Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer

Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer

Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer

B&H # SO302 MFR # 302
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Product Highlights

  • Mic or Line Level Input and Output
  • +48V, +12V and +12V-T Phantom
  • Channels 1 and 2 are Stereo Linkable
  • Low-cut Filter Switches
  • Powered by 3 AA Batteries
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Sound Devices 302 overview

  • 1Description

The Sound Devices 302 is a professional, compact 3 channel audio mixer designed to meet the demands of professional film, ENG / EFP and broadcast applications. Its compact design, extensive feature set and superior audio quality justify the mixer's popularity among industry professionals. The 302 features 3 balanced XLR inputs that are capable of accepting mic or line-level signal (user switchable). The output stage features stereo (L/R) balanced XLR outputs that are also mic or line level switchable (factory set to line, refer to manual for mic level set up).

A user friendly control panel is accessible at the top of the unit for easy set up of additional functions or signal routing. Each channel provides individually switchable +48V, +12V and +12V-T phantom power for condenser microphones. Channels 1 and 2 are stereo linkable and a polarity (phase) reverse switch is provided on channel 2. This makes the 302 ideal for M-S stereo style capturing and monitoring. Input and output limiters are user switchable and eliminate noise and distortion caused by signal overload. Low-cut filter switches eliminate noise below 80Hz and the unit is powered by 3 AA batteries or external 5 - 18VDC power source.

3 Transformer Balanced Inputs
The compact mixer features 3 transformer balanced microphone or line level switchable inputs via XLR female 3-pin connectors.
Flexible Monitoring
The 302's headphone monitor out is capable of varying output impedance between 8 to 1000 ohms. The monitor source is capable of individual channel, mono, stereo, M-S to stereo monitoring and more.
Input and Output Limiting
Each input and stereo outputs provide input and output limiting that prevents signal overload, eliminating noise and distortion.
Polarity (Phase) Reverse Switch
Channels 1 & 2 are stereo linkable, channel 2 features a polarity (phase) reverse switch. This makes the 302 ideal for decoding M-S stereo captured audio signal.
Selectable Phantom Power
The unit is capable of powering condenser microphones requiring +48V, +12V and +12V-T phantom power. Phantom power is individually switched for every channel.
Low Cut Filter
A low-cut filter switch is available on every input, removing noise and rumble below 80Hz.
UPC: 859108005253
In the Box
Sound Devices 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer
  • Setup Menu Card
  • 4 x Bumpers
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Phone (3.5 to 6.3mm) Adapter
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Sound Devices 302 specs

    Inputs 3 - 3-pin LR female: microphone / line level level
    Output 2 - 3-pin LR male: microphone / line level refer to manual for set up
    Monitor/Headphone Out PHONES: 1/8" (3.5mm) mini stereo output jack
    ALT I/O RN: 1/8" (3.5mm) mini stereo output jack - monitor input / alternate ch. 4&5 inputs refer to manual for set up
    TAPE OUT/MIX OUT: TA3-type unbalanced
    Link Input/Output Above TAPE OUT / MIX OUT is also used to link to the Mix In of a 442 or 302
    Impedance Inputs:
    2.5k ohms (actual), XLR, mic setting, < 500 ohm Mics
    16k ohms (actual), XLR, line setting, < 2k ohm outputs
    Outputs:
    150 ohms (actual), XLR factory Line setting, > = 600 ohm mics
    150 ohms (actual), mic (lowest) setting, < 2k ohm outputs
    Gain XLR Inputs:
    75dB, mic / 35dB, line - XLR output @ factory (line) setting
    0-16dB 2dB steps, mic / 40-56dB 2dB steps, line - XLR output attenuated
    Hum & Noise EIN: -126dBu (-128 BV) max (22Hz - 22kHz bandwidth , flat filter, trim control fully up)
    Frequency Response 20Hz - 30kHz, +0.2, -0.5dB, -1dB @ 5Hz and 50kHz typical
    Distortion THD + Noise: 0.007% typical (1kHz, +4dBu at Line Out) 0.009 max (50Hz to 20kHz, +18dBu at Line out, fader fully up)
    Metering Stereo (L/R) 20 segment, sunlight viewable LED meters
    Control Voltage Out No
    Phantom Power 12V, 12V-T & 48V
    Operating Temperature Operating: -20 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius, 0 to 95% relative humidity (non-condensing)
    Storage: -40 degrees to 85 degrees Celsius
    Power 130mA @ 4.5V, internal batteries, idle, no phantom
    55mA @ 12V external DC, idle, no phantom
    Dimensions 1.8 x 8.4 x 4.5" (47 x 214 x 114mm) (HxWxD)
    Weight 1.8 lbs (0.85kg) unpackaged with three alkaline AA batteries
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 3.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.8 x 7.4 x 4.9"

    Sound Devices 302 reviews

    302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 38.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from 27 bd quieter than the Shure FP33?! Lighter, Quieter than the old stand by too. A little tricky at first to figure out how to set it between mic & line output but once you figure it out it only takes a few seconds to switch back & forth. I think the coolest thing is the display. You can see it outside during the day!! You can also crank it down to be not so bright when you don't want it to be. Overall I see why this thing is turning into the new standard. It's the best one in it's price range. I am so glad I chose it.
    Date published: 2008-05-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Fine Over the years, bad audio has caused me more problems than bad video. For the small crew, audio's always an afterthought and unless you have a dedicated audio guy, nobody really caresuntil it's too late. Why didn't I have enough level? Where'd that hum come from? Whatdaya mean you only got camera mic audio? I didn't realize he was overdriving so badly! When it came time to buy a personal mixer, at first I didn't want to spend the big bucks. Then I realized that our Shure FP-33s at work (which are beginning to show their design age) have outlasted every camera we have ever had, and will outlast every future camera we will ever own. The reason is simple: good pro audio gear will always deliver the audio you need and give you the tools you need to set levels properly, monitor both the mixer and the camera and provide seamless limiting to avoid overdriving. A piece of cut-rate equipment will eventually let you down, if not in performance, then features. There will come a time when you will want to do something your less expensive mixer simply can't do. When I realized how long I will use a mixer and how I may want to grow into the mixer's features, it was a lot easier to drop the bucks on a pro mixer. For the kind of production I do (one camera with one, maybe two, mics, doing lots of high-pressure executive interviews) this purchase will be my last field mixerunless I need to support something that needs more than three inputs. So, which one to buy? Time and again, the reviews on every lower priced mixer I looked at said, It's okay, but it's no Sound Devices. So I looked at the 302. Its design (especially the really-flexible LED-VU meter) inspires confidence. It's built like a rigid aluminum brick that is surprising small and light for all its capabilities. Its switch and button layout are just right. The 302 has warning LEDs for every important parameter: - Overloading the input trim? An LED lights. - Bumping up against the limiter? An LED lights (for each channel). - Did you use the manually adjustable output to change the output level to something other than Line Out? An LED lights right next to the output XLR connectors telling you YOU'RE NOT SENDING LINE OUT! - Are you overloading the headphone monitoring because the camera's monitoring volume is too high? A HP-overload LED lights. - Did you leave the unit on? An LED lights to remind you you're killing the batteries. - Batteries getting low? The LED blinksand you can pick which voltage that LED blinks, based on what kind of battery is powering it. - Want to use external power? Get a Hirose HR10-7P-4P click-lock connector and whatever kind of battery you want to attach to it between 5-18 VDC. - Want to check voltage for both internal and external power sources? Press the BATT button and the VU meter becomes a Volt meter. - The LED VU meter has four brightness levels from dim to dazzling for viewing in broad daylight. Believe me, you will see the VU meter no matter what light you're working in. And talk about flexibility: there are eighteen arcane parameters (more if you count sub-levels of adjustment within each of those parameters) that can be adjusted via the Setup Menu. Things like Split-Ear Monitor. (This sums the Return from the camera into the left ear and the 302's R program to the right ear, should you want to set the mixer up for this.) Download the manual from SD to read about them all. But this flexibility comes at a cost: it's a bit confusing to make all these adjustments using only the LEDs of the VU meter and three buttons. You have to study the manual, have it next to you, and experiment a lot before you become comfortable making these adjustments. Fortunately, there is a Default Restore setting that can restore 1) User Default; 2) Factory Default; or 3) Custom Default. It would be better if there was an LCD screen that showed you these parameters in English, but that's a different machine. The Headphone Monitor selector switch has an amazing eleven positions for monitoring, plus the aforementioned Split-Ear monitoring (that sets up in firmware). At the twist of a knob, you can hear what the camera's getting or hear what the mixer is sending, listen to each mic individually or hear M/S stereo if you're recording that way. A key accessory for any pro mixer is a Breakaway cable that runs from the mixer to the camera and also sends the camera's headphone monitor return back to the mixer. You can accomplish the same thing with two mic cables and a stereo mini cable, but they tangle easily. This breakaway cable is built of Canare model MR202-4AT cable that has four individual shielded mic cables inside its flexible outer sheath. Only three of the four shielded inner cables are used: two have male and female XLR connectors and one has two male stereo mini plugs on it. The XLRs feed the Line Out from the mixer to the camera's Line In and the mini stereo feeds the camera's Headphone Out back to the Return In on the mixer. The official Canare Breakaway cable sold at B&H is pretty expensive, but that's because it has an additional multi-pin connector in the middle, about three feet from the camera end of the cable, that lets you rapidly break the cable from the camera without unplugging the two XLR and mini connectors. This allows the cameraman to run to the next location in a hurry if necessary. When the audio guy catches up, he just snaps the cable back together and you're back in business. The cable is only 15 feet long, thoughfine if you're both on your feet, but a little short in my opinion for some location shooting. I built one from bulk MR202-4AT cable and Neutrik connectors that's about 18'-20' long that doesn't have the breakaway connector. It works great. The tone generator outputs 1K at 0dB for setting up the camera's input properly, while simultaneously muting the mic inputs. (I usually set the camera to -20dB so there's plenty of headroom.) Now I know that if I hit 0 on the 302's meter, I have 20dB more headroom on the camera and if I overdrive the VU on the 302 a bit, the camera won't go into distortion. But even if a loud transient comes, the 302's input and output limiters come to the rescue smoothly and seamlessly. No more crackling audio. Output limiter thresholds are manually adjustable between +4 and +20 dB in 1dB steps, if desired. Input limiters are normally active, but can be defeated if desired. Again, you'll need to read and understand the manual, then figure what the blinking setup LEDs mean before you do this. The other position of the Tone switch activates a built-in slate mic so you can verbally slate the take. There are bass roll-off switch settings for each input at 80 and 160 Hz to attenuate air conditioning and other low frequencies before they cause trouble. Each mic can be hard-switch-panned Left, Center or Right. No pan pot. Three different phantom powering switch positions are available: DYN (0) for dynamic mics that don't need power; PH for normal phantom powering (12 or 48VDC switchable); T for mics like our old Sennheiser shotguns that need T-type power. (This is great: no need to haul the clumsy Sennheiser T-power supply around and worry about its battery life.) The 302 updates the Shure FP33's classic design. The FP33 is simply from an analog past while the 302 is geared to today's digital recording world. For instance, the 302's meter ballistics are adjustable: Peak; VU; Peak+VU; Peak-Hold+VU. The LEDs can respond instantaneously as Peak or more averaged VU. User friendly touches abound: you see that battery tube sticking out the right side where the three internal AA cells go? You'd think that would get in the way, but it's just the opposite. The tube sticks out about as far as an XLR plug when a mic cable is plugged in. So when you need to change batteries, the screw-off tube cover is right there, easy to find and grasp. The cap has a chain so you can't lose it. The tube is sealed so even if the cells leak, they won't corrode the innards. Compare that to the FP-33 that has a battery compartment on top that you can't get to when it's in its case; and that the FP33 also takes two 9 Volt cells, which are a pain to stock compared to the much more common AA cells. About the only con is that it only has a mini-stereo output for headphones and it comes out the left side. I bought a small right angle mini-stereo male-female elbow so the headphone connection is accessible from the front. It does come with a mini to adapter that also solves this problem. Overall, I love this mixer. It's super quiet, delivers excellent gain, the pots are absolutely noiseless and smooth, yet stiff enough not to be moved accidentally, and I always know what it's doing and its battery state. It has singlehandedly reduced the pressure on me during high stress executive interviews and always brings home good audio.
    Date published: 2011-02-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional gear and company. You've read all about how wonderful this mixer is- and the reviews are absolutely right. It is breathtakingly high quality and is made in the USA.What is missing in the reviews is a sense of what happens if you manage to break your mixer. I'll tell you. You send it to Sound Devices and they'll fix anything that could possibly be wrong, all at an incredibly reasonable price! The 302 I bought used (from Craigslist) turned out to have been badly abused but the wonderful people at SD made it as good as new. They even touched up the paint! Incredible. Try getting that level of service with any other major manufacturer and you'll be disappointed- but you're in good hands with Sound Devices. So go ahead, plunk down more money than you planned to spend on a mixer, recorder, or whatever SD makes. You get amazing, industry-leading gear and you can rest assured that SD has your back and will promptly fix your gear in the extremely unlikely event that you manage to break it. Believe me, that is a great feeling.
    Date published: 2014-11-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stellar Little Mixer for the Pro I've used this mixer on many gigs and it's never failed me. It's built like a tank, which gives a lot of confidence (unlike the semi-plastic cheaper ones you see). Used well it should last decades (hey... amortize THAT!). Not crazy about the weird way of changing internal settings (via the LED light codes). This unit is quiet, solid, and reliable. You'll be glad you spent the extra for it when the shot is really critical. Like my grandpa always said: buy once, cry once.
    Date published: 2008-06-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best of the best I work full time as a freelance location mixer having been an A1 or A2 on shows airing on every broadcast and cable network. I tend to work four to five days each week and for six years now the 302 has been my go to mixer providing many many hours of reliable clean sound day after day and year after year. It's been with me in many countries around the world and through many challenging sound environments from Katrina in New Orleans (and 12 other storms before and after) to the high Swiss alpen to the dessert expanses. It's provided sound for many network live shots and fortune 500 CEOs in sit down interviews. There's only one SD302 and for me it's my first choice for size and weight when I don't need four or five channels from my 552 or 442. The cost is fair for the quality you'll get and the years of confident service it will provide. Your reputation depends on it and the 302 delivers.
    Date published: 2010-11-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome field mixer! However.... The other reviews cover how awesome this mixer is. Just a side note on the internal battery compartment. It is very slim and does not accommodate the rechargeable batteries I use, since they are a bit thicker than disposables. I know an external battery is the way to go, but if you don't have a BDS or the extra cash for the NP-1, cup & charger you will need to use disposables or an ac adapter.
    Date published: 2016-05-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Mixer! You can't really go wrong with Sound Devices. I use this with my 702 and usually the setup is 2 channels for wireless lavs and the third for boom. It's more than enough for field recording, SFX gathering, etc. It's really well-built and I won't worry too much when I bump into something or drop it. Great sound quality and great controls too. The interface for the menus is really well implemented. Well worth the money! Don't go cheap and try to save a bit by buying lower end products.
    Date published: 2012-03-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from 302 Portable 3 Channel Field Mixer A little history first. I first encountered this product while taking a film class at a local community college. And when I went to research it to see if the equipment the college was using was decent, I was surprised that it was better. As a class we all had a chance to use it and learn the basics. And I was impressed by all it could do I started saving money for it, it took about a year to finally muster up the cash to pay for one. I usually record my churches preachings and some special events via a small HD camcorder and the way I'm going to use it is by connecting it to the main mixer and being able to control my audio volume and monitoring it without having to disturb the audio guys. One thing that I found intriguing was that the RTN input can become an extra 4/5 channel with left side/right side or both to choose from, for those auxiliary/mp3/line-in devices. This can be setup thru the menu which isn't too hard to do, it takes a few minutes to figure out. There's a few minor nuances like hard to reach switches, battery life, which is expected in a portable power house mixer, but nothing big enough that would make this product not worth buying.
    Date published: 2011-07-15
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