If you need a professional audio transmission for recordings or live performances, then investing in a quality XLR cable is essential. You might be thinking a right mic is enough for excellent audio quality, but good XLR cables are equally important. A cheap and substandard XLR cable can infiltrate your audio signals and let the external noises affect your audio.
Also, if you’re looking for the best XLR microphone to pair with your cable, make sure to check out our guide on that as well.
Also Read : Best XLR mics
XLR cables come in different price ranges. The price depends on several factors like the quality of conductors used in a cable. It’s external housing that protects the conductors from oxidation and cancels noise and other static frequencies affecting the audio signals. The quality of an XLR mic depends on conductors, connectors, and shielding.
In this article, we have selected some of the best XLR cables for your convenience. We have included XLR cables with different price tags, length, and quality so you can pick one that suits your needs the most.
- Double-shielded cable
- Right-angled connectors
- Foil braided shielding
- Nickel-plated connectors
Cable Creation offers reasonably priced XLR cables for mics. It’s a double-shielded cable that cancels noise and other interferences.
The cable comes with right-angled connectors designed for small spaces where straight connectors fail to perform.
The wires inside have both foil and braided shield to make it more secure. With its double shielding, the sound quality remains undisturbed by external interference.
The cable features good quality nickel plated pins. The pins are made corrosion-free and oxidation free after multiple tests.
The copper strands inside are further covered with PVC jackets to protect them from environmental effects. The high-quality PVC material is super flexible and allows you to turn and twist the wires with peace of mind.
Overall, it’s a decent midrange quality option. It is designed for 3-pin connectors and works well with microphones like Shure, MXL, Behringer, Shotgun, and multiple other microphones.
- Budget-friendly XLR cable
- Features Neutriks connector
- Silver-plated connectors
- 20 AWG OF conductors
This one is another budget-friendly option for those who are looking for a reliable XLR cable.
The Rean Connectors used in this cable are silver plated. Again this keeps the cable within budget. Silver plates have higher conductivity than gold, but they are affected by oxidation and need to be cleaned from time to time to stay in great form.
The cable features 20 AWG Oxygen-free conductors that help you transmit clear signals.
The strands inside are protected with braided shields. The OFC shield cancels noise and ensures better audio transmission.
Overall, it’s a budget friendly cable that serves the purpose. It comes with multiple length options. The price of cable increases with the length, so choose your required length depending on your needs.
- 20 AWG 4n conductors
- Gold-plated conductors
- PVC external jacket
- Durable XLR cable
This one is a Pro-grade quality XLR cable. The cable comes 10 feet in length. However, you can order lengthy cables as well.
The Jolgoo cable features 20 AWG 4n oxidation free conductor that eliminates the hums or noise from the transmission.
The XLR cable comes with gold plated connectors. Gold is not as conductive as silver but rated high due to its durability. It does not rust with time at all, so there is no chance of oxidation.
The cable has a PVC coating that makes it flexible and secure. The copper wires, premium housing, and a PVC coating make this cable durable for a long time.
- Premium quality cable
- Designed for stage performances
- Features 105 strand copper conductor
- Rugged and durable build
If you spend more money on a premium quality XLR cable with flexible use and durable features, then Mogami Gold STage-20 is for you. The XLR cable is designed for stage performances and provides interference-free audio quality. The cable is unequal with its toughness, flexibility, and accuracy.
The cable has an ultra-rugged build that makes it handle live situations well where you might want to pass the mic and cable to an audience member.
The cable features 105 strands of copper that are used for transferring signals. Average cables use fewer copper strands, but this one comes with 105 strands that mean high-frequency transmission. It also made the cable more durable.
The cable is 20 ft long, which allows you to move around on stage with the mic. It is also available in 30 and 50 ft to choose the required length as per your needs.
The cable has a gold-coated three-pin connector that stays oxidation-free forever.
Overall, it’s a one-time investment, the cable comes with premium features and offers a full lifetime warranty. It suits live performers, and its rugged build stays good in all conditions.
- Copper conductor
- Copper braided shielding
- Another nylon braided shielding
- Gold-plated pins
This one is another good option for those willing to pay a few extra bucks for the added quality.
It comes with copper conductors. The strands have an extra copper shielding to enhance the quality of this cable. The copper conductors give a clear and crisp sound.
The cable features a nylon braided that protects the copper conductors inside. The braided shielding is considered better than foil shielding.
Like other premium cables, this one features gold plated pins for better performance. Gold plated connectors are better than silver or nickel pins. They do not erode and keep on performing well for long.
It also has spring XLR connectors that prevent bending, and the cable remains flexible.
The cable is fifty feet long, but it is also available in smaller sizes for your convenience.
- Clear frequency transmission
- 24 AWG copper strands
- 98% braided shield
- Cotton yarn shielding
- Gold plated connectors
This is for those looking for a long XLR cable for live performances, concerts, and shows. The cable also works well for recording stations and can connect your microphone with an audio interface.
LyxPro LCS is a premium series of XLR cables. The cable provides clear frequency transmission and maximum noise rejection.
The cable is constructed of 24AWG oxygen-free copper. The copper conductor ensures supreme signal transmission.
The copper strands are covered with a 98% braided shield that prevents moisture, noise, or interference from affecting the audio quality. The cotton yard braid keeps the cable flexible and makes the cable strain-relief.
The cotton shield works great with DMX lights in live performances. The cotton material reduces static interruptions.
The cable features double shielding. Over cotton braid, it comes with a PVC coating as well.
The cable features gold-plated pins that are corrode-free. The cable is available in different colors. It comes with a five-year warranty as well.
- Features Neutrik connectors
- Nickel-plated connectors
- Flexible PVC housing
This one is a 10 feet microphone cable can that features Neutrik connectors. The cable provides high-quality audio transmission with copper conductors.
The Neutrik connector is coated with nickel. Nickel is a better conductor than gold, but a slight problem with nickel coating is that it is not as durable. As far as the frequency transmission is concerned, these do the best job. The copper strands have copper shields as well, which are further covered with a flexible PVC housing.
The cable offers different connector brands for your convenience as well. If you are not satisfied with Neutrik, you can pick connectors brands like RapcoHorizon, Amphenol, or Switchcraft. The price will vary with different brands, of course.
Overall, it’s a good option for professionals. The ability to customize the cable with different connectors and height options makes it fit all needs.
The cable comes with PVC flexible coating that can bear the daily wear and tear, protecting the copper conductors inside and keeping the audio transmission noise-free.
- Designed for musical performances
- Twisted pair of Oxygen-free conductors
- Two layers of shielding
- Backed with a lifetime warranty
D’Addario is a reliable brand for XLR cables. They warrant the Planet Wave Custom series of XLR cables. The cable comes with a high-quality build and is compatible with all leading quality XLR mics.
The custom cable is built for demanding situations. They work great for live musical performances or even professional recordings where you need low impedance high-frequency audio transmission.
The cable features an ultra-pure twisted pair for frequency transmission. The twisted copper strands are oxygen-free, which means they keep on performing for a long time.
The cable uses gold connectors for superior signal flow and durability.
It is encapsulated and has impenetrable soldering points with double-molded strain relief for durability. The cable has two layers of shielding that keeps the audio noise-free and clear.
The cable comes with both XLR male and female connectors for balanced input and output.
Overall, it’s a premium quality cable used for live shows, recording stations, and more. The cable is backed with a lifetime guarantee that is reassuring for professionals.
- Pack of two cables
- Both XLR to XLR and XLR to TRS cables are provided
- Rust-free conductors
- Copper braided shielding
- Strain-free molding near connectors
This one is a premium pack of two cables. One is an XLR to XLR, and the other is XLR to TRS cable.
The XLR cable is designed with copper conductors and a PVC jacket outside the shields the inner wires. The durable shielding keeps the signals interference-free. The copper wires and copper braiding are oxygen-free copper that prevents oxidation and keeps the wires rust free. The double shielding of copper braid and PVC material keeps the audio signal hum-free.
The cable features a strain-free connector that makes it easy and secure to plug and unplug.
The cable is compatible with all XLR mics with 3-pin connectors. The other wire is an XLR to TRS cable that can be used for connecting the XLR mics with the devices that feature a TRS jacket.
Overall, it’s a good option for those who need both XLR to XLR and XLR to TRS cables. The cables feature gold plated connectors. The XLR mic features strain-free molding that supports the weight of microphones.
- Flexible rubber shielding
- Hand soldered and twisted conductors
- Copper braiding inside
This one is another professional XLR cable that comes with a noise-free cable for live functions, concerts, and studio recordings. The length of the cord allows you to use the cable freely on stage.
The cable comes with double insulated copper conductors. The wires inside have copper braiding, and a flexible rubber shielding makes the cable flexible and safe from external noise.
The wires are hand-wired and hand soldered to render it more durable. The cable comes with double strain-relief on both ends. The female XLR cable has a rubber grommet that makes the cable give a secure grip into connectors.
Overall, it’s a good option at a reasonable price. The cable works well for all types of shows and gives noise free performances.
Anatomy of an XLR Cable
It is important to know about its different components to understand the quality of an XLR cable. Let’s see what parts made an XLR cable.
Copper is used in the form of strands inside the cable as conductors. Copper is the best conductor of electricity among all other metals. It does not rust like other metals.
Even copper has types; oxygen-free copper is purported as best to be used in wires. The copper core should be flexible and durable. Even a single strand can affect the performance of XLR cable.
The copper conductor consists of two cores. The thickness of the core determines the quality of the wire. Generally, we see the thickness between 26-20 AWG, with the smaller being the thickest density of conductors.
XLR cables can have two cores or four cors, depending on its quality and price. The high-density wire is more efficient, but it may make the wire thicker and less flexible.
Quad-core cables use four conductors and are used in a noisy environment.
These copper strands have their insulated coating. The copper strands may differ in each cable. Both the number of strands and their thickness depends on an XLR cable’s quality and the price you pay.
The shielding is required on different levels to protect the wires. The copper conductors have a layer of insulation that prevents these wires from touching each other. PVC or polyethylene shielding is used for insulation.
Another form of coating used for insulation on wires is made of copper. It is a Tin-Plated Copper or aluminum foil used for insulation. The foil works well to prevent the radio frequencies from interfering with the audio signals. The foil covering is easily damaged.
Another type of insulation is with braids. Braid shielding is with either TVC (Tin-Plated Copper) with or with cotton yarn. Both cotton or tin-plated strands are interwoven to form a protecting layer above the conductor.
The braids prevent the oxidation process and keep the conductors underneath well protected.
The TVC coating is expensive than foil coating, but it is considered a high-quality coating and better protects the wires from rust.
Above the copper, yarn, or foil filling, the cables are protected with another PVC shielding that keeps the cable safe from the noise and other environmental effects.
Connectors are the metal pins on either side of the XLR cable that is used to connect with the mic and an audio interface.
The connectors have different types of termination points depending on their modular designs.
Some notable brands for selecting connectors are Neutrik, Switchcraft, and Amphenol. Neutrik is by far considered best for connectors.
A common confusion we face while selecting the connectors is the type of plating on connectors. There are three types of coating:
- Gold: Gold plated is considered the best in quality, although gold is not as good a conductor as silver or nickel
- Silver: Silver is the best conductor, but these are not as durable as gold-plated conductors
- Nickel: Nickel plated are affordable pins. Nickel is also a better conductor than gold but it degrades with time
Gold-plated connectors can be expensive as compared to silver and nickel connectors. You can invest in silver or nickel connectors but if you are using the cable in a very humid environment where there is more moisture in the air then investing in gold-plated connectors is highly recommended.
Besides the plating, you should also consider the strain-relief and the boot’s quality covering the connectors. It should be flexible so that the mic is easy to handle.
Buying Guide for XLR Cables
Here are some quick points that you can check while selecting the XLR cable.
If you think any XLR cable will perform well and the audio quality depends only on your microphone, you are highly mistaken.
The quality of XLR cables determines the quality of audio signals. Cheap cables let wireless noise and other radio frequencies interfere with your signals.
Also, the less expensive cables may fail to provide the reliability and durability that you need in XLR cable as a professional.
With different shieldings and fillers to protect the copper conductors inside, the cable can become too rigid and difficult to handle. Make sure the cable you are selecting is flexible enough to handle during live performances.
The length of the XLR cable depends on individual needs. If you are going to use it on a larger stage, then it should be long enough so the performer can use the stage comfortably and interact with the audience from all sides.
However, you may not need too long XLR cables if you will use them in a small recording station or studio.
One may think having a larger cable will serve the purpose, and you can use the same cable for performances. It is true, but a too-large cable will be messy and difficult to handle. Also, it will increase the price of cable unnecessarily. So order the cable with your required length as almost all brands offer different length options.
The price of XLR cables varies from brand to brand. A cheap option may seem easy to afford, but we will not recommend it at all. It will break easily, conductors inside may break, the outer shielding will not be durable enough, and the audio signals interfere with lots of disturbance and noise from outside.
So unless audio quality is not an issue for you, invest in a high-quality cable with a reasonable price. You can’t expect the same results with a cheap XLR cable.
Investing in a high-quality XLR cable is as important as investing in a good quality mic. A simple cable consists of too many components. The conducts, shielding, connectors, everything should be durable and reliable, or you will keep having issues with your recordings and performances.
All options in our list of the best XLR cables are carefully selected for your convenience. We have included some budget-friendly as well as some premium options for you. Make sure you order XLR cable with your required length to stay within budget and avoid inconveniences later.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.