Review: RØDE VXLR+ phantom power to plugin power converter

Like a bridge over troubled water, VXLR+ at last brings compatibility between phantom power and bias voltage, aka plugin power, in an affordable, off-the-shelf converter.

Since the dawn of microphones, there have been two greatly different types of signals: balanced and unbalanced. Since the dawn of powered electret condenser microphones, there have been two very different ways of powering them externally, which respectively are phantom power (typically 48 volts on balanced connections, although some devices accept between 12–48 volts) and bias voltage (typically 3–5 volts on unbalanced connections), more commonly known as plugin power. Before now, no off-the-shelf solution to bridge these two powering worlds existed, although a few very persistent people have resorted to special built-to-order and homemade ones. RØDE has now changed audio production history with the VXLR+, an upgrade to the original VXLR. This opens up a huge world of possibilities for unbalanced TS, TRS and (via an SC3 adapter) even TRRS microphones that require plugin power to be able to be — at last — used with professional XLR inputs on camcorders, mixers and recorders that exclusively offer the much higher voltage phantom power, while simultaneously matching a balanced input to an unbalanced source. Ahead you’ll find examples of such mics, from brands like Audio Technica, IK Multimedia, ModMic, MXL and RØDE. You’ll also learn other improvements in the VXLR+ beyond the power feature and impedance conversion, and even get a guest appearance from Art Garfunkel. Read the full article free in ProVideo Coalition magazine…

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