Does the Zoom H5 Have Phantom Power? Unlock Pro Sound

Featured image for the article, Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power

Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 23rd February 2024

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Hey, I’m Tosh. Over the last 40 years, my path in professional audio has gone from whirring reel to reel tape machines to the efficiency of today’s digital recorders.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible evolution of audio recording technology. These days I use the Zoom H5 portable digital recorder. It’s a 4-track recording powerhouse that’s the size of my hand. But a question that I’m often asked is, Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power?

So, let’s hit the record button and explore phantom power on the Zoom H5.

Does the Zoom H5 portable recorder have phantom power?

Yes, the Zoom H5 can provide phantom power to the two XLR/TRS combo inputs on the base of the recorder, marked Inputs 1 & 2.

However, the Zoom H5 does not provide phantom power to the L&R inputs used by the XY mic capsule or any other accessory capsule, such as the EXH-6 dual XLR/TRS combo capsule.

Activating Phantom Power on the Zoom H5

Although the standard voltage for phantom power is +48V, some more modern condenser microphones have been designed to operate with lower voltages.

That’s why the Zoom H5 offers switchable phantom power. In the H5 menu, the available phantom power options are 12V, 24V, and the standard 48V. You can also choose to send the phantom power to one or both XLR inputs.

If you are only using one condenser microphone it’s worth only providing phantom power to the input you’re using. That’s because this can save power and extend battery life.

STEP 1: To turn on phantom power on the Zoom H5 press the menu button on the right side of the recorder.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 1-Press Menu Button

STEP 2: Scroll down and select “IN/OUT”


STEP 3: On the INPUT/OUTPUT screen scroll down and select “In 1/2 PHANTOM”.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 3-Select In 1/2 PHANTOM

STEP 4: On the In 1/2 PHANTOM screen you will see two options ON/OFF and VOLTAGE. Select “VOLTAGE”.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 4 - Select VOLTAGE

STEP 5: On the VOLATGE screen select the required phantom voltage, either 12V, 24V, or 48V, and confirm with a press of the scroll button.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 5 - On the VOLTAGE screen select the phantom voltage necessary for condenser mics you will be using.

STEP 6: On the In 1/2 PHANTOM screen, select ON/OFF and press the scroll button.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 6 - On the In 1/2 PHANTOM screen, select ON/OFF and press the scroll button.

STEP 7: On the ON/OFF screen, you can choose where phantom power is sent. The options are INPUT 1, INPUT 2, or ALL. Choose the option you need and press the scroll button.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 7 - On the ON/OFF screen select which inputs need phantom power

STEP 8: On the next screen, activate phantom power by choosing ON. Then press the scroll button.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 8 - On the ALL ON/OFF screen choose ON to activate phantom power

STEP 9: Exit the menu system with 4 presses of the Menu button.

Does the Zoom H5 have phantom power - Step 9 - Press the Menu button 4 times to exit the menu and return to the recording display

The option to choose which input you send phantom power to can be useful if you’re mixing up the type of microphones you’re using. For instance, ribbon mics and some older dynamic mics can be damaged by phantom power.

In most cases, this won’t be a concern because modern dynamic mics are protected. But if in doubt turn off phantom power to the input you’re connecting non-condenser microphones.

Also, as a safety precaution, turn off phantom power before connecting or disconnecting mics. Also, check your mic’s recommended voltage so that it operates correctly!

Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and…
  • Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a…
  • Includes detachable X/Y capsule (XYH-5) with extended signal capacity and shock mounted mics for…
  • Four-track simultaneous recording
  • Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors each with selectable phantom power and -20dB pad

Last update on 2024-03-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The benefit of the Zoom H5 having phantom power

Because the Zoom H5 can provide phantom power, it can record with many condenser microphones, including professional studio mics. For example, many of the voiceover artists I record with use mics like the Neumann TLM 102, which could easily be used with a Zoom H5.

Alternatively, if you are a videographer, you will be able to easily use any of the professional shotgun mics made by Sennheiser and Rode, such as the Rode NTG5.

Being able to provide built-in phantom power, also makes the Zoom H5 a flexible portable recorder. In a studio, you would normally provide a condenser microphone with phantom power by having a sound mixer or inline phantom power supply between the mic and the recorder.

With the H5 you can take the condenser microphone out of the studio environment and record with it in almost any location.

Furthermore, the option to supply 12V, 24V, or 48V levels of phantom power also helps to save battery power and provide the optimum voltage to modern condenser microphones.  

Why is the power called phantom?

The word "PHANTOM" on a dark background

The same wires that carry the audio signal to the recorder are also used to deliver a small DC voltage (usually 48V) to power condenser microphones, so they don’t need a separate battery.

Hence the power delivery is hidden and not immediately obvious and kind of spooky, so in the early days of recording it was referred to as “phantom” power.

Although phantom power is not the correct technical term, it’s catchy and it stuck, being used until today.  


As already explained the Zoom H5 can provide 12V, 24V, and 48V phantom power. This enables the user to successfully connect a wide range of condenser microphones, from studio microphones designed for voice and instrument recording to shotgun mics for capturing dialogue in video production.

It’s important to note that the phantom power can be switched on and off in the H5 menu, and you can also be selective over which inputs have phantom power.

This means you can mix microphone types in your recordings. If necessary, you could simultaneously record with both condenser and dynamic microphones. The Zoom H5 has that flexibility built in.

Portrait of Tosh Lubek

About the author: Tosh Lubek is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, writer, and video producer, with 40 years of experience in professional broadcasting and has been using Canon video and stills cameras since 2010. He has worked with radio and TV broadcasters, advertising agencies, and direct clients on a variety of projects including radio and television advertising, online video production, corporate videos, award ceremony motion graphics, and theme park sound design. Tosh has won numerous awards, including a Radio Academy Awards Gold Sony, a Gold, Silver, and Bronze World Medals in the New York Festivals International Advertising Awards. Since about 2007 he has been creating YouTube videos. Tosh has been a sponsor of the “video booth” at HashTag Business Events across the UK.

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