Hello all!

I am looking to get a hydrophone and wanted to get some input. I think I narrowed it down to this one: http://contactmicrophones.com/products-bxh.html

or this one http://www.aquarianaudio.com/h2a-hydrophone.html

I would like to be able to hear more from the cold gold buffered xlr so if anyone has one, mind sharing? Perhaps some of you are thinking that this is a no brainer and I should go with the H2a but I am on a budget so if the cold gold mic can give great quality sound for a little less money then I'm all for it.

I am open to other suggestions of course and am in no hurry!

Thanks in advance,


  • 1
    I have these: hydrophones.blogspot.com/2009/04/hydrophones-by-jrf.html they work great for the price. i cannot compare to others since they are the only i have used. i have hear that the aquarianaudio are not that great and made for whale watchers more than sound designers. these are the best: ambient.de/en/products/ambient-recording/underwater/…
    – Brad Dale
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 21:24
  • I have both and can't recommend the cold gold I'm afraid. Too noisy! H2a is ok for the price, but think i would give the new JRF hydrophone a try if i was to get a cheap one now. Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 7:06
  • Thats what I was afraid of. Awesome, thanks!
    – jocé
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 15:55

5 Answers 5


I haven't used either of the suggestions, but thought I would chip in my 2 cents...

I would recommend the D series hydrophone from JrF (Jez). Great quality microphone for the price. I don't have one myself (yet) but I have heard and used it in person.


While your at it get a C series contact microphone too, I have one and they are amazing. Chris Watson (sound recordist for many BBC wildlife programs) swears by them.


Hi Jocé,

I have had H2a's for a few years now and I'm very happy with them. They are very low-noise and very wide-range in terms of frequency. Often I use them as contact microphones / stethoscopes. I noticed a problem though using them with a sound devices 744. They seem to pick up interference from the internal hard disk. With other recorders (zoom, edirol, fostext) I never noticed this, but that could be because the mic pre's are noisier anyway. And I should have bought longer cables, as they often turn out to be too short.

recently the place I work (www.sonology.org) noticed that one that they had had started crackling, but they have been (mis)used by students for 3 years, so that could be expected!

best, Justin.

  • 1 for the Aquarian audio h2a!! And the owner rob is a really awesome guy who will make sure you're happy. I've recorded hundreds of amazing sounds with it!

Another positive review for the H2a here, both as a hydrophone as well as a contact mic. My only heads-up is that the cables themselves are microphonic, meaning that when you touch them / move them, that signal is carried along as well. So I've gotten into the practice of staying very very still when recording with them, or better yet, setting them up and leaving for a while so as not to accidentally disturb the recording.

  • Is this the case with all hydrophones? Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 15:13

I recently purchased a pair of H2a's and have been loving them so far. I haven't had a huge amount of time to experiment but from what I've done so far i'm loving the sound, especially for the price.

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