If you’ve been filming for a few years, chances are you have an old passive XLR to 1/8 inch adapter laying around. Beachtek and Studio 1 where the most popular for a number of years, but none of their early models had any kind of built in amplifier. If your microphone doesn’t put out a strong signal level, you end up with audio levels so low at the camera that they are hard to use.

More modern XLR adapters like the JuicedLink DT454 and the BeachTek DXA-SLR have built in amplifiers that provide strong signal levels back to the camera, but if you already own an XLR adapter or don’t want to spend $300 to $400 on a new adapter, you can cut some corners and buy a . I’ve seen auctions end as low as $20 and a few buy it nows for $60 and $70.

Once you have an adapter, just add a Fiio E5 headphone amplifier in line with your XLR adapter and presto you have stronger signal levels into your camera. Keep in mind that the Fiio E5 only adds about 6dB to 10dB of gain (depending on load impedance), a Juicedlink device, on the other hand, adds about 30dB of gain. 30dB is ruffly 7 times more gain then 10dB, (if I remember my math correctly) which means you’ll get a lot more volume out of a Juicedlink device then the Fiio headphone amp.

So if you have the money to spend the JuicedLink DT454 or the BeachTek DXA-SLR are the way to go, but if you’re just trying to get by the Fiio E5 should help you out. The video illustrates the amount of gain you can get out of the Fiio E5.

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