Using the Powerplay P2 for Wired IEM

Other personal mixing devices, such as the Behringer P1, P2, etc.
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RexBeckett
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:52 am

Using the Powerplay P2 for Wired IEM

Post by RexBeckett »

People often ask for advice on the best way to run wired IEM from XR/X32 line-level outputs. There are two challenges with this: Line-level outputs are designed to drive load impedances of at least 600 Ohms and can distort badly when connected to typical IEM/headphones; The console outputs are balanced mono so must be adapted to suit the IEM/headphones unbalanced stereo connection.

These challenges can be overcome by the use of a suitable headphone amplifier. One good candidate is the Behringer Powerplay P2. The P2 is a reasonably-priced, compact, battery-operated headphone amplifier. It can drive most types of IEMs or headphones without placing abnormal loads on the console’s outputs. The P2 can be configured for mono or stereo operation by an internal switch. It is also quite easy to connect using, mostly, standard cables. Here are some of the possibilities:

Mono feed from an XLR output
Switch the P2 to Mono. Connect to the console XLR output using a standard (balanced) XLR cable.

Mono feed from a TRS output
Switch the P2 to Mono. Connect to the console TRS output using a standard (balanced) TRS to XLR-M cable. You could also use a TRS to TRS cable.

Stereo feed from the Phones output (Not usually necessary.)
Switch the P2 to Stereo. Connect to the Phones output using a standard (balanced) TRS to XLR-M cable. You could also use a TRS to TRS cable.

Stereo feed from two XLR outputs
Switch the P2 to Stereo. Connect to the two XLR outputs using a stereo XLR cable (see attached). These are sometimes called Insert cables. They are not the same as Splitter cables. They are quite easy to make but are also available in various lengths from here. You want the type: XLR Male to DUAL XLR-F.

Stereo feed from two TRS outputs
Switch the P2 to Stereo. Connect to the two TRS outputs using a TRS Insert cable. e.g. Insert Cable. Ideally you would use dual TS to XLR-M to allow for easy cable extension but these are not common so may need to be special order or DIY. There is a European source.

Feeding Multiple P2s
The P2 has a high (bridging) input impedance so, if you can persuade some band members to have the same monitor mix, you could save outputs by running them from the same one. In this case you would need one or more XLR Splitter cables - one XLR-F feeding two XLR-Ms. Available from here but this time the type is: XLR Female to Y Splitter XLR-M. You could run up to twenty P2s from one mono or stereo feed without any loading issues.
Attachments
XLR Insert Cable
XLR Insert Cable
Standard TRS Insert Cable
Standard TRS Insert Cable
Stereo XLR Cable
Stereo XLR Cable
Last edited by RexBeckett on Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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GaryH
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:19 pm

Re: Using the Powerplay P2 for Wired IEM

Post by GaryH »

Hi Rex!! Thanks for this, great resource!!
dmorrison
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:18 pm

Re: Using the Powerplay P2 for Wired IEM

Post by dmorrison »

Nice work Rex. Great reference material.
I do love the P2s.
Now I can find the correct XLR pinout (rather than resoldering a few times).
For testing and emergency purposes, I have used a standard insert cable (2xTS - TRS) and a TRS—XLRm cable coupled with a stereo (TRS) coupler. Headphone extension cables also can extend the insert cable in a pinch.
RexBeckett
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:52 am

Re: Using the Powerplay P2 for Wired IEM

Post by RexBeckett »

Thanks, Dave. If it saves you one burnt finger while trying to resolder the beautiful, but incorrect, XLR wiring, it will have been worth the effort. :D

I've experienced just too many problems with jack/jack couplers and extension cables (invariably of moulded construction) to be comfortable using them except, as you say, for testing. I have a large collection of anything to XLR inline adapters mostly built from Neutrik modular components. These allow me to use my well-tested XLR cables for most connections.
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