We’re always big geeks when it comes to Zoom Electronics gear, and obviously combined with it being a microphone we just couldn’t say no to a review. In terms of microphones, Zoom likes to make models that are said to be only compatible with their own gear and this is no different. If you own a Zoom H5, H6, or Q8, you’re in luck. You can then record using the superb microphone quality, or if you have a DLSR, attach it on top of that to have one beast of a machine. Although only tailored to a smaller crowd out there, we know there are some Zoom fans like us who wanted some thoughts on the mic before purchasing. Let’s get into the details.
Main features of the Zoom SSH-6 microphone
- Compatible with Zoom H6, H5 or Q8 recorders
- Provides focused stereo sound
- Shotgun center section with left\right capsules
- Mid-Side processing
- Comes with hairy windscreen
- Built-in 5-volt preamp
- Analog-style gain control
- Advanced digital signal processing
- Combine direct and ambient sound
Design and features
First and foremost, the SSH-6 is a shotgun microphone. If you’re unfamiliar with what those are exactly, to sum it up, they have an ‘interference tube’ in the front with ‘tighter directionality’ to reduce noise around it. It mostly pertains to recording sound in outdoor settings with a lot of ambient noise, and using a windscreen makes it even better. They’re typically attached to DSLR cameras for video recording (especially great for interviews).
This particular model has the shotgun mic make but also adds in some methods for recording on the side of the device. It’s geared towards those who want some ambient noise (which you can control). It also comes with a hairy wind screen, which isn’t necessarily a must; however, it will never hurt if you need it. Their accessories are very well made, so it’s not some cheap add-on just to jack up the price.
As stated previously, not only do you get the shotgun specific sound pickup in the center, but the SSH-6 has bidirectional side capsules to record your left and right as well. The sound quality is going to be a relatively noticeable improvement from the stock sound in your compatible Zoom devices. Since it’s hyper cardioid and combines this said shotgun and bidrectional make, you can get a perfect blend of both direct as well as ambient sounds in one. Depending on your use of course, this could be exactly what you need. If not, you can always adjust the width (both during recording or post production) or maintain the full mono if that’s what you want. The sound quality is very satisfactory.
The verdict on the Zoom SSH-6 shotgun microphone
This particular Zoom mic is great for videographers just starting out. The price isn’t too bad considering most shotgun mics are around this price point. The only downside we see is it being only compatible to the H5, H6 or Q8 — it’s a bit limiting for others who may want a shotgun microphone with these specs and don’t have a Zoom recorder, but we all know their liking to make Zoom-only accessories and gear. If you are in fact looking for an external audio solution for your camera, read our 10 best microphones for DSLR video cameras if you want some more info.
The Zoom SSH-6 Shotgun Microphone is perfect if you’ll be outdoors, plan on interviewing, or have any other use for a shotgun mic that will allow you to record some ambient noise as well. It’s more of a “why not?” if that’s your use.