Essentially a stereo USB DAC with a single volume control. You really don’t get much simpler than the Fostex PC-100USB volume controller.
Feed audio from your PC or Mac via USB to stereo RCA outputs. Plug these into your amp or a pair of powered monitors and you have a handy little volume control. There’s also a 3.5mm stereo mini jack to plug in a pair of headphones
It’s USB bus powered and outputs 16-Bit audio for sampling frequencies at 32k, 44.1k and 48k. It would have been nice to see 24 Bit audio output. But it’s still a small and functional unit that should appeal to someone who wants a minimal USB audio solution.
It’also worth mentioning that when you plug a pair of headphones into the 3.5mm jack the sound is cut to the RCA outputs.
The manual suggests that the unit is plug and play for both Mac and PC and shouldn’t require installing audio any drivers. It should just appear in your sound preferences once you’ve plugged it in.
It’s 5oomA 5V power consumption suggests it probably isn’t compatible with the iPad and the Apple USB camera adapter kit. At least not without a powered hub (if you have any experience of testing this out please leave us a comment!).
Buy it from Amazon – bundled with an additional 16 GB SDHC memory card!
The Zoom R24
The R24 is a similar beast to the R16, in that it has 8 XLR / 1/4″ TRS inputs (although in the case of the R24, 6 of these inputs provide phantom power – making this a serious piece of kit for miking up a drumkit for instance).
But like its little brother the R8, this model incorporates 8 drum pads which can be used to trigger the onboard sampler.