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Adding a microphone to an LOD setup w/ a BitHead amp

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I was trying to figure out how I could receive calls while using a LOD and an external mic (I have a Monster iSoniTalk) with my iPhone4 and I came upon this:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/477915/iphone-lod-calls-any-simple-solutions

 

After doing this bit of light reading, I decided to try just connecting the adapter directly to one of my Total BitHead's two output jacks.  It works exactly like mnagali says when using a splitter - apparently the BitHeads just use a basic Y adapter internally, so if you feed the output from another source into one side, you'll get it back out on the other.  I would assume it's probably the same for any other multi-output headphone amps, except of course for any that might have independent amplifiers.

 

Audio quality seems unaffected (based on a few cursory tests so far) since, for everything but phone calls, you're still feeding the amp via the LOD.  As for calls, phone use is very forgiving, so as long as there're no problems with the mic adapter or the cable going into the amp from there, everything should be fine.  I didn't notice any drop in quality, but then again, it's not like there's a lot of nuance in cellular voice quality to lose.

 

What I DON'T know is if this will have any negative long-term affects on either amplifier (the BitHead versus the iPhone's internal amp.)  I would think that, as long as there are headphones connected, this should be perfectly safe since they will present enough of a power drain to keep one amp from overloading the other.  Any ideas on that?

post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

Other observations:

Testing with stock Apple earbuds w/ inline mic and volume control on the headphone jack, the volume controls do nothing, as expected (there's no system volume control with most docks.)  With both the Monster iSoniTalk and the original earbuds, the middle button (play/pause/FF/REW/voice control) works fine.

 

The Monster seems to actually be the ideal solution here, due to the fact that it can actually reach from a desk or pants pocket to a shirt collar, and you can run a wire directly from the plug itself to the amp (and not all the way back from the microphone, as with pretty much every other option out there.)  It's not a great product otherwise, but to my knowledge there are few real alternatives.

 

I do wonder if it's possible to get an LOD with a mic in, but I doubt the phone supports calls through such a setup anyway.  It is technically possible to get audio in on the dock connector, and there are some products out there that utilize that, but I haven't found anything that gives you that AND line-out (let alone anything that promises to work with phone calls.)

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