This might be a stupid question but I have a hard time dealing with it though, I use a Zoom H4n with a dead kitten windscreen I want to take it with me everywhere I go but I find it a little to big to fit in my pocket. During the winter time it was alright cause I had my hoodie on most of the time and it would fit in those pockets, So I'm wondering how do you guys carry around your handheld recorders?

18 Answers 18


I used to carry my Olympus in my pocket, since it was so small, but I've recently gotten a Sony D50 - much bigger. I'm currently exploring possibilities myself now, but here are a few solutions I've considered:

-I generally have a messenger bag with me, so I could keep it in there most of the time.
-Perhaps a small camera bag with a belt loop or shoulder strap.
-Maybe get a bag for it and connect it to yourself with a carabiner.
-Perhaps have some sort of large "belt clip" system, not dissimilar to a phone holster
-Speaking of holsters, you could buy a pistol holster large enough to fit your recorder and carry it in that. -Cargo pants / shorts?

Just some ideas. Hopefully one of them works for you or sparks an idea! Good luck!

  • I've fit the D50 into my cargo pants pocket before. You'll probably be able to pull that off. Not the best solution, but it works in certain situations. Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 22:31
  • 2
    The only thing about the pistol holster is that it may be close to impossible to do stealth recording. Get down! He's got an H4n! Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 23:21
  • lol I could walk into a grocery store and threaten the cashier to give me all their money with it, like that guy who tried with a PS3 controller. Commented Jun 5, 2011 at 22:34
  • @Stephen - considering how that went for him, you might not want to try ;-)
    – Colin Hart
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 18:50

I've got my Sony PCM-D50 in a small zipper pouch with an emergency pair of earbuds, spare rechargeable batteries, and a couple of tiny cables (and room for a telephone coil pickup or contact mic). This stays in my daily carry-everything shoulder bag. That's for everyday life.

When I'm hiking, traveling, or vacationing, I strip down to the recorder, earbuds, and spare batteries and all that lives in my camera bag (holster-style, worn over the shoulder), which I never go anywhere without or have stored securely elsewhere.


One of the nice features of looking like I do is that no one really notices WHAT I'm doing. Still, just use it as you want -- hold it like a gun if that's your thing, or set it on a tripod and just watch. People will generally only hassle you if you look like you're not supposed to be doing what you're doing, and you're hardly breaking any law recording sound.

I read once of someone carrying business cards that said something along the lines of:

"(Please read silently)
I'm recording sound, not video.
Please refrain from asking me questions. Thank you."

That may help, too.


I've got a Sony PCM-D50 and just found the perfect case for it. It's a Lowepro Apex PV AW It's got a belt loop, a shoulder strap and also comes with a very handy built in rain cover. It's designed for Portable Photo Viewers, but seeing they are about the same size as the D50 I though I would try one out, i'm very glad I did.

The D50 fits in without any problems with a windjammer on, it is a snug fit, but thats what you want. It's relatively light and compact and as it looks like a camera case it goes completely un-noticed. Inside the case is also a small pouch for memory cards etc, and also has just enough space for a spare set of batteries and some earbuds.

I'm awaiting a new Rycote windjammer for the D50 and once I have it I will post some pictures.


I carry my sony m10 in my pocket, wrapped in a sock which i use as wind protection as well, but its considerably smaller than the zoom... When i only used a zoom h4 i just had it in a backpack, which i carried all the time anyway


I bought an H1 for this specific purpose. It's a tiny little guy that lives quite happily in the front pockets of all my jackets/hoodies/sweaters. It's got the same mic setup as the H4N, which is nice, and because of it I've caught some very cool stuff that I have sorely missed.


I carry a messenger bag with me most days. My M10 fits perfectly in the cushioned cell phone pocket inside. If you're against having to keep track of a bag full of crap, maybe just a cell holster would fit?


This is one of my most frustrating situations, How to have to recorder ready to go at all times without it becoming a burden and start dragging down your "normal" day to day life. I have the Sony D50 and ideally I try to throw it in a bag so it is nearby where ever I go, thats great for work days when I have a bag with me already filled with hard drives and a laptop as I go to the studio or screenings around town. But the problem is that the perfect sound tends to happen when you are just wondering killing time on the weekend and have nothing with you, and it drives me crazy when that sound gets away. I got a ZoomH2 because it is small enough to pop in most pockets and I thought that would be my solution. Even though its quality is not the best it is better to get the sound on a so-so recorder then not get it at all - right? But my problem with the H2 is it seems to take forever to boot up, and by the time it does sometimes the sound is lost even though I had the recorder with me.

The same thing has happened in my house where something is happening out side and then by the time I run to the basement grab my recording rig and point the mic I have missed the event entirely. So as of a month ago between recording gigs, I have been keeping my stereo shotgun mic in its blimp on a mic stand cabled up to my field recorder in my living room, ready to go when something great presents itself. Now my real problem is convincing my wife this is a good long term idea, as this is not her version of interior decoration.

  • @AzimuthAudio Get an H1, the boot time is half that of the H2. It's also bell/whistle free, which is actually quite refreshing. I know that Yamaha and and a couple other companies also make super small and simple stereo pocket recorders. Mine lives in my breast pocket with a RedHead little Kryptonite on it. Stylin'.
    – g.a.harry
    Commented Mar 28, 2011 at 13:44
  • @AzimuthAudio I read on a post earlier for the H4n that the size of the ssd card helps determine the boot time? I've got a 16GB in my H4n and it can take a while to boot, this happened the other day with a roaring plane fly-by that I missed the best bits of because it took so long :[ I'm yet to test the theory myself (it's on the to-do list) but perhaps try keeping a smaller card in it? If you have one handy and a spare second compare the boot times and see if it helps at all. Hope that helps man
    – Alan Pring
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 9:16

I'm usually carrying around something in my messenger bag anyway, so I always throw an H4n in as well.



I put mine in my pocket and record when theres stuff to record. I wear hoodies too and it pokes out a little bit so i always keep my hand on it incase I hit a bump or something.


sony m10 here, in a little pouch. whatever bag i carry, there's always a pocket for it. no headphones at all, or i use the headphones from my ipod - sennheiser earbuds, and have a pair of binaural mics go straight in my ears, in case it's a tricky situation. when i feel more inspired i carry it in my pocket. great little thing, i've been raving about it for ages.


I have an H4n and i found an old CD player carrier does the trick perfectly - the zip bit at the front is perfect for carrying around the accessories such as the mains adapter, windshield, handle etc and the main compartment is padded and fits the H4n very well. It also has a hole at the bottom (which i presume was for the headphones) but its great to run cables from if you're using external mics into the xlr inputs. It also has a handy strap for hands free operation! It all folds up into a small bag so you can chuck it in with the rest of your gear.

Not sure how likely you are to get a portable cd player holder in this day and age, but you might find something similar.

Hope this helps!


  • Rocking it old school! Sounds great. Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 22:19

Hi all, I'm the new kid on the block :) I kept coming to this site whenever i was googling something i was wondering about and i'm so glad to have found this place. What a great resource! I'm sure i'll be asking a lot of stupid questions in the future, but i'll start with a tip:

When i don't want to bring anything else but my H4n i put in theDuet Carrying Case

Bought it for my traveling sound card when i'm playing live, but found it to be perfect for the recorder too. There is also enough space for extra memory, batteries and the Rycote's portable Recorder Audio Kit etc. To small for headphones though...

Check it out, Tommy

  • Welcome, thanks for the link looks great and to be the right size. Commented Jun 12, 2011 at 19:30

I use a zoom h1 most of the time because I can carry it everywhere and it fits perfectly in the rode videomic pro dead catwhich covers the whole recorder and no one can tell what's in it, I also bought two plant mic baggies, search eBay for those, they're basically zippered linen fabric cases not designed to protect but to conceal, they fit the H1 and there's a larger for the h4n and you can just leave in the bags recording incognito, on a desk table outide etc, lots of tiny holes in the bags being linen, great stealth, check eBay for "plant mic baggie" for zoom h1, i have both the h1 and h4n about 12 bucks but perfect or discreet recordings.


I bought a carry case for my Roland R26. Its perfect as you can wear it over your shoulder and the case opens up to expose the screen and mics so you can still record while wearing it. Maybe Zoom make something similar?


I have my Zoom H2 with me all the time, I keep it in a small padded pouch attached to one of the straps on my rucksack.


I'm having a hard time finding a solution that protects the recorder and that remains practical, so I designed my own. You can learn more here : http://rgalix.com/audio/


If you have an iPhone, the Tascam iM2X is worth checking out. It basically clips into your phone and turns it into a recorder. The mics are the same as used in the Tascam DR series and it's has it's own internal A/D converter to minimise noise from the phone's preamp. A bit of a ballache to get it out, clip into your phone and boot the recording app but no more than booting up your Zoom. I've had pretty good experience with it for on the fly ambient recordings and it's super small:


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