3.5mm to External Audio card Problem

The jist: Electret mic (3.5mm) → Komplete Audio 6 external card (1/4" or XLR)

Komplete Audio 6 external sound card
Sennheiser PC 360 headset

Things I’ve tried:
Using a pre-amp (even though the sound card already has a preamp)
Using a 3.5mm → 1/4" (and/and without)-> XLR adapter

I’m starting to think i may need a DI box or a Re-amp box but i don’t know which does what or why…I don’t care anymore it’s all a big headache…I just need someone to point me in the right direction.
The whole point of doing this is to use the audio card interface exclusively instead of using the pc for audio. I know that pro audio and Consumer audio don’t play well but there has to be a way of doing it.


Electret microphones require a supply voltage. For computer microphones this voltage is provided by the computer sound card.
This is similar to “phantom power” that is required by studio condenser microphones, but with important differences. Computer microphones are typically powered by a voltage of 5 V or less, whereas phantom power for studio condenser microphones is typically 48 V. Also, the voltage is supplied via different plug connectors.
Some electret microphones have a battery compartment so that the electret is powered by batteries - these microphones do not require any additional power.
if your electret microphone does not have batteries then it will not work with that sound card and you will need to upgrade your microphone (or go back to using the computers built in sound card).

The Radio Shack 3013 tie-tack microphone has a Silver 357 battery inside and doesn’t depend on the sound card to work.


An electret microphone has to get its juice from somewhere.

There are several illustrations on the web how to power a “computer microphone” and plug the result into a regular microphone mixer.


Normally, this would work like this…


The battery voltage is being supplied by the laptop.


That Sennheiser headset requires a computer sound card or battery adapter to work. I built that one. I don’t know anybody who makes one.


Here’s another web site about how to build your own.



Thanks for your help. Unfortunately I am not a circuit making type of person. I’d be more interested in commissioning you to make one for me if you wouldn’t mind.

Thanks for the offer, but I can barely keep up as it is. Google didn’t hit anything?

The trick is to avoid “Phantom Power” adapters in the Google search. That’s what larger commercial microphones use to power themselves. Those aren’t five or six volts. Those take up to 48 volts.

I think this company makes modules that would work, but they don’t adapt to three-pin XLR Male.


I think the object of that web site is to adapt computer microphones to a Mini Disk Recorder.


I think the Minidisk people call this “Plug In Power.”

We progress.
I have contacts at Sweetwater Sound and they’re always calling me and asking if there’s anything they can do.

Yes. There is.