Zoom h5 battery cover. Supports Interchangeable Zoom Mic Capsules

Why You Need a Zoom H5 Recorder for Voiceovers and Video

As a voiceover artist, you will know how important it is to have clean audio that is free from background noise. Whether you’re recording a voiceover for yourself or a paying client, you need to record clean audio, without any distracting background noise.

So, although it may seem natural to record on your computer, after all that where you will have your DAW and audio interface for your XLR microphone, it’s not going to be a quiet spot. For a start, the computer’s cooling fan will be noisy, and there may be other noisy appliances nearby, such as dishwashers, fans, computers, and air conditioning.

That’s why we use voice booths (however permanent or makeshift), so you can isolate yourself from all those noises and improve the acoustics. But, when you just start doing voice work from home, or if you are away on a trip, your voice booth is likely to be a walk-in closet with soft cushions and duvets as acoustic treatment. However, you still need your laptop and audio interface, and that’s still going to make a noise.

That’s when the Zoom H5 comes in handy.

Why the Zoom H5 is Ideal for Voiceovers and Videography

The Zoom H5 is a great choice for voiceovers and videography due to its high-quality audio recording capabilities. The Zoom H5 is portable, battery-operated (using two standard AA batteries, or an optional AC adapter or power bank), and has no mechanical moving parts to whirr, which makes it silent.

This means you can take the recorder and a microphone into a voice booth, or other quiet space, and record without any distracting background noise.

But the Zoom H5 is not just for voiceovers. It’s also great for recording location sound for sound effects and it can even be mounted on your camera’s hot shoe and use the built-in XY microphone capsule as an on-camera microphone.

If you need to use professional XLR microphones during a shoot, you can plug them into the H5 and record high-quality audio that you can sync up later in post-production. But you can also use the Zoom H5 to record from XLR microphones straight into your DSLR or mirrorless camera. Simply plug the XLR mic or mics into the H5, then connect the H5’s 3.5mm line out to your camera’s audio input.

zoom, battery, supports, interchangeable

In addition to the built-in mic capsule and being able to use XLR mics and TRS line inputs the H5 can also be used with 3.5mm lavaliere mics since the device can supply phantom and plug-in power.

Zoom H5 features audio professionals will appreciate

The Zoom H5 has a number of standout features that make it so useful for audio producers, such as the Pre-Record and Backup-Record functions and the interchangeable microphone capsules.

Pre-Record captures and saves 2 seconds of audio before you hit the record button, which is great for unexpected moments when your subject starts speaking before you’re ready.

Backup-Record is an audio safety net that protects your recordings by automatically recording duplicate tracks with 12db less input gain. This is especially helpful if your subject makes a sudden loud noise or emphasizes a word, as it can prevent audio peaks that could distort the sound.

The modular design of the microphone capsules lets you swap out the standard stereo XY pair of unidirectional condenser microphones for more specialized microphones, like the large diaphragm XY mic capsule, a shotgun mic capsule, or a Mid-Side mic capsule. Alternatively, you can fit the dual combo XLR/TRS input module that allows you to use a total of four professional XLR microphones.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Adata Premier SDHC UHS-I U1 ASDH32GUICL10-R Memory Card 32GB

As the demand for digital device storages continuously grows, the widely used SD memory card has evolved into the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), including a new interface that enables faster transfer rates and a higher memory capacity. The ADATA SDHC Class 4 supports all consumer digital devices that are in conformation with SDHC specifications, including digital cameras, DV cameras and camcorders, PDAs, multimedia players, PCs, printers, card readers and more.

The ADATA SDHC Class 4 is manufactured in accordance with the SD Card Association’s SD 2.0 standards, making it compatible with all SDHC host digital products. Adopting the FAT32 file system format, the ADATA SDHC Class 4 unlocks the 2GB capacity limit of traditional SD cards and provides a minimum transfer rate of 4 MB/s, meeting Class 4 specifications and taking care of your needs for memory card storage and the best read/write speeds.

zoom, battery, supports, interchangeable

With a maximum storage capacity of 8GB, the ADATA SDHC Class 4can hold more than 2,000 MP3 files, 2,400 high-resolution JPEG photos or other digital data1. It also supports Error Correcting Code (ECC), which automatically detects and corrects errors during data transfer, preventing corruption and loss of your important data. Additionally, the SDHC’s In-System Programming (ISP) feature allows users to load the latest firmware and improve compatibility. The built-in write-protection switch keeps your data even safer, preventing accidental over-writing and file deletion.

ADATA is committed to quality and your peace of mind. Therefore, every ADATA SD card is manufactured under stringent guidelines to ensure the highest in quality and backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

Zoom EXH6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Input Capsule For H6 and H5 Portable Handheld Recorders

If you need more inputs, simply plug in the optional EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule. It allows you to connect up to six discrete signals from external microphones, instruments, mixers or portable music players, making the H6 the smallest six-track recorder on the planet!

Note: The EXH-6 does not support phantom power.

SKB 3I-0907-4-H5 iSeries Injection Molded Case for Zoom H5 Recorder

This Military-Standard waterproof hard case was specifically designed for the Zoom H5 recorders. The interior is custom cut high quality PE foam that includes space for the H5 recorder as well as an open for additional accessories.

Not only does the SKB Zoom H5 case provide the ultimate protection for the recorder, it is backed by SKB’s unsurpassed Lifetime Warranty.

SKB iSeries Injection Molded Mil-Standard Waterproof Cases are molded of ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, featuring a gasketed, water and dust tight, submersible design (MIL-C-4150J) that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage. Features a molded-in hinge, patented trigger release latch system, comfortable, snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handle, automatic ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C), resistance to UV, solvents, corrosion, fungus and impact damage (MIL-STD-810F).


  • Custom durable PE foam for H5 and open for accessories
  • Waterproof and dust tight design (MIL-C-4150J)
  • Molded-in hinge for added protection
  • Trigger release latch system
  • Snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handle
  • Ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C)
  • Resistant to UV, solvents, corrosion, fungus (MIL-STD-810F)
  • Resistant to impact damage (MIL-STD-810F)

Zoom H5 vs H6: Worth the Upgrade?

So you’ve narrowed down your next purchase to Zoom’s high-end handheld recorders. It’s the Zoom H5 vs H6. Excellent. The hard work of choosing between brands like Tascam, Sony, and Olympus is over.

Maybe you’re choosing Zoom products on the recommendation of a friend, or a chorus of online praise, or simply because gear-shopping can be exhausting and when you typed “portable recorders” into the Amazon search bar, the Zoom H5 and H6 came up first.

And for plenty of good reason, because plugging either of these devices into your filmmaking will make a world of audio difference that even Han Solo’s carbonite stuffed ears would appreciate.

Full Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, JuicedLink may earn a small commission from purchases made through any of the links or buttons below, at no additional cost to you. Earnings help us with website maintenance and make it easier for us to bring you the best information available.

Zoom H5 vs H6: Technical Specs

1 x ⅛” stereo mini jack (line out)

1 x ⅛” stereo mini jack (line out)

Backlit LCD (128 x 64 pixels)

Full color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)

Compressor, limiter, low-cut filter, playback looping, pitch change, variable playback speed, metronome, guitar tuner

Compressor, limiter, low-cut filter, playback looping, pitch change, variable playback speed, metronome, guitar tuner

AA battery x 2, AC adapter, USB bus power

AA battery x 4, AC adapter, USB bus power

Zoom H5


  • Compact and lighter
  • Cheaper, same quality preamps
  • Streamlined, intuitive functionality
zoom, battery, supports, interchangeable


  • recording channels
  • XHY-6 and MSH-6 mic capsules included
  • Large, angled full-color display

Channel count

If you’ve grown weary of digesting specs, take heart, because the choice between the H5 and H6 pretty much boils down to one question. How many recording channels do you need?

If you’re recording Arcade Fire’s latest music video, or inviting the living cast of the Brady Bunch on your podcast, or anticipate ever needing to plug in more than four microphones, the H6’s six channel capabilities are for you.

If you’re recording the crack of celery for bone-breaking sound effects, or sending in a voiceover audition for the role of Angelica in the Rugrats reboot, or just expect to be using fewer than four mics, the H5 will do great.

But if you’re still not convinced and actually enjoy sifting through specs with a fine-toothed comb, I’ve included a couple more considerations for, well, your consideration.

Preamps mic capsules

You might be tempted to think that the H6’s designation as the top of Zoom’s H-series would mean better overall sound than the H5, but it turns out that both recorders use the same preamps and both get the same low noise floor.

However, the H6’s XYH-6 capsule mic does edge out the H5’s XYH-5 with a slightly better bass response and an adjustable width from 90 to 120 degrees for a wider or more focused stereo image.

If you’re already leaning towards the H6, consider that for only 50 more you are getting two more XLR/TRS inputs and an extra MSH-6 mic capsule that is not included with the H5. The MSH-6 capsule is 80 on its own, making the H6 a great deal if you expect to be getting a lot of mileage out of Zoom’s interchangeable mic system.

Personally, I’ve only used my H5’s XYH mic two or three times over the past four years. Nine out of ten projects, I opt to plug external mics into the H5’s inputs, but with the huge variety of projects a videographer can undertake, I would hardly consider my experience the gold standard.

Here’s a helpful overview of the capsule mics and where they might come in handy.

Batteries power options

Another factor is the oft-overlooked batteries. The H5 requires two AA’s while the H6 requires four.

Not only are batteries expensive, but by the time you are loaded up with two or three sets of spares you will have also burdened your camera bag that much more. If you’re emphasizing run-and-gun portability, the Zoom H5 is your light-weight Champion.

Zoom’s battery tests are conducted by running the recorders on a single channel for as long as possible, phantom power supply notwithstanding. If you need phantom power for any external microphones, expect your batteries to run out significantly sooner than the 15-20 hour battery ratings.

Keep in mind that the EXH-6 input capsule (sold separately), which adds two additional XLR inputs to either recorder, is not able to provide phantom power. The good news is that you don’t always have to rely on batteries.

Most environments in which you are plugging in 5 or 6 different microphones are probably indoors and bound to also have some sort of outlet for AC or USB power. Unless, I suppose, your podcast’s shtick is some sort of Elvish high council role-play recorded on location in a mossy English woodland.

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