new cd of hydrophone recordings

Jez riley French - '....the bright work' - hydrophone recordings

1) East Yorkshire waters: Thornwick Bay # 2

2) Czech waters: Dolni Pocernice lake

3) English waters: River Cherwell

4) Estonian waters: Mooste jarvi, Apnajarve, Palojarv & Vohandu river

recorded 2008 / 2009 with JrF hydrophones & others.


taiyo yuden cdr mounted on oversized photo card + additional photo card.

postage options



frequently asked questions

Q: how long will it take for my order to be dispatched ?
A: I try to dispatch orders as soon as possible and try to keep standard length cabled units made up and ready to send. However, at times of high demand or when ordering custom length cabled units, or indeed when i'm mid-way through making a fresh batch of units, do please allow some time between ordering and dispatch. I'm an artist, lecturer, workshop leader and indeed a father ! so there are time when i'm away or creating work. Please read the 'important' section on the main page for updates on dispatch schedules.

Q: is there another way to pay other than paypal ?
A: yes, you can send a cheque if you are in the UK - made payable to Mr. J. French. Bank transfer is also possible but remember that payment must be in UK sterling and any transfer and currency conversion fees must be factored in.

Q: do you use your microphones yourself ?
A: yes. I’ve been involved in the creative exploration of sound for over 30 years and I use contact microphones and hydrophones extensively in my work. When I began making these units I supplied them only to fellow artists / recordists, however a few years ago I started a blog on various aspects of field recording and tested lots of other contact
microphones and hydrophones. I was surprised at the often poor quality of lower priced units and at how much better the ones I made were, and indeed how well they compared to the more expensive models. As more and more people became interested in field recording I heard lots of stories of people not bothering with contact microphones and hydrophones after having trouble with other models on the market. So, I decided to begin selling mine to the public. They are now used by artists, field recordists, musicians, aquariums, universities, schools, wetland trusts, film and tv crews, swimming pool
technicians all over the world.

Q: whats the difference between the ‘standard’ and the ‘c-series’ contact microphones ?
A: the main differences are:

. the hand produced element on the c-series is larger, giving a wider frequency response and better definition to the middle and bottom end sounds captured.

. the cable on the c-series is higher spec, with lower handling noise and a more efficient signal transfer to the jack.

. in addition, the c-series are constructed to offer increased durability and sturdiness.

. extra coatings of the unique ‘acoustic transfer’ coating have been applied, which further improve the performance of the microphone.

(extra cable is available on request at a charge of £2 per metre for c-series units and £1.50 for standard units)

Q: whats the difference between the ‘standard‘ and the ‘d-series‘ hydrophones ?
A: the main differences are:

. the hand produced element on the d-series is different and has been specially designed to give a wider frequency response and better definition to the middle and bottom end of sounds captured.

. the cable on the d-series is pro-quality, with lower handling noise and a more efficient signal transfer to the jack.

. the injection-moulded capsule design has been chosen to provide an additional character to the audible range and to assist in the weighting of the unit, which has been designed to suspend itself below the surface in reasonable currents (additional weight can be added by attaching fishing line weights to the cable for example)

. extra coatings of the unique ‘acoustic transfer’ coating have been applied, increasing the performance of the microphone.

(extra cable is available on request at a charge of £2 per metre for c & d-series units and £1.50 for standard units)

Q: what is the foam / soft circular dot for on the c-series contact microphones ?
A: this is simply to provide some additional protection to the element when pressing the microphone onto the surface to be recorded. Don't remove it !

NB: the main surface of the contact mic element is on the other side to the dot - it's the 'non-dot' side that should be on the surface to be recorded.

Q: what’s the best way to attach the contact microphones ?
A: I myself use electrical tape. Blu-tak applied directly to the microphone is not ideal as it will leave a residue on the outer coating of the microphone. If you do intend to use it (or other similar putty-style products) wrap some electrical tape around the microphone first.

Q: my recorder has XLR inputs. Why don’t you supply your products with XLR jacks ?
A: as someone who has used and developed this technology over many years I have tried all possible methods to mount this technology directly to XLR jacks without compromising the sound quality or signal stability. In designing reasonably priced units that offer very high quality results the technology used in the elements cannot be mounted to XLR without one of the pins on the jack being hot-wired for example and to do this often leads to background noise and signal instability. It is also important to match the impedance with the recorder. Therefore, the best results are to use standard 3.5mm or 1/4 inch jacks + an impedance matching adaptor if going to XLR inputs. I myself use a Sound Devices recorder with XLR inputs and use an adaptor to convert the 1/4inch jack units to XLR. The difference in sound quality by using this method is that the mid & low range frequency response has a bit more warmth and definition. I now stock a range of pro-built impedance transforming adaptors and other adaptor cables. Click on the accessories tab on the home page for more info.

Q: are you products compatible with the recorder I use ? and will I need a separate pre-amp ?
A: I've yet to find a recorder they aren't compatible with and for example lots of folks use my products with recorders such as:
Sound Devices 702, 722, 744, 788, 442, 633, 644 etc
Olympus LS100, LS10, LS11, LS12 etc
Fostex FR2le
Zoom H2, H4, H4D, H2N, H4N, H5N, H6N
Tascam DR100, DR40, DR680, DR40-wl, 22wl, 44wl, DR60mkII, DR70mkII
Sony PCM-D50
Marantz PMD661
Edirol R-44
Korg MR2
Nagra recorders
and lots more inc. minidisc recorders
You don't need an additional pre-amp in order to get good results and in fact all of the samples on the soundcloud player at the top of this page were recorded directly into the recorders used without any additional mixers, pre-amps or post production.

Q: what sounds will I hear with a coil pick up ?
A: with these simply devices it’s possible to hear the internal electronic signals of all kinds of everyday items such as radios, tv’s, light switches, computers, mobile phones etc.

Q: it says that you have adapted the coil pick ups - what does this mean ?
A: basically, this technology has limiters applied in order to prevent them being used for certain surveillance practices. I buy them from the factory and remove the limiters that inhibit certain signals. This means that they are able to capture a wider and more fascinating range of signals.

Q: what is the special ‘acoustic transfer coating’ that you use ?
A: this unique coating basically helps spread any sound captured across the entire surface of the unit, therefore enhancing the performance of the microphones. It's basically a coating similar to one used in sonar technology to assist in the spread of sound impulses. In addition to the other methods I use, this is one of the reasons my microphones offer such amazing results.

Q: why are your contact microphones and hydrophones cheaper than others on the market ?
A: my microphones can compete, in terms of results, with units costing £100’s of pounds but are priced reasonably because, as a passionate listener and field recordist, I believe people should have access to reasonably priced equipment which will also give them results that encourage them to explore further. 

Q: are the elements you use made specially ?
A: yes, they are made to certain specifications that offer better results than ‘off the shelf’ elements.

Q: if there’s a problem with any unit I buy from you what can I do ?
A: I always do my best to sort out any issue, no matter how long you’ve owned the item. If the problem is down to damage to the unit I will do my best to repair it for you at cost. If its because of a fault then it will be repaired or replaced free of charge of course.

Q: what about ethical sourcing of parts ?
A: I spend quite a bit of time researching where the various components I use come from and its fair to say that this is often difficult. I use hand built elements not produced in China and all elements of them are sourced from Europe from manufacturers with high reputations for their standards of production and work conditions etc.  The cable I use is produced to a specific design in Europe by a cable manufacturer that usually only supplies audio cable to the installation industry. In short, when buying JrF mics you can be sure that the parts have been sourced in Europe and are not the same as cheaper low quality products.

copyright of all material on this website and in the design aspects of JrF products is in place, as is design registration. Any infringement will be acted up and is simply not cricket !


updated 2016

JrF contact microphones, hydrophones and coils have been used by thousands of musicians, artists, tv, film and games companies, universities, arts organisations, galleries and wildlife trusts around the world including:

BBC radio and TV
(including the new 'Blue Planet - Ocean' series)
The Deep submarium
Channel 4 television
Wildfowl and Wetlands trust
The Barbican, London
White Cube gallery, London
Tate Modern
Tate Britain
BFI (british film institute)
Chris Watson
Sigur Ros
Cecilia Jonsson
Emily Richardson
Imogen Heap
Tarek Atoui
Moma, New York
Sealife centres, UK
Hull school of Art and Design
Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company)
Evelyn Glennie
BBC proms
New Zealand radio
Leeds Beckett University
Hull University
Cambridge University
Edinburgh University
Glasgow University
Newcastle University
National film and television school
Sherry Ostopovitch
Francisco Lopez
Middlesex University
Cal Arts, USA
Helsinki University
Oxford University
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Surrey
Goldsmiths University
Heriot-Watt University
The National Theatre, UK
DICE (ea games design studio, stockholm)
Studio 24, Pinewood studios
University college Cork
Queens University, Belfast
Belfast Uni sonic arts research lab
Fordham University, USA
Loughborough University
University of Bath
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Environmental Research Center, Sohar University, Oman
Quay Brothers
Richard Youngs
Bohman Brothers
Lincoln University
Morley College, London
Birmingham University 

they've also been used on films / games such as

The Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game
The Martian
Call of Duty
Star Wars (films and games)
and 100's more....

as part of the new series of 'bang goes the theory', the BBC science series, you can watch Chris Waston as he listens to the sounds of snails, centipedes & maggots using one of my JrF c-series contact microphones.

here's an extract of the centipede recording (thanks to Chris Watson for permission to use this recording here)

the video clip is also available on the BBC's youtube channel:

a sample of customer feedback comments:
(ps. to date I have never received any negative feedback on the quality of the products I make or the service I offer)

'After many months travelling and recording sounds in South America, I am finally back in England and I wanted you to know that your microphones (contact & hydro) have been some of the best companions during my travels. They never let me down and have allowed me to hear and explore worlds I would have never been able to probe otherwise. So, a warm thank you for this!'

'Currently listening to today's d-series hydrophone recordings and I feel like weeping/doing cartwheels. So pristine, the dynamic range, the frequency range, etc. Unbelievable'

 'my team just got back from our humpback whales expedition, and the hydrophones you created just made everything easier and more amazing. Hearing the whale songs through the hydrophones itself was a very memorable experience'

'perfect in every way'

'i'm stunned by the quality of these mics'

'these are superb !' (c-cm contact mics)

a member of our studio team recently purchased the Hydrophone D model and a pair of Contact C model microphones from you. We've been absolutely stunned by the quality of the units!

Thank you for creating these amazing microphones at such an affordable price! It was a real blessing that Jari Siili found your website and was able to order them. We look forward to ordering a bunch more microphones from you in the future!

Just let you know your hydrophone is working on a daily basis,  and its great. We have had whales singing through our PA systems most days.
Thanks, its great to get some thing that exceeds expectations.
Freedom 111 Whale Watch

amazing !

great quality, fast service. thanks.

Jez, your mics have inspired. 

Charles Lindsay made a nice recording of a bamboo grove in Costa Rica, which you can hear on the link below, using 2 c-series contact mics & commented: ' I'm really impressed with the frequency range of the mics - thank you again - beyond a worthwhile, great addition to my recording arsenal'

amazed with the frequency range of your c-series contact mics Jez !

thanks Jez. I'm amazed with the sounds i've discovered with your mics already.

Excellent service and product.Thank you

V.happy with purchase!

Excellent Product / Good Price / Good Package / Fast Shipping

Thanks, this mic is great! Quick overseas shipping.

very good, very helpful, definitely recommend.

Wonderful hydrophones. Great sound and well made. Fast shipping. Thanks!

Any serious sonic artist should be equipped with at least one of these!

Fantastic service! Looking forward to experimenting. THANK YOU!!

Excellent product.Great quality.Opened up so many opportunities for recording.
Wonderful!! had some amazing results already.
Amazing service, brilliant custom made item, speedy service.
Top Quality & fun to use, buying more. Most helpful supplier. Good advice given.
Works like a dream! Thanks.
The Hydrophone works great, fast delivery. Thanks!
Fantastic item - I've bought 2 now. Thoroughly recommend. A+++++++++++++++++++++
Excellent Item. If you need one of these BUY ONE HERE. Bravo.
Wonderful product and seller, thank you very much.
fast and perfect. Very good seller and excellent communication!
AMAZING seller arrived well before expected and was completely as described.
Microphone works great! Good communication, well packed.
Well made, great contact mic.
Excellent product.
AMAZING seller arrived well before expected and was completely as described.
This hydrophone works great, excellent quality.
excellent service-quality of sound from mic is second to none-great value too.
product will be of great value - highly recommended.
Totally Brilliant.Thanks.
Excellent in every way! Great product!
Excellent product - highly recommended. Thanks for your help with the item also.
Well made mic, good response. Promptly delivered, good comms. 5 stars *****
Great item and very helpful seller, thanks!.
Fast delivery, excellent item as described! Highly recommended seller AAA+++
first class service
Fast delivery, excellent item.
Best I've ever delt with - Thank you - Brillant!
‘the best hydrophone on the market for the price without doubt’
‘quality sound, design and construction. A+’
‘better than the dolphinear hydrophones I have & they cost me over $350 !’
'amazing ! couldn't believe the results I got'
'great value'
'thanks Jez, i'm finding some amazing sounds with these'
'just been to a workshop led by Chris Watson & loads of people thought these were great'


adaptors & extra cable

1/4 inch (female) to XLR (male)
impedance transforming adaptor

to order visit the ordering page

ideal for connecting JrF c-series and standard contact mics and hydrophones to XLR input recorders such as those made by Sound Devices, Fostex, Nagra, Tascam, Edirol, etc etc.

Importantly, matching the impedance also improves the mid and low frequency response also. Standard jack to XLR adaptors won't do this and also will result in interference in the signal.

I've used lots of different adaptors over the years and these are the ones that work best. Well built and they work better than transforming adaptors costing a great deal more.



dual 1/4 inch (female) to Stereo 3.5mm mini jack (male)

ideal for connecting 2 JrF contact mics and hydrophones to recorders with 3.5mm input socket such as those made by Zoom, Olympus, Sony etc.

allows everyone to explore the possibilities of true stereo sound capture, working with two mics into a single mini jack input.


dual 3.5mm (female) to stereo 3.5mm jack (male)

ideal for connecting 2 mini-jack based microphones to a single mic in socket on hand held recorders.



please use the contact form at the bottom of the page


email:   tempjez (at) hotmail (dot) com

nb: despite the post date, this email is current and active.