Zoom R16

Combined SD Card Recorder

  • USB Audio interface and DAW controller
  • 16-Track playback and simultaneous recording of 8 tracks
  • 24-bit/44.1 kHz linear PCM recording in .wav format
  • Supports SDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphone
  • Battery operation possible
  • USB Power for studio operation
  • 8 Mic inputs
  • 2 Outputs (8 in 2)
  • 8 Balanced XLR / TRS combo jacks 6.3 mm
  • High resolution 24-bit/96 kHz recording with DAW software possible
  • Integrated effects
  • Mackie Control emulation via USB
  • Works as a USB Storage
  • 2 Zoom R16 cascadable
  • Supports Mac OS and Windows XP/Vista
  • Incl. Steinberg Cubase LE and 1 GB SD Card
  • Incl. Power adapter ZOOM AD-14e

Further information

Number Of Tracks 16
Simultaneous Recording: Amount Of Tracks 8
Effects Yes
Storage Medium SD Card
Phantom power Yes
XLR Connectors 8
Jack Connectors 8
RCA Connectors No
MIDI Interface None
USB connection Yes
Digital Connections None
Miscellaneous Connectors None
Headphone connection Yes

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Really decent piece of kit

Aleksei T., 08.12.2017
You would use this item for multi-track recording and mixing. Now, I will not comment on the mixing part, since I prefer to do it in the DAW. In fact, I also record to the DAW, so my review is a bit biased towards that particular use-case scenario.
Like with all Zoom products that I owned, the engineers seem to try to get every bit of performance from the device that they can. This is such a welcome policy! The R16 can operate as a stand-alone multitrack recorder, or as a USB sound card. As I mentioned, I use the second option, and it works great apart from a few minor complaints listed below.
First, I had trouble with the USB port; I connect the device to the PC via a sufficiently long cable. Many-a-time the device ended up in a restart cycle because of this. Fixed by using a more modern computer, though. The second problem---only two preamps with phantom power! This is one thing that cannot be fixed by software... But I guess this is mostly due to the power limitations. OK if you're only using a couple of overheads.
Meanwhile, sound quality-wise, there are no issues. Furthermore, the amazing thing is that the controls on the device also work as a DAW control surface! Extremely helpful, especially when you're at a distance from your PC and can't see the PC screen very well. Such a nice feature.
Overall, I'd say the device offers exceptional value for the money. Use-cases are of course geared towards home recording, or recording in the field, i.e., any kinds of amateur or semi-professional use. But don't get put off by this fact, though, if you can, get one! You will not be disappointed.
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Good recorder for the home use

Matjaz C., 19.01.2016
I use the ZOOM R16 or my home recording of the keyboard (stereo), acoustic and electric guitar and vocal. We use the same but another device in our band, so I can easily correct or improve live recordings back home. I also use it as the mixing desk and the computer USB audio interface in order to minimise the equipment in my home studio.

It works fine although the controls are a bit awkward and you need to go several levels deep into the menues to make some basic adjustments. Otherwise, it makes good recordings and also works flawlessly with Cubase 8, even providing a reasonably good DAW interface. The equalisers and the effects are good enough.

There are some drawbacks and problems needing mentioning. First, we had some problems with the SD cards on both recorders - the files in the folders got corrupted, some recordings were overridden (luckily we had copies on the computers). It may be that we have tampered with the files on the SD cards on the computer and have caused the problem ourselves, but it should not have happened at all. Further, one of the potentiometers on the older device (but not very old - about two years) is losing the contact and has to be knocked-on to start working, which is really annoying. Mine is almost one year old now and has no problems so far.

In conclusion, it is a usable device for home use, and especially good value for the money. Being a strict amateur, I would probably buy it again. However, I could not recommend it for any more serious work beyond that.
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