DolphinEar/PRO Hydrophone Gear Guide
The DolphinEar/PRO is a fully submergible, omnidirectional, underwater microphone. The Hydrophone is waterproof up to 100 meters (about 328 feet - however the waterproof cable provided is only 33ft) and is rugged enough to handle oceanic conditions and water pressures. With this hydrophone, you can record various sounds such as underwater animals and wildlife.
The hydrophone can be used in the following environments:
Bodies of water (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc)
Underground (buried in soil)
Ice (frozen into liquids)
This hydrophone can be used in various liquids. Please get approval from Media Loan staff prior to use in potentially hazardous liquids.
- Wash the Hydrophone immediately in fresh water after use to remove any debris, or salt deposits, or chlorine if used in pool.
- Dry off before storing.
- Tow behind a boat
- Attach the amplifier/sound recording device or hydrophone to your body. Hold with your hand.
- Use excessive force
- Store/use in extremely hot temperatures
- Leave equipment unattended
- Submerge into hazardous chemicals (chlorine is okay)
- Let the hydrophone strike sharp surfaces or collide with objects
- Attach it to your body prior to submerging
The DolphinEar/PRO hydrophone is an omnidirectional microphone. It was designed with unique large aperture MPC piezo-electric element that responds to sound pressure variations over a wide dynamic range. It is completely encased in a special epoxy casing, which makes it far more rugged than most other under-water microphone designs.
DolphinEar/PRO provides high quality, balanced audio output over a wide frequency range (15 Hz - 20,000 Hz +/-3db). It is supplied with 10 meters (33 feet) of high quality Neoprene/PVC cable terminated in a standard 3 pin XLR connector. Unlike standard ball-type hydrophones, DolphinEar/PRO’s unique disc design minimized flow noise while recording from a boat in medium to heavy sea conditions. DolphinEar/PRO may be buried in earth or sand for use as a geophone-type microphone as well.
This hydrophone is fitted with a standard 3-pin XLR connector. The shield is connected to pin 1. DolphinEar/PRO does not need external power, but you can still use it on amplifier systems that provide up to 48 volts of phantom power. A set of DC blocking capacitors is fitted inside the XLR connector shell to block the phantom DC power. If you are using the DolphinEar/PRO on unbalanced amplifiers, we recommend the use of a small matching transformer to maintain hum and noise canceling benefits of a balanced microphone.
Frequency response (overall):
15 Hz – 20,000 Hz +/-3db
Hydrophone Transducer Type:
MPC (Piezo) High Output
Omni-directional, balanced output, 600 ohms XLR
Rugged epoxy encased, 60mm Dia x 8mm thick
High quality, low noise, neoprene/PVC jacket
Standard 3 pin XLR
None (does not require phantom power)
As soon as this hydrophone is submerged it will pick up sounds and is best used at least 7ft deep. The omnidirectional pattern of the hydrophone means that the orientation is versatile.
Simply plug the XLR that is attached to the hydrophone into an amplifier or sound recording device. Media Loan sound recorders, such as the Olympus LS-100 and Zoom H4N, require separate proficiencies from the hydrophone prior to checkout.
SAFETY TIP - Do not attach the amplifier/sound recorder or the hydrophone itself to your body.Hold it in your hand, or set on a stable surface. You can use various devices to extend the hydrophone outwards from the recorder before submerging.
Usage on a boat:
DO NOT TOW THIS HYDROPHONE. DolphinEar/PRO does not have the proper design to be towed behind a boat. When towed, this hydrophone will pick up extraneous noises, which detracts from the performance. There is also a risk that the cable could get caught in a propeller.
For best results, turn off the engine and drift – otherwise engine noise will be picked up. You can lift the hydrophone and set it so that your boat hull blocks sounds from other boats that may be nearby. To minimize sounds from your own boat, such as waves, you can use various devices to extend the hydrophone outwards (a fishpole, float, etc).