Zoom Introduces the H5 Handy Recorder


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.


A few months ago my Zoom H5 randomly started recording at a slightly different speed than my Canon 5D audio.  I reset everything on the H5 to factory settings, but it still happens.  It's fine for very brief clips, but over 20 seconds it gets noticeably out of phase.  Has anyone heard of this?

Hi Gary - 

Please contact Zoom directly for service/repair under warranty.


Je voudrais vous demander si les micros XY sont ils en métal ....?

Merçi de votre réponse.

Hi Breton -

The microphone cases for the XY mics are plastic and shock-mounted. 

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

Does zoom h5 work with external battery that supplies 2.1A (3-Port External Backup Battery Portable Charger 10,000mAh (EZEBA14))?

Hi Denis -

Zoom recommends the Zoom AD-17 AC Adapter  which brings 5 VDC, 1 A into the recorder. Although the EZOPower product may work initially, it could damage the Zoom H5 over the long term and void the manufacturer's warranty. Not recommended.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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

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. :)