JuicedLink Review Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-60D, RM333

This recent video from Robert at JuicedLink shares a review from some of the latest Portable Audio tools used for video capture today. The video includes battery tests (runtime), audio comparisons, and what may be pros and cons of each tool. If you can sit through the technical specs, there's quite a bit of information that may help you decide which tool fits your workflow better and help you achieve better audio.

Zoom H4n
JuicedLink RM333
Tascam DR-60D
Zoom H6

26 thoughts on “JuicedLink Review Zoom H6, Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-60D, RM333

  1. MarcieB

    I am new to this whole thing as I step to the other side of the camera. I just purchased the H4N and then saw the Tascam 60D... I have a Cannon XHA1's and a Azden SGM 1x that I will start my shooting with. I am not sure which recorder is better for recording sound with what I've got. I will continue reading through to get a better understanding to help improve what I am working with. As I read, I see there are different mic set-ups used and so I take it that each set-up for specific equipment is different?

    Any advise on getting the best sound I can with my set-up would be most appreciated based upon the hook up you are discussing here.

    Thank you so much for sharing this information.
    It is very much appreciated.

  2. Derrick Smith

    Tascam has never been known for their customer support, but neither has Zoom for that matter. Most of these companies are take your money and run. The question is, was the latch broken or was there something wrong with the XLR. Those are the only 2 things I have ever found to be wrong. You should be able to remove the XLR with a small screwdriver or make a sleeve using a coke can that is cut with scissors to slide past the inside of the locking mechanism the same way you can with pad locks.

    If you look on Tascam's Facebook page you can see where where I asked them for Window 8 drivers for all their hardware. I am still waiting to hear back from them because I have the US-2000 and no new drivers.

  3. Purchased this after seeing your review and several others. I dig the interface and usability but it broke within our first week of ownership. I plugged in my Sennheiser G3 with their fairly high quality XLR cord and the cheap XLR inputs on the Tascam DR60D won't let go of it. It is literally stuck. Short of yanking it out and breaking the unity, it won't release. Worse yet is that I have contacted Tascam customer support and still have not heard from them (approaching a month at this point!). So, in the end, I would not recommend this project especially because of their unresponsive customer support.


  4. Ray

    Richard does anyone connect the juiced linked directly to h6. Mic to juiced link to h6. Wouldn't that give optimum sound quality?

  5. Richard Paul

    Lots of tech specs that are interesting......

    But wait a minute......Robert from JUICED LINK reviewing the competition.

    Here is Deiter from Porsche reviewing the BMW and Lexus......What the heck!!

    I don't care how nice he is or how hones......I ain't wasting my time!

    SORRY......this is a sanity check!!

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Fost - I've met Robert a few times, pretty straight forward guy. His first advice is to always buy a different camera, but when that's not possible his JL products are one alternative. As far as tests go, he's been comparing products for years, and I have never seen anyone challenge his findings including the companies he lists in the comparisons.

  7. Fost

    @Emm - yes you are quite right. I watched it a second time round and there is a lot of nice info in that video. I just find it hard it highly suspicious Can't help but think if the 60D or H6 added an AGC defeat then they'd slay the Beachteks and Juicedlinks as you have all options covered.

    I wonder if there's a small inline AGC defeater box could be made...

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Fost - Obivously it's biased, and you should come up with your own opinion. Aside from opinions, there is still lots of good tech info in the video that many people didn't know about.

  9. Fost

    Hey! It's ROBERT FROM JUICEDLINK, comparing my product against Zoom and Tascam's.

    So yeah totally biased review - what's the point in watching this...

  10. Brett

    @ ryan B, Just because he is from JL doesn't mean its a bad review. In fact, I respect it more than normal because he is fairly unbiased and essentially tells you to buy one of the other two if you need an actual external recorder.

    Also, you need to do firmware upgrades if you can't monitor audio. It can be done on both the 60d and the 7d.

  11. jp

    P.S. What I would also like to hear, is a native recording right into the H6. Not into the camera. I'm curious to know what those noise levels would be.

    In addition to that, the H4n had somewhat noisy and weak preamps. So, does the H6 have quiet and stronger preamps?

    I suppose I'm going to have to find out for myself. I haven't see any demo's of the H6 with XLR connected mics with meter readings for noise levels, and with amplified audio for microphones.

  12. jp

    I pulled down the video, extracted the audio track (keeping in mind it's already degraded somewhat, from loading it onto YouTube), wanted to get a meter reading on the comparisons between devices that take place between 14:17:17 and 14:49:10.

    Here's what I found for the noise levels. (Remember, I'm doing this on an audio file that is not the original, but extracted from the YouTube video).

    Device - Noise Level

    SD 702 Master Recording / slightly greater than -50db

    Juiced Link RM333 / lower than -50db (my meter display doesn't give me any values lower than -50db.

    Zoom H4n / -48db (noticeably noisier)

    Zoom H6 / slightly greater than -50db

    Tascam DR60D / slightly greater than -50db


    While the SD 702 Master Recording registered about the same on the meters as the H6 and DR60, my ears noted that it was quieter.

    The H6 was quieter than the DR60.

    The DR60, however was still quiet.

    All of them relative to the H4n are significantly quieter.

    To my surprise, the RM333 was the quietest of them all.

    However, I also don't particularly audio quality of the voice recording of the RM333. It doesn't sound as "rich" as the other devices.

    Also, take into consideration that most people will be dual recording with the H6. (Not everyone has an SD 702 ($2000) laying around.

    If I get an H6, it will be for dual recording. I don't mind syncing in post. If you're organized, you can make your workflow work for you. Remember that.

    Bottom line.

    It would still help to get a Pro Audio person to do an Objective comparison. The JL guy was clearly biased, though I have to hand it to him for setting up the test. Very impressive.

  13. Ryan B

    I have two issues with this video. 1) He's from JL. 2) Not everyone has a 5D mk3. I use a 60D and a 7D and as far as I can tell I can't monitor audio while recording on either camera without MagicLantern. Also, the comment time to start thinking about upgrading to a camera that can is a bit of a turn off...until I see reasons to change, I'll stick with my H4N.

  14. mike in NJ

    An update to my last comment.

    The Monitor mixer controls the output and mix of both the headphone jack and the line out. The left side volume control only affects headphone level after the monitor mixer output.

    Monitor mixer settings are set while not recording, and while setting these, the levels displayed show the levels at the mixer output for that track.. eg not the normal after preamp/pad that you see when NOT in the mixer setup. The mixer can be defeated or enabled from here by using the record button

  15. mike in NJ

    at 6-8 minutes, comment on line out levels too hot for line in on camera: "couldnt find out where to set in firmware".. Maybe because the line out levels follows the line-in pots on the H6.. You can adjust there.

    You have a mixer that controls the monitor output. This output also has a volume control. The H6 has two outputs. During playback on the zoom, the line out level is under control of the project mixer, which is separate from the monitor mixer.

    H6 doesnt have Latching XLR connectors (XR? lol).. Good.. First I think it's better cable management to put stress relief on something that's not equipment, like a tiewrap on a cable.. If someone trips on a mic, I dont want my zoom's connector ripped out, or my recorder flying through the air.

    The Zoom accepts power from the USB port. I have one of those 5000 mah Li-on battery chargers, which can power it, or a common AC-USB power adapter.. even if the cable gets pulled, it reverts to battery and back without any clicks that I've heard. Nice.

    Backup function only covers L/R. Yes, and you have to enable that in setup.. It also does a pre-record too if you set that. It has six inputs, so if you arent using all of them, then either split the input, or (drumroll)... run line-out to spare inputs.

    The zoom accepts both balanced and unbalanced.

    Three (actually 4) separate phantom power outputs, settable independantly on track 1-4.

    The Xy mic accepts 3.5 mm stereo tr or trs, and can provide controllable 2.5 v power. wow.

    Limiters, low cut and comp settable independantly, or common setting on all tracks. Same for low cut which has 10 separate threshholds.

    20 db pads built in on tracks 1-4. Hard switch

    Hold function prevents accidental button presses, but doesnt stop gain adjustments on input gain..

    Vu meter display in addition to bar graph.

    Oh, the commentary on 96k sample was, well, strange. Even if I cant hear it. noise accumulates from capture to production, and working with more bits, reduces inevitable math errors. So, even if the mic doesnt have the dynamic range for it to be noticable, that doesnt matter. record everything with the best quality possible for the best results.. You have that option with this.

    The MS mic is pretty cool too.. It's really a neat little box. I did allot of research before buying it.

  16. Azo


    I am interested in purchasing one of these recorders. Would you be able to tell me which one has a lower noise floor? I have a Sennheiser ME66 for shotgun and pair of Superlux S241's for indoor microphones.

    Thank you for your time :-)

  17. Hugh

    @Emm that's fair enough, I don't really use dynamic or ribbon mics so the JL adds more than enough gain for me.

    Cheers for always putting out great stuff though, been an avid viewer of your blog for years and you have helped immensely.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Hugh - I've used combinations of preamps with the H4n before, and for mics that don't require phantom from the recorder (some mics have the option of self powered with a battery), i've used the CloudLifter for extra clean gain. Still this doesn't give me enough XLR inputs, and it's just more things to carry around and worry about.

  19. Hugh

    Recently I've been bypassing the Zoom H4N's preamp similar to this setup by Dan McComb, but instead of the sound devices I have a JL 454:

    I don't need more than 2 XLRs 99% of the time and the sound quality is great! I've also got a splitter so the audio out goes to the H4N and my DSLR, so I've always got two recordings.

    Emm have you tried anything like this before? For me I see no need to upgrade.

  20. Would be nice to see an "independent" review/comparison, rather than one done by JL for JL. Guess we know who wins, eh?

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @Robert - I have every one of these devices listed in this review. There's no doubt the Tascam DR-60D sounds better with some of my microphones over the Zoom H4n, but the battery life really sucks. I end up using my Tekkeon battery as an external USB power source over the AA batteries. This works great, but I end up with a two huge pieces of gear to lug around.

    Sometimes I just want to move fast and travel light. With my G3 Wireless LAV kit, I still tend to use the Zoom H4n or RM333 directly into the camera over the DR-60D. For me, it's just less to fiddle around with.

  22. Robert

    For me the biggest disappointments were the poor battery life and stepped levels of the DR-60. I could live with the power issue (I've got a lot of batteries), but the obvious changes when adjusting levels is a deal breaker. Which is a damn shame 'cause I like everything else about the DR-60.

  23. the biggest question... which sounds better

    Zoom H6 or the Tascam DR-60D

    I listened to the video and couldn't discern too much of a difference so maybe a true audiophile could let us know :)

  24. Archie

    In my experience haven't seen such a great comparison video. Sadly youtube comments are disabled. Respect to the JL Team. Great Great video

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