Best XLR Cable Choices in 2019

An XLR cable provides an electrical path between two pieces of professional audio, video, or stage lighting hardware. They come in various sizes and lengths with a number of different pin arrangements depending on the application. This review will focus solely on the 3-pin XLR3 cable that is the industry standard for professional audio applications.

Full Disclosure: This is an affiliate review. Purchasing from the links or buttons below earns me sales commission.

2019 Update: Colored XLR cables keep things organized! Check out the colored patch cables from GLS Audio further down in our list.


After a good amount of research, reviews, and a personal purchase, I recommend the Hosa HMIC REAN XLR cable.

Top Pick: Hosa HMIC REAN XLR Cable

This Hosa HMIC REAN XLR cable is possibly the best value and quality you will find for the money when it comes to XLR cables, and is also my personal pick to connect my mic to my audio interface. This XLR cable uses REAN connectors, and REAN is a brand of the industry standard connector company, Neutrik. This cable comes in a variety of lengths, and uses 20 AWG oxygen-free copper conductors. Customers in the pro audio field say this cable is on par with high-end XLR cables, and it’s a fraction of the price.


Runner-up: Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable

The Mogami Gold Studio Microphone XLR cable is a close runner-up in this review of the 10 best XLR cables. If you want the hands-down best for your studio and are willing to pay extra for it, this is your choice. These XLR cables come in a wide variety of lengths, use the Neutrik X connectors, and have four balanced conductors instead of two to eliminate 99% of all RF interference for the cleanest signal. These cables also come with a lifetime warranty from Mogami.


Also Great: Cable Matters 2-Pack XLR Cable

The Cable Matters 2-Pack follows closely in 3rd place for several reasons. These cables have 3 layers of shielding: Each conductor has its own PVC shield. Both conductors are then wrapped in a foil shield, and then finally a braided copper shield on top of everything. They use a heavy-duty 16 AWG conductor gauge, the largest on this list. This takes away from flexibility, but will make them more durable. These cables also use a stress free connector design, similar to higher quality builds. And finally, they are cheap, and there are two of them!



What Goes Into Making the Best XLR Cable?

In professional audio, XLR cables are commonly used for recording and micing. They create a balanced audio signal bridge between the microphone and other hardware such as an audio interface. A balanced and noise-free audio signal connection is paramount when recording.

There can also be a good amount of clever marketing behind the best XLR cables, and this can add to the price without significantly increasing the quality. There are a few things to look into when buying the best XLR cable:

 Shielding (most important)

  • balanced audio is achieved in the best XLR cables by using shielded twisted-pair cable and three-conductor connectors
  • reduces or eliminates electromagnetic interference from external radiation sources over longer spans of cable
  • common shielding materials are plain copper, tin plated copper, and aluminum laminate foil
  • foil is cheaper and lighter, and great for blocking RF interference, but less rugged and only suitable for stationary cable and specialized applications
  • braided copper shielding is more effective as a shield due to higher conductivity, and tin plated copper reduces corrosion

Core & Conductor

  • the conductor carries the audio signal, and copper is the best choice of material
  • oxygen-free copper and electrolytic-tough pitch (ETP) copper are even better, but not 100% necessary
  • stranded conductors are better than solid, because they are more resistant to flexural stress and more reliable
  • cotton placed between conductors and shielding can help eliminate friction and static discharge interference

Length

  • longer cables will be more prone to signal degradation and interference
  • over 100 ft will start to add interference
  • less than 30 ft is the most practical length
  • aim for the shortest length needed for your specific application

Connector quality

  • locking mechanisms are a plus
  • gold plated contacts are more resistant to corrosion but not 100% necessary unless being used in a corrosive environment, like near saltwater or on the surface of Venus.
  • Neutrik XX connector design is one of the best
Neutrik XX XLR3 Female Connector

Neutrik XX XLR3 Female Connector

Specific uses

  • a cable that will be used on stage will need to be built to withstand the abuse of a live performance
    • high-quality connectors
    • dual spiral braid shielding
    • stranded conductors
    • higher gauge = smaller diameter = more flexibility
  • a cable that will be used in the studio won’t need to be as rugged as one used in a live performance
    • PVC conductor insulators are best
    • braided shield (non-spiral)

These factors along with the prices were taken into consideration while formulating this list of the best XLR cable available in 2019. Let’s take a look.

The Top 10 Best XLR Cables in 2019

Audio-Technica 15′ Premium Microphone XLR Cable

Audio-Technica 15' Premium Microphone XLR Cable
Audio-Technica Premium Microphone Cable (AT8314-15)

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Neutrik XX connectors with nickel-silver contact material
♦  Designed for low-impedance microphone signal
♦  Heavy-duty construction – PVC jacket stands up to tough use
♦  24-gauge stranded copper conductors offer great signal transfer and flexibility
♦  Dual copper spiral outer shields and twin conductive PVC inner shields protect cable signal quality with 100% coverage

The stranded copper conductors and PVC inner shields make the Audio-Technica 15′ Premium Microphone Cable (AT8314-15) a great choice for environments with high amounts of electromagnetic interference and radio noise. Dual spiral copper shields aid in reliability and flexibility, ideal for live performances.

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Cable Matters 2-Pack XLR Microphone Cable

Cable Matters 2-Pack XLR Microphone Cable
Cable Matters 2 Pack XLR Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Cable Matters OEM connectors with gold contact material
♦  Heavy-duty construction – PVC jacket stands up to tough use
♦  16 AWG oxygen-free copper conductors
♦  Individual conductor PVC shields, foil shielding, and braided copper shielding
♦  
Comes in 3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, and 25 ft lengths
♦  Double pack is great for a pair of studio monitors

The Cable Matters 2-Pack XLR Microphone XLR Cable is a great economical choice for someone who’s on a budget. Heavier gauge conductors will reduce flexibility, so these are better suited for stationary/studio use.

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Mogami Gold Studio Microphone XLR Cable

Mogami Gold Studio Microphone XLR Cable
Mogami GOLD STUDIO XLR Microphone Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Nuetrik X connectors with gold contact material
♦  Contains 4 conductors (quad cable) rather than 2 for refined noise control
♦  Lifetime manufacturer warranty
♦  100% shielding with spiral copper shield
♦  Comes in 2 ft, 3 ft, 6 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, 25 ft, 50 ft, 75 ft, and 100 ft lengths
♦  Oxygen-free copper conductors
♦  Made specifically for studio use

These Mogami quad cables are pricier and should be used where very intense radio interference is a problem, or when XLR cables are will be located in very close proximity to power cables. They can offer up to 95% noise reduction versus twisted pair conductor cables in certain situations. The gold contacts will corrode less than silver over longer periods of time. Visit the Mogami website for more detailed specs.

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Mogami Gold Stage Microphone XLR Cable

Mogami Gold Stage Microphone XLR Cable
Mogami GOLD STAGE XLR Microphone Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Nuetrik X connectors with gold contact material
♦  Contains 4 conductors (quad cable) rather than 2 for refined noise control
♦  Lifetime manufacturer warranty
♦  95% shielding with braided copper shield
♦  Comes in 20 ft, 30 ft, and 50 ft lengths
♦  105-strand cable core aids in reliability during rough use
♦  Oxygen-free copper conductors
♦  Made specifically for live performances in high-RFI environments

These Mogami quad cables are pricier and should be used where very intense radio interference is a problem, or when XLR cables are will be located in very close proximity to power cables. They can offer up to 95% noise reduction versus twisted pair conductor cables in certain situations, and are more ruggely-built to provide a long lasting XLR cable that will hold up against abuse on stage. Gold contacts will corrode less than silver over longer periods of time. Visit the Mogami website for more detailed specs.

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Kopul M4003RC Coiled 3-Pin XLR-M to Angled 3-Pin XLR-F Cable

Kopul M4003RC Coiled 3-Pin XLR-M to Angled 3-Pin XLR-F Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to angled XLR-female Nuetrik NC-XX connectors with silver-plated contacts
♦  Stretches from 3″ to 18″
♦  Made for electronic news-gathering (ENG) applications (mic-to-camera connections)
♦  Oxygen-free copper core, copper shielding
♦  3-year limited warranty
♦  Coiled PVC outer jacket

This specialized XLR cable is used in the electronic news-gathering industry. The Kopul M40003RC is a great choice for news reporters looking for an XLR cable to connect a shotgun mic to their news broadcasting camera.

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Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable

Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphones Cable
Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR Microphone Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Nuetrik XX connectors with silver-plated contacts
♦  98% braided copper outer shield
♦  Made for studio use and broadcast industry
♦  Oxygen-free stranded copper core conductors wrapped in polyethylene and PVC inner shield
♦  Shrink-wrapped solder connections
♦  Cotton yarn between shielding and conductors to eliminate friction and electrostatic noise
♦  3-year limited warranty

The Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR cable is a solid high-end studio and broadcast choice. The high-quality Neutrik connectors and additional build quality raise the price above the more economical choices, but will add to a cleaner signal in the long run, especially when paired with a 3-year warranty.

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GLS Audio 6 ft XLR Patch Cables

GLS Audio 6 ft XLR Patch Cables
GLS Audio 6 ft XLR Patch Cables

 

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female Tri-Grip™ strain relief chrome
♦  Thick, flexible rubber jacket
♦  Two 21 AWG twisted inner copper conductors
♦  balanced cables
♦  comes in multiple colors for easy organization and labeling

The main advantage of these XLR cables from GLS Audio is the multiple colors they come in. This can help keep things organized and less confusing on the stage and in the studio. They utilize thick 21 AWG copper conductors and have a thick flexible jacket for more durability and less stiffness. The connectors were designed with stress relief and reliability in mind.

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Hosa HMIC REAN XLR3F to XLR3M Pro Microphone XLR Cable

Hose HMIC REAN XLR3F to XLR3M Pro Microphone XLR Cable
Hosa HMIC REAN Pro XLR Cable

Features

♦  XLR-male to XLR-female REAN connectors with silver-plated contacts
♦  Comes in 3 ft, 5 ft, 10 ft, 15 ft, 20 ft, 25 ft, 30 ft, 50 ft, and 100 ft lengths
♦  90% oxygen-free copper braided shielding and conductors
♦  Heavier-gauge conductors (20 AWG)

The Hosa HMIC REAN XLR3F to XLR3M Pro XLR Microphone Cable is an excellent choice for low to mid-price XLR cables. REAN is a brand of Nuetrik, making the REAN connectors are very reliable. Silver contacts also help to reduce the price while boosting conductance, making these arguably the #1 bang for your buck when it comes to the best XLR cables on the market. Visit the Hosa website for more details and specifications.

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Hosa YXM-121 XLR3F to Dual XLR3M Y Cable

Hosa YXM-121 XLR3F to Dual XLR3M Y Cable
Hosa YXM-121 XLR Cable Splitter

Features

♦  One XLR-female connector to two XLR-male connectors with silver-plated contacts
♦  Comes in 6″ and 18″ lengths
♦  Used for splitting a mic signal into to two when routing to a mixing console
♦  Oxygen-free copper conductors and spiral shielding
♦  Also made in an XLR-male to two XLR-female version

The Hosa YXM-121 XLR3F to Dual XLR3M Y Cable is a specialty XLR cable used for splitting a mic signal into two. Each signal can then be routed to separate mixing console inputs. The Hosa YXF-119 Y Cable, XLR3M to Dual XLR3F Cable does the exact opposite. It can take two mic signals and combine them into one. Both have adequate shielding, internal connector stress relief components, and contact material selection to get the job done.

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LyxPro Quad Series 4-Conductor Star Quad Balanced Microphone XLR Cable

LyxPro Quad Series 4-Conductor Star Quad Balanced Microphone XLR Cable
LyxPro Quad Series XLR Cable

Features

♦  Quad conductor 24 AWG cables made from oxygen-free copper
♦  98% braided copper shielding
♦  Gold-plated contacts
♦  5-year warranty
♦  Cotton wrapped conductors

For a quad cable with gold contacts and the lengths available, the LyxPro Quad Series is a good deal. The cotton layer between the four conductors and the shield will prevent any static discharge interference. These cables also come with a 5-year warranty!

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Concluding Remarks

Ultimately, your decision here should be based off the specific use and application for your XLR cable. For a live performance application, you want to go with dual spiral braid shielding, a smaller diameter conductor (higher AWG gauge), and high-quality, durable connectors. For studio or broadcast, non-spiral braid is best. Oxygen-free copper does help, but ultra-high purity OFC will give a negligible increase in quality for the added money. Quad cable is great for special applications with high amounts of interference. Silver contacts are more conductive than gold, but gold is more corrosion-resistant.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps you make a great choice for your XLR cable purchase!

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