Like other H-Series Handy recorders such as the H4n Pro and H6, you can hold it in your hand, attach it to a mic stand or tripod, or mount it to a camera (shoe mount available separately); the H5 packs an impressive array of features into a rugged, rubberized body that's more than ready to meet the varied demands of musicians, videographers, sound designers, content creators, and news shooters.
From the plentiful battery life to the powerful audio processing functions, the H5 is well equipped to handle anything from tracking live performances and podcasts to recording interviews, dialogue, and sound effects. It can supply phantom or plug-in power for condenser mics, or accept direct connections from synths, keyboards, drum machines, or +4 dB line-level mixers. No matter the source, selectable auto-recording and pre-recording ensure that you'll never miss the start of a take, and stereo safety track recording provides duplicate tracks at a lower level to avoid distortion.
Fast, User-Friendly Operability
The H5's front panel is ergonomically arranged with its most essential and commonly used controls—transport buttons for record, play/pause, stop, back, and forward operations, individual record-arm buttons that double as mute switches during playback, and large gain knobs. For added safety, a hold switch disables all front-panel buttons to prevent accidental operation during recording. Day or night, view vital information such as audio levels, recording time, battery status, and more on the large, monochrome backlit LCD.
Instant Access to Gain Adjustments
Each H5 input has its own dedicated gain control knob, located beneath a protective bar that prevents accidental movement during handling. There's no track selection or button pressing required to optimize your recording levels; just turn the dials (clearly labeled from 0 to 10) anytime you need to adjust the gain. If your XLR-1/4" input source is so loud that you need even less gain than the preamps provide at the "0" setting, use the menu system to activate the -20 dB pad (selectable per input).
Interchangeable Stereo Microphone Capsule
Leave your external mics at home and travel light. The H5 is outfitted with Zoom's XYH-5 interchangeable stereo microphone that provides clear, phase-accurate capture in a classic 90° X/Y configuration for a tight stereo image. The matched unidirectional condensers are housed within a specially designed shockmount that employs rugged external mic wires and rubberized material to minimize vibration and handling noise. With nothing more than the H5, you're set to record speech, practice sessions, concerts, or ambient and environmental sounds, even ear-rattling ones up to 140 dB!
Supports Interchangeable Zoom Mic Capsules
The Zoom mic capsule input on the H5 accommodates Zoom's line of separately available interchangeable capsules, which can be swapped out as easily as the lenses of a camera. With mid-side, X/Y, and shotgun mic capsules to choose from, you can be ready to record music, dialog, or sound effects without carting an external microphone setup. Opt for the EXH-6 combo input capsule to accept two additional mic/line signals via XLR-1/4" jacks.
2-Channel Microphone/Line Inputs
Equipped with two XLR-1/4" combo inputs and a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input, the H5 can accommodate condenser microphones, +4 dB balanced line-level sources, or signals from unbalanced instruments with active electronics. Turn on 12, 24, or 48 VDC phantom power to the XLR jacks, or 2.5V plug-in power to the mini jack. Whether you plan on recording studio condenser mics, a stereo feed from a mixer or wireless receiver, or a lavalier mic for an interview, the H5's preamps (identical to those found in the H6) are ready to deliver low-noise (-120 dB EIN) performance.
If you happen to setup external microphones in a mid-side configuration, the integrated MS decoder allows adjustment to the perceived width of the stereo image, which is beneficial for sound design, broadcasting, or general stereo-to-mono compatibility.
Record up to 4 Channels Live or Overdub Layers
The H5 boasts multiple recording modes, and is capable of up to 24-bit / 96 kHz resolution. Record in stereo from the X/Y mic capsule or input jacks, or use Multi File mode to simultaneously record the X/Y mic and two external sources (great for getting the room sound and a stereo feed from a mixer). Alternatively, Multi File mode can be utilized for overdubbing in case layers of instruments need to be added after an initial recording. The H5's internal mixdown function lets you adjust levels and pans as you blend four tracks down to stereo.
SD Card Recording and Audio Interface Functionality
Maximize portability by recording directly to an SD card (up to 2GB capacity) or SDHC card (up to 32GB capacity). A 2GB SDHC card will yield approximately three hours of 16-bit / 44.1 kHz stereo recording time using the BWF-compliant WAV format for uncompressed audio quality and industry-standard file compatibility. Note that media cards are available separately, and larger capacity cards will increase startup times.
Alternatively, use the H5 as a 4-in/2-out USB 2.0 audio interface at up to 24-bit / 48 kHz. For audio interface operation with an iPad (Apple Camera Connection Kit required and available separately), select USB Stereo mode, which offers two channels in and out at up to 16-bit / 48 kHz. The USB port also enables fast file transfer and firmware updates.
3.5mm Outputs for Simultaneous Hookup to a Camera and Headphones
The H5 boasts 3.5mm line and headphone mini-jack outputs for simultaneously feeding your camera/DSLR and a pair of headphones. In addition to the dedicated side-panel headphone volume control, the level of the line output can be adjusted via the menu, allowing you to optimize the signal level being sent to your camera without the need for an attenuator cable. For quick playback reference, a built-in monophonic speaker is also provided.
Powered via AA Batteries or AC Adapter
Power the H5 via two included AA batteries, or plug it into a wall outlet with an AD-17 AC adapter (available separately). Alkaline batteries can keep the H5 running for up to 15 hours of continuous 16-bit / 44.1 kHz recording using the built-in X/Y mic. When using the H5 in the stereo USB audio interface mode, USB bus powering is possible.
Rugged and Portable, Handheld or Mounted
The rubberized, ergonomic body lends itself naturally to handheld use. Should you need to mount it on a mic stand or tripod, a threaded hole on the back of the H5 obviates the need for stand adapters. Obtain a hot shoe adapter (available separately) to attach the H5 directly to a DSLR.
Signal Processing Adds Sonic Polish
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. Normalize files for maximum gain, split them into smaller chunks, and even insert up to 99 marks per recording.
There's an onboard metronome and tuner, and you can loop playback and adjust pitch and speed independently, making the H5 an ideal tool for phrase training.
Special Recording Functions
The H5 offers selectable recording functions designed to prevent you from accidentally missing the start of a performance. By keeping the previous two seconds of audio whenever you press the record button, the pre-record option ensures that you'll never cut off the beginning of a great take. Auto-record can automatically start recording when a user-set sound level is detected, making it great for voice-activated recording.
Backup record enables the H5 to automatically record a duplicate set of stereo tracks with 12 dB less input gain. Even if your original track is distorted, chances are the backup version will be fine!
Supports External Remote Control
Use the RCH-5 remote (available separately) to control the transport, arm tracks, and adjust volume at a distance while eliminating handling noise.
Includes Audio Software
The H5 comes with free download licenses for Steinberg's Cubase LE music production software and WaveLab LE audio editing software, representing a complete audio production toolkit.