Zoom Introduces the H5 Handy Recorder

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Zoom turned the pro audio world upside down last year with their acclaimed H6 portable recorder, and now they complete the “one-two punch” with the introduction of their new, smaller H5 Handy Recorder. Following in its big brother’s footsteps, the H5 features an interchangeable microphone system and is compatible with the existing line of H6 mic modules.

Appealing to those who are looking for the functionality of the H6, but don’t need all of its inputs or bells and whistles, the H5 has a black-and-white screen (as opposed to the H6’s color screen) and features 2  inputs for external sources, in addition to its swappable stereo mic capabilities. The H5 will record to external SD cards.

Like its big brother, it has a side-mounted 3-way navigation toggle to get you through the menu options. Rather than burying important controls deep in its menu, the H5 gives you fast access to physical transport functions right underneath the screen, to make sure you’re never fumbling to start or stop recording.

The H5 will ship with its own, brand-new XY stereo microphone module that features a built-in shockmount system and an impressive 140dB maximum SPL. The recorder is also equipped with four input channels, allowing you to record simultaneously from the included stereo XY mic and two additional sources. Each input is controllable by its own analog gain knob.

Keeping the bar high, Zoom has built the H5 to many of the same technical specifications as the H6. Also like the H6, the H5 will feature both an analog line output (ideal for creating back-up recordings to your camera) and a headphone output for monitoring.

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Do I see two XLR or combo inputs at the base of the unit?

If so, this is more H4n-like... which I have no problem with. Particularly nice is it's modularity and compatibility with H6 components.

Now, for my key question:

Does it have the same mic preamps as the H6? Please say yes. Better yet, say the preamps are even quieter... and more powerful. :)

Hi Joe-

Yes, the new ZOOM H5 has two XLR inputs on the bottom side of the recorder.  You can add two more as well:

The EXH-6 from Zoom adds two additional XLR/TRS combo inputs to the Zoom H6 or H5 handheld recorders. This makes the H6 capable of recording up to six external signals simultaneously. Capable of handling either mic or line-level signals, each input is equipped with its own preamp and -20 dB pad. Please note, this module does not provide phantom power. Two 5 volt preamps minimize distortion even at high volumes.

We have not held a production model yet - but we suspect the H5's mic and pre-amps will be similar to the H6 if not a tad cleaner.  We will have to wait until Zoom starts shipping and see (or hear) for ourselves.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Any word if this will work as a USB interface (for a PC) like the H6?

Hi Chris -

We suspect that it will be able to operate as a USB interface.  However, as this device is still in production,  we have not been able to test it.  When Zoom starts shipping we will publish all the details for you.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Will the H5 connect to a camera with a hot shoe like the H6?

It sure will.  All you need is a 1/4"-20 to hot shoe mount adapter that is included in this handy kit:

The Zoom APH-4n Accessory Pack for H4n is designed for DSLR users. The APH-4n Accessory Pack includes a windscreen, a hot shoe mount, an RC4 remote controller, an attenuator cable and a splitter cable.

The hot shoe mount attaches the H4n to your DSLR camera. The RC4 remote controller allows REC, PLAY, STOP and other functions. The attenuator cable connects the H4n line output to the camera mic input. The splitter cable allows simultaneous headphone monitoring.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Sounds good!

Any idea if the 'backup recording' feature is carried over from the H6, i.e. a second recording at a lower gain level. This would be great for variable environments and would have saved my butt a couple of times last year!

Hi Andrew -

There is a good chance that many features like "back-up" recording will be retained in the new ZOOM H5.  We cannot be certain of the full capability and feature set until the product is actually released.  We do not have any firm dates for its release but we will post-up information as soon as we can.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

It appears this will have better pre-amps than the H4n and less floor noise. Any idea when this will hit the shelf (date). Thank you B&H for this article. I love B&H.

Hi David -

We do not have any firm dates for its release, as it is still in production, but we will post-up information as soon as we can.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hey Mark, a few videos on Youtube from Musikmesse 2014 have a rep from Zoom talking about the H5. He gave a lot more information about it and said they hope to have it out by the third quarter, although I'm not sure if he is strictly speaking about Europe. He also said the price is around 300 euros...

Anyways, surprised you guys haven't updated any info on the H5 after Musikmesse. He gave some good info!

Can you overdub on the H5 and can you get an ac adaptor for it? Thanks. Peter 

Hi Peter -

There is a good chance that many features like "over-dubbing" and "back-up" recording will be retained in the new ZOOM H5.  We cannot be certain of the full capability and feature set until the product is actually released.  We do not have any firm dates for its release but we will post-up information as soon as we can.  It would appear that the  Zoom AC-17 AC Adapter may be used to power the new H5 as well. Click on this link for the Zoom H5 operation manual.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Some observations, for what they're worth. I recently bought the H6, and believe I have every previous "H" version, so I probably won't buy the H5; there's not a compelling benefit that I can see at first look. It seems every field recorder has some shortfall, even within it's intended design applications, and considering one's workflow. Even though it's a bad idea to mount one of these on a hot shoe (inevitable handling noise while filming/recording), one finds it's often necessary. One problem I encounter when mounting the Zoom H4, H4N, H6, and now the H5 on the camera hot shoe is that even with a tall hot shoe adapter you can't get your eye to the camera viewfinder, the Zoom is in the way. It doesn't help battery life or courtesy to others nearby to use the camera's LCD screen, either. I wish Zoom could have modified the weight/balance and mounting options to alleviate this issue. H2N sometimes is good enough, but not always useful. Recording options like the Tascam DR60 address this issue, but present other design compromises and performance shortfalls. Oh well, as I've continually tried to downsize and simplify setups, I'm constantly dragged toward hauling and setting up more gear. Upscale again with the GH4/YAGH interface or SD MixPre-D and external mics?...It's the best of times, it's the worst of times.

It seems that Zoom already released the H5, and its available on other websites.

will it be available in the next few days on B&H?

Got mine on preorder with B&H the second it came available.  Hopefully what you're seeing means it's just around the corner - can't wait for it to ship!

The new ZOOM H5 will be shipping soon but we do not have a firm date.   We are accepting orders and they will be filled in the order they are received.  An authorization for this product will be processed upon placing the order. Your order will only be charged at time of shipment. We will be happy to update you as we receive updated availability information.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com