5 Ways to Monitor Audio on Cameras That Don't Have Headphone Jacks

Just because your camera doesn't have a headphone jack doesn't mean you can't still monitor your audio.

There's no such thing as a perfect camera, which is something you might know all too well if yours doesn't have a headphone jack. For indie/no-budget filmmakers who frequently one-man-band it, monitoring audio on your camera is often the most sensible option, but there are quite a few cameras out there that don't have an input for headphones. If you're stuck in this boat and are in need of a low-cost solution, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter offers five of them in the video below:

When it comes to monitoring audio for a feature or short, the best solution in most cases is to have a boom operator/sound recordist, but let's get real—some of us barely have money to buy ramen let alone hire a crew. Perhaps even more tragically, some of us don't know anyone who could do the job.

So if you're the sole filmmaker on your set, are recording sound on a smaller project, or damn, just want to monitor your own audio as you shoot because you just do, then Pike's hacks are definitely worth taking a look at. Each one of these tools will not only provide you with that all-important headphone jack, but some will also allow you to adjust your levels. 

  • Use a monitor
  • Use HDMI dongles
  • Use a preamp
  • Use a handheld audio recorder
  • Use an audio recorder/external mic combo

What are some other ways filmmakers can add a headphone jack to their camera setup? Let us know in the comments below.     

Your Comment


good ideas, but missing something important...what is the connection on the camera? None were mentioned. So if you wanted to use the Zoom H1, how does it connect to the camera..via what type of port?

September 8, 2017 at 7:28AM


probably with an AUX cable (3.5mm, looks like a headphone jack on both ends), from the H1's headphone output to the camera's mic input

September 8, 2017 at 5:30PM

geoff webb
Director, Producer, DOP, Editor

You said what to do when using the hdmi dongle while shooting in 4K but I’m having the same issue with my Canon T7i and can’t figure out how to get a live view at the same time

December 22, 2018 at 5:23PM