Audio Recording on a Budget

I decided to take on the challenge of putting together a decent quality audio recording system for as little money of possible, preferably, spending under $100. With this challenge in mind, it was time to go shopping.

Audio Recorder

A tried and true audio recorder is the Zoom H1. The H1 has been a staple of wedding videographers for years due to its reliability and audio quality.

Zoom H1 Features

  • Lightweight and ultra-compact
  • Built-in 90˚ X/Y stereo microphone
  • Records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Supports up to 24-bit/96kHz WAV audio, as well as a variety of MP3 formats
  • Stereo Mic/Line Input jack with Plug-in power
  • Monitoring speaker and stereo Phones/Line Output jack with dedicated volume control
  • Requires just a single AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable battery, with up to 10 hours of battery life

I saw a local ad on Facebook and ended up getting the H1 for only $30! Considering the cost is normally around $115, this was an absolute steal.


While the Zoom H1 has built-in microphones, you always want to get the microphone as close to the person speaking as possible, so using a lavalier microphone with the H1 is an ideal combination. A really good quality mic is the Purple Panda. At only $29.99 on Amazon, the Purple Panda is excellent for the price.

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