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Zoom H5


Portable Audio Recorder

  • Uses a system of interchangeable microphone capsules
  • Includes detachable X/Y capsule (XYH-5)
  • Compatible with all Zoom input capsules
  • Records up to 24-bit / 96 kHz
  • Recording format: WAV (BWF compatible) and MP3
  • 4-track simultaneous recording
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32 GB
  • 2 mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors, each with selectable phantom power and -20 dB pad
  • Gain control knob on each input, with protective 'roll-bar' that prevents accidental movement during handling
  • Plug-in power (2.5 V)
  • Built-in effects, including high-pass filter, compressor and limiter
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • Auto-record, pre-record and backup-record functions
  • M/S decoding
  • Multitrack to stereo internal mixdown
  • Normalize, divide, and trim editing
  • A/B loop playback
  • Integrated loudspeaker
  • Variable playback speed and pitch (without tempo change)
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC, Mac and iPad (requires optional camera connection kit)
  • 1/4" Attachment screw-hole on the back side
  • Powered by 2 Conventional AA alkaline batteries or NiMH rechargeable battery packs
  • Operating time (with alkaline batteries): approx. 15 h
  • Dimensions of H5: 67 x 135 x 42 mm
  • Dimensions of XYH-5 capsule: 66 x 82 x 41 mm
  • Weight H5: 176 g
  • Weight XYH-5: 94 g


  • XYH-5 X/Y microphone capsules
  • USB Cable
  • Foam windscreen
  • Case
Available since July 2014
Item number 343926
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Integrated Stereo Microhone Yes
Recording Tracks 4
Microphone Inputs 2
48 V Phantom power Yes
Line Inputs 4
Storage Medium SD/SDHC Card
Headphone connection Yes
Integrated Speaker Yes
Resolution max. 24 bit
Max. Sample Rate 96 kHz
Limiter Yes
Max. Memory 128
Recording Format BWF, MP3, WAV
Power Feed 2x LR6 (AA) batteries, USB
Dimensions 78 x 153 x 48 mm
Weight 280 g
Included In Delivery XYH-5 X/Y Capsule, USB Cable, Foam Windscreen, Case
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Interchangeable is the name of the game

The H5 from Zoom is a portable audio recorder for recording up to four audio tracks simultaneously. It features a system that allows the supplied XY microphone capsule (XYH-5) to be swapped out for another interchangeable Zoom microphone capsule. This allows users to select the microphone capsule that best suits the situation - making trade-offs a thing of the past. Alternatively, the H5 can be used as a stereo or multitrack USB audio interface with up to 24 bit/96kHz. In addition to free licences for the music production software Cubase LE and the audio editor software WaveLab LE from Steinberg, a case and foam wind shield, AA batteries, and a USB cable are included in the scope of delivery.

Display on the Zoom H5 Portable Audio Recorder

Designed for optimum results

The XYH-5 interchangeable capsule is equipped with two unidirectional condenser microphones arranged at a 90° angle. A shockproof capsule housing prevents damage, while external cables and rubberised materials decouple the capsule and recorder from each other, reducing ambient noise and vibration. Microphones and line-level sources can be connected to the H5 via two XLR-TRS combo jacks. External microphone signals are processed by powerful microphone preamplifiers, which offer an equivalent input noise of -120dB, freely selectable phantom power (12, 24, or 48V), and -20dB pad. The H5 supports recordings in WAV format (BWF compatible) with up to 24 bit/96kHz as well as in MP3 format with up to 320kbps and records them directly onto SD or SDHC cards.

X/Y microphone capsules on the Zoom H5 Portable Audio Recorder

For musicians, journalists, and video producers

Equipped with an easy capsule replacement system, high-quality recording technology, and numerous recording and playback functions, the H5 from Zoom is a professional companion for many projects. In addition to being used as a handheld recorder, the H5 can also be mounted on microphone stands, tripods, and DSLRs via an optional hot shoe mount. This makes it ideal for music recording, voice applications, and video production. Using it as a stereo or multitrack USB audio interface is equally interesting: In this way, the H5 can be used in conjunction with a suitable DAW for post-production or for creating sound and music productions.

XLR connections on the on the Zoom H5 Portable Audio Recorder

About Zoom

Founded in 1983, the Japanese company Zoom manufactures a variety of audio equipment, including a range of portable "handy" recorders as well as multi-effects processors, effects pedals, drum machines, and samplers. Over the past thirty years, the company has built a reputation for producing innovative yet affordable products based on original microchip designs. Since the Zoom-9002 (an ultra-compact multi-effects processor that can be attached to a guitar strap) was introduced in 1990, Zoom has become one of the leaders in digital audio processing.

Two operating modes: Stereo and multitrack

The Zoom H5's stereo mode is suitable for making two-channel stereo recordings. For example, the supplied XYH-5 interchangeable microphone capsule can be used to record live performances. In multitrack mode, dual stereo or mono tracks can be recorded instead. This is ideal for simultaneous recording of interview partners and ambient sounds. Moreover, fascinating live recordings of a concert can be achieved by capturing the concert ambience from the XYH-5 while recording the sum from the mixing desk via the combined XLR-TRS jacks.

543 Customer ratings

4.6 / 5

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320 Reviews

Surprisingly Easy To Use
Dave Sin Santos 15.05.2020
I read manuals before using a product, but I was slightly confused by the multi or stereo recording functionality - however, following the instructions fixed this immediately. Overall I'm finding it easier to work with than the H4N - press the record button and it records! Guessing that was something Zoom listened to customers on. The onboard mic isn't that great but is definitely workable.
PROS (compared to H4N): Lightweight; Very quick start; Menu navigation much quicker; I like the protected potentiometers on the front - much easier to adjust than the side dial; Easy card access - instead of going through battery pack, dedicated slot.
CONS: It's plastic, so does pick up noise if handheld - would seriously recommend getting the microphone stand converter as that will reduce 90% of your handling noise (can also be used with all Zoom recorders, so worthwhile); If you're not familiar with Zoom recorders could be tricky to learn everything; The stereo mic that it comes with seems focused at a slightly odd angle - the pickup angle is definitely not a perfect arc.
I've been surprised by how good this is - and the quick start (32GB card, about 5 seconds compared to around 40 seconds for H4) makes it a no-brainer for me.


Versatile portable audio device for numerous applications
BeautifulPeople 10.11.2020
We bought this audio device for our NGO to capture audio on the go for our videos, interviews, podcasts and also in a booth to record voice over using XLR inputs. And for this price we just could not find anything that would match zoom h5 in its usability, audio quality and portability. As of right now you probably won't find anything better!

Nonetheless, it has its shortcomings. For example...
- when you push the gain dial on a XLR input over 6~7, self noise of preamps will become apparent (can be mitigated if you use something like a Fethead/Cloudlifter)
- attenuated backup recording available only for XY capsule. If you are recording using XLR inputs you have to stick to only one file.
- device is powered via 2xAA and battery life is significantly shorter if you use phantom power. Fortunately it can be power also via power bank or usb to wall plug adapter. So if you are shooting indoors you can pretty much forget about the battery life. If you don't have access to electricity, make sure to have spare batteries in your pocket.

So for the recap...

Pros: audio quality, portability, use applications, possibility to use as an audio interface for your PC
Cons: self noise when your exceed that 6-ish mark on a gain knob, battery life when using phantom power, only digital limiter

As I already mentioned, it is a great audio recorder and if your needs are similar to ours, I am sure you will love it!


Light, Flexible, Dynamic... Fairly noisy? OK!
Evy09 16.01.2018
Zero Handling noise thanks to the material the unit is made, XLRs just make the job with no complaints at all.
The software is really ok, makes the job too.
Possibility to switch over different capsules makes this unit worth the price both really, really durable and versatile.

Maybe some uncertainty on the capsules recording quality, they just didn't convince me completely 'cause for a hundred bucks less you get the H2n and the quality gap is not that high (I compared them with a consistent re-amping test).
Zoom's preamps seem to be all slightly noisy on their own, Not that much to say "this mic is scam", but you know, high enough to say "ok, I know you're there, I'll just fix you if needed".
Obviously, if you use a premium external phantom-powered mic this problem is easily bypassed.

THAT SAID, the recording quality on the H5 is remarkably higher than the previous brothers, the sound is just more naturally "in your face" and easily verges on a studio-like sound.
This is becoming a standard for sound-design solutions.

Zero-handling noise is an important feature and here is your friend. This is not granted on all devices on the market.

All of this balance revealed itself as a crucial point and is exactly where I decided to bank on it, with tremendous satisfaction!


Certain improvement over H4
audiocan 08.10.2018
I've extensive experience with H1, H4-n, H5 and H6, and I must say that H5 is my favorite.

External mic preamps are very quiet, much better than H4
Handling noise is minimized thanks to the matte surface
Detachable internal mics makes it compact and much easier to use it for booming applications
I love the protective metal over the gain knobs
Works as an interface

The internal mic quality is still disappointing (not a significant improvement over H4). You gotta turn the nob to around 8 most of the time to get a decent sound but taht introduces an awful hiss. Also, I find the high frequencies quite harsh, almost distorted even in medium gain settings.
Internal mics are way too frail, I broke a plastic part already when it fell from only half a meter height
Interface is tedious
No internal memory
Only 44 and 48 kHz operation when using it as interface (no 96)

Get this if you will mainly use external mics, the preamp quality is worth the upgrade from H4 ,and it's very affordable. If you don't need the extra inputs, I find H6 redundant, because sound quality is very similar if not the same. If you'll only need the internal mics, I'd recommend Sony D100, but that's in another price range. I'm afraid Similar units like Tascam won't be a big of a difference in that manner as an alternative.


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