Zoom H4: rookie “phantom power” question

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    • #41670

      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?


    • #176372

      Hi Victor.

      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?


    • #176373


      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.


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