Zoom have announced the debut of a new portable solid-state recorder that comes from the same mould as the H6 Handy Recorder, which we reviewed in November 2013. The H5 employs a system of interchangeable input capsules, allowing the most appropriate microphone to be used for every recording situation. In addition to being fully compatible with all Zoom input capsules, the H5 comes with a new X/Y stereo capsule which can handle even louder sources than before — up to 140 dB SPL — and shockmounted microphones for reduced handling noise.
The H5 allows four tracks of simultaneous recording directly to SD cards (max 32GB capacity), in a variety of MP3 and BWF-compliant WAV file formats, including 24-bit, 96kHz audio. With the use of an optional adapter, it can be mounted directly to a DSLR or camcorder and requires two AA batteries for power, with alkaline battery life of more than 15 hours. Dual XLR/TRS combo jacks enable the connection of external microphones or line-level devices. Each input has its own dedicated gain control and pad, as well as phantom power in three different voltages.
Additional features include a stereo line output for connection to camcorders; a headphone jack and built-in speaker; onboard effects, metronome and chromatic tuner; adjustable playback speed and pitch correction; and pre-record, auto-record and backup-record functions. Data can be transferred to editing software via a USB port, and the H5 can also be used as a multichannel audio interface for computers and iPads.