First Look at the Ambient UMP III Universal Microphone Power Supply

The Ambient UMP III Power Supply is a design that Ambient continues to improve time and time again. This tiny Microphone Power Supply has an incredibly small form factor without removing any of the features of its predecessors. Before we dive into the UMP III, first we need to understand its history.

What is a Universal Power Supply for?

A Universal Power Supply is a device that allows you to power your microphone sources free of noise. Specifically, in our case, the UMP III supplies Phantom Power to a phantom-powered microphone in the field. As soon as the power supply senses the microphone connected, it will instantly turn on and supply a solid 48V of power to your microphone. Older units that were around during the 12V T Power days will rejoice, their vintage shotguns will still work with the new unit because of its backward compatibility.

Check out the size difference between the UMP II and the UMP III

Why the change?

About 5-10 years ago, rechargeable battery technology was slowly coming down at price. This cheaper battery technology might be a godsend for our productions’ pocketbooks who are ultimately paying for our equipment, but it doesn’t always help our equipment work better. This means we do not need to change batteries in the UMP III like we would all throughout the day like with the older models.

Re-chargeable batteries do not have as much potential and capacity as lithium-ion or some higher capacity disposables have. This means batteries inside the power supply will degrade faster. If you use lithium batteries this product will still work flawlessly, but with lower capacity batteries it started to not be as reliable.

New Powering Options

The New UMP III is powered by an NP-50 Battery (or LB-50 depending on where you are from). So many Sound Manufacturers will love developing miniature products that can operate on this smaller voltage output.

The LB-50 batteries is a common battery in most sound products lately

What can I do with the UMP III?

It is more of a question of what you can’t do without one! These little boxes make it so easy to take a fully powered shotgun microphone and plug it into a belt-pack transmitter. Wireless Boom rigs and plant microphones have never gotten any easier. This is perfect for the seasoned boom operator that needs to have a low-profile setup on their pole. The smaller the device, the easier it is to hide or hold above your head for longer. Keep up the good work Ambient.

What would you use the Ambient UMP III for on your shoots?

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