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The infinitely variable gain control is a knob on the rear of the microphone that allows you to precisely tailor the output level to your recording device. This is an active control that has a greater output range than any other microphone on the market – it can deliver anything from mic level signal all the way to a headphone level output, which is particularly useful when using the 3.5mm jack as a headphone output. Where other microphones simply employ a pad to adjust the output, the VideoMic NTG’s control also actively amplifies the signal at various gain stages, resulting in a cleaner audio with a vastly improved signal-to-noise ratio (it essentially does all the hard work so your camera’s lower-quality internal preamp doesn’t have to, lowering the noise floor of your signal).