CAUTION: Read This Before Using a 3.5mm-to-XLR Adapter!

October 21, 2020

In this post, I’ll help you avoid this common mistake that could damage your equipment just by using a 3.5mm to XLR adapter.

To learn about other ways to connect a 3.5mm headphone audio output to an XLR microphone audio input, read this article on Audio University.

The Danger of Using a 3.5mm-to-XLR Adapter

I have broken three iPhones over the years just by making this simple mistake when using a 3.5mm-to-XLR adapter!

This adapter has a 3.5mm headphone plug on one end and two XLR connectors on the other end.

Some audio mixing consoles give you the ability to supply phantom power, which is +48V DC for use with condenser microphones.

Many small mixers like this have a single switch that activates phantom power on all of the channels. It’s easy to forget that phantom power switch is engaged. 

If you supply phantom power to your laptop or smartphone through one of these adapters, there’s a good chance that you’ll destroy the headphone output of your device!

That’s the danger of using a 3.5mm-to-XLR adapter – phantom power can destroy the headphone output of your smartphone.

How to Avoid Damaging Your Device When Using a 3.5mm-to-XLR Adapter

As long as phantom power is disabled when your device is connected to your mixer, there is no problem using these adapters.

Although, it’s safer to simply use this adapter instead. This is a 3.5mm-to-Dual ¼-inch adapter.

With this adapter, I can connect my smartphone to the line inputs on my mixer with no worries about accidentally ruining my phone with phantom power.

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