Difference between expensive/cheap xlr cable?

Asked by: Deidre Duze

The difference is, the expensive cables are heavier duty, and less likely to give out during a gig. I generally carry the expensive ones (and spares) with me, and a couple of cheaper ones as loaners/gifts if someone else has a problem.

Do expensive XLR cables make a difference?

In my experience, the answer is no. If you’re buying cables for a normal home studio setup, even if some of your gear is really high-end, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be able to hear any difference at all. This is something that you can hear for yourself.

Does cheap XLR cable Quality Matter?

As long as it’s properly made and the cable is properly shielded, the actual cable shouldn’t affect sound quality. However, build quality can affect durability.

Are expensive XLR cables worth it?

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: The short answer is no, they’re very unlikely to sound any better. The longer answer is that there are complexities and subtleties involved that can, in specific circumstances, conspire to affect the sound when using different types of cables and connectors.

Is there a quality difference in XLR cables?

Generally speaking, XLR cables are better cables due to the fact they are balanced, well-grounded, cleaner, and can be used over very long distances without picking up any outside frequencies at all.

How much should I spend on an XLR cable?

IMO spending more than $40 for an XLR cable is a waste of money. However there are some for $1000+ if you have money to burn. Some audiophiles will tell you that they can here the difference between different leads and this is often used by some companies to sell extremely expensive leads.

Does XLR cable brand matter?

It doesn’t really matter. But add up the price of their cables, and they’ll most likely cost more than your entire studio. Ask them why they bought those cables instead of cheaper ones… And many can’t tell you, because they don’t really know.

Why are some XLR cables expensive?

The two main factors that make XLR cables expensive are necessity and quality. It isn’t possible to record using most microphones or to send balanced outputs to speakers and monitors without XLR cables.

Does XLR improve sound quality?

XLR vs RCA – which is best? It’s very easy to assume that if your equipment has both XLR and RCA connections, that XLR connections are going to be the better sounding connection.

Are all XLR cables balanced?

All XLR cables are balanced, except in a situation where the inner components have been damaged or malfunctioned. Likewise, several types of cables are almost always unbalanced. Differentiating between the two will ensure that you get the best results when recording or using them for live sound purposes.

Do longer XLR cables sound worse?

Generally, properly designed XLR cables are made to work best at specific lengths. Longer cables increase the chances of picking up noise, disturb frequency signals, and affect sound quality, while shorter ones produce better quality sound.

Does balanced sound better than unbalanced?

In general, balanced audio will give you a better, stronger audio signal without any extraneous noises. Unbalanced audio, on the other hand, is susceptible to picking up noise and interference over longer distances.

Can an XLR cable carry a stereo signal?

A typical XLR connector has enough pins to carry a stereo signal.

Can I connect balanced to unbalanced?

When connecting an active-balanced output to an unbalanced load, it is necessary to leave the cold output (pin-3) floating. Using an XLR connector, pin-3 should not be connected to anything. If a cable is used with pin-3 tied to pin-1 (shield), the output amplifier could be damaged.

When would you use a balanced cable?

When should I use a balanced cable? If your connections both in an out are balanced, always try to use a balanced cable. The result will be less chance for interface from outside sources causing unwanted buzzes, static, and hums.

Do balanced cables really make a difference?

Aside from these exceptions, balanced cables are a huge improvement over unbalanced. They have better signal-to-noise ratio, much lower impedance signals, and almost no external noise or distortion.

What is the advantage of balanced cables over unbalanced cables?

The advantage of balanced connections over unbalanced connections is common-mode noise rejection. It is called ‘common mode’ noise because the direction of the noise currents appearing simultaneously on the positive and negative sides is the same; a noise voltage differential does not appear across the two sides.