Zoom Releases All New H5 Handy Recorder

by planetMitchLeave a Comment

Zoom has released the new Zoom H5 Handy Recorder – a very good sequel to the H4n that is so dearly loved by many in the DSLR video world.

A few months ago, we released a video review of the Zoom H6 which left some things to be desired especially for hand held recording. It looks like they may have addressed many of those issues – especially with the new X/Y being shock mounted – which was my complaint on the H6.

My other big complaint with the H6 was the fact that the LCD was not visible when you were trying to record handheld audio with the microphone, And this new LCD is in the correct place so that you can see the buttons. So that is a good enhancement and I would like to get my hands on one of these soon.

Zoom H5 Handy Recorder

X/Y recording allows you to cover a wide area yet still capture sound sources in the center with clarity and definition

X/Y recording allows you to cover a wide area yet still capture sound sources in the center with clarity and definition

Louder. Closer. Cleaner.

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 Hardware

front panel of the Zoom H5 offers dedicated record arming buttons for each track, which double as mute switches during playback.

front panel of the Zoom H5 offers dedicated record arming buttons for each track, which double as mute switches during playback.

Ins & Outs

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 Zoom H5 also provides everything you need to connect with the outside world.

The Zoom H5 also provides everything you need to connect with the outside world.

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.

Zoom H5 has 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

Zoom H5 has 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

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.

Power and Storage

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, the supplied 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 Software

File types

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.

* 96kHz sampling rate available in stereo mode only

Signal Processing

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.

Other features

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. A pre-record function that keeps the H5 continuously recording in the background, keeping the previous two seconds before you hit RECORD.

Zoom H5 Front And Rear

Zoom H5 Features

  • 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 shockmounted mics for reduced handling noise
  • Compatible with all Zoom input capsules
  • Four-track simultaneous recording
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • 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
  • Analog-style gain controls for each input
  • Protective “roll-bar” type covers prevent accidental movement of gain controls
  • Plug-in power (2.5 volts)
  • Built-in effects, including low-cut filtering, compression and limiting
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • Auto-record, Pre-record and Backup-record functions mean that you'll never miss that perfect take
  • MS decoding
  • Multitrack to stereo internal mixdown
  • Normalize, Divide and Trim editing
  • Voice memo and up to 99 marks per recording
  • A/B loop playback
  • Variable playback speed and variable pitch without affecting playback speed
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac/iPad with loop back function
  • Mountable directly to DSLR or camcorder with optional HS-01 Hot Shoe Mount adapter
  • Uses two standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Over 15 hours of operation with alkaline batteries

Check out and Purchase the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder HERE.

(cover photo credit: snap from Zoom)


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