Best XLR Cable – Buyer’s Guide (September 2020)

best xlr cable

 

Finding the best XLR cable is no small matter: high quality microphone cables ensure pristine audio reproduction so your voice sounds just as clear from the speakers as from your mouth.

 

However, it’s difficult to navigate all the cables available to you, so it’s important to know that among the different types of audio cables, XLR cables are considered the best microphone cables. XLR cables use balanced audio to cancel noise that develops as an audio signal travels through a wire. To narrow down your options, we’ve selected the best cables from top brands like Mogami and LyxPro so you know you’re buying the best XLR cable for DJ setups and events.

 

You can trust these top 10 microphone cables to deliver high quality, low noise audio signals in any venue. They’re great for small coffee shops and recording studios, as well as wild clubs and large concerts. Whatever your needs, XLR cables will undoubtedly deliver professional results.

 

 

Check out our list of the best XLR cables below!

 

Name Price
Mogami Gold Series XLR cableBest XLR Cable
Mogami Silver Series XLR CableBest XLR Cable
Pro Co AQN-25 AmeriquadBest XLR Cable
Audio-Technica AT8314-50Best XLR Cable
LyxPro LCS PremiumBest XLR Cable
GLS AudioBest XLR Cable
Cable Matters PremiumBest XLR Cable
Planet Waves American Stage SeriesBest XLR Cable
CSproaudio XLR Microphone CableBest XLR Cable
Amazon Basics XLR CableBest XLR Cable

 

1. Mogami Gold Series XLR cable

 

 

Mogami Gold Series XLR cableA typical balanced cable has 2 conductors that work as a team to eliminate noise interference, so the Mogami Gold Series XLR cable is one of the best options because it contains 4 conductors. With a 4-conductor design, this Mogami XLR cable can deliver a 95% quieter background for stunning sound quality. This cable will bring professional sound wherever you go.

 

In addition, this XLR cable can function with any industry standard equipment with a 3-pin XLR input or output, so it’s versatile and hassle-free. It’s 10 feet long, but the Mogami Gold Series offers longer and shorter lengths to suit your particular needs. Best of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Professional sound
  • Extremely low noise
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive

 

2. Mogami Silver Series XLR Cable

 

Mogami Silver Series XLR Cable The problem every manufacturer considers when making a good microphone cable is how to produce high quality sound at any length. Typically, the farther an audio signal travels, the more noise it picks up along the way. However, this Mogami Silver Series XLR cable is 25 feet long and won’t compromise quality, making it great for larger performances. This cable is another high quality, dependable option from Mogami, but at a more affordable price.

 

Like the cable above, the Mogami Silver Series XLR cable is available in various lengths and comes with a lifetime warranty. This XLR cable combines versatility with affordability, all the while delivering everything you need for professional audio.

 

Pros
  • High quality audio
  • Lifetime warranty
  • More affordable than Gold series
Cons
  • Not 4-conductor cable like Gold series

 

3. Pro Co AQN-25 Ameriquad

 

Pro Co AQN-25 Ameriquad Another high quality XLR cable option is the Pro Co AQN-25 Ameriquad microphone cable. This 25 foot long, 4-conductor cable guarantees pristine sound thanks to its low-noise design. Further, this cable is particularly great for live events, large crowds, and rough travel because of its tough outer jacket and dependable connectors.

 

The Ameriquad cable goes above and beyond when it comes to flexibility and durability. Securely connecting cables is no problem with its tight-twist conductors, so you don’t have to worry about potential mishaps. In addition, within this XLR cable is a braided shield which offers you the best combination of durability and flexibility. The Pro Co AQN-25 Ameriquad cable also comes with a lifetime warranty, so if you’re looking for a dependable XLR cable, this is it.

 

 

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Durable
  • 4-conductor
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Ideal for large events

 

4. Audio-Technica AT8314-50

 

Audio-Technica AT8314-50This Audio-Technica XLR cable can produce high quality sound with astonishing ease. For a 50 foot cable, it’s super affordable and surprisingly lightweight, making for easy travel. Also, just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’s not dependable: the Audio-Technica XLR cable promises high conductivity, and it’s extremely flexible so you know it won’t wear down over time.

 

When it comes to balanced XLR cables, this one can provide all your basic needs. At 50 feet long, there’s a wide range of possibilities for setup and movement at any size event. Further, because it’s a balanced cable, you can trust that the length won’t hinder its performance, so you’ll always have professional sound.

 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Super lightweight
  • Long
Cons
  • No lifetime warranty like other options

 

5. LyxPro LCS Premium

 

LyxPro LCS PremiumIf you need a great LyxPro balanced XLR cable, we highly recommend the LyxPro LCS Premium. This cable produces flawless sound in any given environment. With a combination of 98% braided shielding and cotton yarn wrap inside each cable, the LyxPro LCS Premium goes to all lengths to eliminate sound. It resists external noise interference while guarding from internal noise as well.

 

LyxPro also ensures that this cable is extra durable. The connectors are corrosion resistant, it has a tightly-wound internal shield, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. This cable is built to last, so it’s a great option if you travel often. The LyxPro LCS Premium cable will produce high quality sound with zero noise for years to come.

 

 

Pros
  • 5-year warranty
  • Durable
  • Cotton yarn wrap
Cons
  • Less flexible
  • No lifetime warranty

 

6. GLS Audio

 

GLS Audio The GLS Audio XLR cable is a strong and reliable option for such an affordable price. Inside this XLR cable, the conductors are dual insulated for ultimate noise reduction, all contained within a thick and flexible rubber jacket. This cable goes the extra mile when it comes to noise reduction without compromising flexibility, which prevents it from wearing down and breaking over time.

 

Further, the XLR connectors on either end are made of high quality metal wrapped in rubber, so they securely snap into place and hold for as long as you need. Even at a low price, the GLS Audio XLR cable can deliver clean, high quality sound time and time again, making it a great option if you’re looking for something dependable and cheap.

 

 

Pros
  • Durable
  • Double insulation
  • Low noise
  • Affordable
Cons
  • No lifetime warranty
  • Only available in shorter lengths (comparably)

 

7. Cable Matters Premium

 

Cable Matters PremiumYou don’t always need long, expensive XLR cables to get the job done. The Cable Matters Premium XLR cable comes in a 2-pack of 3 foot long cables, which is an easy and affordable solution for setting up microphones, speakers, or lighting in a studio or small venue. Cable Matters offers 2-packs of varying lengths, all at low prices.

 

These cables also come with grips for secure connections–perfect for interconnecting studio equipment or several microphones without compromising a low-noise environment. It’s always good to have some extra, small cables on hand to complete a set up, so no matter how you choose to use Cable Matters Premium XLR cables, you can trust they’ll provide high noise cancellation and professional sound.

 

 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Both small and high quality
  • Great for studio recording
Cons
  • Not ideal for large events
  • No lifetime warranty

 

8. Planet Waves American Stage Series

 

Planet Waves American Stage SeriesAnother great option for the studio is the Planet Waves American Stage Series XLR cable. This 10 foot cable is perfect for short-run situations. Inside, it combines twisted conductors with durable braided shielding for optimal flexibility and performance. It’s strong shield also ensures high quality noise reduction, creating zero background noise for the most realistic sound.

 

The Planet Waves American Stage Series is manufactured in the USA so you know exactly where your gear comes from. They guarantee tight connectors, durable materials, and top-notch manufacturing. This XLR cable is great for producing clean sound both in a professional recording studio or a small performance venue.

 

 

Pros
  • High quality manufacturing
  • Low noise
  • American-made
Cons
  • More expensive
  • No warranty

 

9. MCSproaudio XLR Microphone Cable

 

MCSproaudio XLR Microphone CableThis high quality, low cost, extremely flexible MCSproaudio XLR microphone cable will pull your whole PA system together. Because this 25 foot cable is so flexible, no setup or travel can make it crack or break; it’s ready to produce clear vocals in any venue.

 

Plus, with multiple color options, you can color-code your PA system for simple sound design. These affordable XLR cables prevent confusion and mishaps within your sound system at large venues, making for quick setup and teardown. They also have unique screw style connectors for easy repairs within the cable if need be. So if you need cables to accommodate larger venues, or you travel often and need easy organization, these MCSproaudio XLR cables will bring professional sound wherever you go.

 

 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Various color options
Cons
  • Unnecessary for small venues
  • No warranty

 

10. Amazon Basics XLR Cable

 

Amazon Basics XLR CableThe Amazon Basics XLR cable can adapt to any of your needs. This particular option is 25 feet long, but Amazon Basics XLR cables range from 6- to 50-feet long, all at very affordable prices. This cable makes it easy to find a cheap and versatile XLR cable suitable to your needs.

 

The copper spiral shielding within this XLR cable provides great noise reduction for clean, realistic sound. Moreover, its thick PVC jacket provides another layer of noise protection as well as a durable design. The Amazon Basics XLR cable effortlessly produces pristine sound so you know you’ll get the best bang for your buck.

 

 

Pros
  • Clean sound
  • Durable PVC jacket
  • Amazon 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Spiral shielding susceptible to over-flexing

 

Best XLR Cable – Buyer’s Guide

 

What’s an XLR and what’s it used for?

 

In short, an XLR cable is a microphone cable. They range in length and they have a circular, 3-pinned connector: the positive, negative, and ground.

 

XLR cables became an industry standard cable because they transport balanced electrical signals over long distances with little noise interference.

 

The key word here is “balanced.” Noise and distortion develop naturally as sound travels, so XLR cables are designed to counteract noise and deliver clean sound over long distances. XLR cables use the positive and negative wires to balance the audio signal travelling through the cable, and this balance essentially eliminates noise.

 

That’s why most DJs and musicians rely on balanced cables–such as XLR cables–for high quality performance. More specifically, XLR cables are great for microphones because they can vary in length, which is perfect for small and large events alike.

 

 

Parts of an XLR Cable

 

Inside an XLR cable are three conductors: the positive, negative, and ground.

 

All three of these conductors are necessary for a balanced cable. The positive and negative wires are the core of an XLR cable, and surrounding these wires will be various materials (insulation, sometimes cotton yarn) to reduce any noise produced within the cable.

 

The main noise-reducing component within the cable is called “shielding.”

 

Sound quality, flexibility, and durability can vary with different shielding variations, so it’s helpful to research the shielding within an XLR cable before buying it.

 

Lastly, most XLR cables will have an exterior PVC jacket as a final layer of noise prevention. Plus, PVC jackets are very strong, flexible, and flame-resistant.

 

Reasons to Invest in a Quality XLR Cable

 

An audio signal can receive internal and external interference: audio signals naturally produce noise while traveling, and external signals from other devices (like speakers and cell phones) can interfere with microphone cables as well.

 

For this reason, a high quality XLR cable is essential for great sound production.

 

To produce clean sound, you need an XLR cable that prevents both types of interference. For example, at a live performance, a great XLR cable will endure heavy wear and tear, eliminate potential interference from large pieces of equipment, and deflect signals from any devices in the crowd.

 

Or in a studio setting, a high quality XLR cable guarantees no background buzzing so you get a clean, realistic recording.

 

The science of professional sound is complex and delicate, so XLR cables are designed to simplify your sound design for the best possible results.

 

 

Types of Audio Cables

 

XLR Cable

XLR cables are one of many microphone cable types. They are used most often for microphones, whereas other cables serve other functions.

 

 

TRS Cable

TRS cables–or, “tip, ring, sleeve” cables–are balanced cables as well. You most often see them as headphone jacks. It’s the same type of headphone wire that you would plug into your laptop at home, but for DJs they are especially helpful for stereo headphones or mixer insert jacks. Similarly, TS cables–or, “tip, sleeve” cables–are a simpler version of TRS cables. They run unbalanced signals and are best known for their instrument use–particularly guitars.

 

Other cables like RCA, speakON, and banana plugs connect different types of large stage equipment. RCA connectors are the standard connectors for stereo equipment, speakON connectors run between amplifiers and stage speakers, and banana plugs join audio wires together.

 

 

Balanced vs. Unbalanced Cables

 

As mentioned before, XLR cables are balanced cables. Balanced cables use both a positive and negative wire to carry the audio signal, but one of them is “out of phase.”

 

This means one signal is an inverted replica of the original audio signal. So, picture a sound wave travelling alongside a wave that mirrors it: that’s what the positive and negative wires do.

 

As the positive and negative wires carry mirroring signals, they naturally pick up noise along the way. Then, when the audio signals arrive at their destination (like a speaker), they are converted so they no longer mirror each other–they become identical–and assuming they picked up identical noise along the way, the noise from both wires cancels itself when converted. This is how balanced cables eliminate noise.

 

Unbalanced cables are much simpler, but they struggle to control noise and distortion. They only contain 2 wires: one to carry the audio signal, and the ground. Unbalanced cables are often cheaper because they’re simpler in design, but only unbalanced cables that are shorter in length can produce quality sound.

 

 

Cable Shielding 101

 

The shielding within an XLR cable is typically made of copper and it wraps around the core wires. It’s main job is to reduce noise produced within the cable. There are three main types of cable shielding: braided, spiral, and foil.

 

Braided shielding is exactly what it sounds like: it’s stands of copper braided around a wire. It’s the most versatile design because it combines flexibility with durability better than spiral and foil shields. Depending on the angle the copper wraps around the core, manufacturers can control shield coverage (anywhere between 50%-98%) to maximize noise-cancellation and durability.

 

A spiral shield is made of copper strands wrapped around the core in one direction. This is the most flexible option and provides great coverage. However, it’s more susceptible to damage because if the copper coils flex too much and spread apart too wide, the central conductors become exposed and vulnerable.

 

Lastly, a foil shield is like a single sleeve of copper completely covering the core of the XLR cable. It’s the most inexpensive type of shield, however it’s susceptible to high transfer impedance and, because it’s so stiff, it breaks easily with flexing.

 

What To Consider When Buying an XLR Cable

 

Length

Different lengths are better for different environments. For example, if you typically work in a recording studio, you won’t need long cables like you would in a live concert setting.

 

Further, if you travel often, you may consider cables that are long enough to function in a variety of venues. Or, you may want to consider investing in smaller XLR cables to keep spares on hand in case of unexpected damage or making extra connections.

 

Durability

Your XLR cables will be stepped on and repeatedly flexed. Durable XLR cables are essential for a travelling DJ or any large, crowded venue. Look for a XLR cable with a thick jacket and an appropriate amount of flexibility so it won’t crack over time.

 

In addition, look for firm connectors that don’t slip or pull apart easily. Investing in these small details can save you from constantly replacing your XLR cables.

 

Conclusion

 

A great XLR cable is essential for eliminating any excess buzzing or background noise, giving you pure, realistic sound for many performances to come.

 

There are so many options that it can be hard to navigate, but researching the details of an XLR cable will help you find what’s best for you.

 

Look for an appropriate length and, when in doubt, always opt for cables that are flexible and durable. There are XLR cables available for every budget, so consider what investment will serve you best in the long run.

 

A great XLR cable will boost your professionalism and elevate your sound quality, so you’ll never fail to immerse your audience in the amazing musical experience you want them to hear.