Zoom H3-VR Handy Recorder with built-in Ambisonics Mic Array

Zoom Audio has announced its latest handy recorder, the Zoom H3-VR, which not only records in Ambisonics format, but also offers binaural stereo, standard stereo, 5.1 surround support, and live streaming.


With VR and 360 capture becoming more accessible, there is going to be a need for ambisonic audio capture as well. RØDE has also just started shipping the NT-SF1 microphone and free SoundField by RØDE plugin.

The recorder is self-contained and provides an easy and fast way to record 360-audio and monitor in real time. This is great as it usually requires multiple cables and inputs on your audio recorder, let alone the ambisonic microphone itself.

The H3-VR records to the VR-ready B-format so you don’t have to convert the audio from A-format.

Product Highlights

  • For Video, Audio, VR & AR Production
  • Ambisonics, Binaural & Stereo Modes
  • Export to 5.1 Surround via Computer
  • Ambisonics Array with Four Microphones
  • On-Board Ambisonics A-to-B Conversion
  • Up to 24-Bit / 96 kHz Resolution
  • Built-In Slate Function
  • 3.5mm Output with Binaural Monitoring
  • Record to SD Card or Stream via USB
  • Automatic Mic Position Detection
  • $349 USD RRP

The H3-VR’s four-capsule microphone captures 360-degree audio recordings, precisely, up to 24-bit/96 kHz. The binaural setting provides a hyper-realistic spatial recording that enhances 2D productions with 3D audio.

The H3-VR automatically aligns for the correct orientation when monitoring & listening back.

The H3-VR only weighs 120 grams so you can pair it nicely with a lot of the smaller 360 cameras like the GoPro Fusion or offerings from Insta360. The two independent 3.5mm audio outputs with dedicated volume controls provide headphone monitoring and a line out to a camera, while the input volume gain easily adjusts the gains for all four mic capsules simultaneously.

The precision internal clock is highly accurate, with 0.5 ppm discrepancy to reduce audio/visual drift and jitter.

The H3-VR records to a micro SD card up to 512GB and operates on two AA batteries for up to 24 hours. The H3-VR can also be powered by an AC adaptor or via USB for longer recording times.

The H3-VR can also function as a high-quality stereo microphone for live-streaming, video conferencing, and direct recording for your computer or iOS device.

Optional Bluetooth Control

An optional Bluetooth adapter (BTA-1) lets you control the settings of the H3-VR remotely, which is important especially when you are recording 360/VR. The app lets you access transport controls, set levels, and input metadata notes directly from the iOS device.

Zoom Ambisonics Player

Just like 360 & VR, there is usually some editing to do in post-production. The Zoom Ambisonics Player software (Mac/Windows) lets you easily edit the Ambisonics files, converting to stereo, binaural, and 5.1 surround sound. The software lets you play, trim, re-orient, and export your audio files in minutes.

The H3-VR ships with a foam windscreen, dual mount adapter, and two AA batteries.


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