When Zoom introduced the modular H6 Handy Recorder, I was a bit confused since the last model was an H4n. Why skip over in the nomenclature? Well, it turns out that Zoom had plans for the H5 and those plans have finally come to light with a new portable recorder that, much like its big brother, offers interchangeable microphones in a smaller form factor.
Keeping the bar high, Zoom has built the H5 to many of the same technical specifications as the H6. – B&H
The news came from a quick overview at B&H highlighting many of the H5’s coming features. Moving forward, it looks like Zoom is going to continue offering the module microphone option on their Handy Recorders from here on out as the H5 will be able to take the H6 microphone modules as well as mics for their own specific design.
Coming with the H5 when it ships will be an XY stereo microphone module that has a shock mount system built in and offers 140dB recording on four input channels for stereo recording from additional sources.
“We have not held a production model yet – but we suspect the H5’s mic and pre-amps will be similar to the H6 if not a tad cleaner,” writes Mark of B&H. “We will have to wait until Zoom starts shipping and see (or hear) for ourselves.”
And the H5 is stripped down a bit, with simpler layout and fewer of the H6s whistles and bells. Chief of these is a black and white LCD screen in place of the color model on the H4. There’s also only two external XLR mic inputs for stereo, two channel recording. The H5 also takes an external SD card to record to.
And to make menu navigation simpler, the H5 does it with a three way toggle switch mounted on the right hand side which enables users to drill through the menus rather than picking through the menu options to reach key features.
And the the physical buttons make it far easier for stopping and starting recording. Old school, to be sure, but I rather like the ability to stop and start with button, rather than this over reliance on touch screen technology. It just makes it more straight forward and easier on set. The H5 also has analog line inputs and a headphone jack for audio monitoring.
Other features include:
- Modular Mic and Input System
- Includes XY Microphone Module
- Four Simultaneous Inputs
- Uses SD Memory Cards
- Compatible with H6 Mic Modules
- Optional Shotgun Mic and XLR/TRS Inputs
No word on pricing just yet, but the H6 runs around $600 list, plus $50-75 each for each modular mic plug in. So you can bet the simpler H5 will run a bit less, perhaps between the H4n (at $269) and the H6. So I’m guessing in the $399-459 range. And B&H has obviously gotten a heads up that it’s coming and have created a placeholder page on their website to garner interest. So it’s probably not going to be long before they start taking preorders.