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Achieve precision sound and performance with these XLR Microphone Cables

XLR is the industry standard when it comes to high quality audio inputs such as microphones. Whether you are performing live on stage or recording in the studio, XLR is the go-to format for insuring the most desirable results. Keep your audio impeccable with a healthy selection of quality XLR microphone cables.

What XLR?

XLR is essentially a high-quality standard for delivering a balanced signal with noise isolation via an audio input such as a microphone. The abbreviation XLR stands for X connector/Locking connector/Rubber boot, which essentially describes the design of the connection itself. An XLR3 type cable features a three-pin connection, and is by far the most standard configuration of XLR cable.

XLR provides a robust connection that is extremely well-suited for high-quality audio recording and broadcasting, which is why it has been adopted as the standard method in most situations that require excellent audio input.

XLR vs. RCA

RCA is another common connector type when dealing with audio input, and many devices typically support both RCA and XLR, leading users to determine which type of connection is more ideal. The key difference is that while a standard XLR connector features a balanced 3-pin connection, RCA is conversely a single, unbalanced 1-pin connection.

The primary benefit to a balanced 3-pin XLR connection is its ability to carry a signal over much longer distances without interference or significant signal loss. This makes XLR cables less prone to buzzing, humming, or other extra noise that you just don’t want to hear when aiming for the highest-quality audio signal possible.

This in particular is why XLR microphone cables are especially desirable in setups that cover longer distances, such as recording studios or live music venues. The benefits may be less noticeable in scenarios such as a home stereo setup, which tend to lean towards RCA cables.

Qualities of a good XLR cable

XLR cables can serve many useful purposes, and choosing one with the best qualities for your task can help ensure the best possible results. XLR cables that feature durable shielding are especially well-suited for live performance. They will offer the flexibility and durability to maintain functional throughout regular setup and takedown, as well as withstanding the stomping footsteps and other hi-jinx inherent to a rowdy stage show.

Proper shielding will also help reduce the amount of interference affecting the signal, which can come from outside sources such as wireless signals or power frequencies, just to name a few. This is the benefit of one of the standard XLR cable’s three pins, which essentially redirects ground interference away from the primary signal.

Core thickness is another important factor, with thicker cables proving especially useful when used in studio recording situations. A thicker cable increases its capacitance and ultimately results in the highest-possible quality of sound in comparison to thinner cables. However, when it comes to live performance scenarios, there is a tendency to lean more towards thinner cables for their increased flexibility.

The XLR connector itself can be made of different materials, with silver or gold-plated connectors being among the most common. Gold-plated connectors are more desirable for their resistance to corrosion and stronger integrity, but they also tend to run at a higher cost than silver-plating.