals etc.

I actually bought a HN4 but took it straight back for this very reason and bought a sound devices recorder instead. More money but no noise.

  • 1
    In short... you get what you pay for ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 29, 2015 at 21:00
  • thanks fellas .. I'm aware of that yups .. was just wondering if there's some space for improvement .. still looking with no luck ...
    – coroneddu
    Jan 30, 2015 at 0:22

No, you can't really mod it to improve the noise floor. Noise floor for a mic is going to be based on how noisy the elements themselves are and a recorder is going to be primarily based on the analog to digital converters.

The alternative, however, is to increase signal as SNR matters more than noise floor. About the only thing you could do is use a clean pre-amp to boost your signal prior to recording it. This will make it so that you aren't recording near the noise floor on the H5n as long as you don't need a large dynamic range. It will not, however, help any on the noise level of your microphone. That you simply have to cough up the money for.

  • thanks AJ .. guess I'll keep the H5 for loud stuff.. for that matter works pretty well ..
    – coroneddu
    Jan 31, 2015 at 12:25

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