Purple Panda Lavalier Lapel Microphone: Not Working Fix


Purple-Panda-Lavalier-Lapel-Microphone-Not-Working-Fix-Featured-Image

DIY Video Studio is supported by its readers. Please assume links on this site are affiliate links or ads, and that I get commissions for purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you if you use any of the links.

If you’re new to recording audio or videos you may have problems setting up the Purple Panda lavalier lapel microphone. That’s not because the microphone is poor but because it has the flexibility to work with many recording devices, including digital audio recorders, DSLR cameras, smartphones, GoPro, or camcorders.

In this article, I’ll give you instructions to get your Purple Panda lavalier/lapel microphone working with your favorite recording device.

Why is my Purple Panda Lav Mic not working?

The most common cause of your Purple Panda mic not working is that the microphone jack is not completely inserted into the input socket of your device, the wrong connector is used, Plug-In Power has not been selected on the recording device, or the recording levels have not been correctly set.

Use the correct connector: The cable on the Purple Panda terminates in a 3.5mm TRRS jack, that’s the type that’ll be on smartphone headphones or earbuds. It has a metal tip and three rings, as you can see in the image.

Although this will connect properly to an iPhone/iPad or Android smartphone, it won’t necessarily work with other recording devices that use a different type of connector.

I will provide full details of how to connect compatible devices in the next section of this article.

Listen for the click: The first thing to check is whether the mini jack has been fully inserted into the audio socket on your camera or digital recorder.

Especially if you’ve not used the audio input socket before, you may need to apply a little force to fully insert the jack. You’ll know that it’s properly seated in the socket when you hear the “click”.

Enable Plug-in Power: The Purple Panda Lav Mic is a condenser microphone and condenser microphones require external power. You’ll have noticed that the Purple Panda does not have a battery compartment for power, instead it draws Plug-In Power from the recording device. If Plug-In Power has not been enabled on your recording device, the microphone will not work.

Set the recording levels: Do not assume the recording levels are set correctly. Although some devices use an automatic gain control, others do not or have the option to toggle between the two. You need to make sure the recording levels are not set low, making the microphone output seem zero or negligible.

How to get your Purple Panda Lav Mic working

In this section, I will explain how to fix the Purple Panda connection issue with specific devices. These include iPhone, iPad, DSLR/Mirrorless camera, GoPro action cameras, Zoom/TASCAM digital audio recorders, Android smartphones, and tablets. Note that if you plan to use the microphone with a smartphone, you will need to unplug it to listen back to your recording.

In most cases, the trick in getting the lav mic working is knowing how to connect the lavalier microphone to the recording device. So, don’t panic, your mic probably isn’t broken. Follow my purple panda microphone instructions and you should be good to go.

Connecting the Purple Panda to an iPhone or iPad

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-Lapel-Microphone
The Purple Panda’s 3.5mm TRRS jack allows you to connect to smartphones and tablets

If your iPhone or iPad has a headphone socket you can plug the Purple Panda directly into this TRRS socket. Models with a lightning socket will need an Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. iPad Pro models with a USB-C socket will require an Apple 3.5mm Headphone Jack to USB-C Adapter.

Last update on 2021-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

iPhone models with 3.5mm headphone connector: iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4. iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (first gen)

You can connect the Purple Panda directly to any iPhone that has a headphone connector, even if it also has a lightning connector. This includes all iPhone prior to the release of the iPhone 7, the first iPhone not to have a 3.5mm headphone connector.

iPads models with 3.5mm headphone connector: iPad Air 2, iPad Mini (4th Generation), iPad Pro 12.9 inch (1st Generation), iPad (5th Generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch/ 10.5-inch (2nd Generation), iPad (6th Generation), iPad Air (3rd Generation), iPad Mini (5th Generation), iPad (7th Generation), iPad (8th Generation)

You can connect the Purple Panda directly to any iPad that has a headphone connector, even if it also has a lightning connector.

iPhone models with lightning connector: iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6S/6S Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS/XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, Phone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 12/12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro/12 Pro Max

The Purple Panda Lav Mic can be connected to any iPhone that has a lightning connector; however, you will need an Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. This is not included with the Purple Panda. If it was not supplied with your iPhone, it is available from the Apple store, on Amazon, as well as elsewhere online.

iPad models with lightning connector: iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad (5th generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad (7th generation), iPad (8th generation), iPad Mini (1st generation), iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, Pad Mini (5th generation), iPad Pro (1st generation), iPad Pro (2nd generation)

The Purple Panda Lav Mic can be connected to any iPad with a lightning connector; however, you will need an Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. This is not included with the Purple Panda. If it was not supplied with your iPad, it is available from the Apple store, on Amazon, as well as elsewhere online.

iPads models with USB-C connector: iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later), and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)

The Purple Panda Lav Mic can be connected to any iPad with a USB-C connector; however, you will need an Apple USB-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter. This is not included with the Purple Panda. If it was not supplied with your iPad, it is available from the Apple store, on Amazon, as well as elsewhere online.

Connecting the Purple Panda to an Android Smartphone

Plug the Purple Panda Lav Mic straight into the headphone socket of your Android smartphone.

In most cases the lavalier microphone should be recognized and activated automatically. However, in some cases you may need to use an app that allows you to enable an external microphone manually.

Purple Panda suggest using the “Open Camera” app that is available as a free download from the Google Play Store.

Once installed, open the app and tap on the gear wheel settings icon in the top right corner. Go to the “Video Settings” and open “Audio Source”. In the Audio source panel tap on “External Mic (if present)”.

You can then use Open Camera to record your videos.

Connecting the Purple Panda to a DSLR/Mirrorless camera and Camcorder

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-and-TRS-Adapter
Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone plugged into the TRRS to TRS Adapter will connect to DSLR/Mirrorless cameras and Camcorders

Connecting the Purple Panda directly to a DSLR camera or Mirrorless camera probably not work since the camera has a TRS socket while the Purple Panda uses a TRRS jack. That is certainly the case on my Canon EOS R and EOS R6 mirrorless cameras and the EOS M50 that I borrowed from a friend.

The solution is to use the TRRS (3-ring) to TRS (2-ring) adapter that is included with the Purple Panda.

Plug the Purple Panda’s TRS connector into the TRRS (3-ring) to TRS (2-ring) Adapter. Make sure you do this firmly until you hear the “click” that indicates the jack has been fully inserted. Now plug the TRS Adapter into the DSLR or Mirrorless camera’s Audio Input socket.

Again, make sure the plug is completely inserted into the camera. If the jack is not fully inserted the connectors will not make proper contact and the microphone may not work as expected.

Go into the camera’s Menu, set your sound recording to manual, and adjust the recording level so that your speech peaks at about -12dB.

If I am recording myself, I prefer to set the level a little higher and know not to exceed this level. This allows me to get the best performance out of the camera’s audio preamps by increasing the difference between my level and the self-noise of the electronics.

But if I’m recording someone else, whose speech level may be less predictable, I leave the peak level as -12dB. This will avoid clipping if the speaker occasionally speaks a little louder.

Connecting the Purple Panda to a Zoom H1n, H2n, or H4n audio recorder

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-and-TRS-Adapter
Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone plugged into the TRRS to TRS Adapter to connect to Zoom H1n, H2n, H4n, H5, and H6 recorders

When connecting to a Zoom digital audio recorder you need to use the TRRS (3-ring) to TRS (2-ring) Adapter that came with the Purple Panda.

Plug the Purple Panda’s TRS connector into the TRRS (3-ring) to TRS (2-ring) Adapter. Make sure you do this firmly until you hear the “click” that indicates the jack has been fully inserted. For the Zoom H1n and H2n plug the adapter into mic/line socket. For the Zoom H4n/H4n Pro plug the adapter into EXT MIC socket on the rear of the recorder.

Note that for the Zoom H4n the instructions that come with the Purple Panda are incorrect. You need to use the EXT MIC socket and not the LINE IN, as indicated in the instructions.

All the Zoom Handy recorders can provide 2.5 Volt Plug-In Power to the mic-in jack, and so power an external microphone. However, the power is not automatically enabled on all Zoom Handy recorders. The Zoom H1n automatically turns on Plug-In Power when you plug in the mic, therefore you can start recording straight away.

However, when you plug in the mic into any of the other Zoom recorders the Plug-In Power is not automatically enabled, and you will need to do this manually in the recorder’s menu settings.

H2n menu settings: Press “Menu”. Navigate to “Input” and then “Plug-in Power” and choose “ON”.

H4n/H4n Pro menu settings: Press “Menu”. Navigate to “Input” and then “PLUG-IN” and choose “ON”.

In all cases you should adjust the recording level so that your speach peaks at about -12dB.

  • On the H1n use the Vol/Line + and – buttons.
  • On the H2n use the Mic Gain wheel.
  • On the H4n and H4n Pro use the REC LEVEL + and – buttons.

Connecting the Purple Panda to a Zoom H5 or H6 audio recorder

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-and-TRS-Adapter
Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone plugged into the TRRS to TRS Adapter to connect to Zoom H1n, H2n, H4n, H5, and H6 recorders

Plug the Purple Panda’s TRS connector into the TRRS (3-ring) to TRS (2-ring) Adapter. Make sure you do this firmly until you hear the “click” that indicates the jack has been fully inserted. Plug the adapter into the Zoom H5 or H6 mic input socket on the right-hand side of the XY microphone capsule.

Just like the Zoom H1n, H2n and H4n, the H5 and H6 need to supply 2.5 Volts Plug-In Power to the microphone for it to function properly.

On the H5 enable Plug-In Power in the menu. Go to “IN/OUT” and then “PLUGIN POWER”. You should then set it to “ON”. The lav mic should now work.

On the H6 enable Plug-In Power in the menu. Go to “Input & Output” and then “Plugin Power”. Choose “ON” to enable the power. The microphone should now be working.

If necessary, you should adjust the recording level so that your speech peaks at about -12dB, or perhaps -6dB if you are a little less cautious about your audio clipping. Use the input gain dials to adjust the recording level ad required.

Connecting the Purple Panda to Tascam DR-05X Recorder

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-with-TRS-Adapter-and-mono-quarter-inch-jack
Purple Panda connected to the TRRS to TRS adapter and then to a 3.5mm to 1/4″ mono jack adapter

Plug the Purple Panda’s TRS connector into the TRRS to TRS Adapter until you hear the “click”. Plug the adapter into the “MIC/EXT IN” socket located between the recorder’s two built-in microphone capsules. Turn on the recorder and in the menu go to “Rec Settings” then “Mic Power” and select “ON”.

Please note, the 1/4″ jack adapter needs to be mono, as shown in the photo above, and not a stereo jack adapter. The 1/4″ adapter should have one black ring (mono)and not two black rings (stereo).

As with the other recorders, adjust the recording level so that your speech peaks at about -12dB.

Connecting the Purple Panda to Tascam DR-40X Recorder

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-with-TRS-Adapter-and-mono-quarter-inch-jack
Purple Panda connected to the TRRS to TRS adapter and then to a 3.5mm to 1/4″ mono jack adapter

Unfortunately, the Tascam DR-40X recorder does not have a 3.5mm input socket since it only uses Neutrik Combo XLR/Jack mic sockets. These allow you to plug in mics with XLR connectors or a 1/4″ jack. Even so, a Purple Panda can still work with this style of socket if you use both the TRS connector into the TRRS to TRS Adapter (supplied) and a 3.5mm Stereo Jack 1/4 Inch mono to adaptor (not supplied).

Please note, the 1/4″ jack adapter needs to be mono, as shown in the photo above, and not a stereo jack adapter. The 1/4″ adapter should have one black ring (mono)and not two black rings (stereo).

Plug the mic’s jack into the TRRS to TRS Adapter, then plug the adapter into a 3.5mm stereo to ¼” mono jack adaptor. Plug that into one of the recorder’s Neutrik Combo sockets marked “MIC/EXT IN”. Press the Rec Mode button, select “SOURCE” and choose “EXT IN L/R” and then the Home button.

This will record your audio on either the right or left track, depending on which Neutrix Combo socket you used. This is ideal if you are using to use two lavalier microphones in an interview situation since you can keep the audio from each mic separate by using the two tracks. This will make adjusting audio levels much easier when editing.

However, if you will only be using one mic you can get it to record on both tracks by making a further adjustment in the settings. Press the Rec Mode button, select “MS DECODE” and change it to “ON”. Finally, press the Home button to return to the record screen.

You can now set your input levels to get a clear recording.

Sale
Monoprice Metal 6.35mm (1/4 Inch) Mono Plug to 3.5mm Stereo Jack Adaptor -...
  • Package Dimensions: 0.8 cms (L) x 6.2 cms (W) x 7.1 cms (H)
  • Product Type: Electronic Cable
  • Package Quantity: 1
  • Country Of Origin: China

Last update on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Connecting the Purple Panda to an Android Smartphone or Tablet

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-Lapel-Microphone

If your device has a 3.5mm headphone socket, use it to plug in the Purple Panda Lav Mic. But if your device does not have a headphone socket but does have a USB-C socket you can use this instead. You will, however, need a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, which is not included with the Purple Panda lav mic.

In most cases, the lavalier microphone should be recognized and activated automatically. However, in some cases, you may need to use an app that allows you to enable an external microphone manually.

Purple Panda suggests using the “Open Camera” app that is available as a free download from the Google Play Store.

Once installed, open the app and tap on the gear wheel settings icon in the top right corner. Go to the “Video Settings” and open “Audio Source”. In the Audio source panel tap on “External Mic (if present)”.

You can then use Open Camera to record your videos.

Connecting the Purple Panda to a GoPro

Depending on your GoPro model determines how you will connect the Purple Panda lav mic.

Connecting a Hero 2: Plug the Purple Panda into the TRRS to TRS Adapter, which can then be plugged into the GoPro.

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-and-TRS-Adapter

Connecting the Purple Panda to a Hero 3, 3+, or 4: These GoPro models will require the use of the TRRS to TRS Adapter and the mini–USB Adapter. First, plug the Purple Panda into the TRRS to TRS Adapter, then plug the adapter into the mini–USB Adapter. Finally, plug the mini–USB Adapter into your GoPro.

Purple-Panda-Lavalier-with-TRS-Adapter-and-mini-USB

Connecting the Purple Panda to a Hero 5, 6, 7, or 8: This will require the use of GoPro’s Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter. Plug the Purple Panda into the TRRS to TRS Adapter, then plug the adapter into a Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter. The Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter can then be plugged into the GoPro.

Sale
GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter for (HERO8 Black/HERO7 Black/HERO6 Black/HERO5...
  • Enables high-quality audio capture when using a pro-level external mic
  • Usb-c power and data extension with 90 Degree connector
  • Connects a wide range of external 3. 5mm mics
  • Enables stereo mic and line input for external audio sources like an audio Recorder or mixer

Last update on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Troubleshooting

How to check whether your purple panda mic is working?

Connect the Purple Panda to your device, as described above, and then record a test. Do not just speak into the mic. If the lav mic is not connected correctly, your voice will be picked up by your device’s internal microphone, potentially leading to you mistakenly thinking that the lav mic is working.

To perform a test, fit the foam windscreen onto the microphone. Set your device recording and then stroke the foam windscreen. After about 10 seconds you can stop recording.

Now plug headphones into your recording device and listen to your recording. If everything went well, you should clearly hear a scraping sound where you stroked the windscreen. If you don’t hear that scraping sound your lav mic wasn’t correctly connected or isn’t working for some other reason.

What can I do if my recording is buzzing?

Buzzing on your recording can be caused by a few things. Try the following solutions to avoid buzzing on your recordings.

  1. Keep the microphone cable away from power cables.
  2. If your recorder is connected to a power supply, try switching to battery power if you can. This has worked for me on several occasions.
  3. Make sure you have all connectors completely inserted into sockets. Press until you hear the “click”.
  4. If your recording device has Bluetooth/NFC, make sure it is turned off.

About the Purple Panda lavalier lapel microphone

The Purple Panda is a clip-on omnidirectional condenser lavalier microphone. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, GoPro, DSLR, camcorder, Zoom/Tascam digital audio recorders, Android smartphones, and the PS4.

No batteries are needed since the Purple Panda will draw any necessary power from the recording device. So, there’s no need to worry about the microphone running out of power partway through your recording.

This lav mic is OK for YouTube vlogging, making marketing videos for your business, or improving the sound quality of your Skype or Zoom calls.

With a cable length of 1.5m (4.9ft) you’ll find it perfect when filming or recording at your desk. But by adding the 3m (9.8ft) extension cable you or your subject will easily be able to move around in front of the camera.

Purple Panda has pop and wind protection for the microphone. A black foam windscreen and a gray fuzzy windscreen are bundled with the mic. That will save you the need, and expense, of having to buy those from a third party. The foam and furry windscreens will help prevent your audio popping and minimize outdoor wind noise.

Another thing that you won’t need to buy, at least not immediately, is a spare lapel clip. Purple Panda has included a spare, just in case you snap the plastic mic capsule holder. I’ve done it before with a Boya lave mic and used the spare lapel clip from my Purple PandaOpens in a new tab..

For full product specifications see my article Purple Panda Lav Mic Full Specs and accessory list.

Here are some of my favorite content creation tools

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, you found it helpful in creating your own content for your social media and YouTube channels. I have listed some of the gear I use as a YouTuber and online course creator and hope you’ll also find it useful. I have recommended this equipment to my readers and my own family and friends.

Camera: You can use your smartphone when starting out, but I’d recommend getting a Mirrorless Camera. I use both the Canon EOS ROpens in a new tab. and EOS R6Opens in a new tab.. Both can shoot Full HD or 4K, and the Eye AutoFocus will keep you sharply in focus even if you move around. If your budget is smaller, I would recommend the Canon M50 MkIIOpens in a new tab..

Video microphone: Arguably, sound quality is more important than video quality, that’s why I use a Deity V-MiOpens in a new tab.c D3 Opens in a new tab.Pro super-cardioid shotgun microphone on my mirrorless cameras. It automatically powers on when I turn on my camera and powers down when I switch off the camera. But I also like the versatility of the mic. It automatically senses what device it is connected to ensuring it works with SLRs, camcorders, smartphones, Handy recorders, laptops, and bodypack transmitters.

Video Lighting: Although daylight is my favorite lighting, I use LED lighting for all the videos I shoot indoors because good lighting can make a tremendous difference to the visual appeal of a video. For video calls on Zoom or Teams, I use the Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting KitOpens in a new tab.. For YouTube videos and creating video tutorials for online courses, I love the Lume Cube 18″ Cordless Ring Light Kit. Both these lights are excellent, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.

Teleprompter software: I use the iCue teleprompterOpens in a new tab. app on my iPad when using it with a traditional beam-splitter teleprompter and control it remotely with the iCue RemoteOpens in a new tab. app on my iPhone. On my PC I use Teleprompter ProOpens in a new tab. from the Microsoft Store.

Teleprompter hardware: Teleprompters help you present to the camera without needing to learn your script. When I need more screen space and the durability of an all-metal build, I like the Glide Gear TMP100Opens in a new tab. beam-splitter teleprompter. It works with my mirrorless cameras and uses an iPad or tablet to run the teleprompter software.

Tosh Lubek runs an audio and video production business in the UK and has been using the Canon EOS R since it was released in the Autumn of 2018 and the Canon EOS R6 in 2020. He has used both cameras to shoot TV commercials broadcast on Sky TV, promotional business videos, videos of events and functions, and YouTube creator content. He has also won several international awards for his advertising and promotional work. You can meet him by visiting his “video booth” at HashTag Business Events across the country.

Recent Posts