Having a sturdy audio cable is essential since it can affect sound quality and feedback.
Plus, you would not want your expensive microphone or condenser connected to a cheap cable, right?
In the audio world, the XLR cable connector is one of the most common accessories.
This is because it offers balance in transmitting line-level or microphone signals with three-pin connectors – ground, positive, negative.
In the following article, we’re highlighting product reviews, a buying guide, and a FAQs section to help you find the best XLR cable.
The Best XLR Cables for Microphones
- Pro Co EXM-20 – Best XLR Cable Overall
- Mogami Gold Studio – Best for Professional Studios
- D’Addario PW-CMIC-25 – Best in Value
- Hosa HMIC-005 Pro – Best in Value
- JUMPERZ JBM-25 Blue Line – Best for budget
- Telefunken SGMC-5R XLR Stage Series – Best for Stage Use
- StageMaster SMM-20 – Best Value for Stage
- Pro Co EXM-75 – Best for Medium to Large Stages
- RapcoHorizon N1M1-5 – Best Mid-range cable
- JUMPERZ JBM-50 – Best for budget
The Pro Co EXM-20 is the best overall with its features and performance among the various products enumerated.
For one, the Pro Co EXM-20 features exceptional shielding and optimum coverage, making it one of the most durable and long-lasting cables in the market.
The EXM-20 also comes with silver-plated Neutrik connectors, further increasing its durability.
However, despite its durability, the EXM-20 is 20 feet long and remains to be quite flexible.
As such, the Pro Co EXM-20 seems to be quite versatile such that you can use it both during studio and live sessions.
Aside from this, the high quality of these materials also results in seamless signal transfers and clear audio and sound quality.
Hence, it virtually does not register any unwanted noise and other interferences in your audio.
- Durable construction
- Virtually no unwarranted noise and interferences
- It is 20 feet long
- Versatile cable
What started as a small workshop in Tokyo, Japan grew to be one of the best companies for high-end audio cables.
One of Mogami’s best products is its Gold Studio XLR cable.
What makes this the best is that the Gold Studio comes with four copper wire conductors instead of the standard two, thereby improving its noise interference cancellation abilities.
As such, the Gold Studio is ideal for studio use and is one of the quietest cables in the market as it provides a 95% quieter background.
The increased conductors also result in thicker and more durable wires, protecting them from rough handling.
Moreover, the Gold Studio utilizes gold-plated connectors that protect them from corrosion and rusting.
Mogami Gold Studio also comes in various lengths, ensuring that you can find a product that suits your needs.
- Ideal for studio use
- Durable construction
- Excellent noise cancellation
- It offers various cable lengths
Guitarists might be familiar with the brand, D’Addario.
You will be happy to know that their Planet Waves Classic Series is their try on the classic XLR cables.
The D’Addario PW XLR cable comes with nickel-plated connectors and copper conductors for reliable signal transfer and enhanced sound quality.
Aside from its high-quality connector and conductors, the PW XLR cable also features a layer of conductive PVC for enhanced durability.
However, it is not that thick that would render the cable rigid and inflexible.
Plus, it comes with a flexible molded collar, giving the cable a lot of strain relief.
The D’Addario PW Classic XLR cable is ideal for both studio and live sessions.
What makes the XLR cable a great choice is that you can get a high-quality cable for just a fraction of the price.
- Affordable cable
- High-quality construction
- Reliable signal transfer
- Virtually no noise
- None so far
The Hosa HMIC-005 Pro is one of the company’s most popular cables.
For one, it comes with silver-plated connectors made by Neutrik REAN coupled with a thick copper wire conductor, which in turn, enables it to get a clearer signal for seamless signal transfer.
This construction also results in a quieter background, making the Hosa Pro XLR cable ideal for studio recordings.
Aside from the sound quality, the thick core conductor increases its durability and toughness and makes it last for a long while.
What is surprising is that the product does not place a dent in your budget for these high-quality specs.
It is one of the most affordable yet high-quality XLR cables for studios.
- Enhanced durability
- Seamless signal transfer
- Great for studio use
- Affordable price
- Stiff cable
Proudly made in the USA by the company’s professional craftsmen, the JUMPERZ JBM XLR cable features 24 AWG copper wire and silver-plated connectors, increasing its durability for long-term use.
The XLR cable also comes with heat-insulated points for your safety and protection.
Moreover, this combination of thick conductors and high-quality connectors results in clean and clear audio.
The product’s covered ground wire, and noise rejecting shielding also prevents humming and other noise interference.
As such, it is ideal to use for studio recordings due to its virtual no-noise background.
JUMPERZ’s JBM XLR cable is also convenient and functional as it comes with both XLRM and XLRF connectors.
This feature makes this XLR cable versatile and usable with various microphones, wires, and other devices.
- Durable and safe to use
- The covered ground wire for minimal noise interference
- Affordable price
- Versatile use
- Product quality issues
The Telefunken XLR Stage Series features pure copper conductors, low-loss insulation, and silver solder joints, enhancing its conductivity and durability.
Despite its durable construction, Telefunken’s XLR cable is quite lightweight and exhibits considerable flexibility.
As such, it does not knot nor tangles easily, making it ideal to use during live sessions.
What makes the Telefunken XLR cable unique is that it comes with a right-angled Female connector.
This feature is quite convenient since you can connect to hard-to-reach equipment and navigate awkward angles.
The Telefunken XLR cable also boasts clear audio and seamless signal transfer.
Its copper braid shield and low capacitance design prevent any unwanted sound or noise from bleeding through.
- Flexible wiring
- Ideal for live sessions
- It comes with a right-angled Female connector
- Provides clear audio
- Quality control issues
As in its name, Pro Co’s StageMaster is made for stage use.
The cable features a 24-AWG cable, making it flexible and easy to twist, roll, and lug around on stage.
It is also 30 feet long, making it ideal for small- to medium-sized stages.
Yet, its flexibility does not affect its quality.
The Pro Co StageMaster features 90% copper shield coverage and nickel-plated connectors, making it durable and long-lasting.
The StageMaster is also known for providing clear and clean audio.
The cable’s inner twisted-pair wire results in quiet operations, preventing you from hearing that annoying hissing during your performance.
One problem with XLR cables is that they do not even have any color, so you will still have to add colored tape manually to distinguish them.
However, you will not have this problem with the Pro Co StageMaster cable since it comes with color-coded rings for your convenience.
- It comes with color-coded rings
- 30-feet long
- Ideal for small to medium stages
- Requires frequent maintenance
Pro Co is one of the most popular companies in the audio cable market.
But it comes as no surprise considering the quality and performance of their products.
Pro Co’s EXM-75 XLR cable features a smart cable design with its spiral shielding and Neutrik cable connectors, making it durable and long-lasting.
This combination also reduces unwanted noises and audio interferences, enabling the XLR cable to produce a crisp and clear sound.
One thing likable about the Pro Co EXM-75 is that it is 75 feet long, making it ideal for medium to large stages.
The cable’s thin yet durable wiring also makes the EXM-75 quite flexible, enabling you to maneuver it easily on stage.
- Long cable length
- Ideal for medium to large stages
- It comes with Neutrik cable connectors
- Durable and high-quality
- Quality control issues
The RapcoHorizon N1M1-5 is one of the best mid-range XLR cables in the market.
The N1M1-5 XLR cable is quite durable with its silver-plated Neutrik connectors, copper wiring, and thick PVC jackets.
RapcoHorizon’s N1M1-5 XLR cable also features two 24-gauge conductors, which give clear and crisp audio and improved sound quality.
The N1M1-5’s thin wiring also increases the cable’s flexibility, enabling you to manipulate and maneuver it easily.
Along with this, the N1M1-5 is five feet long, making it a mid-range cable.
Both features make this XLR cable ideal for use on stage and live sessions.
However, nothing is stopping you from using it in studio recording sessions.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty
- Features two 24-gauge conductors
- Durable and high-quality
- Produces a clear and crisp sound
- It might be too short for some users
Usually, XLR cables come in all-black, which is not a problem if you only use minimal cables.
However, if you have an extensive audio setup, the lack of color or indicator might make everything confusing.
As such, you will still need to face the hassle of placing color tape or other signs to distinguish easily.
But the JUMPERZ JBM-50 eliminates this hassle as its wires already come with colors, red and black.
The JUMPERZ JBM-50 XLR cable prides itself on its durability with its 24-AWG copper wiring and insulated solder points.
Moreover, the XLR cable also boasts clear sound due to its high-quality connectors and blue line copper wiring.
The JBM-50 also comes with an inner covered ground, eliminating unwanted humming and sounds from seeping through effectively.
- Color-coded wires for convenience
- Flexible and durable wiring
- Affordable price
- No unwanted sound
- Inconsistent performance
While audio cables may be the most straightforward component in your setup, getting a good one is essential.
Nevertheless, it can be difficult to find one with limited information about them and their sheer number in the market.
But you do not have to worry since this buying guide will enumerate all the factors that make an excellent XLR cable.
Like all audio cables, XLR cables come with a layer to protect the signal from noise and other sound inferences.
The common types of shielding are:
Braided shields have braided copper wires wrap around the signal-conducting wire, increasing its durability and conductivity.
Out of all the types, braided shielding has the best coverage, but it is also the costliest.
Foil shields use a combination of Mylar-backed aluminum foil and copper wire, making them cheap and easy to make.
While it provides 100% coverage, foil shielding is more brittle and breaks down if repeatedly flexed.
Moreover, since aluminum foil is a poor electrical conductor, it does not provide the best signal.
Serve shields come with copper strands that wrap around the center wires, increasing their flexibility.
These cable types are also cheap since they are easy to manufacture.
Nonetheless, serve shields are less resistant to radio interference since their coil is an inductor.
The material used in your XLR cable also affects its conductivity and durability.
A high-quality connector will not easily get damaged from a bit of stress and strain.
Connectors usually come in either gold or silver platings.
Gold-plated connectors are more durable since they have better corrosion resistance.
Silver-plated connectors are said to be better conductors.
However, they tarnish quicker, so you will need to clean them frequently to maintain performance.
Of course, you will need your XLR cable to be long enough to connect what you need to connect.
However, before you go overboard, keep in mind that the cable length can also affect the sound quality and feedback.
Longer cables are like antennas; hence, they can pick up more radio frequencies and other noise interferences.
Reasonable cable lengths should be less than thirty feet. Anything above that will be prone to noise interference.
The cable’s thickness is also a determining factor since it can affect the signal transfer.
Thicker cables provide better signal transfer to produce higher sound quality.
As such, you will often see them in recording studios.
On the other hand, thinner cables are more flexible and are thus preferred for live performances.
Cable lay is the measurement of the distance between each twist in your wires.
More twists give you a shorter cable lay which is preferred since short lays have better flexibility and noise cancellation abilities.
However, shorter lays are also more expensive since they utilize more wire.
Why do you need high-quality cables?
High-quality cables provide better and cleaner sound quality and feedback compared to low-end ones.
Moreover, they are also more durable due to the quality of materials used.
Low-end cables tend to suffer from numerous noise interferences and are quite brittle.
Are XLR cables the same?
No, like all products, XLR cables differ on several factors such as material, length, connector types, and the like.
The different factors result in distinct sound qualities.
You can truly see these differences when comparing various XLR cables with each other.
Are expensive XLR cables better?
Not necessarily, expensive products do not always guarantee the best performance.
Rather than looking at the XLR cable’s price, it is more practical and reasonable to look at its quality.
As such, it is best to research different products to compare what each of them will offer.
Some of the best XLR cables are surprisingly one of the cheapest in the market.
Where do you buy XLR cables?
You can purchase XLR cables in your local music shops and other similar specialty shops.
You can also choose to shop for them online like Sweetwater, Amazon, eBay, and websites dedicated to selling music equipment.
If you have a specific product already in mind, you can also directly access their website to purchase.
Does cable length matter?
Yes, they do.
Before purchasing your XLR cable, many users recommend that you measure the length of the cable you will need.
The last thing that we will want is a too-short cable.
However, keep in mind that a longer cable is not always the best choice.
Longer cables tend to be stiffer and more rigid compared to shorter cables.
As such, you might have a difficult time twisting and rolling them.
Out of the ten products listed here, the Pro Co EXM-20 is the best XLR cable considering its specifications and performance.
For one, this XLR cable is made of high-quality materials that increase its durability as well as provides for clear audio and exceptional sound quality.
However, the EXM-20 remains quite flexible, making it suitable for both studio and stage use.
If you want a reliable and excellent XLR cable, you might want to consider the Pro Co EXM-20 XLR cable.
The other XLR cables featured in this article are also some of the best products in the market.
As such, you will not be dissatisfied if you ever choose one of them.