Fostex AR101 Audio Retriever

Fostex AR101 Audio Retriever

Fostex AR101 Audio Retriever

B&H # FOAR101 MFR # AR101
No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • Two Mic/Line Inputs
  • Stereo Line Out
  • USB Out for PC Audio Recording
  • Independent L/R Level Meters
  • Rotary Encoder
  • Headphone Out
  • Cold Shoe Rail
  • Aluminum Hand Grip
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Fostex AR101 overview

  • 1Description

The Fostex AR101 Audio Retriever is designed to improve the audio quality of an iPhone 4/4S, 4th generation iPod touch or 2nd/3rd generation iPad when recording audio with video. This interface is ideal for ENG purposes and any other applications where higher quality audio recordings are required. A USB to 30-pin cable is included to make the connection. It will also work with an iPhone 5 or iPod touch 5th generation, but requires a separately sold Apple Lightning to 30-pin adapter. Or, use it as an audio interface for a PC by connecting a separately sold mini USB to USB type A cable.

The interface features two microphone/line inputs for the included condenser microphones or other user-supplied microphones. A rotary encoder and LED level meter allow easy adjustment of the input level of each channel, pan, headphone out and more. A headphone monitor output allows you to monitor the input and playback signal.

The interface doesn't require a battery, since it's powered by your connected device via USB. When feeding power via micro USB, the unit also feeds power to the connected iOS device. The chassis features a cold shoe rail for mounting various camera rigs. A device holder is included which can be used in portrait or landscape mode, and features screw holes on the horizontal and vertical sides for the included hand grip or separately-sold tripod or other standard support.

Improves the audio quality of iOS devices using the supplied USB to 30-pin dock cable
Input 1 and 2 are stereo line/mic (maximum of four channels can be fed)
Two plug-in power condenser microphones are included
Rotary encoder and LED level meter for setting the input level of each channel, pan, headphone out and more
Downloadable app allows you to control pan, low cut, limiter and output level
Headphone monitor out to monitor the input and playback signal
Analog out (line-mic selectable) to output input or playback signal, or mixed
No battery required - powered from the connected iOS device via USB
When feeding power via micro USB, it also feeds power to your connected iOS device
Chassis features a cold shoe rail for mounting various camera rigs
Includes a device holder, pair of earphones and aluminum hand grip
In the Box
Fostex AR101 Audio Retriever
  • USB to Apple 30-pin Cable
  • Device Holder
  • Hand Grip
  • Earphones
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Fostex AR101 specs

    Compatibility iOS:
    iPhone 4/4S
    iPod touch 4th generation
    iPad 2nd, 3rd Gen

    Requires separately sold adapter:
    iPhone 5
    iPod touch 5th generation

    Windows XP or later / Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    Connector 1/8" (3.5 mm) stereo mini x 2
    Input Signal Line / mic
    Gain -12 to 159.5 dB
    Level Metering LED, 11 dots
    Load Impedance 16 ohm or more
    Maximum Output Level 15 mW (32 ohm load, THD less than 0.1%)
    Noise Level Less than -93 dBV (Mic - St Out / Input Gain Max)
    Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz +/-30dB (Line In - St Out / 15mW / 32 ohm load)
    Power Consumption 200 mW
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.3 x 1.2 x 1.3" (83 x 31 x 33 mm) without mics, holder and grip
    Weight 2.1 oz (60 g) without mics, holder and grip
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.25 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 11.1 x 6.6 x 2.3"

    Fostex AR101 reviews

    AR101 Audio Retriever is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 2.
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good bit of kit but needs updated Nice piece of kit, I'd rate it 5 stars but for 2 things: (1) it uses the old 30-pin connector meaning you have to buy the 30 Apple lightning convertor; (2) the windshields really aren't up to much. I love the design and the way Fostex has made this piece of kit really modular with camera rails and standard size threads on the screws. That said Fostex has slacked with the 30-pin analog connector and should embrace Apple's move to the lightning connector by incorporating the digital adapter into its product instead of expecting customers to do it themselves with the expensive Apple convertor. If you're using this outdoors you'll need to upgrade the mic windshields to something better...the supplied windshields don't perform too much better than using the built-in iPhone mic. For the price it's good but not great.
    Date published: 2014-08-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Verdict: Pretty awesome, but finicky. The Good: -this is one of the only audio devices I have found that has an on-board A/D converter and interfaces directly thru the Lightning Port, and is specifically designed for video and not audio/music production (but could easily be used for that as well). -does not use the low quality iPhone mic/headphone jack preamp. This is good, and mainly why I bought it. -It's small-ish and nicely made, quite solid feeling. -the mics are pretty good for what they are, but use 1/8 jacks, so you can use your own, especially radio lav/shotgun if you want. Nice -decent stereo separation -way better sound than the iPhone mic. WAY. -adjustable mic positions make for great flexibiity, especially quick interviews The Bad: -pretty bad camera body noise if you move your finger on the grip or do not hold the camera absolutely rock solid if going handheld. Should come with shockmounts. -comes with a mini USB B to 30 pin. Need to then get an Apple genuine 30 pin to Lightning adaptor (if you want to use the device without the extra battery pack), which I don't mind, but it adds bulk and cable spaghetti. Should come with Mini USB B to Lightning cable. BUT, it does work with or without the battery pack with an iPhone 6, I can confirm that absolutely. The Ugly: -Why oh why would they put in such noisy preamps???? There's so much that is right, but then, the hiss. It can be corrected in post, but it would be nice not to have to. Overall: this is the best solution I have found yet for small, portable, high-ish quality stereo sound for iPhone 6 and others. Shame about the preamps though.
    Date published: 2015-10-21
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