Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution

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Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution

B&H # FOVRMBOX Mfr # VRM BOX
No Longer Available
Product Highlights
  • USB Audio Playback Interface
  • Virtual Reference Monitoring
  • Speaker Modeling
  • S/PDIF Input
  • High-Quality Headphone Amplifier
  • USB Bus Powered
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows XP/Vista/7

The VRM Box from Focusrite is a headphone monitoring/mixing solution that allows you mix in your studio, wherever you are and with any pair of headphones. The system consists of a robust, pocket sized audio interface partnered with the company's Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) software, allowing you to mix anytime, anywhere.

VRM Box functions as a high-quality 24-bit/48kHz USB audio playback interface. It features an S/PDIF input for connecting to your audio interface and delivers high quality, low distortion audio at the headphone output. It allows for monitoring or mixing when it is impractical to use speakers, especially late at night.

The VRM software overcomes the major obstacle of mixing with headphones by providing multiple perspectives on your mix, as if listening through speakers in different environments. It lets you choose from a living room, a bedroom studio, or a professional studio, along with a choice of industry-standard studio monitors and speakers.

The system uses standard headphones to reproduce the direct sound, together with a "Direct FX" DSP system to simulate specific monitoring scenarios. The range of speakers includes quality hi-fi, computer, and cheap stereo and television speakers. The control room simulation allows you to select between a number of listening positions to check stereo imaging and observe the effects of typical room modes on your mixes.

The loudspeaker simulations are created using convolutions of impulse responses measured using the original loudspeakers. The interface is USB bus powered, making it eminently portable. So, whether you're mixing, creating music or simply listening to tracks, VRM Box is a perfect headphone monitoring solution.

Mix in your studio, wherever you are
VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring) technology lets you hear your mix in different environments, through different speakers and from different positions, just using headphones
Enhanced mathematical room models combine with speaker emulations, sampled using a unique dynamic convolution "sampling" process
Choose from 10 pairs of industry standard nearfield and main monitors in an acoustically treated control room
With a dynamic range of 108dB (A-weighted), VRM Box provides a significant audio upgrade from low-grade laptop headphone outputs (which commonly only provide around 92 or 93dB), with an equally impressive audio quality
Features a digital input, allowing you to run it alongside a Pro Tools HD or Native interface, or any interface that features an S/PIDF digital output
The compact pocket size and robust build quality of the interface means it's ready to go anywhere, any time
Converters 24-bit
Sample Rates 44.1 and 48kHz 1
Please Note:

Supports sample rates from 32 to 192kHz with automatic sample rate conversion

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Analog Input No
Analog Output 1 x 1/4" TRS phone Headphone
Output Impedance <10Ω
Maximum Output Level 15mW into 150Ω
30mW into 50Ω
Digital Input 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
Digital Output No
Other Connectors 1 x USB 2.0
THD + N Headphone Output: -100dB (0.001%), -1dBFS input, 20Hz to 22kHz bandpass filter, 150Ω load
S/PDIF Input: <-110dB any sample rate
Dynamic Range DA: 108dB, A-weighted
SNR >105dB
Indicators 1 x Green LED
Power Requirements USB bus power
System Requirements Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel only, OS X 10.6
Windows XP (SP3), Vista, Windows 7 2
Please Note:

If using a USB 1.1 port on a Windows PC, performance will be limited to 16-bit and 44.1/48kHz recording and playback. Macintosh support limited to USB 2.0 ports only

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Dimensions (WxDxH) 2.7 x 2.7 x 1" (68 x 68 x 25mm)
Weight 4 oz (123g)
Specialties Clock jitter <250pS (internal clock only)
Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD-ROM
  • One (1) Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    FocusriteVRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution
     
    3.9

    (based on 14 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    92%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (11)
    • Portable (9)
    • Excellent sound (7)
    • Good power output (3)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home studio (12)
      • Professional recording (5)
      • Amateur recording (4)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (7), Professional musician (6)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      VRM Box = Improved Mixes!

      I was a little skeptical about purchasing the VRM Box since I know that it was impossible to replace a set of monitors and a good listening environment. But since I really do need...Read complete review

      I was a little skeptical about purchasing the VRM Box since I know that it was impossible to replace a set of monitors and a good listening environment. But since I really do need to do a lot of mixing and recording with headphones and I work out of a small room without acoustic treatment, I figured I'd give it a shot. After all, it's only $100 and I do trust Focusrite.My first impression was WOW! While listening to some of my current projects through my headphones and the VRM Box I immediately found a few mistakes. This is not supposed to replace a good monitoring setup, but for checking your mix in different environments without getting up out of your chair this little box is amazing.Is it a necessary device? No. Will it help? Yes. Especially if you have to mix late at night and you don't want to wake the kids or neighbors. On top of that, it's really small so you can just throw it in your laptop bag and just go.So I'd say it was a good investment and I would definitely purchase another one if something happened to it.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Compromised Quality

      I bought this item primarily because I wanted a good, yet inexpensive converter for my headphones. The quality of the conversion from digital to analog can make a big difference, and I didn't...Read complete review

      I bought this item primarily because I wanted a good, yet inexpensive converter for my headphones. The quality of the conversion from digital to analog can make a big difference, and I didn't like the idea that I had a $160 pair of headphones being plugged into a consumer quality sound card on my laptop. With the VRM feature turned off, I compared my VRM Box side-by-side with my laptop's sound card, and I wasn't able to hear a noticeable difference. But I think must be doing something for the signal because it does get a faint, barely noticeable warmth while plugged in.

      Some posts on forums that I've read said that the box itself is just a volume knob, while the Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) feature is processed in your computer. I found this to be true because when I have a mix that's consuming enough resources to create buffer underruns (noticeable through dropouts in audio), turning on the VRM feature will increase the number of underruns. Thus, the processing for the VRM feature happens in the computer, and isn't processed inside the box.

      The VRM feature is nice for mixing but it doesn't make problems in the balance of a mix as noticeable as actually using real speakers in a real listening environment. Doing field tests by listening to mixes through the radio at work, the car and the PA system at church is irreplaceable. I opt-out of using the VRM feature when listening to music on my computer and mixing, because it simply makes my headphones sound like compromised quality. But it's wonderful as a quick check when there isn't time to go jump in the car, and do field tests in real listening environments.

      P.S. the shiny black plastic scratches easily

      Reviewed by 14 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-14

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      3.0

      I use it everyday now!

      By DW

      from Florida

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

      • No Car Option

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

      I like the different monitors that you can use to reference your mixes from. I also use it to listen to everything from now. I give it 3 1/2 stars so far. When I complete my mix I will finish my final rate.

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Improved my mixes immediately!

      By Two Dollar Dogs

      from Lawrence, KS

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

        I am a former professional musician and have a small home recording studio. Because my studio is adjacent to the family room, and because I often work on recordings at night, I can't always check my mixes on my nearfield monitors. In addition, I often found that my mixes don't translate well to other systems even when I do check them on my nearfields. So, I was shopping around for another set of monitors when I came across the Focusrite VRM box. I was skeptical but I gave it a try and bought it from B&H. The software loaded fine (I work with Logic on an iMac) and selected the box as the output on my DAW. The box works really well. I found that the instantaneous switching you can do between different speakers and different environments really helped me balance my mixes, and the positive effects on my mixes were obvious immediately when I checked them out on other playback systems. This won't solve all of your mixing problems. For example, you do have to pay attention to your headphone characteristics...in addition to checking the different VRM settings, I also listen through at least two different sets of headphones. But this box is a tremendous value, especially for those of us who can't always do nearfield monitoring. It was a much better solution to buying additional monitors, and I could imagine it being helpful even in professional situations.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        This is a Fantastic little Box!!!

        By Bluzdog

        from Denver

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Portable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

          This little box blows me away. This has done more for my mixes than my Dynaudio BM5A's. Talk about bang fot the buck!!!

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          VRM Box it's a really nice product

          By JD

          from Milwaukee WI

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Portable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

            The VRM Box it's a really nice product, if you have the money to spare on this device you wont be disappointed, this is a tool that you can use to reference your mixes in simulated spaces

            Share this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Great sound, some annoyances

            By Ben

            from New York

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Excellent Sound
            • Portable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio

              Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

              The box is definitely a helpful tool, especially when monitoring isn't available, and even when it is, it never hurts to run through the various options on this thing to make sure your mix sounds good in a variety of set-ups. The replication is great, and at least sounds pretty accurate.

              Some issues:

              The tight plastic molding around the S/PDIF jack makes it impossible for some cables to really latch on, creating an annoying situation where the cable easily comes out.

              It could be my set-up (Studio One with a Echo interface), but at times the box stops working, at which point I have to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in.

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Very practical when traveling

              By Compozzer

              from Los Angeles, CA

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Portable

              Cons

              • Not as realistic

              Best Uses

              • When-Traveling Reference

              Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

              It is a fair solution when you need to have a reference of different rooms and speakers when it comes to your mixes or mockups. I use this daily to have a third opinion.

              PROS: Portability! For traveling when working on mockups is ideal; USB connection to avoid great signal loss and latency when working with a laptop. Extra sonic reference!

              CONS: Some reference combinations (speaker / room) may sound like there's more like a reverb (and its parameters) being tweaked than the real algorithm behind those particular speakers and the "ideal" studio room, bedroom or living room. It will not necessarily give the realism of being in front of those speakers in a studio... not as real.

              Besides the cons, I would still recommend this for composers/producers that are traveling and likely working from a hotel room or similar. Remember that it is just a reference, nothing else. It is also, as it is with monitors, to get used to it (VRM Box).

              Share this review

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Requires S/PDIF Capability

              By WT

              from Tuscaloosa AL

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound

              Cons

              • Limited Functions

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio

              Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

              As a pure after mix monitoring toy it works quite well. The representations are crisp and clear. I'll use it. But I would have like to have known before I bought it that my Interface had to have an S/PDIF capability if I was to use it during my mixing process. Finally found out after an email to tech support. So it's great but not totally what I needed. Perhaps when I get around to upgrading my interface...

              Share this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              VRM Box = Improved Mixes!

              By That guy next-door.

              from Orlando, FL

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Portable

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio

                Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                I was a little skeptical about purchasing the VRM Box since I know that it was impossible to replace a set of monitors and a good listening environment. But since I really do need to do a lot of mixing and recording with headphones and I work out of a small room without acoustic treatment, I figured I'd give it a shot. After all, it's only $100 and I do trust Focusrite.My first impression was WOW! While listening to some of my current projects through my headphones and the VRM Box I immediately found a few mistakes. This is not supposed to replace a good monitoring setup, but for checking your mix in different environments without getting up out of your chair this little box is amazing.Is it a necessary device? No. Will it help? Yes. Especially if you have to mix late at night and you don't want to wake the kids or neighbors. On top of that, it's really small so you can just throw it in your laptop bag and just go.So I'd say it was a good investment and I would definitely purchase another one if something happened to it.

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great Tool

                By LueRed

                from Texas

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio

                  Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                  It was easy to set up and use. One good thing about the VRM Box is the different "points of view" you get to listen to.
                  Although this is a great tool, it still doesn't take the place of well balance monitors in a well treated room.
                  I gave it 4 stars because of it being a "Great Tool" and fun to work with.
                  Bottom line, "it is what it is"

                  Share this review

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Odd at first

                  By Eric

                  from Ames, IA

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Portable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Home Studio

                    Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                    Takes a while to get used to but does seem to serve its purpose. If you are serious about getting a good sound over many systems this does seem to be a good tool, and a decent price for what you can get out of it.

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    1.0

                    It is not ASIO, and USB may not work

                    By Vince

                    from Santa Monica

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Could not use it

                    Cons

                    • Installation problems
                    • Not ASIO for USB Cubase

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                      I have a Lenovo W520 and run 64-bit Win7 Pro, and although drivers installed and the VRM Box console seemed to recognize the unit, I couldn't get the MME driver to respond with Reason 5 and the latest version of Reaper. I really want an ASIO driver so I can use it with Cubase (with only a USB connection), but it is not an ASIO device and you would have use another ASIO interface's S/PDIF output to connect the VRM Box (who wants to do that?). I have lots of audio interfaces, and have not had this type of problem getting any of those other units to work first try. After a couple of weeks of sending emails back and forth to their support, and trying drivers downloaded from their site, I gave up and returned the device. I figure that, if they are smart, they will come out with an ASIO version of it soon, and I might try that. It is very odd that they put it out without an ASIO driver.

                      Share this review

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Compromised Quality

                      By Charles the Audio Geek

                      from Burnsville, MN

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Better than nothing
                      • Cheap
                      • Easy To Use

                      Cons

                      • Lackluster DA Conversion
                      • Real speakers invaluable

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio
                      • Mobile studio

                      Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                      I bought this item primarily because I wanted a good, yet inexpensive converter for my headphones. The quality of the conversion from digital to analog can make a big difference, and I didn't like the idea that I had a $160 pair of headphones being plugged into a consumer quality sound card on my laptop. With the VRM feature turned off, I compared my VRM Box side-by-side with my laptop's sound card, and I wasn't able to hear a noticeable difference. But I think must be doing something for the signal because it does get a faint, barely noticeable warmth while plugged in.

                      Some posts on forums that I've read said that the box itself is just a volume knob, while the Virtual Reference Monitoring (VRM) feature is processed in your computer. I found this to be true because when I have a mix that's consuming enough resources to create buffer underruns (noticeable through dropouts in audio), turning on the VRM feature will increase the number of underruns. Thus, the processing for the VRM feature happens in the computer, and isn't processed inside the box.

                      The VRM feature is nice for mixing but it doesn't make problems in the balance of a mix as noticeable as actually using real speakers in a real listening environment. Doing field tests by listening to mixes through the radio at work, the car and the PA system at church is irreplaceable. I opt-out of using the VRM feature when listening to music on my computer and mixing, because it simply makes my headphones sound like compromised quality. But it's wonderful as a quick check when there isn't time to go jump in the car, and do field tests in real listening environments.

                      P.S. the shiny black plastic scratches easily

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Mastering gear

                      By Mage

                      from Philadelphia, PA

                      About Me Novice

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Low Distortion
                      • Powerful
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio
                      • Professional Recording

                      Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                      I live in a row house and would like to keep the neighbors happy. I found this to be the best compromise. I am not sure about how accurate it is compared to the "real" monitors. I saw an instant improvement in the music I played through my desktop as compared to the motherboard's sound card. I recommend getting a good set of headphones like the Audio-technica ATH-M50.

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      A little wonder

                      By iARCE

                      from Hoolywood, FL

                      About Me Professional Musician

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Portable

                      Cons

                      • no cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio
                      • Professional Recording

                      Comments about Focusrite VRM Box - Headphone Monitoring/Mixing Solution:

                      I use this little wonder in my home based studio.
                      It does make a difference and really works as advertised.

                      Share this review

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