Best Studio XLR Cables (Review & Buying Guide)

XLR connector

Studio XLR cables are one of the most important and common pieces of equipment of any stage setup, or studio or live performances. They provide an electrical path between two separate pieces of professional video, audio, or stage lighting hardware. Using XLR cables, the audio signal from your microphone or instrument can be carried to mixing table, PA, amp, and other devices. No matter how costly your studio gear is, it is not worth much if you don’t have a good cable to ensure high-quality sound.

As these cables come in various lengths, sizes, and pin arrangements depending on their application, selecting one for your studio use might seem like an intimidating task. Luckily, we’re here to guide you so that you can easily differentiate a quality XLR cable from an inferior one. Here is a list of some important factors to consider when buying studio XLR cables to help you make an informed decision:

Things to Consider When Buying Studio XLR Cables

Length

Get a cable that is of a proper length. The length of the cable should be enough to give you some wiggle room so that you can snake it around obstacles like speakers or amps with ease and a couple of extra feet might not hurt.

With a whole load of extra cable lying around from a 100-footer, you won’t have to worry about XLR signal degradation but your studio space might get cramped and seem extremely disorganized because of it. Understand your space and while deciding on cable length, be as thorough as possible so that you can work in optimum conditions.

Core Thickness

When looking for an XLR cable, the thickness of the cable core is another critical feature to keep in mind. The core thickness can impact the transfer of your signal. Its diameter is measured using the American Wire Gauge table and ranges between 20 and 26; 20 being the thickest. While thinner cables are preferred for live sound because of their increased flexibility, for studio recording, people prefer using thicker XLR cables as it adds more capacitance for the best quality sound.

Shielded Cables

Manufacturers use various materials such as copper, tin-plated copper, and aluminum laminate to make the shielding for cables. Shielding on a studio XLR cable helps in protecting your signal from any kind of interference such as from power or radio frequencies. On the male cables, the shielding is connected to the third pin. Essentially, the shielding directs any ground interference through the cable and keeps it from reaching the main signal.

Connector Type

The term connector type actually refers to the durability and longevity of your cable. Good-quality XLR connectors won’t break if exposed to a bit of stress and strain and will allow you to treat your cables in a carefree and better manner. The main difference between gold and silver-plated connectors is material strength. Gold-plated connectors resist corrosion better than silver-plated ones. This factor may not affect you much unless your studio space is near the beach. Therefore, a silver-plated connector might work just as well for you as any other gold-plated one.

Choosing a studio XLR cable for your audio equipment collection can be an overwhelming task, especially when there are unlimited brands and models to choose from. Here is a list of our picks of the best studio XLR cables available online to help you with this daunting task:

1. Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 Studio XLR Cable

Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 XLR Microphone Cable, XLR-Female to XLR-Male, 3-Pin, Gold Contacts, Straight Connectors, 20 Foot

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Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 Studio XLR Cable is the ideal choice for studio owners and active stage performers. It features a unique 105-strand cable core design. The cable is thus equipped with 3 times the number of copper stands than leading competitor brands. The gold-plated connectors and the braided-shield complete the package.

Key Features of Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 Studio XLR Cable

  • Unique 105-strand cable core design
  • 3 times the number of copper strands as compared to a typical high-quality microphone cable
  • Gold contact XLR 3-pin connectors

Specifications of Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 Studio XLR Cable

  • Brand Name: Mogami Cable
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.1 x 2 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Lengths Available: 20 foot, 30 foot, 50 foot
  • Item Model Number: GOLD STAGE-20

Pros of Mogami GOLD STAGE-20 Studio XLR Cable

  • Highly flexible
  • Ultra-rugged
  • Nearly indestructible
  • Durable and reliable
  • Comes with “No Excuses” warranty

2. GLS Audio Studio XLR Cable

GLS Audio 25 foot Mic Cable Patch Cords - XLR Male to XLR Female Black Microphone Cables - 25' Balanced Mic Snake Cord - Single

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GLS Audio Studio XLR Cable comes with shielded dual insulated copper conductors. Not only are they hand-soldered and hand-wired but also have high-quality metal ends. Pair all that with a thick, flexible, high-quality rubber jacket and a double strain relief on each end of the conductors, you have a cable that will last a lifetime.

Key Features of GLS Audio Studio XLR Cable

  • Heavy-duty flexible rubber jacket
  • True balanced Lo-Z shielded cable
  • High-grade 21g dual copper conductors & shield
  • Tri-grip™ & rubber booty strain relief
  • High-quality noise-free performance
  • 3-pin XLR connectors

Specifications of GLS Audio Studio XLR Cable

  • Brand Name: GLS Audio
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6 x 1.7 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Lengths Available: 25 foot
  • Item Model Number: MC25

Pros of GLS Audio Studio XLR Cable

  • Thick, high-quality, flexible rubber jacket
  • Hand-wired and hand-soldered
  • Cable snaps easily into place

3. Planet Waves Classic Series Studio XLR Cable

Planet Waves Classic Series XLR Microphone Cable, 25 feet

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These cables feature heavy-gauged oxygen-free copper conductors and nickel-plated brass connectors for transparent and reliable signal transfer. The signal then receives enhanced protection through a layer of conductive PVC as well as a dense copper for optimal shielding coverage, providing you with a worry-free experience.

Key Features of Planet Waves Classic Series Studio XLR Cable

  • In-out technology: low capacitance for pure signal transparency
  • Heavy gauged oxygen-free copper conductors and nickel-plated brass connectors
  • XLR Male to XLR Female plugs for balanced I/O
  • A layer of conductive PVC as well as a dense copper for optimal shielding coverage
  • Limited lifetime guarantee
  • Molded collar

Specifications of Planet Waves Classic Series Studio XLR Cable

  • Brand Name: D’Addario Accessories
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8 x 1.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 7 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.08 pounds
  • Lengths Available: 25 foot
  • Item Model Number: PW-CMIC-25

Pros of Planet Waves Classic Series Studio XLR Cable

  • Shielding provides noise rejection for quiet operation
  • Offers reliable contact and corrosion resistance
  • Transparent signal transfer
  • Signal protection from outside interferences
  • Long-lasting

4. Hosa HMIC Pro Studio XLR Cable

Hosa HMIC Pro Microphone Cables REAN XLR3F to XLRM - (25 Feet) (Black)

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This cable is engineered to deliver years of rock-solid reliability. The silver-plated REAN connectors allow superior signal transfer and the OFC conductors are used for a louder, clearer signal. With the high signal to noise ratio, any recorded audio sounds amazing.

Key Features of Hosa HMIC Pro Studio XLR Cable

  • Silver-plated REAN connectors
  • 20 AWG Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductors
  • 90 percent OFC braided shield
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Specifications of Hosa HMIC Pro Studio XLR Cable

  • Brand Name: Hosa
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 1 pound
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Lengths Available: 5 foot, 15 foot, 20 foot, 25 foot, 30 foot, 50 foot, 100 foot
  • Item Model Number: HMIC025

Pros of Hosa HMIC Pro Studio XLR Cable

  • Superior signal transfer
  • Louder, clearer signal
  • Higher signal to noise ratio

5. Pro Co StageMASTER Studio XLR Cable

Pro Co StageMASTER XLR Microphone Cable 30 ft.

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This studio XLR cable is Lo-Z balanced and is designed to be quiet and durable. Manufactured with top-quality XLR connectors and extremely low-noise twisted-pair wire, the cables deliver enhanced performance. These cables are the premium choice for musicians and studio owners on a budget.

Key Features of Pro Co StageMASTER Studio XLR Cable

  • 2-conductor shielded cable
  • High-quality XLR connectors
  • Lo-Z balanced
  • Extremely low-noise twisted-pair wire
  • Colored rings for color-coding purposes

Specifications of Pro Co StageMASTER Studio XLR Cable

  • Brand Name: Pro Co
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 3.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Lengths Available: 30 foot
  • Item Model Number: SMM-30

Pros of Pro Co StageMASTER Studio XLR Cable

  • Designed to be quiet and durable
  • Superior performance and maximum value
  • Individually tested to meet performance and quality requirements
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