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This USB adapter makes it possible to connect dynamic and condenser microphones directly to a computer without the need for any additional hardware, ready to record in the field or at home. With built-in 'zero-latency' headphone monitoring, it is aimed at home studios, particularly for multi-track recording, but is also a highly convenient means of recording interviews directly to a laptop. It is compatible with most recent versions of Windows and Mac operating system, offers phantom powering and has onboard controls to adjust recording and playback level. The 16-bit, 48kHz sample-rate output provides better-than-CD-quality audio.

At the upper end of the adapter is a female 3-pole XLR connector for insertion directly into a microphone. Beneath this is a tri-colour LED to show signal level; green, yellow and red indicating signal, peak signal and clipping respectively. Next there are three controls to adjust microphone gain, headphone volume and monitor level, which blends pre-recorded playback from the computer with live audio from the microphone. A 3.5mm 3-pole jack socket provides the headphone output. Below these, a switch, with accompanying blue LED, turns +48V phantom power on and off and a green LED shows the presence of power from the USB connection, which is on the bottom of the adapter, in the form of a Type B USB socket.

In use, the adapter is connected directly to the microphone, or by a short cable, not supplied, in which case, the adapter may be secured to a microphone stand with the straps supplied. The adapter is then connected to a USB port on the host computer using the 3 metre cable supplied and is available for use by the user's choice of recording software.

The X2U is compatible with Windows 7, 8 & 10 (32 & 64 bit), Vista (32 & 64 bit), XP, 2000. Mac OS X 10.1 or later are also supported, but drivers may be required, depending on version.

Gain range: 40 dB. Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 1dB. Noise floor: -81 / -78dBFS, minimum / maximum gain, 20Hz - 20kHz, A-weighted. Sampling rate: Up to 48kHz. Bit depth: 16-bit. Signal level indicator: -30 / -30 to -12 / -12 to 0dBFS / clipping when LED is off / green / yellow / red. Power sources: 500mA maximum from the USB port. System requirements: USB 1.1 or 2.0, powered, 64MB ram, minimum.

Included accessories: User guide, 3 metre USB cable, zippered pouch, fixing straps.