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Zoom H5 Vs H6: Which Handy Recorder is Better?

Zoom H5 Vs H6

For professionals who are recording anything from concerts to interviews, they will need to make sure they have a microphone that is going to pick up the right sounds with great clarity. The sound can make or break your journalistic piece. Zoom has two perfect solutions and today we will compare them; the Zoom H5 Vs H6.

There are some things that the two portable recorders have in common, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, they are actually quite different. We are going to look at what they have in common, and how they differ. We will put all of the specific details in a side-by-side chart so that you can quickly compare the two. Then at the end we will cover some additional pros and cons and then offer our final verdict.

Let’s kick off with what the Zoom H5 and the Zoom H6 have in common.

Zoom H5 Vs H6 – Similarities

Quick glance

Title
Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered
Our pick
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder, Stereo Microphones, 4 XLR/TRS Inputs, Records to SD Card, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered, for Stereo/Multitrack Audio for Video, Podcasting, and Music
Image
Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder, Stereo Microphones, 4 XLR/TRS Inputs, Records to SD Card, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered, for Stereo/Multitrack Audio for Video, Podcasting, and Music
Size
12 x 5.9 x 10.9 inches
12.3 x 10.3 x 7.9 inches
Weight
2.8lbs
5.15lbs
File Format
BWF compliant Wav and various MP3 formats
BWF compliant Wav and various MP3 formats
Recording Options
SD card up to 16GB, SDHC card up to 32GB
SD card up to 16GB, SDHC card up to 32GB, SDCX up to 128GB
Microphones
Unidirectional X/Y
Unidirectional X/Y, mid-side microphone
No. Of Tracks
4 simultaneously
6 simultaneously
Software
Cubase LE/ WaveLab LE
Cubase LE/ WaveLab LE
Power
Adapter, x2 AA batteries
X4 AA batteries (rechargeable)
Accessory Pack
SD Card, windscreen, power cord, USB cable, remote control
SC card, studio headphones, x4 AA batteries, charging dock, aux cable, table tripod, foam windscreen, hard case
Maximum decibels
140dB
136dB
Extra Features
Shockmount rubberized material for minimal vibrations
Adjustable X/Y microphone from 90º to 120º angle, 50-150% playback speed.
Prime Status
-
Title
Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered
Image
Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered
Size
12 x 5.9 x 10.9 inches
Weight
2.8lbs
File Format
BWF compliant Wav and various MP3 formats
Recording Options
SD card up to 16GB, SDHC card up to 32GB
Microphones
Unidirectional X/Y
No. Of Tracks
4 simultaneously
Software
Cubase LE/ WaveLab LE
Power
Adapter, x2 AA batteries
Accessory Pack
SD Card, windscreen, power cord, USB cable, remote control
Maximum decibels
140dB
Extra Features
Shockmount rubberized material for minimal vibrations
Prime Status
Our pick
Title
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder, Stereo Microphones, 4 XLR/TRS Inputs, Records to SD Card, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered, for Stereo/Multitrack Audio for Video, Podcasting, and Music
Image
Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder, Stereo Microphones, 4 XLR/TRS Inputs, Records to SD Card, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered, for Stereo/Multitrack Audio for Video, Podcasting, and Music
Size
12.3 x 10.3 x 7.9 inches
Weight
5.15lbs
File Format
BWF compliant Wav and various MP3 formats
Recording Options
SD card up to 16GB, SDHC card up to 32GB, SDCX up to 128GB
Microphones
Unidirectional X/Y, mid-side microphone
No. Of Tracks
6 simultaneously
Software
Cubase LE/ WaveLab LE
Power
X4 AA batteries (rechargeable)
Accessory Pack
SC card, studio headphones, x4 AA batteries, charging dock, aux cable, table tripod, foam windscreen, hard case
Maximum decibels
136dB
Extra Features
Adjustable X/Y microphone from 90º to 120º angle, 50-150% playback speed.
Prime Status
-

X/Y Microphones

On the top of each portable recorder, there are two unidirectional condenser microphones set at a 90º angle. These have high-quality, low-noise preamps so they are suitable for all sonic environments. They are ideal for recording live concerts, interviews, audio vlogging, videography, and more.

Display

Both the Zoom H5 and the Zoom H6 have LCD displays to help you adjust your controls and manage your recordings

Software

You will be able to access Steinberg’s Cubase LE music production software and WaveLab LE audio editing.

 

Video Review


There are quite a few, more significant differences, so let’s cover them now.

Differences Between Zoom H5 and Zoom H6

Appearance

Aside from the X/Y microphones and the fact they are both black, they look very different.

Zoom H5

The LCD display is at the top of the unit and the controls are all touch buttons. The portable recorder is 12 x 5.9 x 10.9 inches and weighs 2.8 pounds.

Zoom H6

Here, the LCD display is at the base of the unit. There are some touch buttons but there are also 4 turn knob controls. It is 12.3 x 10.3 x 7.9 inches and weighs 5.15 pounds.

The Winner IS- The Zoom H5

Zoom H5 Comparison

Recording Options

Zoom H6 Review

Nowadays, we don’t have time with technical issues and recordings not being compatible with different software. We want to make sure the recordings can be moved easily and quickly.

Zoom H5

You can record in BWF compliant Wav and a variety of MP3 formats. You can record to an SD card from 16MB to 2GB and onto an SDHC card from 4GB to 32GB. There is also the option to use a 2.0 High-Speed USB. You can track 4 recordings simultaneously.

Zoom H6

For recording with the Zoom H6, you have the same options as the Zoom H5 but with one additional option. There is an SDXC card slot for up to 128GB too. This also has the advantage of recording 6 tracks simultaneously.

The Winner Is- The Zoom H6

Battery Life

Zoom H5 Review

It is crucial that you will have enough battery life to be able to complete all of your recordings in any situation.

Zoom H5

You have the option to charge the portable recorder with an adapter, which comes in the box. The Zoom H5 requires 2 AA batteries. With 2 batteries, you will be able to continuously record for 15 hours.

Zoom H6

This will only run on batteries. You will need 4 AA batteries. It comes with 4 rechargeable batteries and the charging dock. With this recorder, you will have 20 hours of continuous recording.

The Winner Is- The Zoom H6

Accessory Pack

Zoom H6 Comparison

It is quite nice that both the Zoom H5 and the Zoom H6 come with an accessory pack, although what’s included is different.

Zoom H5

You will receive an SD card, a windscreen, a power cord, a USB cable, and remote control.

Zoom H6

It’s quite an impressive pack with an SD card, studio headphones, 4 AA rechargeable batteries, a battery charging dock, an aux cable, a foam windscreen, a table tripod, and a hard case.

The Winner Is- The Zoom H6

Extra Features

Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recoreder

There are some aspects that can’t be compared, so we have included them in extra features.

Zoom H5

The Zoom is made out of an advanced shock mount rubberized material. This provides a minimal amount of vibrations and therefore a clearer recording sounding.

Zoom H6

There is an additional mid-side microphone. On top go this, the X/Y microphones can be moved between 90º and 120º angles. There is a playback speed ranging from 50% to 150%.

The Winner Is- The Zoom H6

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of the two Zoom portable recorders.

Zoom H5

Zoom H5

Pros:

  • Great recorder for beginners as it’s easy to use
  • Excellent sound quality, it will pick up far more than you can hear
  • Ideal for recording live music, especially instruments

Cons:

  • The microphones aren’t the best quality
  • 2 microphone limit

Zoom H6

Zoom H6

  • The microphones are better quality than the H5
  • accommodates
  • Very powerful capture environmental sounds adding to the atmosphere
  • You will probably get a longer battery life than the 20 hours

Cons:

  • The hard case and the tripod aren’t the best quality

The Final Verdict

Surprisingly, the price of the Zoom H5 and the Zoom H6 are very similar, so with this in mind, we chose the Zoom H6. It was great having the additional microphone options and the quality of the sound was absolutely crystal clear.

It is slightly heavier than the Zoom H5 but we felt this wasn’t enough to put us off. On the contrary, we were more attracted by being able to record 6 tracks simultaneously. Although the Zoom H5 supports a higher maximum decibel, really the difference of 4dB at this level is nothing to complain about. It was fun to use and we found it easy to format and edit our recordings. With the accessory pack, this is a great buy.


Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API