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Zoom H5 Review

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Zoom H5 provides capability of recording 4 tracks simultaneously and, for those who are familiar with Zoom products, you can use Zoom’s 6 interchangeable input capsules for you to choose the best microphone for every recording situation. The Zoom H5 can be used to create multitrack recordings, audio for video, broadcasting, electronic news gathering and podcasting.  The recorder runs on two AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries. You may record for more than 15 hours even under continuous recording mode. The Zoom H5 records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32 gigabytes.

At the front of the Zoom H5 panel there are record buttons for each track & they also double as mute option during playback. The hold switch disables all front panel buttons so you don’t change or press another button while recording. The H5 can be attached to a camera strap or using the Zoom’s optional Hot Shoe mount you may mount directly to your camera. The LCD screen allows you to keep track of your levels. The additional features include a phantom power option, the ability to capture audio in WAV or MP3 file formats. The device also comes with built in XLR/TRS connectors, built in FX: low cut filter, compressor and limiter, Mark, trim and divide editing and 24-bit/96Hz resolution.

Its dual combo XLR/TRS inputs will handle 5 mics and level signals. This provides you the ability to connect to external microphones, mixers, portable music players, effects and electronic keyboards. Electric guitars and basses equipped with active electronics can also connect to the H5. It will also connect a stereo mic or a line level signal (1/8”mini phone jack). The H5’s supplied XYH-5 X/Y’s secondary input can support a +4 db input level for recording.

Output options includes a dedicated line out, a headphone jack along with a USB port. The Line Out has an adjustable volume dial and offers the options of sending a stereo audio output from the H5 to a mic input of a video camera or other device without the need of an attenuator cable. The headphone output also comes with its own dedicated volume control. Both outputs can be used simultaneously and can route audio to a DSLR and monitored through headphones. The USB port allows the H5 to be used as an audio interface to your computer or iPad.



Auto record function are very useful for saving memory and for the convenience in setting where you are needing to have continuous pauses and having to concentrate on something else. You can set the H5 and use its auto detection and not have to worry of going back and forth. It has a built in processor for compressing and limiting audio tracks that are recorded in the device itself. You can also switch a high pass filter to help with unwanted sounds.


It runs on batteries versus its competitors may have their devices rechargeable and lacks the convenience of being able to maintain its power by being able to know when the device is going to power down. Another downside is that it takes two hands to adjust the knobs as in a situation where you are holding the device by hand and need to adjust the volume, it’s difficult to do this with one hand.