Zoom has long been synonymous with solid and portable digital recording—whether you’re considering the H4n for podcasting, or the F8 MultiTrack for 8-channel field-recording. Now, Zoom is expanding into the digital interface market with the U-44 and the U-24, providing you the same preamps you loved in the H5, but with 24-bit/96 kHz audio playback!
U-44 Handy Audio Interface
Giving you four inputs and four outputs, the U-44 seeks to be the cornerstone of your mobile recording rig, allowing you to connect microphones, instruments, monitors, computers, iPads, and more. You can bus-power the U-44 via USB, but it’ll also take two AA batteries in a pinch and, with its 10-pin connector, this interface is compatible with every single capsule in the Zoom Universe; the X/Y module, the Mid-Side capsule, the Stereo Shotgun—the U-44 can handle all of them, providing you with tons of options for recording yourself on the go. With combo TRS/XLR inputs, the aforementioned 10-pin capsule connector, a selectable S/PDIF connection (optical or coaxial), MIDI support, and Hi-Z capability, this interface will handle all of your mobile AD/DA needs with the aplomb of any Zoom Handy recorder. You can feed your monitors through the U-44’s TRS or RCA outputs, to be sure, but you can also use it as a headphone amp to pump some much-needed fidelity into dinky-sounding audio devices.
U-24 Essential Portable Audio Interface
The U-24 gives you almost everything its bigger sibling does: playback and recording at 24-bit/96 kHz, iPad compatibility, bus-powering, AA-battery support, H5-series combo preamps, MIDI ins and outs, Hi-Z capability, multiple monitoring options, and a headphone amp to boot. No, you don’t get the S/PDIF connections or the 10-pin capsule support, but what you do receive is both advantageous and bounteous—all the same low-noise circuitry as the U-44, but in a package that fits in the palm of your hand. Thus, this unit is perfect for solo singer-songwriters who need to take their rig with them on the road; simply jam the U-24 in your gig-bag, plug into it when you feel inspired, and you’re good for getting your songs together, wherever you may roam.