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Zoom H5 Four-Track Portable Recorder
- Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
- Includes detachable X/Y capsule (XYH-5) with extended signal capacity and shock mounted mics for reduced handling noise
- Four-track simultaneous recording
- Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors each with selectable phantom power and -20dB pad
- Runs on 2 AA batteries and records directly to SD / SDHC cards up to 32GB
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From the manufacturer
In the box
The H5 comes with everything you need to capture great-sounding audio.
- XYH-5 X/Y mic capsule
- SD card (2GB)
- AA size (LR6) battery x 2
- USB cable
- Foam windscreen
- Operation manual
- Steinberg WaveLab LE software download
- Steinberg Cubase LE software download
The Zoom H5 Handy Recorder
Evolved Recording for Creators
The compact and portable H5 gives you everything you need to create professional quality audio. It comes with a detachable stereo X/Y microphone and utilizes a system of interchangeable input capsules that allow you to choose the best mic for every situation.
Ideal for live concert and rehearsal recording as well as audio for video, the H5 is equally well-suited for podcasting, broadcasting and electronic newsgathering.
- Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules
- Includes detachable stereo X/Y capsule with shockmounted mics and extended signal capacity
- Four tracks of simultaneous recording
- Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB
- Up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
- Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors, each with selectable phantom power and -20dB pad
- Requires just two standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries (over 15 hours of operation with alkaline batteries)
Add superior audio to your video
The H5 can be mounted to any DSLR. Its dual combo inputs can handle both mic- and line-level signals. There''s even a dedicated Line Out for direct connection to your camera without the need for an attenuator cable.
XYH-5 shockmounted X/Y mic capsule (Included)
The advanced XYH-5 provides dual matched unidirectional condenser microphones housed in an advanced shockmount to minimize vibration and handling noise—ideal for location videography and broadcasting/podcasting. In addition, the XYH-5 is designed to handle extremely loud sounds, making it the perfect choice for capturing the sound of live rock concerts and for electronic newsgathering (ENG) applications.
Available Capsules (Not included)
XYH-6 large diaphragm X/Y mic capsule
The XYH-6 allows you to do stereo X/Y recording and provides dual large diaphragm mic elements with adjustable width—choose 90 degrees for a more focused sound or 120 degrees for a wider stereo image. It''s great for recording classical music and for capturing sound effects in the field.
MSH-6 MS (Mid-Side) mic capsule
Step up to a whole new level of precision sound-shaping with the MSH-6, which contains a forward-facing, unidirectional mic (the “Mid”) and a side-facing, bi-directional mic (the “Side”). In conjunction with the H5''s onboard MS decoder, it allows you to capture a fully mono-compatible stereo image that can actually be adjusted after recording—ideal for film, video, and television projects.
SGH-6 Shotgun mic capsule
Get all the pickup with half the length by connecting an SGH-6, which adds a professional-quality, highly directional shotgun microphone to your H5. Three elements, combined with digital signal processing, give you the highly directional pickup power of a conventional shotgun in a unit only half the size, making it optimum for recording dialogue and narration with no intrusive mic in the scene.
EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule
The EXH-6 adds two more mic- or line-level inputs to your H5, allowing you to connect up to four discrete signals from external microphones, instruments, mixers, or portable music players and fully realize your creative vision.
|Number of simultaneous tracks||6||4||2|
|Number of inputs||4 (expandable to 6)||2 (expandable to 4)||2|
|Uses interchangeable capsules||Y||Y||N|
|Provided microphone(s)||XYH-6, MSH-6||XYH-5||Built-in X/Y Stero|
|Maximum SD card size||128 GB||32 GB||32 GB|
|Separate line out||Y||Y||Y|
|USB audio interface in/out||6/2||4/2||2/2|
|Battery life (Alkaline)||20 hrs||15 hrs||6-10 hrs|
Zoom H5 Handy Recorder
Top Customer Reviews
If you're already familiar with the H2n, you'll find yourself in familiar territory. The display, menu system interface/layout, and file-system structure of the H5 is virtually identical to the H2n. While this unit inherits the fidelity and much of the versatility of the ZOOM H6 (including full compatibility with its line of mic attachments, e.g., the SGH-6 "shotgun" mic), it does away with much of the "project" file weirdness and mixing functionality that many people found unnecessary (or just plain frustrating) in the H6. But the H5 does not come packaged with an M/S mic, so you will need to factor this into your purchase decision when ZOOM finally gets around to releasing it as a separate accessory.
I'd be remiss if I didn't also complain about a few things:
I thought very highly of the orientation of the display on the ZOOM H6, even though I did not care for its colour screen. It remains easy to see when holding the recorder away from your body toward a sound source using the standard ZOOM mic attachments. However, the H5 follows suit with nearly every other recorder, sadly, so the display really can't be seen well enough to monitor the signal when holding the unit toward a sound source. It's a minor niggle, but I wish the H5 had the same display orientation as the H6.
Recording standalone, the unit handles everything up to 24-bit at 96 kHz. But as an audio interface tethered to your computer, the unit caps out at either 44.1 or 48 kHz; and in Stereo mode, will only run at 16-bit. (N.B. It was pointed out to me that the recorder *will* record in 24-bit at least in Multitrack mode, and indeed it does!) This limitation is also present in the H2n, and I fail to understand why. (Windows 7/8 doesn't need special drivers to record in 24-bit.) The good news is that this unit can be easily powered off the USB bus of your laptop or desktop computer. My hope is that ZOOM will address this matter ASAP, and enable I/F Stereo mode recording in 24-bit.
Like the H2n, apart from a display backlight timer, there is also nothing akin to a power-saving mode in the H5. This means that even when the recorder is in "Hold" mode, the recorder will remain on rather than going into "Standby" when sitting idle (i.e., not playing or recording). While the battery life on this recorder isn't bad at all with lithium batteries, control over the backlight brightness would be helpful at night, as this screen is much too bright for my taste. As I did with my H2n, I ended up taping a small sheet of Rubylith over the display.
Speaking of the USB interface, I dislike the location of the mini USB connector on the H5. On the H2n, the location was appropriate given the orientation of the unit, especially when mounted on a tabletop tripod. But with the H5, I really feel the USB connector should have been placed at the bottom of the unit so the connector and cable could run with the XLR connectors. As it now stands, the USB cable juts strangely out of the side of the unit. No, Sir, I don't like it!
If you record out of doors, a proper "fuzzy" is a must. I use a Rode "Dead Kitten" windscreen, which fits snugly and comfortably over the H5's X/Y mic attachment with or without the basic foam windscreen that comes with the unit. I also recommend a quality hand or neck strap, as handheld recorders are much too easy to fumble & drop. (Olympus offers a nice set of wrist straps for their voice dictation recorders, and Garmin makes a stellar "quick-release" lanyard for their eTrex line that works nicely with the H5.) I also recommend some inexpensive protective caps for the "Neutrik" female connectors on the H5 to keep dust/dirt from getting inside when you're not using external microphones. And the Oben TT-100 is a nice portable tripod that manages this unit ably without tipping.
ZOOM has taken the unfettered/no-BS UI of the H2n and given it the sound quality, build quality, and much of the versatility of the H6. This, in my view, makes the H5 a terrific handheld recorder for "straight" recording applications. While too big to be a "shirt pocket" recorder, it's not too ungainly, either. ZOOM seems to have really listened to its end-users, and offered an instrument that performs very well for what it is designed to do without trying to do too much. Marketing hyperbole aside, ZOOM's laser focus on the market for "affordable" handheld recorders is really evident in the H5. They *have* been listening to their users, even if their after-sales customer service remains as dreadful as ever--an unfortunate blemish on an innovative company!
I needed to replace a Marantz 671 that fell off a motorcycle and on to a busy freeway while recording :( Let's just say it after being run over by about a dozen cars, it was well beyond repair.
Did the research, went with the H5, and I'm pretty happy, especially considering it's considerably cheaper, offers far more capabilities and sounds at least as good or better as what it replaced.
Love the record level dials. Thank you for that Zoom. Operation is fairly straightforward. The menus are less confusing than most, and operated with a little toggle switch that's pretty easy to use. I'm not fully sold on the mic capsules; they are adequate, but not stellar. I purchased the option MS (mid side) mic and was a bit disappointed in the quality of the recording when compared to my Shure VP-88, but then the Zoom mic costs almost exactly 1/10th the price, so...
The standard X/Y mic that comes with the recorder is very wind and pop sensitive. And the included foam windscreen doesn't help much. If you decide on this unit, get a fuzzy windscreen. I bought the Zoom model, it fits nicely and makes the recorder look like a smurf. Or Don King. But it does the job, and is a must for pretty much any recording, inside or out.
There is an option to add compression to recordings. The 'general' setting is set at a whopping 9/1 ratio, excellent if you want to capture every bit of background noise in your recording, useless otherwise. There is a 'vocal' setting with a much lighter touch that could prove useful, but for the most part, I intend to limit my compression to post.
Others have complained about battery life, but I have found it to be pretty good. I've been using a battery-powered external mic rather than phantom power, so perhaps that's why.
Biggest drawback for me, so far, is that the machine feeds a monitor signal to the headphones even though it's not recording. Maybe I am just getting old, but more than once I have set levels, checked to make sure things are looking and sounding good, and then failed to hit the record button, only to realize minutes later (or not at all) that nothing is recording. I wish there were a way to toggle the monitor so that you can only hear audio when you are actually recording, which would help pitiful recordists like me. Haven't found it - if it's there and you know about it, please educate me.
But overall, a good machine that will serve me well. If I can remember to press record.