Fraud Blocker

Mic Vs Instrument Vs Speaker Vs Line Level: What’s The Difference?

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Jaron Lewis

In the audio world, there are some technical terms which you might come across, especially if you want to start writing and recording your own music. Without understanding these terms and understanding what they relate to, you’ll find you don’t get quality sounds from your equipment, and you can’t make your music sound good. Instead, you will end up with background hiss, weak signals, distortion, and clipping.

It’s also important to be aware that there is a different standard for consumer equipment to professional equipment, so always clarify which standard is being used when you’re trying to talk about these things or using equipment, or you will end up troubleshooting for hours without finding the root of the problem.

How Sound Works

In order to successfully record sound, it must be converted into electrical signals. These signals will have a standard voltage, and this voltage is used to give a reference point for equipment, so you can make sure that the equipment is getting the input voltage it requires. There are four levels which are being handled: mic, instrument, line, and speaker levels.

Mic Level

The difference between mic and line inputs is that mic level voltage is extremely low. It is the weakest level, and will need a preamplifier to get it up to the line level. The microphone works by converting sound vibrations (e.g. the voice of a singer or speaker) into voltage, but this voltage isn’t strong enough to be used with other recording equipment.

Instrument Level

Instrument level voltage is the next lowest, although it contains the greatest variation in voltage. Obviously, different types of instruments will produce different voltages, but again, these voltages are not up to the line level and will not produce good quality sound. You will still need a preamplifier to bring the voltage up to the line level, or else you will encounter the same problems as with the microphone.

Line And Speaker Level

Line Level Definition:

Line level refers to the voltage which an audio signal must have. As mentioned, the standards differ for professional and consumer equipment, but consumer voltages are set at -10dBV (decibel volts), and professional voltages are set at +4dBu (decibel unloaded).

Speaker Level:

Speaker levels are post amplification and are much higher voltages which should only be transferred via speaker cables.


So, to plug equipment into any device which requires a line level, you must bring the voltage up to the standard line level if you want to produce good quality sound. Similarly, if you are plugging into a device which only requires microphone level, you can’t use line levels or you will end up with distorted sound.

Once you have reached the line level and the standard voltage required, you can look at amplifying the sound to run it through a speaker or set of headphones. The resulting level will drive the speaker and produce quality sound. Understanding the steps you need to take and how to bring instrument and mic levels up to the line level will help you produce quality, professional-sounding audio at home.

When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How This INDIE Artist Got Over 67,598,275 Streams On ONE Song

Join the No-Nonsense Music Marketing Newsletter to get the most valuable weekly case studies and strategies to grow your music business!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.




*Here are some small samples of the playlists in our network. Obviously, we aren't able to share every single list for confidentiality reasons, but these are a handful of examples out of the hundreds of playlists we have in our network.*

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Contemporary Christian Music (33K Followers)

Louvores - Gospel (62K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Clean Rap & RNB (25K Followers)

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Chill Music (38K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Today's Pop Hits (38K Followers)

Gaming Playlist & Workout Radio (23K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Forest Gump Soundtrack (50K Followers)

Stagecoach (15K Followers)

Best of Country Hits (2K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Acoustics For Relaxing (48K Followers)

Chill Music (9K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Hard Rock Workout (70K Followers)

Rock Hits (5K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Funky Songs Playlist (190K Followers)

Clean Rap & RNB (10K Followers)

[EDM/Future Bass] Melvin - Luv Again

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Electro-mania (6K Followers)

Best Workout Playlist (14K Followers)




[Hip Hop] K-Rich - We Workin  


[Hip Hop] Surve - Found My Way  

*Note: Songs may have ordered promotion from other sources as well. Small, medium, and large only denote the amount of promotion that was ordered from our service.  



With an already buzzing YouTube audience of over 400K+ subscribers, Kid Travis wanted his Instagram profile to start gaining some of that same traction.

While you can get some spill over audience from YouTube, Kid Travis knew that Instagram ad campaigns could boost his presence on IG even further!

He discovered that trying to run Instagram ads yourself vs. having us add our years of experience and expertise to them made a huge difference!

His main goal was to achieve new followers who are seriously interested in his journey as an artist.

Kid Travis already had amazing talent but needed to combine his music genius with some marketing expertise to get the best of both worlds.

We were able to bring out the heart of his music through paid ads by editing & optimizing his existing videos and properly researching and structuring his ad campaigns.

The end results: We were able to consistently and predictably gain followers averaging between $0.25-$0.35 per follower (including a bulk of the promotion being done in high cost English speaking countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, & Canada) resulting in around 4,000 new, engaged followers/month on Instagram.

Kid Travis Instagram:

Kid Travis YouTube:

*Note: Previous campaigns are not a guarantee for results in future campaigns. However, we do our best to ensure each client gets the best results possible.