7 Best XLR Cables of 2023: USB, Studio, & Stage Use
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7 Best XLR Cables of 2023: USB, Studio, & Stage Use

Oct 27, 2023

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by Allison Johnson May 20, 2023, 9:00 am

XLR cables are key to balanced audio connections. They’re used between microphones, instruments, amplifiers, and more audio equipment for studio recording and live gigs. XLR cables are easy-to-find audio equipment, but since there are so many, it may be tough trying to choose one. Before you pick up just any XLR cable, we’ll guide you through the XLR buying process.

We want to make sure you end up with a solid XLR cable that's up to industry standards so it's reliable. Pro Co makes quality budget-friendly cables for anyone looking to save, and Mogami has terrific XLR cables that audio professionals swear by.

All of our picks are durable and truly exceed expectations. The brands below have been in the audio game for quite some time, and deliver high-quality audio transmission.


The Mogami Gold Studio cable is regarded as the best of the best for many musicians and audio professionals. It's terminated with black body 3-pin XLR connectors and gold contacts. With high-quality shielding, there is less electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference to give you clean and noise-free audio signals.

If you want to minimize signal loss and distortion as much as possible, you can't go wrong with Mogami Gold cables. Whether you use it in the studio or for gigs, the cable will likely be your new favorite.

We are big fans of how easy it is to coil, making it easy to transport and last longer! As an audio professional, knowing how to coil cables is a must, but we’re all in a rush sometimes, so making sure a cable won't weaken after just a few gigs is key to a long-lasting XLR cable.

After going with Mogami, you’ll likely be loyal to this brand for the rest of time.


Pro Co is a musician's favorite as well. Their EXM-20 is a quality cable that does exactly what it needs to do: minimize interference, stay flexible, and maintain a clear audio signal.

This cable is up there with Mogami in terms of quality. If you gig often, you need a sturdy cable like this one. We love how durable it is, so if you’re looking for something solid you can see yourself using for years, this is it.

The cables use oxygen-free wire and substantial spiral shielding for optimum signal quality and noise rejection. They also use Metal Neutrik connectors for reliability and there's a lifetime replacement warranty through Pro Co.

This balanced XLR cable is under $30 and it's 20 feet. That's a great value.


If you’re truly on a budget or just want some backup cables, consider Amazon's balanced XLR cables. You can get a single cable or a pack of 2.

The cables are great for recording and gigs, there are 3 pin connectors and all copper conductors with inner copper spiral shielding to reduce noise interference.

It's compatible with PA systems, speakers, and more sound equipment. Many would agree these wouldn't be a great pick for big tours or gigs, but if you need something affordable for a small gig, this is a great pick. Just be sure to coil them carefully, as the quality likely isn't anywhere near our other picks.

Overall, still, a great pick—Amazon Basics has quality, budget gear. We love that these cables aren't bulky and are shocked by the low noise considering the price.


Canare's Star Quad L-4E6S cable is another top pick for audio professionals—the cable is flexible yet very sturdy. The cable fits well in all XLR-type connectors and is an amazing pick for defeating noise interference once and for all. It uses both a braided copper shield and a foil shield for ultimate noise rejection.

Canare is known for low capacitance and great signal transmission. No more signal loss and attenuation. The only thing you’ll get from this cable is a strong and clear audio signal.

We love that they come with Neutrik connectors and love the price of these cables. It's under $35, which is a great deal for Canare. Quiet, reliable, and easy to secure. Sounds like it checks all of our boxes.


Here's a great solution for XLR microphones and laptops. If you want to plug your XLR mic into your computer like a USB mic this is one of the best cables on the market. This is such a convenience for anyone who wants to eliminate the need to set up audio interfaces or converters. Great for home studios or when you’re traveling.

Roland's RCC-10-USXF cable is known for its low-interference design and shielding. The multi-strand copper wire and spiral shielding will give you a strong, clear signal without interference.

Podcasters and singer-songwriters are going to love this XLR cable for live streaming since the plug-and-play design is so easy to set up. Use it with Mac and Windows systems.


The main difference between this Mogami cable and our first pick is that this is a high-end favorite for stage use. The cable is engineered for low interference and signal loss for live sound, so if you’re shopping around for broadcast gigs, you’re going to love this cable choice.

It's made of high-quality materials and can take all kinds of bending and twisting. Sweetwater says it's nearly indescribable!

It's terminated with black body 3-pin XLR connectors and gold contacts.

A cable of this quality and length will be a little pricey. $124.95 is a bit steep, but this cable is worth every penny considering this may be the only cable you’ll have to buy for a very long time. Enjoy it.


Hosa is another fan-favorite Many of their cables are pretty affordable and check all the boxes for a quality XLR cable. This 5-foot cable is a great choice if you need something shorter and under $20.

Hosa cables are quite reliable considering how affordable they are. There are silver-plated REAN connectors and 20 AWG oxygen-free copper conductors for a clear signal. It's not gold, but these silver plates still do an amazing job of preventing signal loss.

If you’re looking to upgrade without sacrificing too much money you will like Hosa as much as us. You’ll see why they’re a step above many affordable cables.

There are many things to consider when shopping for an XLR cable. Cable length, gauge, shielding, and durability are a few things to consider.

We’ll also go over connector quality and why users prefer gold plates to silver plates! After thoroughly reviewing our guide you’ll know which XLR cable is for you.

Make sure your cable is long enough for your setup. Many cables are between 10-25 feet, and some even 100 feet.

The cable's thickness will also play a huge factor—thick cables with lower gauge numbers offer great signal transmission, especially over longer distances.

Gold-plated contacts are ideal, as they allow for improved conductivity. Many XLR cables over $30 or so will have gold contacts.

Gold does not oxidize or tarnish easily, reducing the risk of signal degradation due to oxidation or dirt.

Braided copper or foil shielding minimized noise pickup. A clear, audio signal is key, especially in noisy environments.

Some things that make an XLR cable durable are reinforced strain relief, rugged outer jackets, and sturdy connectors.

Consider budget, as you’ll notice there are XLR cables that are under $40 and some as high as $90. This will depend on length, durability, and brand.

Measure the length between audio devices along with potential arrangements. Play it safe with 25 feet if you’d like.

Balanced cables have 3 pins—positive, negative, and ground to minimize noise interference. Unbalanced cables have 2 conductors, signal and ground, and are usually more susceptible to noise interference.

Braided copper or foil! They allow for clean audio signals and are what the pros look for.

Thicker cables with lower gauge numbers will allow for better audio transmission and durability over long distances. If you have a shorter run, a standard gauge cable will work.

XLR cable shopping is a matter of choosing the best pick between construction, budget, shielding, connectors, length, and a couple more factors. One cable that truly stands out for recording use is the Mogami Studio cable. The build, shielding, and connectors are top-tier.

Their Stage cable is also one of our favorites. While both cables aren't the most affordable, they’re worth investing in. However, if you’re on a budget consider the Hosa or Pro Co cable.

If you’re a podcaster or like the convenience of recording with your laptop and ditching the audio interface, the Roland cable will be a lifesaver.

While these are just 7 of our favorites, there are many more XLR cables out there we love. Just be sure to consider construction, shielding, and brand reputation.

Photo Courtesy Sweetwater & B&H

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