Best XLR Cables for Connecting Professional Audio Equipment

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 2, 2017
If you're hunting a solution to deliver a high-quality audio signal from your microphone over long distances, an XLR cable is going to be your best choice! Read this review and select the most appropriate cable for your needs! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Connectors
Length
Design Features
Type
Warranty
 
PROS

Each connector has dual strain reliefs to prevent damage to the cable while disconnecting.

CONS

Due to excessive flexibility, the wire can tangle during transportation.

OUR VERDICT

Designed to be used with professional equipment, the XLR cable is undoubtedly a great solution for owners of recording studios and music event planners. 

detailed parameters
Connectors

XLR male to XLR female

Length

25 feet

Design Features

21 Gauge,
Dual copper conductors and shield,
Noise free performance

Type

Balanced

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The cable features an optimal 3-pin connection configuration providing maximum protection against interference.

CONS

The cable might appear to be too short for certain applications. 

OUR VERDICT

If you're hunting the right solution to transfer audio from a microphone, the Monoprice 6ft Premier Series Cable can be your right bet! This is definitely one of the best XLR cables for professional recording studios available on the market!

detailed parameters
Connectors

XRL male to 1/4" TRS Male

Length

6 feet

Design Features

16-gauge,
Separate braided shield,
Gold plated connector

Type

Balanced

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

XLR connectors have an attractive appearance and provide excellent mechanical strength.

CONS

It doesn't have a good shielding against interference, so, using it with other cables is not the best decision.

OUR VERDICT

The professional XLR cable offers an excellent combination of price and quality. Great choice if you're seeking an affordable solution!

detailed parameters
Connectors

XLR male to XLR female

Length

20 feet

Design Features

24-gauge,
Nickel-plated connectors

Type

Balanced

Warranty

90 days

PROS

The arrangement of pins allows converting balanced signals into unbalanced ones.

CONS

The cable is not suitable for balanced audio signals.

OUR VERDICT

This professional audio cable with gold-plated connectors will be an indispensable solution for transmission audio from microphones.

detailed parameters
Connectors

XLR male to RCA male

Length

6 feet

Design Features

16-gauge,
OFC copper conductors with noise protection,
Gold-plated connectors


Type

Balanced and unbalanced

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The 90 degree-angle TSR plug prevents the cable from damage when connecting to other devices.

CONS

Can be incompatible with some mobile devices.

OUR VERDICT

The high-quality XLR cable can be used for audio recording on various portable devices, computers, cameras.

detailed parameters
Connectors

XLR male to 3.5mm TRS male

Length

10 feet

Design Features

OFC copper conductors with interference protection,
90 right-angle TSR plug

Type

Balanced

Warranty

Lifetime

What is an XLR Cable?

An XLR cable is one of the most popular types of audio cables. Typically, its main purpose is to connect microphones to other audio equipment: receivers, mixing consoles, etc. XLR cables are used in recording studios, concert halls, and at home for karaoke singing. The specific characteristic of these cables is that they come with an XLR male connector at one end, intended for hooking up microphones.

If you are wondering how to connect an audio source to speakers, receivers or other audio devices, pay attention to speaker wires. Likewise, you can be interested in HDMI cables.

What Features to Compare

Applications

As a rule, XLR cables come with a standard XLR connector at one end and with either XLR or TS or RCA type connector on the other end. Therefore, you should know exactly what type of audio equipment you will connect to a microphone. Then, you want to know what type of cables, balanced or unbalanced, will work with your equipment better. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks and transmit audio signal in different ways. Unbalanced cables are typically more sensitive to external interference and thus aren't very long (25 feet the max). Balanced XLR cables, in turn, are longer and transmit audio signal over long distances better. Your audio equipment may accept both types of cables. Thus, before you go purchase one, consider available options, check out your equipment connectors and make a decision. 

Сable Structure

Sometimes, one look is enough to distinguish a really high-quality cable from other products, however, it's better to understand their key distinctive features. The connectors should come wrapped in a robust metal housing to provide reliable connection/disconnection of the cable and its long lifespan. Gold-plated contacts can also improve the quality of the audio signal. Besides, the cable should have a protective braid and several layers of shielding to minimize impact of external interference. 

Length

Choose the length of the cable with its place of use in mind. If you need an XLR cable for your recording studio or DJ’s stand, 10-20-feet cables will be enough. For concerts or public performances, you'll definitely need longer options. We'd also recommend you to choose XLR cables that have strain reliefs to prevent kinking. 

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GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female

Transmission of High-quality Audio

The world-famous GLS offers its own solutions for connecting professional audio equipment on stages and in recording studios. The GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable with 21-g high-quality copper conductors ensures crystal clear audio transmission and stable connection that has been achieved by mounting on the cable XLR metal connectors with strain reliefs. The cable has the maximum shielding for efficient noise suppression which makes it one of the best solutions for recording sessions and public performances. The connection is also super convenient due to a flexible rubber jacket. An important point is that the manufacturer provides online technical support - another evident proof of strong professional engagement. 

Review of GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable

Ready for Daily Use

Dual strain reliefs provide possibility of connecting and disconnecting the cable from various audio equipment with no risk of damaging it. Enjoy the highest quality of the component and take your live music performances to a new level. 

GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable in the use

So Easy to Take it along

The GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable comes with two velcro strips to simplify transportation of the cable and prevent its unwinding. These small simple things will allow you to reduce the clutter in your recording studio or at home. 

Detailed review of GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable

Some Recommendations

In view of all technical features, we think this cable will be a good option for all owners of professional audio equipment and sound studios. Get the GLS Audio CLR cable to enhance the quality of voice recording and couple it with a professional-grade microphone to achieve a better sounding.

GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female
GLS Audio XLR Male to XLR Female
 

Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male

Premium-quality XLR Cable

Thanks to numerous special technical features, the Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male Cable belongs to premium-series cables. Basically, this is a three-pin balanced cable designed to be used with a microphone or other sound equipment.  XLR and 1/4” TRS connectors allow connecting the cable to most audio mixing consoles and external sound cards. The item has the length of 6 feet, so it'll be a great option for stationary applications. A separate braided shield ensures high-quality audio transmission without any interference. In our another review, you can select the best pair of headphones.

Review of Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male Cable

It's so Easy to Make the Choice

Most likely, you won't have any issues with selecting the right length. Firstly, the length options are numerous, from 1.5 to 50-feet options, and secondly, the length by no chance affects the quality of audio signal. Thus, you can be sure whatever length you pick the sound reproduction will be of great quality. Just think where your audio equipment will be placed and choose the length of the cable accordingly. 

Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male Cable in the use

Great Quality

Each of two connectors has gold-plated contacts to provide a reliable and quick connection as well as quality audio transmission. The robust design of connectors ensures efficient functioning and longevity of the cable even under daily use.

Detailed review of Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male Cable

Simple in Use and Maintenance

In case you have any problems with the cable, repairing it won't cause difficulties. To replace faulty parts you will only need to detach the connectors. 

Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male Cable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male
Monoprice XLR Male to 1/4inch TRS Male
 

CBI MLC20

Affordable and High-quality Solution

Despite quite a low price, the CBI MLC20 XLR Microphone Cable boasts some great technical features. To begin with, it's necessary to note its design — the cable is made with nickel-plated connectors and a flexible rubber braid resistant to various external factors. XLR male and XLR female plugs make this model a great choice to use with nearly all devices: microphones, audio consoles, sound-recording systems, etc. The connectors are very durable and will definitely last for a long time. The length of the cable is 20 feet, so it can be used even on concert stages during various music events. If you're looking for a small solution for recording your voice, take a look at our review on lavalier microphones.

Review of CBI MLC20 Microphone Cable

Unique Combination of Style and Durability

Advanced durability is not the only distinctive feature of the CBI MLC20 Low Z XLR Microphone Cable. You'll also appreciate some attractive details of its external appearance — a smooth surface and chrome connectors.

CBI MLC20 Microphone Cable in the use

Without Any Loss of Quality

Taking into account that the cable belongs to Low Z category, it'll ensure the optimal audio transmission even across long distances without any interference. Take advantage of the high-quality professional solution and get the most out of your vocal performance!

Detailed review of CBI MLC20 Microphone Cable

Some Recommendations

If you need to repair the cable, it'll be sufficient to unscrew screws on the connectors. Then you'll be able to disassemble it. 

CBI MLC20 Microphone Cable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


CBI MLC20
CBI MLC20
 

Monoprice 104777

For a Special Case

The Monoprice 104777 XLR Male to RCA Male Cable with a length of 6 feet can be very useful in a particular case when you need to convert a balanced signal into an unbalanced one. The cable is shielded with a copper braid, so the sound quality won't be affected by outside noises. Additionally, the connectors are made with gold-plated contacts to provide maximum efficient audio transmitting. Actually, this is an ideal option for both home applications and professional use. For organizing public speaking on small concert stages, select the best PA system

Review of Monoprice 104777 Cable

More Convenient Connectivity Options

A rubber insert on the RCA connector will allow you to connect the cable to audio equipment with no efforts. Now, you know there is a great solution to make your life easier!

Monoprice 104777 Cable in the use

Other Conveniences

Each of the connectors has a manufacturer's marking so that you wouldn't have difficulties connecting the cable for the first time.

Detailed review of Monoprice 104777 Cable

Universality

Another advantage is that this cable is suitable for connecting studio monitors that have connectors of the same type. 

Monoprice 104777 Cable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Monoprice 104777
Monoprice 104777
 

Hosa XVM-110M

For Mobile Devices

An exclusive feature of the Hosa XVM-110M is that it has a 3.5-mm TRS connector at one end of the cable. It allows you to hook up the cable to mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to record voice via their built-in mics. Likewise, you will be able to connect the cable to most professional cameras to make videos with high-quality voice records. Similarly, the cable can be used with a mic for voice chatting via Skype, WhatsUp. The 3.5mm TRS connector has a curved design protecting the cable from kinking and possible damage. Additionally, if you're planning to shoot high-quality video right on the go or in different extreme situations, pay attention to our review on action cameras!

Review of Hosa XVM-110M Cable

Multiple Choice

The manufacturer offers cables with different lengths, so it's up to you choose an appropriate option for you. 

Hosa XVM-110M Cable in the use

Interference-free Transmission

The OFC spiral shield provides the possibility to transmit signal from a microphone to a playing device without any interference. 

Detailed review of Hosa XVM-110M Cable

Have Fun with Your Friends

Singing karaoke with friends is definitely one of the best ways to relax and have fun! Sing your favorite songs loud with karaoke machines we've picked for you!

Hosa XVM-110M Cable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Hosa XVM-110M
Hosa XVM-110M
 

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced cables?
A: Basically, unbalanced cables receive an audio signal from a musical instrument or an audio system and pass it through to a receiver device without any changing or manipulation. Unbalanced cables always consist of two conductors — signal and ground wiresThe signal wire is used to pass the sound signal, while the ground wire is used to shield it from the outside electronic interference produced by electrical and electronic devices and appliances. Typically, the signal wire is in the center of the cable, surrounded by the ground wire.

Balanced cables, in turn, usually come with three conductors — two signal wires and one ground wire. Like in the case of unbalanced cables, signal wires serve to pass audio signals, while the separate surrounding ground wire is used for shielding signals against interference. Cables of this type flip the polarity of the audio signal to cancel out the distortion. Therefore, despite the more complex process of audio transmission, balanced cables can reduce the level of distortion.

Q: Do XLR cables still remain a popular solution for audio equipment?
A: Yes. Cables of this type continue to be a widespread industry standard for live performance and recording. The cables reliably shield the audio signal from interference and transfer your audio over longer distances.

Q: What types of XLR connectors exist?
A: XLR connectors are produced in male and female modifications, in cable and chassis designs. The connectors also differ in the number of pins they contain — some of them may have up to ten pins.

Q: What are applications of XLR cables and connectors?
A: Apart from using with microphones, XLR cables have been used for many other applications: sound and video mixing consoles, recording studio equipment, active loudspeakers, professional CD players, mastering decks, etc. Besides, the cables and connectors of this type are used with lighting and industrial equipment.

Q: What is an advantage of gold-plated connectors?
A: The major advantage of gold-plated connectors on an XLR cable is that they drastically reduce resistance, resulting in better sound quality. At the same time, gold-plated connectors are affected by wear and tear. Therefore, they are not the best solution if you need to plug and unplug the cable too frequently. 

Q: Is this the right decision to buy a long microphone cable?
A:  Without a doubt, a long microphone cable seems a great solution for live performances. However, it's necessary to keep in mind that a very long cord can get tangled and cause inconveniences on a stage. 


Sources:

1. Audio Cable Buying Guide, The HUB.  June 28, 2014.

2. Jurek Ugarow An XLR Cable is Just a Cable, Right?, B&H

3. Ken Nail Pro audio cable buying guide, Crutchfield

4. Stan Mack What Is an XLR Cable? Techwalla. 

5. XLR connectorWikipedia.

6. Joshua Casper Music Studio Essentials: Understanding Balanced VS. Unbalanced XLR CablesAsk.Audio. November 06, 2016.

7. Mike Rivers Balanced and Unbalanced ConnectionsPreSonus.

8. Dave Roos How do I know which cables to use? HowStuffWorks.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-04 11:58:51