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Zoom H4n Pro vs H5 (What's the real difference?)
Old 13th January 2017
  #1
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Zoom H4n Pro vs H5 (What's the real difference?)

So, with the newer H4n Pro, it looks like the H4n preamps are now on the same level with the H5 and H6. The differences between H5 and H4n are narrowing.

My question for those who have used both...

Are the on-board microphones on the H5 significantly better than those on H4n Pro? Or are they pretty much the same? If they are, then there is essentially no meaningful difference between these two devices, beyond aesthetics.

Any thoughts?
Old 19th January 2017
  #2
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whenever i see a post regarding the H5 i post this reply .. make sure and check that it does NOT create Zipper Noise when changing Gain Levels during recording .. i read this somewhere .. would be worth finding out before purchasing ... the H6 does not exhibit this behavior ..
Old 22nd January 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
whenever i see a post regarding the H5 i post this reply .. make sure and check that it does NOT create Zipper Noise when changing Gain Levels during recording .. i read this somewhere .. would be worth finding out before purchasing ... the H6 does not exhibit this behavior ..
It's an often discussed defect. I'll get to see it for myself when it arrives in a week or so.

In either case, it's probably a worthy upgrade over the H4n, just on the better preamps and much longer battery life. Just not sure if it's got anything on the new H4n Pro.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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Just bought an h5 not realizing the the h4n pro was out doh! It seems the H4n Pro is better in multi tracking and music design/production rather than the H5. Hmm might have to downgrade..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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I hope to be among you soon as well, I'd like a portable recorder to get pristine nature sounds, and trains, thunder, the kind of conditions I'd be scared to bring something with an LCD screen.

I liked the H2's idea of 5 mics and MS-XY etc choices, and the H5's idea of swapping a shotgun mic.

At this point the choices for seem difficult. If I had an H2 with upgraded preamps & mics, at a crazy price, add insurance and a dead cat, I'll commence to the woods immediately
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
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I've got to ask a last-minute question: does an H4n Pro start up quickly when turned on?
Due to an older, negative review at Best Buy I'm worried it takes 10 seconds to get anywhere
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
I hope to be among you soon as well, I'd like a portable recorder to get pristine nature sounds, and trains, thunder, the kind of conditions I'd be scared to bring something with an LCD screen.

I liked the H2's idea of 5 mics and MS-XY etc choices, and the H5's idea of swapping a shotgun mic.

At this point the choices for seem difficult. If I had an H2 with upgraded preamps & mics, at a crazy price, add insurance and a dead cat, I'll commence to the woods immediately
H5 might have slight Zipper Noise when changing Gain settings during recording .. i read it but not sure where .. and maybe a firmware update fixed this .. any H5 owners know this ??

i need to check out the H4 pro .. thx for mentioning it .. but that 10 sec thing .. could be a deal breaker ..

i did an H6 twice for some video shoots .. pretty good but would not try powering a SM7B with one . !!!!
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
H5 might have slight Zipper Noise when changing Gain settings during recording .. i read it but not sure where .. and maybe a firmware update fixed this .. any H5 owners know this ??

i need to check out the H4 pro .. thx for mentioning it .. but that 10 sec thing .. could be a deal breaker ..

i did an H6 twice for some video shoots .. pretty good but would not try powering a SM7B with one . !!!!
I decided if I get one it will be the H4N Pro, and I have a funny feeling there's major upgrades due for the others. And since the H4N Pro this doesn't sync with a DSLR I was thinking I could run the HDMI audio out of my camera into a back channel of the Zoom and sync them on a timeline GUI.

Hold everything, yes you're right about no SM7b, as this only takes -10 consumer level? Click for 3rd party review link with that revelation I hadn't heard elsewhere. Wait, not because of less preamp for SM7b it should actually get closer to the level if it is going into that.

I had the intention of doing vocal tracks out in the sticks where I could scream (or mumble thunderously) into a beta58 or any dynamic that's woods-friendly

Now I'm all confused...
More research needed
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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I haven't used the "Pro" version, but IIRC you couldn't monitor in mono on the H4N. Selecting "mono" summed both inputs which led to significant increase in noise if one of the inputs wasn't terminated. I don't remember if this was a problem in every mode of operation, but I do remember that I eneded up recording in stereo (with one channel empty) and monitoring only on one ear.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Right on that jetam; I've pretty much decided the H5 is worth the attention to coin. Damn the zipper noise if that happens but if I set levels to K-metering kind of stuff I should be okay. That's such a benefit to have a knobs, also I'm excited Amazon has three years of accident protection for around $44.00.

Now, my previous considerations were of a Zoom with 24-bit 96kHz, but mental note, is the H5 go to 192kHz?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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You know something, after lots of consideration, I'm fairly certain I'm going with the $100 basic Zoom. There's a lot of reasons but mainly I don't see the current lineup as having value in proportion to the price. And on a lot of these field recorders I'm nagged by the thought of USB 3.0 which isn't currently implemented. The reason for this is mainly you'd have more current available for higher gain (like an SM7b at pro levels). Also USB 3.0 makes a big difference when you're dumping 25 GB of audio data off the sd card.

In addition, correct me if I'm wrong but the H5 doesn't seem to have XLR locks that the cheaper H4N Pro has, and that doesn't sit well with me either.

Another strange one is why the H4N Pro can rotate the XY mics 90-120 degrees but not the snap-on stock XY mic of the H5.

Here's a pretty cool review of the H5:



Having said that, you'll notice that guy has many decent reviews and I will watch more of them...

I want it all, but note to self: I'd be better off spending $100 on an H1 and re-evaluate if I need higher priced offerings around Black Friday 2017. Not a bad compromise me thinks.

Last edited by JoeyM; 1 week ago at 07:26 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
You know something, after lots of consideration, I'm fairly certain I'm going with the $100 basic Zoom. There's a lot of reasons but mainly I don't see the current lineup as having value in proportion to the price. And on a lot of these field recorders I'm nagged by the thought of USB 3.0 which isn't currently implemented. The reason for this is mainly you'd have more current available for higher gain (like an SM7b at pro levels). Also USB 3.0 makes a big difference when you're dumping 25 GB of audio data off the sd card.

In addition, correct me if I'm wrong but the H5 doesn't seem to have XLR locks that the cheaper H4N Pro has, and that doesn't sit well with me either.

Another strange one is why the H4N Pro can rotate the XY mics 90-120 degrees but not the snap-on stock XY mic of the H5.

Here's a pretty cool review of the H5:



Having said that, you'll notice that guy has many decent reviews and I will watch more of them...

I want it all, but note to self: I'd be better off spending $100 on an H1 and re-evaluate if I need higher priced offerings around Black Friday 2017. Not a bad compromise me thinks.
the new sound devices boxes micro 4and 6 look pretty cool .. they make some solid gear .. save some dough for one of those eventually !!!
Old 6 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
the new sound devices boxes micro 4and 6 look pretty cool .. they make some solid gear .. save some dough for one of those eventually !!!
Do you have a direct link? Because I want to be certain which one(s) you're talking about. See for a long time, as a stupid side hobby, I'd run studio mics out to the garden and hummingbird feeder Serious, two large diaphragm condensors to get each wing of the hummingbird. The chirping killed me a bit, but overall I got to realize that nature itself can sound so great as to listen to tracks like music.

So for now my focus is on a handheld device. And that's either on hold or just get the cheap Zoom H1 and have something on hand until some bright engineers make something they use everyday, which isn't convincing at this time.
Old 6 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
Do you have a direct link? Because I want to be certain which one(s) you're talking about. See for a long time, as a stupid side hobby, I'd run studio mics out to the garden and hummingbird feeder Serious, two large diaphragm condensors to get each wing of the hummingbird. The chirping killed me a bit, but overall I got to realize that nature itself can sound so great as to listen to tracks like music.

So for now my focus is on a handheld device. And that's either on hold or just get the cheap Zoom H1 and have something on hand until some bright engineers make something they use everyday, which isn't convincing at this time.
here you go ... https://www.sounddevices.com/product...rders/mixpre-6

https://www.sounddevices.com/product...rders/mixpre-3
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