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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ZoomH5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System
 
4.8

(based on 157 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (131)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (11)
  • Good audio (10)
  • Ease of use (6)
  • Durable (5)
  • Versatile (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Interviews (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (103)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great upgrade from my broken H4n

I use this product as a direct replacement of my H4n which died after 5 years of use. I do sound recording of all sorts but most recently on set sound and boom micing. ...Read complete review

I use this product as a direct replacement of my H4n which died after 5 years of use. I do sound recording of all sorts but most recently on set sound and boom micing. The H4n was great for this as I could strap it right to my boom pole and watch the meters while I boomed. Perfect for the one-man operation I am. A major problem I had was the fact that you couldn't run phantom power on my boom mic on channel one while using channel 2 to record my wireless lav. well you could but it would eat through a set of AA's in about 10 minutes. With the new H5, you can specifically set which channel has the phantom power on and now I have no problems with ridiculously fast battery drain. I also purchased the EXH-6 dual input capsule and can now mix and record 3 different wireless lavs and my boom mic into four separate tracks on one device.The new analog gain dials are a much needed addition as you can adjust gain on the fly with out the noisy clicking interfering with your clean audio sound. Also welcomed was the line out port which takes away the need for the -15db line attenuation cable I had to use previously.The physical size of this is just a bit smaller than the H4n but it has a nice rubbery grip all around it which feels great in hand.I won't go too much into sound quality. Both H5 and the H4n have great sound quality for the amateur/indy scene that most of us are using it for. If you want that perfect sound for your feature length then you should be investing in something by Sound Devices. If you cannot get quality, usable sound out of the H5 or H4n then you are doing something wrong.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not sure.

I spent a lot of time reviewing this product before purchasing and it has a lot of positive reviews from pros. It seems to have a lot of internal noise though which none of...Read complete review

I spent a lot of time reviewing this product before purchasing and it has a lot of positive reviews from pros. It seems to have a lot of internal noise though which none of those reviews spoke of. When I looked at reviews about noise it does seem that a lot of users of the Zoom H5 and Zoom H6 have to remove noise in post- but otherwise love their devices. A lot of users also mention that internal noise is not unusual with portable recorders and audio interfaces, especially at this price point. It bears mentioning that the included Wavelab and Cubase audio editing software do not have noise removal functions without adding additional plugins (Sonnox looks great but it costs $500). I have been using the included Wavelab software and it's great for basic functions but I don't like it as much as Adobe Audition. It also bears mentioning that I am not great at this techie stuff - so I may be missing something in terms of setting up levels, etc. Otherwise I like the device -the included user's manual has enough info to get me started, there seems to be a lot that can be done with it making it good for pros or serious hobbyists, and there are a lot of tutorials online and on Youtube.

Reviewed by 157 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Just What I Needed

By Lars

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Great product. I'm breaking into DSLR video and if you don't already know, the built in camera mic is not acceptable for decent audio, at least not with the Nikon D610. This records beautiful clean audio and I can plug it into my camera mic, turn the mic sensitivity all the way down and let the H5 do the work for decent audio quality. I plug 2 lavalieres into the XLR inputs as well as use the XY mic capsule for broader recordings.

 
5.0

Great for performers

By franz

from Santa Fe, NM

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I have the problem as conductor of not being able to monitor a recording of a performance while I am conducting. This H5 Zoom solves this for me by being able to make two simultaneous recordings: one where I decide the gain and one that records the very same audio a 12db less. If there is distortion in the primary recording, the backup saves my bacon.

The sound quality is terrific and when I move the raw wave file to my computer to edit with audacity, there is much more signal to tweak.

All in all, after beginning with the H2, this is a great improvement and I would recommend this H5 to any serious musician

 
5.0

Zoom H5

By Tiko

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Very happy with Zoom H5! Highly recommended!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Not sure.

By LAAREN11

from Pueblo, Colorado

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I spent a lot of time reviewing this product before purchasing and it has a lot of positive reviews from pros. It seems to have a lot of internal noise though which none of those reviews spoke of. When I looked at reviews about noise it does seem that a lot of users of the Zoom H5 and Zoom H6 have to remove noise in post- but otherwise love their devices. A lot of users also mention that internal noise is not unusual with portable recorders and audio interfaces, especially at this price point. It bears mentioning that the included Wavelab and Cubase audio editing software do not have noise removal functions without adding additional plugins (Sonnox looks great but it costs $500). I have been using the included Wavelab software and it's great for basic functions but I don't like it as much as Adobe Audition. It also bears mentioning that I am not great at this techie stuff - so I may be missing something in terms of setting up levels, etc. Otherwise I like the device -the included user's manual has enough info to get me started, there seems to be a lot that can be done with it making it good for pros or serious hobbyists, and there are a lot of tutorials online and on Youtube.

 
4.0

4/5

By Marthaisabel

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Muy rapido comparado con el H4n, aunque extrañe el modo stamina :(

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing upgrade from the Zoom H4N

By Maicol

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I had my Zoom H4N for over 7 years and loved it, so I was excited to upgrade to a lighter, more modular and better sound quality device. I shoot with it mainly on my camera so the reduced size and weight, plus the guard for the volume controls are great when running around.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I would buy it again

By Oswaldo

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Excellent product. Sound quality couldn't be better.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great audio recorder.

By James

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Works great.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I don't leave home without this.

By Michael

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Fast Startup is key to shooting Documentaries. You never know when you're capturing the moment that makes the film what it is. It's around 4 seconds from pressing on until you're able to record audio. Great design with the protecting bars.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfect

By Nate

from Westport, CT

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

This recorder and Mic could not be better for the price.
Perfect intro mic for video and the price is unbeatable!

(6 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Great Gear miserable battery life

By David

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I have used this recorder on many productions, and while the sound is great, there are two major flaws:
1.  battery life:  15 hours is a farce.  Running two mics into this recorder, I have never gotten more than 40 minutes of recording off of fresh batteries.
2.  battery compartment is too close to mounting screw hole; therefore, hot swapping batteries on set requires removing any mount on the zoom

I would not recommend for production due to the battery issues

 
4.0

I really like this recorder

By SaraB

from Long Island

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

The recording quality from the built in mics is excellent. I am not a techie by any means, but was able to use the instruction book, and figure things out. I'm sure there are plenty of things I won't be using it for, that it can do, but for a talking head video, I really like it.

 
5.0

zoom h5 handy recorder

By Livewolf

from Teaneck NJ

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

A solid unit that provides quality recordings. This unit has a dedicated Mic that is compatible with this recorder.Combined it supplies a great recording device

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great transition into professional audio!

By meguyonbike

from joplin, mo

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I do not have much experience with professional audio recording, but I am so happy I stepped it up to this amazing tool! It has been revolutionary for me to have this on the field as I do video video interviews and on-the-go audio captures. I love it because it's so versatile and easy to learn to use! It has been a great purchase!

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfect for my needs.

By Frank W.

from Durham, NC

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I use my recorder to enhance the audio quality of my DSLR recorded videos. The Zoom H5 is small enough to mount to a Gorillapod and attach it to my tripod, and versatile enough to grow with me as my audio next get more complex. I like that it makes a backup recording at minus 20 decibels in case I over modulate on a recording. It's simple enough for a beginner like me.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Solid features and Layout, but So-So vs. Sony for WEDDINGS

By Wedding Videographer

from Los Angeles, CA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I've spent the last 4 months with this guy as well as my Zoom H1 and Sony PCM-M10 in countless different audio environments. I run a wedding videography business so I'm dealing with all kinds of sound issues/challenges on a weekly basis. I just wrote my review for the Sony PCM-M10 so I'll try not to repeat those things here but as much as I like the layout of this way better and the fact that it has XLR and 1/4" inputs and a cleaner menu layout with more options than the Sony recorder, I now officially have downgraded this to my backup recorder. It's solid. But it can't handle what the Sony can in the unpredictable wedding world.

I loved how this records a 2nd track (via the 1/8" line input only) simultaneously at -12db lower. That's awesome. But sadly, if the output from a mixer coming into the line input is peaking, this Zoom fails. You can have the recording levels on this set to whatever...say -18db or whatever you want...but if the DJ/Band/Venue gives you a feed that is peaking at any point, the recording will immediately distort. And how about the backup track at -12db? That distorts too. So sad. I've tried every limiter, ever compressor, every option, and even contacted Zoom, but their response was basically "it's just built differently than Sony". Bummer because I like a lot about it.

If you give the Sony PCM-M10 the same peaking feed and run it into it's line input with it's limiter on, there is no distortion at all.

The Zoom H5 has better layout and input and output options (although I was bummed that only the 1/8 line input can have that backup track at a lower db), and takes a full size SD card which is nice. Both record clean audio for the most part with good preamps. But when it comes to the challenging and changing environments of a wedding, I'd go with a PCM-M10 for sure despite it's layout shortcomings. I still give this 4 stars because if you're not dealing with potentially peaking feeds from mixing boards, then it's awesome.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Product

By henrimic

from Geneva Switzerland

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I really appreciate the gain controls. I can now adapt smoothly the level without steps during an interview. I have recorded a lot of sounds with a Schoeps MS system (CCM8 + CCM41) and the preamps are far better than the H4n for example.

 
5.0

H5 Handy Recorder

By Dan

from ORINDA CA

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Audio recording is super easy, and the sound is excellent. I also bought the SGH-6 boom mic attachment. I love how you can switch out the type of microphones.

 
4.0

Impressive Recorder!

By RickyB

from Marysville, WA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Does more than expected for my needs! Recently recorded interview in home and was pleased with the functionality.
The reason for only 4 stars is I felt the "Record" button seems very sensitive to even the slightest pressure. On the recording session I thought I had pressed record and later found I apparently double-pushed the button, which meant I was not recording.
My mistake, I should know to always check that the unit is recording.
Overall I would buy again.

 
5.0

Another solid product

By BDT

from Brooklyn, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Had the H6, it was stolen. So downgraded due to price.
This is what, if not more than, most independent filmmakers need.
Smaller than H4, analog controls are nice. Quicker startup, response than H4.

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