REVIEW: sE Electronics DM3 Ultra Hi-Z Active DI

by | Oct 8, 2022 | Best Studio Mics

When it comes to reliable, well-made audio gear, sE Electronics have been providing great products for years — and their new active, inline DI (the DM3) is keeping up its end on that reputation.

The form factor is impressive; it’s not that much bigger than a 1/4” to XLR converter, yet they managed to fit in a three way ground lift selector, and a three way selectable attenuation pad, and they’re both recessed to prevent any accidental movement. The casing is a bright orange and black in a Bengal tiger motif, so this isn’t going to get lost amongst the black and silver sea of other devices. The 1/4” input is a locking type, and the unit requires phantom power for operation.

Right out of the box, plugging in a passive bass guitar into our interface, the DM3 sounds really nice and full. The attenuation pad covers a reduction of 15 or 30 dB, depending on the mixer/instruments being used. The super clear signal was amazing to hear without any futzing around. Running a piezo equipped acoustic guitar brought equally amazing results. For guitar players running into a DAW direct and using plug-ins, this is where your signal chain starts. Using this with several electrics into various amp sims and plug-ins on our Mac was glorious, with excellent clarity right from the start.

The small form factor and affordable price are key selling points. It’s not a box that makes you wonder if it’s worth it, or even question if it’s doing anything. This is perfect for the home user who needs a DI that can work across instrument types, and not be another box on the desk to get in the way. Players on the road that have a DI box for “just in case,” get this. It’s small enough to fit in any case or gig bag, and as it’s phantom powered, no need to worry about an onboard battery. SE packages it in a cardboard sleeve that mimics a stick of dynamite – there’s that, too!

If you’re doing fly-in dates, bring this, but leave the sleeve at home, the TSA will thank you, and there will be no worries about your direct signal tone.


Small, simple, powerful, works on passive instruments very well!