3.5mm to xlr adaptor - does it make it balanced?

johnr10's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 01/20/2018 - 1:01pm

Hi. If I have a 3.5mm mic (Shure VP83) and an external recorder with xlr - if I use an adaptor, does the signal benefit? Ie, does the unbalanced 3.5 signal become balanced over teh xlr cable? Or is it just passively letting me connect from one size connector to another? Thanks

Charles Bennett's picture
Last seen: 6 days 20 hours ago
Joined: 10/27/2016 - 7:53am

An unbalanced to balanced adapter does not make the whole thing balanced. It is, as you say, just letting you connect one type of plug to another. As to the mic, which is mono, a tip ring and sleeve jack plug does not nescesarily mean it is balanced. More likely to make it compatable with most camcorder external mic sockets.

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paulears's picture
Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

The tip ring and sleeve on this mic is wired with tip and ring as signal and sleeve is the usual ground - so the mic is unbalanced and Shure don;t make it easy to find this out, but the info is on their web site. This means that tip/ring will go to pin 2 of the XLR, sleeve is connected to pin 1 and 3. This also means any 3 circuit 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 ready made cable won't work, because it shorts out the audio! However, if you make up your own cable, it will work fine unbalanced.

The reality of unbalancing a balanced input is very rarely as problematic as people suggest. You lose a bit of sensitivity and lose the differential benefits in interference prone environments - but remember a foot of cable is really very unlikely to be an interference problem. If I was going to always use the mic with a camera needing an XLR connector - I'd just chop off the 3.5mm and solder on an XLR!