One of my most popular articles in ProVideo Coalition is TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic from 2015. Often, producers and recordists have needed to understand —and acquire— an adapter to make a microphone which originally terminates as TRS to TRRS, or viceversa. Now, DEITY has released the US$50 V.Lav microphone which automatically and intelligently detects and adjusts the wiring configuration according to the connected device. Ahead we’ll see more about this microphone in Curtis Judd’s review, and even a direct comparison with the SmartLav+ from RØDE.
Link to original article
Here is a link to TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic from 2015 (illustrated above).
Microphones that terminate in a TS (2 conductor) or TRS (3 conductor) 3.5 mm plug work directly with many camcorders (be they DSLR, mirrorless or conventional) and recorders, but not directly with a smartphone or tablet. With a smartphone or tablet (of those which still offer a 3.5 mm analog port), those microphones need an adapter to TRRS (4 conductor). On the other hand, most microphones or headsets that terminate in a TRRS plug work directly with smartphones/tablets, but require an adapter to work directly with a recorder or camcorder.
DEITY has now released the V.Lav microphone (shown above, Amazon — B&H). The V.Lav terminates in a TRRS plug with intelligent circuitry that automatically senses the configuration of the connected device, be it a smartphone/tablet which requires a TRRS configuration… or a recorder/camcorder which requires a TS or TRS configuration, and changes it on the fly.
The V.Lav uses two LR44 cell batteries, enclosed in a CNC aluminum housing along with the microprocessor chip. Battery power is only used when the V.Lav is determining how to adapt to the microphone input where you’ve connected it. After the V.Lav has adapted to your device, the microphone capsule then uses the voltage from your device (bias voltage/plugin power), and the LR44 batteries are put back to sleep.
Deity V.Lav microphone review by Curtis Judd
Other devices which have a similar intelligent but inverse feature
The headphone output of three RØDE products I have reviewed so far have a similar intelligent feature on their respective headphone output:
- RØDE iXLR Lighting interface (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H)
- RØDECaster Pro mixer/recorder (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H)
- RØDE SC6/L 2-channel Lighting bidirectional interface (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H)
This means that whether you connect a TRS or TRRS headphone (or even earbuds) with any of the above devices’ respective 3.5 mm headphone output, the headphones (or even earbuds) will work flawlessly. However, the DEITY V.Lav (Amazon — B&H) is the first microphone I have seen with such an automatic, universal configuration on a 3.5 mm male plug.
I am glad that manufacturers are gradually implementing intelligent circuitry to help both dispel the connection epidemic and reduce the need for the previously required adapters. If you are considering purchasing either the DEITY V-Lav (Amazon — B&H) or the RØDE SmartLav+ (Amazon — B&H), carefully listen to Curtis Judd’s comparison. Also, consider the length of the cable, as he pointed out, to help make the best decision for your recording situation. In some cases, you might want to have one of each or two of each.
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