The VRM Box: A Virtual Reference Monitoring Interface from Focusrite
The VRM is a good round about way to check your sound source without having to go and plug in multiple sound systems. Plus, who do you know has high-end studio monitors of different variations just sitting around to check their mixes? I would have to guess and say not to many of us do. From an engineer’s perspective, I don’t recommend mixing only in headphones, but in some cases that might be all you have. With that being said, this is a great way to make sure your mix translates to higher and lower quality sources of sound.
The VRM is a portable, sleek, black and silver cube-shaped interface. It fits in the palm of your hand and even has little rubber feet on the bottom to stop it from moving off of the surface it’s sitting on. Right away you can tell it’s built to move around a lot and is built using fairly durable material.
Focusrite has provided a sophisticated playback engine for the headphone savvy mixer. You get a wide range of speaker sources, with studio monitor emulations including: KRK Rokit 6, Japanese White Classics, British Studio Monitors, Genelec 1031a, Adam S2.5a, Rogers VXT8 models, Auratone, American Passive, and Sterling LS3-5a models. There are also a few settings for bedroom/home listening devices, including a flat-screen TV, a desktop computer, and vintage hi-fi speakers. The Living Room environment provides a shorter list with models from the first two groups. All in all, the VRM Box has a good variety of sources and environments to get different sound perspectives for the modern-day headphone mixer.As far as connections go, the VRM box offers a USB cable so that you monitor directly from your computer at a 48kHz sample rate. For higher quality listening, it offers you a S/PIDF input capable of supporting audio up to 192 kHz if you would prefer to use a signal from a larger audio interface. After opening your computer and setting the levels for listening, you can then move over to the easy-to-use VRM software. In this software, you can easily select how you will monitor your playback. A listening room is created by the VRM application by using various algorithms to determine room specifications. The available listening environments are: Professional Studio, Bedroom, and Living Room.
Various Reliable Monitors
My final verdict on the VRM Box is that it is good at its intended use [providing different listening environments in a less-than-ideal space] but doesn’t replace real studio monitoring. The technology is useful, but as audio engineers, nothing can replace the real thing. Regardless, the VRM Box is an awesome concept sure to provide you a brand new perspective that a single set of monitors can’t.
If you are looking for multiple perspectives on audio with a smaller budget, this is well worth the price. Not to mention, at $100, the VRM Box makes a perfect gift for any audio enthusiast! For more information on this product visit: http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/vrm-box/specifications