How to Update Your Zoom H5 Firmware & Why You Should Do It

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Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 29th January 2024

In this article, I explain when you should update your Zoom H5 and how to update the Zoom H5 firmware. If you want to skip ahead to firmware download links and step-by-step instructions on how to update the Zoom H5 firmware, click here.  

Should you update your Zoom H5 Firmware?

Whether or not you should update the firmware on your Zoom H5 recorder depends on a few factors. These include the following:

Is your firmware up to date: Check your current firmware version against the latest version on Zoom’s website. If your Zoom H5 already has the latest version, you do not need to update your recorder. You might find that your firmware version is later than the latest version on the Zoom website. For example, the Zoom H5 I bought in October 2023 had firmware version 2.20 installed, yet the latest firmware version on the Zoom website, as of January 2024, is still version 2.10. If your handy recorder’s firmware is later than the latest available version on the Zoom website, leave it as it is.

Features you need: Some firmware updates include new or improved features or support for new accessories. If you use these features or are considering using the new accessories, you may benefit by updating the firmware. For example, firmware version 2.00 added support for the SSH-6 stereo shotgun mic.

Bug fixes: Firmware updates for the H5 have included bug fixes. If you’re experiencing any issues with your H5, check the firmware release notes at the end of this section to see if an update addresses those issues. However, even if you do not use features that are affected by bugs right now, it’s worth keeping your Zoom H5 firmware up to date.

The risks of updating: Updating your firmware is generally a safe process, however, there is always a small risk that something could go wrong. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and backup the contents of your SD card before proceeding.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to update the firmware on your Zoom H5 recorder is up to you. I have never experienced any problems with firmware updates on my Zoom handy recorder, provided the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.

How to Update Firmware on Zoom H5 Handy Recorder

Before you start the firmware update ensure the batteries in the H5 are fully charged, or at least their remaining battery power is not low. The other option is to use the USB power cord that came along with the H5 plus an AC power adapter or power bank.

You mustn’t lose power or try to remove the SD card partway through the firmware update process. Doing so could result in the Zoom H5 recorder becoming unusable.

With that warning out of the way, here are the steps to update the firmware on the Zoom H5.

STEP 1: Search online for “Zoom H5 firmware download”. You’ll probably find the link to the official Zoom H5 support pageOpens in a new tab. at or near the top of the search results. Alternatively, go to www.zoomcorp.comOpens in a new tab., and in the search bar type H5 firmware and hit ENTER. Then click on H5 Support. If you want the latest firmware for all Zoom devices, including the Zoom H5, you can use this linkOpens in a new tab..

STEP 2: Download the Zoom H5 firmware update to your computer. This will be a zipped folder. Right-click on the folder and select “Extract All”. This will produce a standard-type folder containing a pdf with the update history, and a BIN file that is the actual firmware update.

STEP 3: Copy the firmware BIN file to your Zoom H5’s SD card, or a separate SD card  (with 32Gb or less capacity), that has been formatted in your Zoom H5 recorder.

STEP 4: Ensure your Zoom H5 is turned off and insert the SD card into the SD card slot on the H5. Then, turn on the H5 by pulling the power button towards you while at the same time pressing the start/pause button in the middle of the button control area on the H5 to cause the H5 to boot up to the FIRMWARE UPDATE screen.

STEP 5: The screen will display “Are you sure?” plus the current firmware version and the version of the H5 will be updated. To proceed, select YES and press the scroll button inwards to start the update. The update processing will start, and the screen will display “Now Updating”.

STEP 6. When the update has finished, the screen will display the message, “Complete!”, and ask you to power off the H5. Turn off the recorder in the usual way to finalize the update. You can then power it on again and use your updated H5 recorder. 

How to check the firmware version on a Zoom H5 recorder

You can check the firmware version on your Zoom H5 in two ways.

The easiest way is to power on the recorder and look at the screen. During the boot-up process the firmware version will be displayed on the H5 screen.

The other way to check the firmware version is in the System Menu. With the H5 powered on, press the MENU button, scroll down to SYSTEM, and press the scroll button inwards. In the SYSTEM menu screen scroll down to FIRMWARE VERSION and press the scroll button inwards to enter the FIRMWARE VERSION screen.

You will see three items: SYSTEM, BOOT, and SUBSYSTEM. The System version is the firmware version you are interested in. In the case of my H5, the system version is 2.20, the Boot version is 1.10, and the Subsystem is 1.00. Your H5 may display a different System version to mine, but the Boot and Subsystem will probably be the same as on my H5, that’s 1.10 and 1.00 respectively.

Zoom H5 Update History

Version 2.20 is currently being shipped with new Zoom H5 recorders (last checked February 2024).

Version 2.10 was released in December 2018

BUG FIX: Sound skips sometimes occur when recorded with MULTI FILE Mode.

Version 2.01 was released in September 2017

BUG FIX: There is no result for a few seconds before the end of the recording when setting the sampling frequency to 96 kHz and enabling the Pre Rec function.

Version 2.00 was released in February 2015

FUNCTION UPDATE: Added support for SSH-6 Stereo shotgun mic and added sound marker function on starting and stopping recording.

Version 1.00 was released in June 2014

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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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