Sescom Line2Mic Cable for Audio Recorders


Hey, here's an idea. Run the Microphone into your portable audio recorder, and then run the headphone out port into your camera mic input. If it sounds good in the headphones, it should sound good running into the camera. Well before you tackle that idea, just know that headphone outputs aren't all the same and run pretty hot. Some portable audio recorders have a dedicated 'Line Out' so you'll be safe, but not the Zoom H4n or Zoom H1. You can easily damage the mic input on your camera if you're not careful.

So above is the cable from Sescom. This isn't something new, and most of you might have already run into this product. This particular one I have is for the Zoom H4n, but i'm showing it with the Zoom H1 (didn't have H4n with me). It's a Sescom Line2Mic attenuator cable that drops the headphone out from the Zoom by -25db making it safe to use directly into your camera's Mic input. There's different cables with different levels of attenuation provided for different recorders. Don't think this will save your AGC enabled cameras, that's not what it's there for. This cable is for the Canon 60D and 5D Mark II that control manual audio. (Or try it on the T2i with Magic Lantern).

So why do it this way? Well for starters, the amps on the Zoom recorders will help you adjust levels and sensitivity. If you're using the H4n, it gives you a way to connect XLR type microphones. Is the audio just as good as what's recorded? Not really, but you'll be surprised on how well it does sound. I'm not going to run through a bunch of tests today, a bit swamped, but if you're curious you can find lots of tests already at Or for those of you who have your video links, throw them in the comments.

find-price-button Sescom LN2MIC-ZMH4-MON 3.5mm Line to Mic 25dB Attenuation Cable for Zoom H4N with Headphone Monitoring Jack

45 thoughts on “Sescom Line2Mic Cable for Audio Recorders

  1. Julio

    Hi friends! It seems there is an alternative to the Sescom cable. It is the Koss VC-20 which is cheaper ($8), and besides has volume control. Anyone knows more about this?

  2. suggestions for T3i?? i have an h4n as well. same deal- rode into h4n, the new secom cable w/ headphone jack outa the h4n into cam and ears? not sure if there is any diff and i didnt see any t3i comments. thanks!

  3. Pingback:

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Casjen Ennen - The Zoom records audio at a higher quality than the DSLR. Since you'll be usin gthe Sescom cable, it's possible to record to both and choose which sounds better later.

  5. Hello Folks,

    I´m from Germany and wanne use the new Sescom Cable for a movie.

    Would connect the Zoom H4N (Sennheiser on Boompole in Zoom) with my 5Dm2 and monitor the sound with the cable jack.

    1. Is there something i can do wrong? Don´t wanne destroy anything in my cam!

    2. How good is the quality compared to syncing the Zoomrecord with Plural Eyes?

    Thanks so much for any help, i would be happy to hear something from u quickly!

  6. mark

    ooops, I have 5d2 and a zoom mic. I accediatly put the secom cable into the mic port on the zoom rather that the headphone port. Now the 5d2 video frequency is off and I get rolling black lines, did i damage something?

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Tim - Sorry, the actual audio recording will still be managed by AGC. Best bet is a Zoom H1 close the subject and sync in post.

  8. Tim

    I see, thanks for the advise! I just sold my beachtek because the setup really takes a while since I'm doing home video mostly... something like , just wanna be quick and versatile. Do you think a rode mic will suits me better? (this AGC problem is really killing me, just hope magic lantern do it's magic on the 7D!)


  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Tim - That won't work, because AGC in a 7D is done in the camera. It takes any signal and performs it's AGC. When feeding a signal into one channel (mp3 player) then you are tricking the AGC. It hears a constant signal and AGC remains contstant, so you can adjust the other channel (your main audio) to whatever you want- sort of. Best bet for the 7D is to use something like the DS214:

  10. Tim

    Hi Emm, thanks for your great review. Have done a lota research myself here to figure out the simplest way to get the audio without to sync it in post ~ I've got a 7D and a H1 here, so all I gotta do is get this sescom cable
    without without having to plug a mp3 player on the side? So this way, I can just control the audio level from the H1 with the AGC disabled?

    I'm so cofused here ~
    Thank you so much (I've got most of my equipments through your reviews~)

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @David I - It's probably because the Recorder has much better sound pickup than the Canon 60D. You're getting the real headphone out signal. You need to adjust the headphone out volume on the recorder, and also change the 60D to Manual Audio and turn down those levels as far as you can. (maybe one or two clicks up).

  12. David I

    Hey Emm, I have this cable with the monitor output, (Y-Cable) made by the same company (sescom). Here is my hook up, Tascam DR-05 to Canon 60d with this cable. It seem to record louder, which is fine, but have more background noise (room noise) then I do with using the on board mic from the canon 60d. Any idea what i am doing wrong? When I record without the cable and sync in post it sounds a lot better. but I'd like to avoid syncing in post.

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Clay - It would be easier for PluralEyes to sync with good audio, but you'll be surprised what you can get using this technique. You might even just stick with the audio from the camera.

  14. Clay

    If you're using an H1/H4n with a Videomic (or other shotgun) and PluralEyes to sync would this just be a safety to ensure than your camera audio is clear enough for the software to work?

    Or is Pluraleyes good enough that it can just work off of the camera mic and make it unnecessary?

  15. Clay

    Emm where is the line to mic cable with the headphone split to be used with H1/H4n? Having trouble finding it.

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Ben - You can run a splitter after, or buy the new cable that has headphone monitoring too.

  17. Ben Edwards

    Hang on, you need to use the headphone socket to monitor sound. Monitoring sound is video sound 101! or have I missed something.

  18. Halldor

    I' use headphones with the Zoom H1, the Sennheiser RS-160,
    It's pretty nice, I' just connect the sender to the Zoom H1 with a really short cable. And it runs off of 2 AA batteries. Would much rather be able to monitor what I' am recording than get the sound (possibly bad sound) onto the camera.

  19. duncan

    Uh oh!

    I tried this idea out...only I didn't have the sescom cable. I tried it with a regular cord.

    Have I screwed up my camera?

  20. duncan


    I've been trying to do this with my 60D and H4N but without the Sescom cord. I thought it was a good idea. I noticed it was way loud and simply turned down the record volume down to almost nothing.

    But I do know there were times where a recorded very hot!

    How do I do a thorough test to make sure I haven't (hopefully!) damaged my camera?

  21. Bill

    I use the H1 mics in most situations (mic input set to about -12dB) -- with a Sescom cable out from the H1 headphone jack to the Panasonic GH2 in (audio gain set to "Low"). This gives me no discernible noise floor on the camera and two usable tracks to choose from in post.

  22. Tony Carretti

    Here's a test I did using the H4n with an Audio Technica shotgun and the Sescom cable compared to a Rode Videomic going straight into the camera. Did this on the GH2 so I had to use the Sescom 3.5 to 2.5 cable specifically for the H4n to Gh2 connection.

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Kelly - this is not a line out for headphones. This is taking a line out from the headphone jack and inputting it to a microphone input. This can be damaging if not done correctly.

  24. Emm

    Post author

    @J Hanna - That does not look like the correct cable. That's for Headphone monitoring on the Canon 5D Mark II with magic lantern.

  25. Patrick

    This is just what I posted about on dvxuser a day ago.

    Could you please also test inserting the agc hack? On a H4N you could get the 16khz tone into the H4N on one channel, the mic on the other channel and if everything goes right you´d have a good output to the gh1 (in my case) with one channel agc disabler and nice mic sound on the other one, and that with no danger of damaging the cam. At least that´s what I imagine...

  26. Is this the right one to get:

    if i have a zoom h1 and a t2i and a sennheiser?


    $800 for t2i
    $100 for nifty fifty
    $950 for 24-105
    $200 for 16mm
    $200 for sennheiser mic
    $99 for h1
    $150 for rails
    $500 for follow focus
    $165 for 2 led lights and sony batteries/charger
    $30 for a monopod
    $20 for a head for said monopod
    $12 in chinese batteries
    $30 bucks for chinese lcd monitor and wall adapter
    $25 in chinese ball heads, mini tripods and randoms
    $100 in SD cards
    $40 for an awesome camera bag from lowe pro
    $20 for improved camera strap
    $100 for lcdvf
    =$3,571 bucks

    price of my Canon GL-2, the first prosumer camcorder I ever bought. $2,500....not including tripod, 35 adapter, bag, batteries, minidv tapes, lights, sound, anything...

    times have changed. PS: bought my GL-2 in 2004. wow.

  27. I've been doing this for a few months using a -25db cable I had to order from the UK at the time - much more expensive than the one you linked to.

    I use the old H4 (non n) and I have meant to alter people to one advantage the old model has - dedicated line and headphone jacks. This means you can monitor the sound as you record it via headphones, and adjust the levels of the headphones without affecting the line out jack. It works really well though I still usually use the recording from the Zoom rather than from the camera.

    Keep up the great work.
    - Martin

  28. Jared

    I already use my H4's line out into my T2i because it makes syncing an external audio track a lot easier in post. You just match the H4's track to the video's track and you're done. Thanks for all the updates lately, Emm!

  29. stefan

    i use the described setup, works as a charm,
    good syncable audio that even sounds quite ok,
    can't beat the canon 5d2 lousy noisefloor, but
    far more better than any mic immediately plugged
    in the 5d

  30. Nick

    This is sort my my workflow right now, minus the digital recorder in the middle. I have a Sound Devices MM-1 pre-amp to power the mic and then I output the sound straight into the Canon 60D. It requires more attenuation for its line level output than the Zoom, to the tune of about -50dB. I did a quick test of this configuration compared to the in-camera mic of the 60D.

    Here it is:

    However, as I state in the video, my attenuator cable failed on me, so I was using the pre-amp at the lowest gain setting as well as the lowest level on the 60D's manual audio in order to get a working level. The cable that failed me was Sescom's -50dB cable. I only used it for a few tests, no real world use, and it stopped transmitting sound. The connection must have failed somewhere.

    I haven't contacted Sescom about the broken cable. Instead I bought a similar cable made by Remote Audio and available on B&H. The interesting thing about that cable is that the cable itself attenuates -10dB and the pad attenuates -50dB, so when I run the cable in one direction, I have to set the pre-amp to 30 something dB of gain and when I run it the other way, I need 50 something dB of gain. I'm not sure which will be better to use.

  31. the_wallbanger

    For the users who run just a mounted Zoom H1 into the line-in of their DSLR, what H1 volume level are you using for the out signal? Let's say for a typical indoor environment.

  32. Jackson

    Would it do anything to turn the line output of the H4n down from "80" (factory default) to something like "10" or lower, so as not to blow out the line in?

    Actually, let me just test that real quick...

    Seems to work pretty well with the H4n output set on "10" It might be noisier than using the attenuator cable (I don't have one, so can't test) but it definitely isn't frying the mic input or anything...

    Of course if you do this and forget to turn the levels down once, you could damage your camera I suppose.

  33. Carlos

    Not sure that I totally understand what it is that would happen in the described example. Does this allow me to go right into my Lantern'd t2i from the Zoom and use the Zoom to preview the audio? Or does it just give me more options to tweak sound before going into the t2i?

    Biggest reason I don't use a Lantern workflow now is because I can't preview the audio on a pair of headphones. Is there a work around to this now?

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