Have you been on a search for the best XLR cables? Look no further, we have got you covered.
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XLR cables are often used for many audio and video devices. They can either be balanced or unbalanced. The balanced XLR cable consists of two signal wires and a ground wire, unlike the unbalanced XLR cables that have two copper wires acting as conductors.
For unbalanced XLR cables, one of the wires carries audio signals while the other one carries the ground signal resulting in a lack of balance which allows the cables to pick up a lot of unwanted noise.
There are different XLR cables. Some are specific to microphones, while others are specific to speakers. XLR cables for microphones are balanced cables used to connect a microphone to a mixer.
The XLR microphone cable is thin with two-conductor wires and a shielded ground wire. The XLR microphone cable also has a 3pin XLR connection which protects the wires from sound interference.
XLR speaker cables on the other hand are unbalanced cables. They consist of two-conductor wires and are used to connect an amplifier to a speaker. Speaker cables are generally designed to be heavy-duty which is why the wires are thick and heavy.
Unfortunately, they do not provide any shielding from external noise. The cables can either be male to male or male to female orientation. XLR cables are different from cable types like star-quad cables.
1. Mogami Gold STUDIO-02 XLR Cable
This is our pick for best XLR cable (for the money).
The Mogami Gold Studio XLR cable though expensive but is known for being a high-quality brand for XLR cables. The cables have a better signal which in turn allows the sound that passes through them to come out much clearer.
This is a 4 conductor cable that produces much clearer sounds due to the ability of the conductors to reduce noise. They are also very thick, durable, and guess what? There is a lifetime warranty!
The cables come in different lengths of 2ft, 3ft,6ft, 10ft, 15ft, 25ft, 50ft, 75ft and 100ft . Though high-end, they come highly recommended for studio use due to the sound quality.
Mogami Gold STUDIO-02 XLR Cable Video Review:
2. Cable Matters Premium XLR Cable
This is our pick for best XLR cable (regardless of cost).
Cable Matters XLR cables have the reputation of being one of the best XLR cables despite being the most affordable option. While the price point makes it attractive, the cable also comes in a malleable jacket made from PVC which ensures proper storage.
The cables have a copper conductor with high-quality copper shielding that ensures the sound traveling from your mic cable to your audio interface is noise-free. The cable is durable enough to withstand some rough handling due to the PVC inner shields.
Another thing that makes the price worth it is that there are two cables in the pack. If you are looking for quality cables on a budget, this brand will make you smile.
The cables come in lengths of 3ft, 6ft, 1oft, 15ft, 20ft, 25ft, 35ft and 50ft! They can be used in a home studio as well due to the mid-range price and durability.
Cable Matters Premium XLR Cable Video Review:
3. Amazon Basics XLR Cable
This is our pick for best cheap XLR cable.
This Amazon basic male-to-female microphone cable is highly recommended for studios and stage use. Though not one of the expensive cables, it has good copper conductors and copper shielding.
The PVC jacket is neither too small nor too big, enables flexibility and durability. Unlike some brands, the connector body is not made from gold plating but from zinc alloy and is nickel plated.
Though this cable has not been approved for professional use and some of its contact points are a bit disjointed, it is suitable for home studios and is definitely a good choice for the price.
The cable comes in 6ft, 10ft, 25ft, and 50ft length options
Amazon Basics XLR Cable Video Review:
Questions and Answers
What can XLR cables be used for?
XLR cables serve as a connector for most audio devices. They carry large electrical currents between microphones and mixers or between amplifiers and speakers.
The 3pin XLR cables are however more common and they produce more balanced signals
Are XLR cables stereo?
XLR cables can be stereo but the sound will not be ideal. This is because XLR cables are intended to produce balanced signals but using them as stereo will definitely produce unbalanced sounds. Balance stereo requires five or six wires, and the XLR has either two or three.
Do expensive XLR cables make a difference?
The thing that affects the quality of a cable is the type of metal that is being used as a conductor. There are copper conductors, which can be spiral copper or have spiral copper shielding, or be oxygen-free copper conductors. There is also cotton yarn.
These different types have an impact on the final production. It, therefore, means that if an expensive metal is used as a conductor, the cable might come at extra cost.
So yes, an expensive XLR cable might be a higher quality cable than a less expensive one.
Are XLR or 1/4 inch cables better?
XLR cables have more advantages than the 1/4 inch cables. XLR produces a balanced sound that is devoid of external interference. Also, if the cable being used is long, XLR still ensures that balanced sounds are produced.
Can I use a microphone XLR cable for speakers?
It is not ideal to use mic cables for speakers. This is because speaker cables are designed to carry a higher current load than the microphone cables and using them interchangeably can result in low sound output and may eventually damage to the amplifiers.
Microphone XLR cables can however be used for speakers when powered speakers are employed. This is because the powered speakers contain internal amplifiers that suit microphone cables just fine and produce good sound quality.
Other Great Brands of XLR Cables
Other brands of XLR cables include Planet waves classic series, also known as Waves Classic Series XLR, Lyxpro Balanced XLR cable amongst others.