Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Zoom H4: rookie “phantom power” question
I’ve been using my Zoom h4 for a couple years. I plug in two seinheisser xlr mics, press record, etc.
This whole time the phantom power option has been set to “off”. I tried switching it to 24v, then 48v with the mics plugged in, and didn’t really hear any difference.
What difference should I hear? Does phantom power really do anything?
It should make a lot of difference. At least it does on my H4.
Do you have a voltmeter (they are cheap)? And can you measure the output on your XLR pins on the unit?
If the mics work fine either way, then I would troubleshoot for a faulty unit. If it is faulty, if it is still under warranty, then I would send it in. But if it is not under warranty, and it is doing what you want it to do, then I might recommend “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Do you know what I mean?
Condenser mics get power from somewhere. Some get it phantom power supplied over the mic cable. Others have a battery compartment (typically taking one “AA” battery). A few can be switched between phantom power and internal battery. Does your mic contain a battery? Or is it connected to a “power-module” containing a battery?
Dynamic mics don’t need power, so phantom power does nothing for them. And some ribbon mics can actually be damaged by phantom power.