Basically the connector above combines the headphone output as well as the microphone input cable into a single device. That way you can use your headphones to answer calls as well as listen to music on your iphone. You might see an iOS audio interface with a connector like this and think “useless”,  but if you add a simple adapter you can turn low price iOS XLR adapters like the Irig Pre and Tascam iXZ into very affordable (sub $40) XLR adapters for your DSLR.

The Irig Pre (above) is an XLR audio interface designed for iOS devices that can provide 48 volts of phantom power as well as audio gain to an XLR input all on a single 9 volt battery. Why not put something like this to work as a DSLR audio interface? Simply combine the iOS to PC adapter cable with the Irig Pre and now you have headphone monitoring and Phantom power with audio gain in a very compact little package. 

To get things started I’ve plugged the pink lead on the adapter cable into the cameras microphone input and the green lead into the camera’s headphone output. Plug the other end of the cable into the Irig Pre and you’re ready to get started.

I’ve only spent a few hours testing the Irig Pre, but so far it appears to work quit well for the price. Just to give you an idea of what it sounds like I’ve recorded a short sample of audio directly into the camera. For this sample I’m using a Shure SM57 microphone plugged directly into the Irig Pre. The gain on the Irig pre is set to max and the input gain on the 5d mark III is turned to the lowest setting. The mp3 file is encoded at 256kb.

Here is the audio sample file (download .mp3) 

I was only able to take a quick measurement, but at a glance it looked like the noise floor was below -60db which is very good for something like this. I’ll post some more on this once I’ve had time to use it with a few phantom powered microphones but right now it’s looking like a very good value.

Look for a video review in the next week or two. I’m also working on a Noob adapter that would allow this to be cold shoe mounted. I’ll keep you posted.  Special thanks to Alex for point this one out.

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