Cables play a critical role by reducing noise interference and signal transference. In that regard, you need to use the best XLR cables. However, it is noteworthy that cables come if varying qualities.
Some elements will affect the quality of a cable. The most common ones are shielding and connectors. You need to use a well-balanced XLR cable. Such will not experience radio interference and noise regardless of the pricing.
XLR cables come in varying lengths. Shorter length cables will cost less than the more extended option. The type of cable that you buy will determine the final quality. It should transmit a clear sound.
In this review, we will discuss different cables. If you are new to these products, you will get to understand more as you read through. In the long run, you will have proper facts that will enhance your understanding.
The Best 5 XLR Cables Comparison Table
|Brand||Mogami||Planet Waves||GLS Audio||AmazonBasic||LyxPro Quad|
|Conductive PVC shield||×||✓||×||✓||×|
|Connector||Gold plated Neutrik||Nikel||Silver||Gold plated||Gold plated|
|% shield materials||100% Spiral cooper||95% Spiral cooper||95% Dual cooper||100% Spiral cooper||98% Braided cooper|
1. Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable-Best for Professional Studios
Superb and clear sound
95% quieter background
XLR 3-pin output and input
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
The product features gold-plated connections. It is true to both female and male connectors. If you are recording a live gig, the cable will offer a remarkable service. It is also appropriate for studio use. The cables capture the entire impact of the sound source.
The cable produces a superb and clear sound. Furthermore, they have reduced noise. The quad design cable can reject a noise to allow a 95% quieter background.
Moreover, the product features XLR 3-pin output and input, which is an industry-standard. You can use the cable on various items. The most common ones will power speakers, preamps, mixers, and audio interfaces.
One can extend their usage to studio monitors and loudspeakers. But that is not all. One can also use them on percussion and vocalist mic in a studio.
The entire cable features a length of 6 feet. The product also has various microphone cable series. You can get them in 3, 15, 50, 77, and 100 feet in length.
The cool thing about this product is that it is self-sufficient. It uses the same microphone, instrument, and multi-channel interface cable. Surprisingly, you can only find such functions in big studios.
Besides, the XLR Cable comes with a lifetime warranty.
2. Planet Waves Classic Series XLR Microphone Cable – Best in value
offer reliability and durability
90% spiral shielding
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
If you are looking for an affordable option, then look no further than this product. It is a balanced microphone that is suitable for connecting your mic to audio interfaces. They may be preamps, wall panels, mixers, and more.
One end will feature a male plug which is 3-pin XLR. Another end also has a female plug that is a 3-pin XLR. The stain-relief plugs offer reliability and durability. Beyond that, the connectors come from nickel-plated brass.
The used materials are also resistant to corrosion. Still, the oxygen-free copper conductors will yield low capacitance. In the same vein, they will ensure signal transparency.
These classic series use 90% spiral shielding to reduce noise. The presence of the shield has a critical role in providing noise rejection. As a result, you will exercise a quieter operation.
As you buy this Planet Waves Classic Series cable, you enjoy a lifetime warranty.
3. GLS Audio 25 foot Mic Cable Patch Cords – Best for stage
High-grade conductors of copper
Rubber jacket that is heavy-dutyrnal memory
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
You can use GLS Audio for recording music. It is among the best XLR cables in the market meant for recording.
The cable uses high-quality parts and modern technology. Most of these innovations come at an affordable price.
The XLR cable uses a rubber jacket that is heavy-duty and high-grade conductors of copper. It also combines with a Tri-Grip to make it more functional. They will minimize interference and ensure a high-quality sound.
The GLS audio cable uses a three-pin connects on each end. In the same vein, it uses a two-fold insulated conductor. Furthermore, the users can get excellent performance due to a hand-wired XLR cable.
The female end has a rubber grommet, which makes it work for longs hours. The good news is that it will not loosen. Unfortunately, the cable is not as thick when compared with other products. Moreover, the XLR cable may not be sturdy enough to hold the microphone firmly.
4. Amazon Basics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable – Best for budget
Spiral copper shield
Outer jacket has PVC materials
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
AmazonBasics is among the best XLR cable in the market. The cables use copper conductors and spiral copper shield. Also, the manufacturer designed reliable metal connectors. Notably, they have a strain-relief design.
The outer jacket has PVC materials that will protect the interior components. Or even better, the design improves on durability. This Amazon Basics XLR cable features two cores. It is noteworthy that the blocking power on RF interference is low.
The device also has two metal connectors. They come from a zinc alloy.
You can join XLR female and XLR male. The good news is that the cables come in various lengths of 10, 25, and 50 feet.
You can use this AmazonBasics for live sound or studio recording. The cable has high-quality and reliable connections to produce optimum audio. The buyer has a one-year limited warranty.
5. LyxPro Balanced XLR Cable – Best for home studios
Things we liked
Things we didn’t like
LyxPro Quad Series happens to be among the best XLR cables you can use to record. The cable meets the required standard with high performance.
One can reduce the noise level, courtesy of a four-conductor cable. It also has a cotton yarn wrap. This high-quality cable will offer you a resounding service. It uses a greater signal to noise ratio.
Such a design will make it handle any noise interferences. It may be an electrical sound, humming, or RFI interferences.
One can use this XLR cable in many areas. For instance, you can apply it to live studios, live gigs, and home recordings. Also, the cable comes in a stylish design. You have a choice to select from the available color options.
This XLR cable is durable. The buyer can apply it more consistently without posing a threat of breakage. The contact points have a gold plating to prevent any corrosion that is likely to cause damage.
Also, the product features a copper conductor that is oxygen-free. It appears in a braided shield. One has an assurance of high-quality since the seller offers a 5-year warranty.
Buying Guide for the Best XLR Cables
Typically, when you want professional audio, the need for XLR cables arises. One can use them for recording. You will also involve them in balancing the signal path. Many people desire to record in a noise-free audio signal.
The technical terms used in selling XLR cables appear confusing to many buyers. As a result, you can likely fall for an expensive product that performs poorly. We are here to simplify matters for you. After that, one can settle for the right selection.
One needs to discover the right elements. Let’s get the facts underway.
The cables need proper shielding. By shielding, we are precisely referring to that layer that surrounds cable conductors. Also, the shield will eliminate or reduce electromagnetic interferences.
Furthermore, it lowers noise that results in radiofrequency radiations. These radiations originate from the surrounding environment. Some of the most commonly used material for shielding is aluminum laminate
Other materials are as listed below:
- Braided copper shielding
It offers high conductivity. It is also the most effective option with superior coverage. It is also noteworthy that the cable is rigid and costly.
This material is excellent in blocking RF interference. Unfortunately, it is less durable than copper. One can apply it for specialized applications and stationary cables. On the face of it, the material is lighter and cheap.
- Spiral Copper shielding
One can use this spiral copper shielding for the stage. It is more flexible. Unluckily the coverage is poor. The spiral shielding will give you near-perfect coverage. You should select the correct shielding.
We apply the balance to cut electromagnetic noise around. The principle is straightforward. It creates a phase-inverted copy resembling the original signal. The noise will come in from the cables.
Consequently, the inverted signal will get shifted back to normal. Hence, it cancels out the noise signal. You can arrange ¼ inch TRS cables and three-pin XLR cables for balanced audio. They will transmit audio signals since they have a minimum of two conductors.
One can still use quad conductor cable to achieve more excellent noise cancellation. Specifically, it will eliminate more than 99% of the noise.
3. Core Conductors
Do you know that the conduct is a part of the cable? It will carry an audio signal. One of the best conductors is gold. It has the highest ductility, conductivity, and cost-effectiveness. OFC (Oxygen-free copper) is superior due to its high inductance.
Some manufacturers will put cotton between shielding and conductors. Their role is to reduce static charges that result from friction. It will also maintain correct spacing and between conductors.
- Cable Lay
Most of the cables feature two or four conductors. The builder will weave them around on each other spirally. So what is cable lay? It is the required distance for a conductor to achieve a 360 degrees revolution.
For instance, if you have a shorter cable lay; it implies that you will have more revolutions per distance. You will later experience more effective balancing.
- Stranded vs. Solid
For clarity, stranded conductors are superior to solid counterparts. You can use them for the stage since they are more reliable.
If the cable has low capacitance, it will encounter a low-pass filter on an audio signal. Such distortion is prevalent in guitars.
4. Connector Quality
If you use low-quality connectors, they are likely to perform poorly. You should look for those that have better locking mechanisms. The best connectors should have a gold plating. One advantage of it is that it is corrosion-resistant.
Alternatively, you can use silver contacts. The main advantage of silver is that its conducting power is superior to gold. Unfortunately, it has less corrosion resistance.
It would help if you considered strain-relief designs. They are more reliable and long-lasting.
If the cables are long, they will be prone to signal degradation. In other words, a longer cable will be like an antenna. If it is long, there will be more RF interference. Typically, those lengths that are beyond 100 feet will encounter interferences.
The most practical lengths should be under 30 feet. It will be reasonable to maintain a shorter length for you to get a sound output effectively.
6. Specific Situation Uses
The balanced XLR cables will come for different functions and usage. For instance, you can buy that particular cable meant for the stage. Its design should perfectly support such usage. Typically, such a cable must have high-end connectors.
You can make it more flexible by letting it have stranded conductors. Furthermore, it should use a dual spiral shield.
If you want to achieve more flexibility, it should be of a higher gauge. Additionally, it should also have a small diameter.
The cables come with different warranty terms. Some will give a lifetime guarantee. Other products will come with a shorter or longer warranty. You must select the one that comes with the best warranty terms.
Pricing will play a critical role in determining the value of the XLR cable. Unfortunately, higher pricing may not be a guarantee of high quality. It is possible to find a product that features low pricing and high quality.
One needs to do extensive research before settling for the best.
Are all XLR cables the same?
No. All the XLR cables are not the same. The cables will vary because of several factors. Some will be different because of the connector types. Also, variation will be evident in the kind of signal you may be sending. It can be a digital or analog signal.
Do XLR cables sound better?
The cable will sound better, depending on the design. It will eliminate noise and reduce signal interference. However, you must get the right ones.
They should have proper shielding and better connectors to allow better sound quality.
Is there a difference between microphone cable and XLR speaker cable?
Both XLR speaker cable and microphone cable share a standard connector. The speaker cable gets unshielded by two conductors. It has connectors that match an amplifier speaker with speaker output jacks.
The microphone cables feature a two-conductor wire. They also have a shielded ground wire. You will use a 3-pin connector for an audio connection.
Are expensive XLR cables worth it?
No. sometimes it is not reasonable to buy pricey cables. You need to research correctly on the quality of the cables. There are low priced cables that will give you outstanding service.
What are the required components for an XLR cable?
As you purchase the XLR cable, you should put the following into consideration. The first aspect is the cable length. A comfortable length should range from 3 to 50 feet. You should go with the shortest option. A shorter one reduces any interference.
You should also check cable cores. A good core should have a thickness of 20AWG and 26 AWG. The thickest is 20 AWG, which will produce high-quality sound.
Another aspect to consider is shielding. Mostly, shielding materials are tin, aluminum laminate, and copper. Lastly, consider using snug fit connectors to prevent wiggling lose.
What is the difference between an analog cable and a standard digital cable?
It is easy to distinguish a common analog cable from a digital one. Such cables manifest in a length that does not exceed 100 feet.
In the scenario, one can use a standard digital cable to send digital audio data. It conveys to the other device using a cable. The cables in this category will not exceed 15 feet long.
Is there adherence between unbalanced and balanced cables?
If you intend to use a shorter cable, settle for unbalanced cable. Mostly, do not exceed a length of20 feet. On the other hand, you can use a balanced cable on a considerable length. The distance should range from 50 to 100 feet.
You should use the right cable to avoid interference. By using the correct cable, you will not encounter any distractions.
Why do you need quality cables?
The quality of your cable depends on the features. If you use a quality cable, you experience a cleaner sound. A poor quality cable will have increase interference.
The high-end cable will guarantee increased shelf life. The cheaper cables will have a shorter lifespan. For example, the more inexpensive connector will easily break than a costly one.
Most of the musician spend huge amounts to get excellent production. They are looking for a cleaner sound, free from any interference. Unfortunately, they are likely to land for the wrong product.
One can get the best XLR cable from the market. These cables play a critical role in defining the sound quality. They also block interference to ensure good sound quality.
For this article, we reviewed the five best XLR cables. Our top is Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable. One can use the cables in the studio or a live gig. You can use it on various items such as speakers, mixers, and preamps.
The cable uses gold plated connectors. Furthermore, the product has a powerful feature to cancel noise. You can get these cables at varying lengths. You will encounter a studio experience.
The buyer has a guarantee of high-quality due to a lifetime warranty.