I have a Rode VideoMicro microphone that uses a plug-in power jack with min 3V; I'm able to use it on my PC but the sound quality is really bad compared to its use on a camera.

I'm wondering if this is a lack of power in my PC jacks and if it exits a way to power up the micro on the PC to have the same quality as it have on a camera.

Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Can you link me to the model somewhere on the web? It would help a ton if I could read the specs and whatnot.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 16:19
  • The model is actually VideoMicro : en.rode.com/microphones/videomicro Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


Electret condenser microphones will deliver output even without plugin power. Really, really bad, low-gain high-noise output. So you better make sure that the plugin power is actually switched on. Depending on your audio hardware and your operating system, there may be utilities for controlling the plugin power, and of course the simplest way to be sure is to actually take a multimeter to a microphone jack (after connecting a naked plug or one end of a 3.5mm stereo audio cable).

If your microphone input is mono, some sockets are actually stereo sockets wired with plugin-power only on the ring. Connecting this with a bona-fide mono connector will just short-circuit the plugin-power (in order not to hurt microphones that don't want plugin-power): you need an actual stereo plug/adapter then that takes tip+ring to the microphone.

Many audio chips need some command to switch on plugin power: then you might need to fire up a suitable utility.

In short: there are various ways in which plugin-power might not make it to the microphone. Make sure that it does before checking out other options.


This is not a direct answer to your question, but I've used the Blue Yeti microphone at work. It works very well and requires no additional power source beyond its USB connection to the computer.

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