Help/Question about Microphone / Phantom power and audio interface?

Asked by: Coreen Helland

Do you need phantom power if you have an audio interface?

If you connect a ribbon mic to your audio interface, you actually need to ensure that phantom power is off, or risk damage to the microphone. Dynamic mics usually won’t be damaged, but they do not need phantom power. If you are using an instrument’s output, definitely avoid using phantom power.

Can phantom power damage an audio interface?

The only likely situation where phantom power can damage a dynamic mic is when there is a problem with the XLR cable used to connect it to an interface or other piece of recording equipment.

How do you know if a mic needs phantom power?

How do I know if my mic needs phantom power? Well, the simplest way would be to verify whether your microphone is a condenser type or another type such as dynamic or ribbon. If it is a condenser microphone it will need phantom power, if it is a different type of microphone it will not.

What is the role of phantom power in microphone?

Phantom Power is a term given to the process of delivering DC (Direct Current) to microphones requiring electric power to drive active circuitry. Condenser microphones such as Shure’s KSM range all have active circuitry and require phantom power.

What is the voltage range for mic level?

Microphone or “mic” level is in the region of 0.001 volts (1 millivolt) to 0.01 volts (10 millivolts). This voltage range may also be expressed as -60 dBV to -40 dBV. This is the signal level that comes out of a typical microphone when someone speaks into it at a close distance.

Does phantom power improve sound quality?

Phantom power simply supplies a condenser microphone with additional voltage. Phantom power therefore does not reduce noise, but it does provide the microphone with the necessary boost in power that it needs to record audio. Noise is more likely to be reduced by taking other measures.

Can you leave phantom power on?

It will not hurt anything to leave your phantom power on. Most dynamic or condenser microphones that don’t require phantom power will reject it. Ribbon mics are the exception in this situation. Sending phantom power to a ribbon microphone will probably have disastrous consequences.

Why is phantom power needed?

Why do I need phantom power? Phantom power, commonly designated as +48V or P48, was designed to power microphones without using bulky external power supplies such as the ones required for tube microphones. It’s a way of sending the DC electrical current required through a balanced XLR cable.

When should you not use phantom power?

Unless the device is designed to accept phantom power, do not apply phantom. Some unbalanced equipment does not have any, or sufficient, protection from DC voltage and its output circuitry can be damaged, requiring repair.

Why is it called phantom power?

Phantom Power transmits the voltage and audio signal simultaneously over the same audio cable to the microphone or other connected audio device. It’s called phantom power because it works by transmitting power using the same cable that’s carrying the audio signal.

Do all microphones need phantom power?

Do microphones need phantom power to work? Though phantom power (+48V) is a popular method of powering microphones, most mics do not require it to work properly. Passive mics do not need any powering, and even the majority of active condenser mics (electrets) use small DC bias rather than +48V.

Is phantom power AC or DC?


Phantom power, in the context of professional audio equipment, is DC electric power transmitted through microphone cables to operate microphones that contain active electronic circuitry. It is best known as a convenient power source for condenser microphones, though many active direct boxes also use it.

What devices use phantom power?

Here’s a list of common devices that waste electricity through phantom power:

  • Televisions, surround sound systems, stereo equipment, and gaming consoles.
  • Computers, printers, monitors, and some powered PC speakers.
  • Cordless landline phones, cell phone chargers, and battery chargers.

What is the best phantom power?

Top Microphone Phantom Power Supplies

  • Neewer 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply.
  • Aokeo 1-Channel 48V Phantom Power Supply.
  • Moukey Phantom Power Supply,1-Channel,48V with New USB Charging Capability.
  • Xvive P1 Phantom Power Supply 48V/12V Switch.
  • 48V Phantom Power Supply – EBXYA Microphone Phantom Power Supplies.

How much energy does phantom power use?

Phantom power can account for 5% to 10% of your electricity costs 1. Most household appliances are usually used between 3 and 30 minutes a day; the rest of the time, they’re on standby. Home electronics are on standby about 75% of the time—some 6,500 hours a year.

How do you stop phantom power?

The easiest thing you can do to reduce phantom power is unplug anything you’re not using. This includes unplugging your phone or laptop charger when your device isn’t charging, not simply unhooking the device. Leaving cords plugged in when they’re not connected to anything is a common way phantom power can add up.

Why are phantom loads bad?

This phenomenon, called “phantom load,” is common with modern household electronics. Many are designed to have continuous displays and a standby resting state, which leads to a quick start-up. Unfortunately, this convenience wastes energy and increases carbon emissions.