In music production, lightning or even video, XLR cables are of utmost importance. Professionals use XLR cables for varying purposes. In audio recording, they make up an important part of a producer’s equipment.
The main-spread use of XLR cables is in great part related to their two main advantages over other cables. First, they are balanced cables, meaning that the final audio signal will have less unwanted noise from outside electrical interference.
Second, they can carry line level signals over long distances. What this signifies, is that they preserve the original audio signal over long distances, and even near other electronic devices.
In this article, we go through the particularities of XLR cables before giving you a list of the best available XLR cables.
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Reviews | Best XLR Cables | Top 5
Regarding manufacturing, the XLR connectors are as solid as they can get. Additionally, the resistance of the cable is ensured by a thick, rugged, well-built and well-shielded cable. Notwithstanding, the cable remains a flexible rubber cable. Moreover, the joint area where the XLR plug attaches to the cable is positively secure and looks resistant. In terms of customer service, GLS Audio is apparently always available, and, according to clients, the brand will replace defective cables if needed.
Furthermore, the AWG oxygen-free copper construction of the cable, its individual wire insulation, foil shielding, and soft PVC jacket all contribute to the overall excellent fabrication. Strain relief on the connector and gold-plated XLR pins are two further features which make this cable outstanding. Once again, clients have mentioned a great customer service. When they were deficient, cables have been replaced. Last but not least, each pair comes packed in a nice box and thoughtful packaging is always appreciated.
Our opinion is that this cable offers transparent results, a present bass, a full midrange and sparkling highs in terms of sound quality. No noticeable interference can be distinguished. Quality of fabrication will satisfy most users. A heavy duty protective insulation, solid connectors, and the 24 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) contribute to a satisfying sum. The cable is very flexible, but still feels thick and sturdy. It is also worth mentioning that this XLR cable model is available in a variety of different colors which are actually good-looking.
One additional comment we could make is the fact that the metal button on the end doesn’t work nearly as well as some other XLR cables. Other than that, the cable is well insulated and easy to store. The quality of manufacturing is also very high, with all copper conductors and inner copper spiral shielding. This type of manufacturing reduces interference and excess noise. Nonetheless, this cable doesn’t have gold connectors. But, who needs them anyway?
Moreover, the quality of manufacturing is enhanced by the actual wire that is being used. The latter is a very heavy two-conductor shielded cable. In turn, this makes the cable much more resistant. Also being very well insulated and shielded, you won’t notice any interference or hiss with this XLR cable. As a result, the audio you will record will sound great.
Side note: Comes in different sizes (3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 or 100 feet)
1. How do I use an XLR cable ?
2. In what circumstances should I use an XLR cable?
Furthermore, for studio purposes, XLR cables are used to connect most microphones. Usually, microphones will require a power source to function. Mixing consoles and audio interfaces provide this power which is called “phantom power”.
XLR cables are the cables that allow mixers and audio interfaces to deliver phantom power to microphones. They are some of the rare cables which are able to do this.
3. Additional considerations about XLR cables
For example, if an audio device in your chain is unbalanced, it will cause the whole sign chain to be unbalanced. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should always verify if the manufacturer has mentioned the balanced signal of the device.
4. What are the main components of an XLR?
Other XLR cable parts you will find are an insulator, fillers, a shield and an outer jacket. Whilst some of the latter elements are of lesser importance, the shield should be fabricated with a high-end material that can appropriately protect the pristine signals that are passing through the cable from any interferences and noise. The material that is usually employed for the manufacturing of the shield is metal-based (i.e: tin-plated copper)
When comparing the XLR cable to other cables, it is easy to find similarities with the Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) cable. However, the difference here is that TRS cables are very similar to standard-jack cables and don’t have both a female and male connector.
What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced cables?
Unbalanced cables, on the other hand, have only two wires that serve as conductors. It is actually the same one that will carry both the signal and the ground. Less expensive than balanced cables, they have their fair share of downfalls. One of the most important one is the fact that they are exposed to noise caused by interferences from nearby electrical fields or devices. Therefore, unbalanced cables should not be your first choice for audio applications that require long cables.
Moreover, GLS Audio customer service appears to be very honest and respectful according to clients. We hope that this article on the “best XLR cables” has informed you well enough on the components and functions of an XLR cable. It is essential for us to make you understand how beneficial this product can be for your studio recording and live performances.