The Zoom H5 Handy Recorder provides you with four tracks of portable recording power, letting you create professional 24-bit/96kHz recordings anywhere your creativity takes you. It comes standard with an XYH-5 XY microphone capsule, which you can swap out for other mics and input modules to fit any recording situation. Two combo inputs, complete with onboard microphone preamps and switchable -20dB pads, let you connect anything from phantom-powered condenser microphones to extremely hot line-level sources. Top it off with onboard processing, stellar recording options, and the fact that it doubles as a USB audio interface, and you can imagine how useful the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder can be.
For such a small, lightweight, and inexpensive portable device, the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder delivers a full set of professional-level I/O. First up, there's the H5's modular expansion port, which lets you connect the same amazing modular capsules Zoom introduced with the H6. You can read all about them in our Zoom Capsule Buying Guide. What's more, the H5 comes with an XYH-5 capsule, which is an awesome shockmounted XY microphone that's great for stereo recording. This capsule also includes an 1/8" stereo input, but the H5 itself comes equipped with a pair of impressive combo jack inputs, each with its own volume dial and switchable -20dB pad. These inputs let you connect anything from phantom-powered condenser microphones to extremely hot line-level sources. And when it comes to monitoring, the H5 offers you both a line and a headphone output plus a built-in speaker.
There's something inherently unpredictable about field recording, which makes it unnervingly easy to miss critical takes. Zoom equipped their H5 Handy Recorder with three powerful recording modes to spare you the stress of a lost or ruined recording opportunity: Pre-record, Backup-record, and Auto-record. With Pre-record, the H5 is continuously buffering the last two seconds of audio, which it includes with every recording. So, even if you hit record late, you're still likely to capture the sound you thought you missed. Along a similar line of thinking is the H5's Backup-record function, which records a separate stereo mix at 12dB down from your current settings (44.1/48kHz only). That way, if a sudden audio spike causes your input to clip, you still have a clean backup to work with. Finally, there's Auto-record, which starts recording when the volume passes a certain threshold.
At Music Experience, we've come to expect a lot from Zoom products, and the H5 Handy Recorder more than delivers. For starters, the H5 includes both onboard compression and limiting, which lets you smooth out your sound and prevent volume spikes from clipping your input levels. Likewise, there's a switchable highpass (low-cut) filter, which lets you cut out low-end rumble, reduce wind and handling noise, and decrease the impact of pops and plosives. There are also valuable tools onboard that really come in handy if you're a musician. For instance, the H5 includes both a metronome and a multimode tuner, along with advanced playback functions that let you change pitch, vary speed, and loop sections to make mastering difficult passages much easier.
When you're recording in the field, the last thing you want to deal with is running out of storage or battery power. You've got to hand it to Zoom — they certainly took that into account when they designed the H5 Handy Recorder. On the storage side, compatibility with up to 32GB SDHC card media means that even if you're recording at maximum resolution (four tracks of 24-bit/48kHz or two tracks of 24-bit/96kHz), you can pack over 16 hours of audio onto a single card. And if you're concerned about conserving disk space, then you can always record in stereo MP3 at up to 320kbps. And speaking of marathon recording sessions, you'll be happy to know that just a pair of AA batteries will power your H5 for about 15 hours. We're talking about everyday AAs here too, so keeping spare juice on hand is no big deal, if you think you'll need it.
Not only is the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder an amazing field recorder, but it's also a super-portable 4-in/2-out USB audio interface too. How cool is that?! We'll tell you. For starters, because it's class compliant, you can plug your H5 into just about any Mac or Windows PC, or even your iPad (via the Apple Camera Connection Kit), and get up to four inputs and two outputs right to your favorite DAW software or recording app. Need a good recording application? No problem — Zoom includes a copy of Steinberg's Wavelab LE to get you going. What's more, all of the H5's onboard processing is available even when you use it as an interface, so you can track with compression, limiting, and filtering. There's zero-latency input monitoring to make recording easier, plus a cool Loop Back mode that lets you mix and record a stereo feed over USB along with the H5's inputs.
Our products are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the creators who use them. With the H5 Handy Recorder, the tradition continues. The H5 provides four tracks of simultaneous recording and, like our flagship H6, it can use all Zoom interchangeable input capsules, allowing you to choose the best microphone for every recording situation. The flexible and powerful H5 provides everything you need to create multitrack recordings, audio for video, and state-of-the-art podcasting, broadcasting and electronic newsgathering.
X/Y recording allows you to cover a wide area yet still capture sound sources in the center with clarity and definition, making it ideal for all types of live stereo recording. The XYH-5 X/Y microphone capsule included with the H5 provides two matched unidirectional condenser microphones set at a 90 degree angle. These are housed within an advanced shockmount that employs rugged external mic wires and rubberized material to isolate the unit from the H5 body and thus minimize vibration and handling noise. The design of the XYH-5 also allows the H5 to handle louder sounds than any other Handy Recorder model: 140 dB SPL, to be precise—equivalent to the sound of a jet aircraft from less than 200 feet away—enabling you to capture sounds louder, closer, and cleaner than you ever could before.
The XYH-5 X/Y microphone capsule provides two matched unidirectional condenser microphones set at a 90 degree angle. These mics are housed within an advanced shockmount that employs rugged external mic wires and rubberized material to minimize vibration and handling noise, making the XYH-5 ideal for location videography and live broadcast/podcast applications. The design of the XYH-5 also allows it to handle extremely loud sounds—140 dB SPL, to be precise (equivalent to the sound of a jet aircraft from less than 200 feet away)—making it perfect for capturing the sound of live rock concerts and for electronic news gathering.
Welcome to “Mid-Side” recording, a whole new level of precision in your ability to shape sound. The MSH-6 Capsule contains dual mic elements – a forward-facing, unidirectional mic (the “Mid”) and a side-facing, bi-directional mic (the “Side”). Together with the H5's onboard MS decoder, they capture a fully mono-compatible stereo image that can actually be adjusted after recording – ideal for film, video, and television projects.
The XYH-6 capsule employs two angled high-quality unidirectional mics which are sensitive to signals coming from the front but less to signals coming from the sides and rear. X/Y recording is optimum when you want to cover a wide area yet still capture a strong center image, making it the perfect choice for all types of live stereo recording.
The optional SGH-6 Shotgun Capsule adds a professional-quality, highly directional microphone to the H5, creating an ideal audio setup for film, video, live theater, and ENG (electronic newsgathering) applications. Three elements combined with digital signal processing inside the SGH-6 give you the highly directional pickup power of a conventional shotgun mic in a unit only half the size – ideal for recording dialogue and narration with no intrusive mic in the scene.
Plugging in the optional EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Capsule gives you two more inputs. This allows you to connect up to four discrete signals from external microphones, instruments, mixers, or portable music players to fully realize your audio vision. It’s all the power of a professional recording studio, right in the palm of your hand.
The SSH-6 Stereo Shotgun capsule adds a super-directional mic for capturing sounds directly in front, plus a bi-directional one for capturing ambient sounds. It’s ideal for location recording, allowing videographers and content creators to capture dialogue or narration with the center microphone and mixing in the desired amount of environmental sound captured by the side microphone.
In addition to standard transport controls (stop, play/pause, record, rewind, and fast-forward), the front panel of the H5 offers dedicated record arming buttons for each track, which double as mute switches during playback. A Hold switch disables all front panel buttons to prevent accidental operation during recording. The H5 can be attached to a camera strap or, with the use of our optional Hot Shoe mount, mounted directly to a DSLR or camcorder. The H5 also provides everything you need to connect with the outside world. Dual combo XLR/TRS inputs that can handle both mic- and line-level signals allow you to connect external microphones and line-level devices like mixers, portable music players, effects processors, and electronic keyboards—even electric guitars or basses equipped with active electronics. Each H5 input has its own dedicated gain control knob, located beneath a protective bar that prevents accidental movement during handling. The supplied XYH-5 X/Y capsule also provides a secondary input for connecting stereo mic- or line-level signal via a ⅛" mini phone jack. The H5 supports a +4 dB (professional) input level and utilizes the same high-quality preamps as our flagship H6, ensuring great-sounding recordings in all sonic environments. There are lots of output options as well. A dedicated Line Out with adjustable volume allows you to send a stereo audio output from the H5 to the mic input of a video camera or other device without the need for an attenuator cable. In addition, there's a separate headphone output with a dedicated volume control. You can use both outputs simultaneously to route audio to your DSLR while monitoring over headphones. There's also a built-in speaker for fast access playback, and a USB port which allows the H5 to be used as an audio interface for your computer or iPad.
Just 2 AA batteries—either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH—are required for power. When using alkaline batteries, the H5 will operate for more than 15 hours, even while recording continuously. You can also use an optional AC adapter to power the H5 without batteries. The H5 records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32 gigabytes. Maximum recording time is dependent upon the card size and file type; for example, a 2GB SD card can hold approximately fourteen hours of stereo 320kbps MP3 files, three hours of stereo 16-bit / 44.1 kHz WAV files, or an hour of stereo 24-bit / 96kHz WAV files.
The H5 can operate in two different modes—choose stereo for two-track stereo recording, or multitrack for four-track recording (in either stereo pairs or individual mono tracks)—and it captures audio in the two most commonly used file formats: WAV and MP3. The WAV files recorded by the H5 can be 16- or 24-bit, with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, or 96kHz*. They are automatically time-stamped and thus Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compliant, allowing for precise synchronization in video post-production. MP3 files, while slightly lower in fidelity, are much smaller than WAV files and are thus easier to email and post on social networking sites—allowing you to quickly and easily share your creations around the world.
The H5's onboard effects allow you to add polish to your recordings. Compression and limiting compensate for fluctuations in input level, while a low-cut filter helps eliminate wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low frequency rumble. There's even an onboard metronome and chromatic/guitar/bass tuner.
But the list of H5 features doesn't end there. There's playback looping, pitch change, and variable playback speed (without pitch change) to help with phrase training, as well as a pre-record function that keeps the H5 continuously recording in the background, keeping the previous two seconds before you hit RECORD. There’s an Auto-Record function that allows recording to begin automatically when a certain level of sound is detected and an equivalent Auto-Stop function that ends recording when the sound drops below a user-designated level, either immediately or up to 5 seconds later. And then there's Backup-Record—the ultimate safety net.* It enables the H5 to automatically record a duplicate set of stereo tracks with 12dB less input gain. Even if your original track is distorted, chances are the Backup version will be fine! You can even use your H5 as an audio interface, complete with a Loop Back function that makes it easy to add narration to music playback. Simply connect the H5 to your computer or iPad** via USB, launch your favorite DAW or use the included Wavelab LE software, and start creating a masterpiece.
The Zoom H5 comes with free download licenses for Steinberg’s Cubase LE music production software and WaveLab LE audio editing software, providing not just the ability to capture superior audio in every box, but to do spectacular things with it. Whether you wish to create your own music utilizing the Handy Recorder’s USB audio interface function or take your recordings to a more professional level, Steinberg’s powerful and state-of-the-art audio software used by creators around the world now comes with every Zoom Handy Recorder purchase.
With a Zoom H5 handheld recorder in your pocket, you're ready to capture anything!
|A/D Resolution||16-bit/44.1 kHz, 24-bit/96kHz|
|Simultaneous Rec Tracks||4|
|Simultaneous Play Tracks||4|
|Built-in Mic(s)||XYH-5 X/Y mic|
|Analog Inputs||2 x XLR-1/4" combo, 1 x 1/8"|
|Analog Outputs||1 x 1/8" (headphones/line out)|
|Headphone Outputs||1 x 1/8"|
|Memory (removable)||SD, SDHC (up to 32GB)|
|Effects||Compression, Limiting, Low-cut filter, Metronome, Tuner, Playback Looping, Pitch Change, Variable Playback Speed|
|Power Supply||AA battery, AC, USB bus power|
|Max Battery Life||Over 15 hours|
|Stand Mountable||Yes (Mountable to DSLR or camcorder with optional HS-01 Hot Shoe Mount adapter)|
|Manufacturer Part Number||ZH5|