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All user reviews of 4/5 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

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.

fabulusfab's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" very useful tool, I am happy with this purchase"

Zoom R16
multitrack recorder that apparently not breathing necessarily quality (all plastic) but for its price offers interesting features and practical for recording.

mics for recording acoustic is correct,
being able to connect simultanéments 8 instruments (8 extra): very handy to save a particular group (provided you have a limiter)
operation by mains or battery, backup to sd card, its connection to PC (sound card or virtual drive) very useful

black dot:
- The quality of internal effects very average,
- Inability to integrate multiple internal effects on different tracks (only the first can receive internal effects. Way with a microphone that requires phantom alimenation is not possible to add a disto eg, phantom power is available only on track 6 or 7)
- The impossibility to combine internal post processing effects (eg you can not get a micro simulation effect male voice and a reverb! Must make a choice). say that these spots disappear when the treatment is continued on computer audio.

Note the internal post processing effects are applied to all tracks, only pre-treatments are only available on the first track

IF it again I will redeem it because it fits my needs for a reasonable price. Especially since I'm not a fan of records by computer (it's long and chaint with the mouse)
we can say that it is rather plug and record!!

AlexandreC's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A good plan"

Zoom R16
It is a device that I use multitrack recorder on AC only. I have not tried their other features.
The preamps are a little cold. There is distortion or noise when pushed to the bottom.
Some effects are not really terrible. Fortunately there is a wide choice.
Beware of jacks that can be caught in the catch if they are pushed to the bottom (yes that's preamps ...).
I think the race sliders is a bit short but it can also be an advantage insofar as it makes a very compact device.

Value for price: this price for what you record good quality models.
this device is both very light and compact.
It comes Ready to use with an SD card!

The menus require a period of adaptation to navigate but we made it fine.

Yes I remake this choice without hesitation malgrès its few flaws, it's still quality material quite good for a small price.
Ben WDCK08/17/2011

Ben WDCK's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"# 1 on the market"

Zoom R16
I wanted to buy a digital 8-track recorder, recording eight tracks simultaneous was what influenced my choice!

I play in several groups, and to make a demo we used 12 tracks: 5 drums, a rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, a bass singer two microphones (stereo), 2 microphones chorus (stereo), connected via XLR Mic, except for the lower branches with DI.
I bought it mainly as a digital recorder, the interface which is interesting to me, will be of little use.

As it is written I have used it with 8 simultaneous tracks.

I installed the drivers.
The configuration of the recorder is as easy as possible, although the manual is essential to make the necessary adjustments, you often have to press several buttons for settings, the screen is from another age, but generally it's pretty simple.
The manual, which was in English, I also found it in French, it is very complete, I also found the manual very complete when it comes to the audio interface.

I use it for one month already , but be aware that I ordered a 3 months ago, and it had some problem, it crashed and after several uses the card reader was out of order, luckily the retailer refunded me .
Before that I had a little 4-track Korg, an input ... nothing comparable.
What I like most is the ability to finally record 8 tracks live on a very compact model, the sound quality is decent, with dozens of effects, equalizer settings is also very interesting.
What I like least, that one can say is the certain fragility of it all, it's plastic, the connectors are quite delicate, we have to go slowly not to risk breaking it! And above all the settings for maximum simplicity registered, because I do not find them especially precise enough to measure the input signal coming from the instruments.
But overall, on price/quality ratio level, competitors are way out there!
I would repeat this choice without any problem!

Wills01's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent"

Zoom R16
I was looking for a good multichannel super reliable for continuous recording 8 channels over an hour (recording musical theater shows).
I did not want to invest in something too expensive, because for my use is not very frequent.
I use conventional microphones for recording in rooms and I get the data stored on the SD card to move music files to my sequencer, process and mix.

In the context of my employment, there is no need for drivers. You just need a USB communication for retrieving data. No problem on that side.
Is recorded without problems on 8 tracks in parallel and continuously. I just regret that we can not cut a track from time to time. Once started recording, you can not change (it is also a safety).
I insist on the fact that every time my recording went through without flinching! (More than one hour continuously). Sounds basic but it is not so common! And to have had records cut during the show, I can say here that that really irritates!

I did not manage to install the R16 sound card on my PC with Win 7 64 bit. Given my use and the fact that I have another sound card, so I do not care so much to be honest, but I must say it did not work. The manual is well done, but the the Web site support, is very average.

I've done four shows with it. No problem to store and retrieve the sounds. So, for this purpose, it is perfect (for the price!). For cons, I think if we start to want to put effects, panning ... the ergonomics of a tiny display, it is impossible to do or a very risky operation. Then I would not recommend this one. So if you just want a reliable multitrack recorder, light, cheap and easy to use: it is the best!

Note: I see that all those who have given advise used as a stand-alone recorder and I'm not exception. As a sound card or even effects processor ... bof!

will_bru's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" The Swiss army knife of home-made demo"

Zoom R16
Primarily, the zoom was a big expectation on my part and that of the band for a single reason:
With 8 recordable tracks simultaneously, it is really one of - if not the - best value for money products in this range.

I use two different ways: in "stand alone" to record rehearsals, catch drums, vocals, etc.. all far from my pc (I'm in an apartment and the drum tracks are therefore taken in a place far enough away from my tower), or maybe my house to record direct guitars, basses, and even singing when the neighbors are mop: p

Connected to a PC running Vista via USB port, used as an audio interface, latency is largely correct (we do not hear it). Namely it can also serve as a controller for sequencer, but I'm using it as can, too used to tweak the mouse ...

Regarding drivers, I have a problem: I am forced to disable wireless network interface. Otherwise, it happens at the interface "curling" and completely block the sequencer.

I use Reaper, but I also tested the version that comes with CUBASE LE4 interface is quite functional (except of course the wifi network adapter).

Namely that also recently Zoom released drivers (regularly updated, on average every two months) to run the R16 with Windows Vista 64 bit (I'm 32-bit, and with 4gig of RAM, I do not need more).

Again, with this configuration, the latency is very low (I have not calculated, but it is imperceptible.)

To install, if I had clues about the wireless network card that made me doubt for a long time the state of the equipment, nothing to declare, just read the doc, and everything happens as with most hardware of this type. Nothing specific to report. Things to know also that the updates are super simple to implement.

The material, a bit rough (but not in the explanations in the logical order of chapters) is more than enough to get their hands on all the possibilities of the machine.

One inconsistency, does this damn wireless card. But obviously I am an exception: '(

I use it for 8 months already, and I had no hardware equivalent before. There are two reasons:
1. I had no time to make computer music
2. I did not find such material before. Suffice to say that the thing fits my needs exactly (neither too much nor too little)

What I like most:
Well the whole beast, the ability to record 8 tracks simultaneously, it is versatile (stand alone, audio interface)

What I like least:
At the same time I knew about I purchased it, and for the price you have to be happy with that, but it is true that LCD is still rikiki hack and requires to press 15 times the same button to get to that menu you want. But hey, it's still manageable.

I would repeat this choice because obviously this is the tool I needed. More than 8 entries, I would never use it, and under that it was not possible. 

So obviously my grades are very high, but we must place them in relation with my needs. We can of course find tougher integrated preamp, cards with more inputs / opportunities, etc.. But I have found the rare gem.

fjohn's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Zoom R16
Only 8 tracks at this price. By 8 tracks, includes recording. Reading, tables on the double. Otherwise, you can only record on the first 8, so we must move each track to the 9-16 range in order to really exploit playback 16 tracks. It is fastidious.

Writing to SD card and SDHC up to 32 GB (efficient, reliable, inexpensive, often found in cameras, SD card slot available on most new phones). Access to the SD card is on the side and is freely open (and another on TASCAM BOSS, unscrew a hatch before having access to it to me is unacceptable).

Output format. WAV directly usable on a PC (Yes, I'm not very patient and I understand why brands like TASCAM or other use proprietary formats for which it must wait 3 plombles vi export a USB cable).

2 XLR input with phantom power, a high input impedance, 2 mic, the offer is complete. Do not rely too much on the quality of the preamp for low back entrance cons, need to dream ..

Intelligent positioning of mics up and NOT on the facade, which can record on a desk or on the floor (Not the case with TASCAM or BOSS). Same with the headphone jacks or any other which is located on the bottom of the device and not on the front.

VU meter and peak meter readable from a distance and in the dark (the competition is on TV, good luck to know where you're at a distance). Real faders. Portable (fit in my house for guitar TOBAGO) and running on batteries (6 R6 for roughly 4 hours).

The transformer is very small and heats up a little, good for transport (not included in the competition!)

Packed ZOOM effects are provided and are is still mediocre (chorus reveb, ect ...). For me it is a recorder, the rest will be done on a PC. A metronome sound / video is also included as well as a tuner, AC can troubleshoot. The unit of measurement can be temporal or by measure. I do not know if it can do MIDI sync via USB cable, since I'm not interested in that.

You can use it as a SD card reader by connecting it via USB, the transfer rates as fast as a standard card reader. You can also export your decision on USB, USB port is provided (practice at the end of a rehearsal I guess, it is seen that each have the mix of rehearsals). You can also import WAV file into a project.

You can extend it by 16 tracks with a 2 ° R16 will sync via USB.

Last important point: QUIET! No fan, no mechanical movement. :)

Obviously do not send or insert for each track for that price, but it should be possible to fiddle with 2 output jacks to the format, I have not tried.


I work in Snow Leopard / imac 24 alu 1st generation. No big problem to install. Cubase 4,
I had to re- install as it would not finish (stuck at 100%). After killing the process, Cubase is there and functional, go. Activation of Cubase 4 with syncrosoft abominable (10 minutes with pross 100%) but it is, be patient and not imagine that the process is in the process of bugging.

Can not run it on windows for a license problem. Mail sent to the support that Steinberg did not answer. You gourré not the first installation with this s. .. protection. My advice: ghost machine blank not to take the lead with just over Cubase validated. EDIT: Bootcamp is not officially supported by Cubase, if it works, fine, if it breaks- too bad for you.

Control the fader in Cubase which poses no difficulty, it's nice.

The sound card works but it does not serve me, this was not my intention. Otherwise, by not recording with it, it's disappointing, and the card is permanently lit (even with switch OFF) when the USB cable is connected. Moreover, it takes 4 clicks each time to activate the sound, god, that is tedious in the long run ...

The manual is not bad, teaching, procedure by procedure, so boring to read in the Metro without the camera in front.

3 Weeks that I have it already. Not much to recoil.

The button click sounds fake, it's unpleasant. Ergonomics is clearly not the strong point of the unit as often, but it's OK. The sound quality is fine for this price, no breath detected yet, but I did not grow. The headphone clearly lacks juice, one must turn it full on.

At times it is a clickodrôme, and it remains a negative. 2 examples: New Project = 5 clicks on the button project. If you want to move a track is Click button swap, click Enter button, click source track, click track, click enter, click exit ... Extra!

I have not regretted that it does not have a dedicated pan button. and a single button serves to designate a track as mutable, recordable or part of reading short. Having said that, and to put things in context, on the Tascam to mutate it's worse, you have to press two buttons at the same time for example ...

I guess that here, or in competition which provides a stereo card, Zoom provides here 4 times that and it is certainly not the same quality. The mics are correct for the microphone and will do for now, but if you have a Shure SM57/58 lying around in the corner, please.

I made the take with the mic, a Shure SM58, an MTA 4033 and a Rhode NT2 on a guitar and a voice to compare. You'll find them here: http://john.fender.free.fr/Export/AF/ZoomR16FirstTakes/, it will give you an idea of ​​what to expect level mics.

I also make another shout out and compared notably the preamps to those of the R16 pro preamp input range (5051 TLA tube and ONEQ of JOEMEEK), this will give you an idea of ​​the difference it can exist between this type of preamp necessarily low-end and low and it brings a good preamp, absolutely necessary to go further: http://john.fender.free.fr/Export/AF/TLA5051VSOneQ/

It served as a musical notepad to record in a studio (in particular to record the drums). Not bad, and anyway I have not found better: it's still an excellent value for money. I do not recommend this type of device to the mix unless you are a puppeteer. With a PC with Cubase or Soundforge you will go 10 times faster with a much better quality and comfort.

For those who want to go further, I recommend the RME 400 UC.