Let’s compare the famous Cloudlifter CL-1 to the Trident Audio Fethead. 

These inline preamps (mic boosters/activators) provide clean gain for hard-to-power dynamic microphones and ribbon microphones like the Shure SM7B. 

But which is right for you? 

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know when comparing the Cloudlifter against the Fethead. 

Quick Answer: The Fethead offers better value than the Cloudlifter by offering more gain at a lower cost while having a form factor that is more convenient to use in the studio. 

Cloudlifter vs Fethead Pricing

Cloudlifter vs Fethead

The pricing for these mic activators will change throughout the year. You can use these links to find the best price possible from various online retailers. 

Related: Ultimate Inline Preamp Buyer’s Guide (Cloudlifter vs Fethead vs Dynamite)

Benefits Of Using An Inline Preamp

An inline preamp will improve the quality of your recording with a dynamic microphone or ribbon microphone. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using an inline preamp:

  • Extra 20-30 dB of clean gain
  • Improve noise-to-signal ratio
  • Protect ribbon microphones from phantom power
  • It allows you to use a less expensive interface/mixer. 

Disadvantage Of Using an Inline Preamp

An inline only has two disadvantages:

  • Requires 48v of phantom power
  • It doesn’t work with condenser microphones

Cloudlifter vs Fethead Specs

In order to properly compare the Cloudlifter to the Fethead, let’s look at the specs. 

Frequency Response20 Hz – 200kHz10 Hz – 100kHz
Form FactorBlockInline
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The big takeaway from the specs is that the Fethead is less expensive while providing more clean gain than the Cloudlifter.

Cloudlifter CL-1 Review

The Cloudlifter CL-1 is the most popular inline preamp on the market. It’s so popular that many people don’t realize that competition like the Fethead exists. 

The Cloudlifter is built in a rugged, all-metal body that seems like it will outlive anyone who buys it for their home studio.

When supplied with 48v of phantom power, the Cloudlifter will provide 25 dB of clean gain to your dynamic microphone or ribbon microphone. This can make a very big difference in reducing the noise/static in your recordings, bringing microphones like the Shure SM7B to life. 

The large blocky design means you cannot connect the Cloudlifter directly to your microphone. Instead, you must use an XLR cable to connect the microphone to the Cloudlifter and another XLR cable to connect the Cloudlifter to your interface or mixer.

The Cloudlifter is extremely reliable. We’ve used ours daily for several years. 

Regarding compatibility, you can use the Cloudlifter with a dynamic microphone or ribbon microphone but not with a condenser microphone. 

That being said, it’s no longer competitive at the current price, and we believe that other inline preamps offer much better value for your money. 

Fethead Review

The Triton Audio Fethead is similar to the Cloudlifter in many ways, but we believe it offers more value. 

The Fethead’s all-metal design is just as durable as the Cloudlifter CL-1, but it’s packaged in a smaller form factor. This allows you to connect the Fethead directly to your microphone or interface, meaning you only need one XLR cable instead of two.

The Fethead also supplies 10% more clean gain than the Cloudlifter (27dB compared to 25dB). This is a significant difference when you are using a hard-to-power microphone or an inexpensive audio interface. 

You will still need 48v of phantom power in order to power the Fethead and it’s only compatible with dynamic microphones or condenser microphones. You cannot use the Fethead with a condenser microphone. 

At the current price, you can buy two Fetheads for the price of a single Cloudlifter, which makes the decision a no-brainer. The Fethead offers far more value than the Cloudlifter. 

Cloudlifter vs Fethead Recommendation

We recommend the Fethead over the Cloudlifter CL-1 because it offers:

  • More clean gain
  • Better form factor
  • Better price

Cloudlifter vs Fethead Pricing

Cloudlifter vs Fethead Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:38 – Equipment Used
  • 1:08 – Price & Specs
  • 1:25 – Benefits of Inline Preamps
  • 4:05 – Disadvantages of Inline Preamps
  • 4:38 – Cloudlifter vs Fethead Specs
  • 8:40 – Connect Inline Preamp
  • 9:39 – Cloudlifter CL-1 Demo
  • 11:35 – Fethead Demo
  • 12:56 – My Recommendation
  • 14:07 – Final Thoughts

Cloudlifter vs Fethead FAQs

Is the Cloudlifter better than Fethead?

The Cloudlifter is more popular, but the Fethead is less expensive, provides more clean gain (27dB vs 25dB), and is easier to use than the Cloudlifter.

Does the Cloudlifter have more gain than Fethead?

The Cloudlifter has 25 dB of gain, while the Fethead has 27dB of gain.