All user reviews for the Zoom R16

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Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 34 reviews )
 14 reviews41 %
 10 reviews29 %
 1 user review3 %
 1 user review3 %
Audience: Anyone Value For Money : Excellent
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Editorial review
  • 12/29/09Zoom R16 Review

    Zoom R16 Review - Zoom R16: All-Rounder

    DAW systems are good but you don't always have a computer by when you feel the rush to record music. Mini studios were created for that purpose: they are practical solutions but not very comprehensive nor ergonomic. That's why Zoom launched the R16, an hybrid tool you can use as digital audio interface, controller and standalone mini studio. Let's take a look at the result...

Users reviews

DebErney's review"Love Zoom products and this is no exception"

Zoom R16
I bought this to replace a faulty Tascam DP-24 Portastudio (6 months old. dont get me started on the lack of warranty on Tascam). I was resistant to purchasing this earlier, when I purchased the DP-24 because it felt like a toy.
I needed the 8 inputs that it offered and it was at my price range so I got it after the disaster with the DP-24.
I was able to start recording right away and have been very pleased with the results.
Zoom products have a clear, warm sound that I tend to appreciate. Not as clean, bright as a DAW interface but, the ease of use, reliablity, portability make it my recording device of choice. At least until I purchase an interface that fits my needs as well as the R-16 does.
The recording on this couldn't be easier. The effects are a bit more challanging to engage but, if your familiar with menu selections you won't have any problems with it.
I use this for direct plug in recording then transfer it to REAPER or GARAGEBAND for editing and adding effects, EQ, pan, synth sounds, etc...
I've used the USB transfer and it works well without latency and configuration issues (after installing the download from ZOOM) but I prefer the simplicity of using the SD card for transfer to MAC.
I've hauled this to gigs, live shows, bathrooms, and my home studio. It works anywhere you do. The onboard mics are really nice though I dont use them as much as I should. They are clean and warm with plenty of headroom/volume.
I've used Tascam Portastudios for years and decided to replace it with the ZOOM because of the bad experience with the NEW DP-24 Portastudio.
The Tascam products tend to record a bit brighter then the Zoom products I've had (H4n, R16, H2), which tend to have a warmer sound that I prefer.
I recently started using the Zoom R16 as an audio interface (after returning a Presonus 44VSL after a week of adjusting, configuring to end up with latency problems) and have been very pleased with the results of the R16's interface capabilities. (You must install the interface software from ZOOM before connecting or it will not work properly.)
I've gone through a few audio interfaces (Presonus, Tascam) and I'm still looking for something that is that much better than the R-16 to justify the purchase.
The R16 has held up over 2 years of use and it's been, surprisingly, portable and road worthy. I've hauled it to practices, gigs, and it always works flawlessly. True plug and play. It was a real life saver when my Tascam US-1200 drivers wouldn't kick in on a live recording of a singer that was only available on that afternoon, at her location. If I hadn't thrown the R-16 into the case for extra measure I would have been SOL. The R-16 saved the day. Plugged it in, plugged in a mic and guitar, armed the tracks, hit record and I was good to go. Everything was recorded onto the SD Card.
Transfering WAV files into the unit is a bit tricky, as is mixing but, can be done with persistance and use of the manual. I have setup a bit of reverb to record with the R-16 and it stays in memory until I change it. The best use for this unit, at least for me, has been direct, multi track recording with transferal to DAW (REAPEAR and GARAGEBAND) with the SD card and recently as an audio interface for DAW. I can't believe how well it works as an interface. A few months ago I decided to try DAW recording after my guitar instructor presuaded me to try it again. I gave up on it 10 years ago because of the setup problems and latency issues. I've tried and returned a Presonus 44VSL and I'm selling a TASCAM US-1200. The US-1200 records well with very little latency but, it is a bit on the large side. Not very portable.
I love this little recorder and will probably replace it when it dies.
Here are samples of what I've done with the R-16 (excluding the first song, this was done with the Zoom H4n)

Basilem's review"Very good multi-track recorder"

Zoom R16

I've had the R16 for 2 years and use it in my home studio, as a multi-track field recorder (radio deck, conferences) and a soundcard. That's its main strength: It's a multi-task device that allows you to work without a PC.

I think it complements perfectly a pocket recorder, like the microtrack II.

While it's very light, it's also very fragile. I think there's not much to add regarding its usability and functions.

I didn't have the stuck plugs problem, but I did have the one regarding tracks that produce loud noises (hiss) at the input. The problem goes more or less away if you let the unit warm up.
Apparently, it's a problem with the electronic components of the preamp.
I had to take into to the shop twice (under warranty the first time and then for a manufacturing problem, so I got a free replacement and only had to pay shipping and handling). I'm crossing my fingers now...

I'm not a big fan of the control surface function, which is somewhat of a trifle.

It's perfect to record a public conference: Up to 8 speakers simultaneously and you can mix live to send it to the stereo master and the PA via the jack outputs.

Another good point is that it supports SDHC cards of up to 32GB, so there are no recording capacity issues, even with 8 tracks.

The drivers are up to date for windows 8.1, so it's still a relevant product in 2014. However, there's no news for Linux, the hardware isn't generic, so it isn't recognized as a sound card (however the R16 is perfectly recognized as a player, so you can import your recordings and mix them with Ardour).

As a multi-track soundcard, it works fine with Cubase 6LE (included) and also with my old Sonar 5, while Audacity and RadioDJ recognize it as a 2-track soundcard.

In short, it's a good value for money, but be careful if you get it secondhand, first check that everything works fine.

I don't think I'd buy it again now: I think I'd go for a more modern unit (and not the R24, which doesn't add many things). Nevertheless, a secondhand R16 in good shape is a good deal.
Jean-Seb G07/20/2014

Jean-Seb G's review"Too much or not enough"

Zoom R16
I've been using it for one year now and haven't had any hardware problems.

After having tested the H2, H2N and H4N models, I opted for the r16.

What I like best about this product is its portability and what I like least is its non-portability. It is in fact very limited in terms of capacity but it works fine as a backup recorder or as a soundcard. However, as a backup recorder, an H4 is much more practical. My R16 doesn't fit in my pocket and takes up the same space as a computer. Its main advantage is that it's a cheap multi-input soundcard.

In terms of value for money, I have no complaints. As I wrote above, not-expensive multi-inputs, it's a given.

In my experience, I don't think I'd buy it again. I'd buy a non-portable (but transportable) audio interface and a really portable H4.

The product is very good, but it's somewhere in the middle of the road, so you'll need to know what you want to do with it and for how long before you need something bigger or smaller.

Cadadri's review"Okay for the price, but watch your jacks"

Zoom R16
I've been using it for 4 months in the following three setups (with a band):

Firstly, I have the same jack issues as some fellow reviewers, namely, the XLR/jack connectors that "eat" the plug. They are so hard that if you connect a poor quality plug (I had the problem with a 50 cent jack/RCA adapter), the tip will remain stuck in the R16 and you will have one jack less on your R16. And getting it out is not a walk in the park nor is it exempt of risks, since the cables are excessively short. I haven't had this issue with good plugs, though.

Soundcard: Not bad, low latency, good performance. The recording quality is all right, no noise. The dynamic range and headroom are not as good. It's not a Mackie, but it's not the same price either. At this price point, I'm not sure there are many products that can record 8 tracks via USB, apart from Behringer's Xenyx, which would make for an interesting comparison.
It's easy to set it up with a DAW (Mackie Control mode). I use it with Reason and have no issues with it. When you move the faders, the software faders move, too, but since you can't use it live with your DAW (awful sound, you are force to monitor it), personally, it isn't very useful, but it's amusing. (I'm sure the sound is okay with 2 or 3 tracks, I've tried it with 8 only).
Mixer: It can be used for emergencies. Bad accessibility to the EQ and effect controls. The reverb is not bad , the delay is okay, but the rest is to be used only in an emergency. The EQ is okay.
Recorder: Great. Personally, I think it's very easy to use and that the sound is perfectly in sync, without any latency or compensation. You stick in an SD card, create your program, record, take the card out, put it into the PC, and import the tracks (WAV) into your DAW, easy as that.
In short, for the price, it's a good recorder to make demos. It may also be used as a mixer but not for live gigs, although if you don't have other options, it does the job, but don't expect to be able to do much in terms of settings and also consider that the outputs are very limited. It's a pity it doesn't support MIDI.
Would I buy it again? At this price, sure, although next time I'll surely get a Mackie Onyx.

Anonymous 's review

Zoom R16
Something about this is special. I believe it may have something to do with the fact that the Zoom R16 is sort of a hybrid device. It can in fact function fully as an audio interface, but it shines in its ability to do digital recordings anywhere with either its two built in microphones or up to 8 microphones plugged in. It bridges a gap that quite frankly needs to be bridged between the audio interface and the potable digital recorder. It is nothing that should be considered particularly interesting, but its very existence in the realm of options is certainly something to thank.

The best part about the Zoom R16 is the fact that despite the fact that it could be an interface, the latency can pretty much be a non issue since you can record straight to the device. Its integration with computers is a little finicky and latency is not the best when you use it as a straight up interface, but in truth, it is not the main draw of the device. Its ability for the faders to be used to mess with automation is a huge plug. It is a huge joy to have many many features consolidated into one small, inexpensive device.

There is not really a getting started issue to this. It is a digital recorder, and while Zoom's menu systems take a bit of getting used to, the operation becomes incredibly smooth once you have the hang of things.

My only hangup on this unit is that its preamps are not the most interesting things in the world. They do not drive a whole lot of gain to anything, so more esoteric microphones are not an option when it comes to the Zoom R16. However, it fills its role perfectly. It knows exactly what it is, and everything that Zoom sets out to do with the R16 it does very well, and very smoothly. The R16 is a fantastic option if you are looking for something that can act as an interface and still portably record large setups on the fly.

cytoyen-971's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Almost all good!"

Zoom R16
I just bought this little gem Audiofanzine on, of course, it is great! with SD-HC 16GB card, I have time to have fun and to use it also with playback tracks for my guitaristic evenings.

The eight inputs have not served me, I'm all alone behind my table, but the 16 tracks, it's too good, it is at ease to mix several guitars when it has a only! A small effect here, a panoramic there, and it's Gipsys in the box.

The only downside, but it is not necessarily his fault, it is the absence of actual MIDI, so to make a control surface under PT is not won ...


Elenel's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Quite frankly"

Zoom R16
I got it for cheap (210 €) in December 2013 so I am quite satisfied, money quite impressive report.

The quality seems good, I do not have that concern Jacks stuck in XLR / Jack combo, despite the fact that the outer shell is plastic, manufacturing gives confidence, there is no play in the buttons or in the dial. After course it remains electronics so I guess she would not appreciate a bath or blows ... Otherwise it's fucking light, to believe that its a steal inside.

I use to record my MPC1000 multitrack, but I also have high impedance instruments (ukulele, guitar) This is my first sound card, after a year of beatmaking it's not too early!

Personally ergonomics came to me quite easily after passing through the manual, I can have it be that the MPC makes me drool ...

The quality is exactly what I wanted, no breath, no staining, very good intermediary between my gear and my PC Hardware. If you push a little too preamps there is a little breath on the last quarter of a turn, but I have not had any use for the moment, my MPC delivers all the potatoes and half the instruments enough.

Mode sound card I have problems with my DAW (FL Studio) When I open or close a plugin sound card and freeze out a high-pitched sound until I select another driver and I go back to Asio Zoom R16 ...

As a controller it's pretty plug and play, the config is very short, but with non-motorized faders is impractical, especially as the DAW does not take into account a "notch" when the fader reaches zero level, it juggles quickly unnecessarily so ...
The control buttons (Start, stop, pause, forward, backward, rec ...) by against them are very practical.

Otherwise the effects do their job, the reverb is more natural than the MPC I noticed (At the same time the MPC effects you tell me ..) the guitar effects are fun, this section is highly developed, particularly at the editing effects, or on the other hand we risk getting lost in the sub menus. Luckily for me I have little or no utility.

Short in the end:
+ Audio Quality
+ Portability
+ Machines do
8 tracks that price anyway ...

-No motorized faders
Ergonomics-a little old school if not used
Save 8-track simultaneous mode sound card in the DAW it would have been the foot
Problem-personal with the DAW ...

Remains to see the longevity of the product, fingers crossed ...

anton.kald's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" The ideal"

Zoom R16
I use since its purchase in February 2012, mainly repeats but also to record demos.

This is my first purchase for a device of this type, but it is a very good choice, I am fully satisfied.

It is easily accessible to the novice, easy to use.
Highly portable because it is very light, but suddenly care, a musician can easily ship it by pulling on the cable.
It is ideal for quickly mixing after a rehearsal or a multitrack recording solo at home.
The built-in mics are quite impressive: the sound quality is very good for an acoustic guitar for example, and pretty good in the case of an acoustic drum (we get a usable recording).
The essential effects are there: reverb, chorus, distortion, etc. ...

The downside, if one were needed, I would be the equalizer is a bit limited on separate tracks. It does not offer as many opportunities as mixer and it's a shame, it excluded a live use.
I have not had the problem that is often recovered on jacks that get stuck, I cross my fingers because it is true that sometimes some cling taken hard ...

This is, to my knowledge, unparalleled product on features / quality / price ratio.
I remake the purchase if necessary.

Soulei's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Amazing for the price!"

Zoom R16
We bought the Zoom R16 to record our rehearsals multi-track WITHOUT COMPUTER.
Low (amp out), guitar (amp out), battery (2 + 1 C414 Beta52), keyboard (line out), microphones (SM58) ... everything goes.

It is very light (plastic) very portable, buy the bag sold is useful for protection during transport.

The stereo output on the console of our rehearsal studio on branch (to amplify the voice) and records everything you want with the system, without having to disconnect any cables.
At the sound, so that bin does not gain beyond 3/4, it is very clean, no staining, the momentum is maintained. Frankly for models is more than enough.

Once the registration is, we can send some tracks on the layer 8-16 to re-record up to 8 tracks and more (so 16 in total!) Which allows a lot of flexibility.

The headphone output with adjustable click is a real plus to save itself (I am a drummer I know what I mean ;)).

Once the rehearsal ended, I bring home the machine and I used audio interface (44.1 / 16 bit) in Reaper for multitrack work. Again it is clean, smooth, efficient.
One can even use the faders to control the DAW, but as they do not the motor is not necessarily practical.

The next step in my use of R16 is reading samples through the machine, I'd previously edited in Reaper and imported into the SD card R16.

If some still raise the question of the quality of the preamps, I used the R16 with Schoeps capsules CCM4, I can tell you that quality is at the rendezvous. Basically, if your mics are qualitative and that you are using, the R16 will amaze you can be sure!

Finally, I would say for about € 300, it does not get better in 2013!

CT-64140's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Formidable!"

Zoom R16
I use this recorder as part of a duo. Within this duo, each has its Zoom R16. These recorders we use to prepare 100% backtracks "homemade" above which we play on stage.

By connecting the two zoom together, we get a multi-set of 16 simultaneous tracks, + 16 additional tracks "recording".

The -:
- Manual poorly done! Discouraged I decided not to use certain functions - including insert effects.
- The handling of the EQ settings on the LCD display is average.
- In general, the work on the Zoom requires great attention because of multifunction buttons, cascading menus, etc.. Handle in peace!
- The XLR jacks on the rear panel and are very difficult to remove. So much so that we had to equip a two zooms ("harder" than the other) adapter to more easily disconnect microphones or cables sending signals.
- I will be careful in my statement, but it seems to me that the entries other than 1 (ie 2-16) misbehave with the bass. Question preamp recorder or incompetence on my part? I have a lot of trouble getting mixes where the bass does not roll effect. On input # 1 this problem is less pronounced, but still persists. Note that I tried different solutions: several guitars-bass (jazz bass, corvette, grabber) entered directly in "line" direct case, output "record" of my amp bass cube, mustang floor ... I have not found a truly satisfactory solution. But the soundman may be to blame? I do not know ...
- In the case of use of files on the SD card to a computer, a model who underwent the Zoom track deletions and numerous manipulations, we arrive at a "hodgepodge" important, the files stored on the card are numbered by order of recording the tracks cleared of zoom are always on the card (to be restored with "undo" it finds herself with a jungle of files that must be identified). AU After a while, it was a jungle of files! The possibility, the Zoom itself, naming tracks would have been welcome.
- I have, in a few cases, been confronted with "bugs" (tracks disappear for example, or that are not read) it has always been possible to solve it by creating a new project and assigning the slopes the new project files created previously. Some bugs (and that the two zooms are used) sometimes also on listening to a track on which punch in are carried out: during this operation, the sound that comes before or after pins input / output transition to re-register should be heard, which is not always the case! This bug often and the first time, you get scared because you think you deleted that is outside the marks, when off the punch in / out and listen, you realize that there is no problem! When this happens (the use of punch in / out making inaudible the whole track even without marks), shutdown and reboot Zoom solves the problem.

The +
- Once you understand the basics, usage is very simple.
- Easy to carry
- Are made of excellent quality models! and not only ... I recently made a multitrack live recording in a concert of a pair of international reputation: 1 track song-1, 1-track song 2, 2 tracks for piano piano, one track atmosphere. Listening to the Master (mixed with cubase), artists have found that "marketable" quality.

Please note:
- Some criticize the slow backup: When you stop recording, the Zoom "churns" and takes some time to return available. FOr those that gene, the solution is to equip the SD card with high speed writing, photographers who shootent burst in use. These cards are more expensive than regular cards which themselves have limited write speeds ...
- I only use very little effect outside of the reverb. It not seem that bad. In any case, in the context of use as I do, it seems more than enough.

This lens is a really great camera considering its price. It may not totally agree not to those who have a Nobel Prize for Science Books, but I seem to be able to make recordings of really good quality (in certain listening conditions) seem to compete with "pro recordings ".