Pinpointing the best XLR microphone cable in 2023 ain’t easy, especially when there’s that many types of XLR cables that you can get your hands on! No wonder we all get a bit bamboozled.
There’s male to female XLR cables, as well as male to male, female to female and even braided XLR cables too. Then there’s those pricy XLRs that ‘claim’ to better than the Amazon Basics, as well those that (annoyingly) have a different pin arrangement or come with a plastic connector, despite the fact it looks like metal. Oh, and not forgetting those so called ‘heavy duty’ XLR cables that break after the first 5 minutes and turn out to be nothing more then clever marketing.
But with that being said, not all XLR cables are they bad! Neither are they all the same, as Mr Wikipedia would like you to believe. Different cables are made in different factories to different standards, and ultimately that’s why you’re even asking this question. So let’s waste no time in answering it. What are the best quality XLR cables? Does it matter what XLR cable you get? We reveal all this & more.
After something specific about the best XLR microphone cable? Or just intrigued as to how XLR cables differ? Use the menu below to get the answers you need in 1 click…
The best XLR mic cables @ a glance…
11 of the best XLR microphone cables you can buy…
There’s no debate about what is the best microphone cable: XLR is the way to go. However, that’s not to say that these clever little cables are all the same (plot twist).
You see, while XLR cables do the same thing – transmit microphone or balanced line-level signals – their level of reliability and usability can differ quite substantially. Both things that are essential in any cable, be it for a microphone, stereo, car – whatever. Otherwise all you’re really left with is an inconvenience. One that you paid for, and within a year or two will likely have to spend even more money and time replacing. Ever invested in cheap XLR cables before and you’ll know exactly what we’re getting at.
So to help you eradicate this dilemma and buy right first time, we’ve put together a list of the best microphone XLR cables that you can buy in 2023… (all cables mentioned below are standard XLR – male to female)
*While the XLR cable does not affect the tone of your recording, it can affect the level of interference you receive from electromagnetic and radio frequencies. Just a heads up – don’t judge mic cables purely on price.
1: World’s Best Cables Custom Made XLR
Little secret – that name’s no lie.
In fact, this cable could well be ‘the’ most thought-out & well engineered XLR on the market. That’s explain it’s popularity. Why all comes back to attention to detail. Something we think you’ll struggle to find more of in any other XLR, with the exception of those made by Mogami.
That’s because this cable fuses a 1-off custom build process with Japanese technology. So, unlike a lot of mass market Chinese cables, this XLR uses Mogami’s 2549 wire, which as you’d expect, is the product of year’s worth of R&D. It’s this reason why Mogami cables (like our Pro Pick) work SO well. The connectors are also professional grade too. Built by Neutrik & made to last. There’s no pin wobble with this cable!!
Team that with the fact that even the silver solder is bespoke to this cable + assisted by nitrogen for strength, & it does become hard to pick fault with this cable. We struggled. The only real downside we could find is that it come sin just 1 colour. But eh – for this amount of engineering that’s a price we’d happily pay.
Sizes include: 75cm/ 0.5m/ 2m/ 3m/ 5m/ 10m
How could this be the best XLR cable?
2: Mogami 3080 XLR Microphone Cable
After an XLR microphone cable that’s in a different league (i.e. not made in China)? Try this. It’s an XLR mic cable made by Mogami in Japan, and assembled by Enoaudio over in Germany. So as you’d expect the build quality is second to none. To touch, this feels like one of the best XLR microphone cables we’ve ever held.
It’s light, but surprisingly thick. The outer jacket has a really pleasant soft touch to it, as do the stem of the connectors. Speaking of which, the connectors themselves are this cable’s party piece, as they’re not just your average XLR plugs. They’re Neutrik AGs – arguably the most premium form of XLR connector that you can get. Being made in Switzerland, you could call them the Tag Heur of XLRs. Reason?
The contacts in these connectors are gold plated. All of which means they not only have better conductivity than you standard cable, but also that they’re far less perceptible to corrosion. So it’s no wonder that the guarantee with these cables is so long. And the great thing is that due to all the sizes offered by Mogami, length is also something you can dictate. Hats off to you Mogami – these are hard XLRs to beat!
Sizes include: 0.5m/ 1m/ 1.5m/ 2m/ 3m/ 5m/ 7m/ 10m/ 15m/ 20m
Why this is this best XLR microphone cable…
3: Penker XLR Mic Cable
If you’re after an male to female XLR cable that’s easy on your hands, then this cable from Penker is ideal. Unlike the majority of XLR cables where you squeeze a mini trigger to release or secure the connection, with this cable there’s none of that. Instead the piece you press if flat, so the mechanism functions more like a button than anything. Far more pleasant.
Plus, with this cable being braided with nylon, not only do you get a funky pattern, but also a cable that’s water resistant, and doesn’t kink or tangle either! As you’d expect, all of which is kudos for durability. So much so that this cable has a life of over 10,000 bends! Something you’re not likely to reach if your XLRs are just a stationary part of your studio setup. What’s more, these cables are insulated to the max, so as you’d expect during testing they did a great job of rejecting electromagnetic and radio frequencies.
The isolation itself is a mix of copper braiding, the nylon outer, an aluminium foil and a piece if cotton yarn. In addition all the cables are insulated separately as well, so really you can see why this cable performs so well. But does that make it the best XLR microphone cable you can buy? Potentially.
Sizes include: 1.8m
Here’s why you should consider this mic lead…
4: LinkinPerk XLR Mic Cable
Great name for a cable this, and thankfully it’s a great XLR microphone cable to match! This male to female XLR really does do its job when it comes to sound – they call it ‘Noiseless’ and you know what, they’re not lying! In our tests we found very little interference with this cable (if any) from both electromagnetic and radio frequencies. Something that’s probably down to the oxygen-free copper wire used to create this cable.
It’s strong too. We wouldn’t be at all worried about this cable if it were flung in the back of a tour bus, or run over by the casters on a production studio chair. It’s rubber outer seems thick to touch and is actually quite stiff a rubber cable, which we saw as a bonus. You can also tell that the connectors are really well-built too. Unlike on cheap microphone cables, these zinc alloy connectors have a good weight to them as well as a reassuring click once they’re mated with your device. The release mechanism on this cable is also pretty smooth & slick. Although it’s not all good news.
Rather annoyingly this cable only comes in one size (1m long). Plus, black is the only colour choice you have. But with that being said, if you’re after a small XLR cable and not too bothered about colour, then this could certainly be the best XLR microphone cable for you.
Sizes include: 1m
Reasons this is the best microphone cable…
5: Zerone Chord XLR Cable
If you’re after a microphone cable that doesn’t take itself too seriously, try this XLR cable by Zerone. Coated in blue nylon, this cable’s not only a jazzy addition to your setup, but it’s also reasonably durable too. The extra nylon acting as another insulating layer that works to block out unwanted frequencies, as well as protect the cable inside from damage.
Just like a few other mic cables on this list, this XLR uses oxygen-free copper wire to deliver ‘noiseless’ results. Although with that being said, in testing we did pick up a slight bit of interference with this cable, mainly electromagnetic frequencies, but nothing that would spoil your recording. As for the connectors, they feel durable, just not perhaps the most durable on this list. If anything we’d say the actual cable feels more premium than the connectors. But nevertheless, they do their job and don’t wobble when plugged in.
An easy way to tell the quality of this cable is to give it a good flex. We did so at the point where the cable meets the connector and unlike you get with cheap microphone cables, we found no play in the wire whatsoever. So much so that if you were to give this cable a tug, we’d be confident that the wires wouldn’t work their way loose from the connector. Oh, and not forgetting that you can also pick up this cable in a whole hosts of lengths too, which make it ideal for virtually any occasion…
Sizes include: 1m/ 1.8m/ 3m/ 5m/ 10m/ 20m
Here’s why you should choose this microphone wire…
6: Amazon Basics Braided XLR Microphone Cable
Out of all the cheap microphone cables we tested, surprisingly this braided XLR cable from Amazon turned out to be one of the front runners. The braided jacket on this cable does a really good job at making it feel strong and supple – something you don’t often find with cheap XLR cables.
Not only that but the braiding also makes the cable a reasonable thickness too, so it feels surprisingly durable for the price. Plus, that design looks pretty funky too. However being a cheap microphone cable, there are some drawbacks. The connectors aren’t what you’d call high quality – yes, they’re made of metal, but feel nowhere near as solid as something you’d find on a more high end XLR. Also while this cable does copper shielding decrease the electromagnetic interference, we still picked up quite a bit in testing.
But with that being said, this cable is certainly an improvement upon the stock Amazon XLR cable, and for the price, you can’t really complain. At the time of writing this blog (if you buy in bulk), you can get these cables for as little as £4 each. Hardly a bank-breaker!
Sizes include: 1.8m/ 3m/ 7.6m/15.2m/ 16m
Why choose this mic lead?
7: Nordell/ No Bull Music Gear’ Premium XLR Cable
This microphone XLR cable is just like the name suggests: No Bull. Seriously though, the build quality of these cables is up there with the best. And that’s not only according to us, but also over 2500 customers, who at the time of writing this blog have rated this product an average of 4.7/5! But take a closer look at the cable and you can soon see why.
Each XLR plug is made of 100% metal, so that if you were to stand on it, it shouldn’t break or bend. Speaking of which, these cables also have a clever system to protect against any cable stompers, which means that the XLR plug doesn’t separate from the wire. Useful if you have a hiccup on stage! But what stood out to us is that these mic cables have virtually no memory – you can bend them into whatever shape you like and they’ll still lye flat.
And you’ll be pleased to know that inside, as much thought has gone into these cables. Plus, because No Bull are that confident in their product, they even offer a lifetime guarantee, so if you buy No Bull, you’ll never have to foot the cost of an XLR mic cable again! And if that wasn’t enough, you can also get these cables in 6 bright colours and 7 different lengths. The only real snag is that they don’t use gold connectors, but really that’s just us being picky. On a whole, this product is superb!
*Just a heads up, No Bull are soon going to be changing their name to Nordell – same company, just a different brand.
Sizes include: 0.5m/ 1m/ 2m/ 3m/ 6m/ 10m/ 20m
How could this be the best XLR cable?
8: Snowkids Balanced Microphone XLR cable
After the Bear Grylls of microphone cables? Snowkids have you covered. And that’s because this cable subs out your everyday rubber for braided nylon, which not only looks super sexy, but also means that this XLR cable is water resistant! But the ruggedness doesn’t end there. The outer coating also means the cable is resistant to both high and low temperatures. By high we’re talking 300℃, and by low -10℃.
This XLR even boasts a lifespan of over 10,000 bends – insane durability for a cable that’s already capable of so much! What’s more, in testing this XLR stood up really well to electromagnetic and radio frequencies, meaning your recordings should be super crisp and clear. The build is equally impressive when you come to plug in this mic cable too.
The connectors, although look reasonably similar to those on virtually all XLR cables, are heavy duty and thankfully not stiff. Releasing these connectors is a breeze. Something that is often not the case with your bargain-basement cheap microphone cables. Really the only reason we could see you disagreeing with the fact that this is the best XLR mic cable is if you require something lengthy or incredibly short – 2 metres is the only size Snowkids do. Also, there’s little in the way of colour options. But then again that’s like someone complaining that Bear Grylls doesn’t shave; this XLR cable isn’t designed be pretty, it’s designed to survive and be functional.
Sizes include: 2m
What’s so special about this phantom power microphone cable?
9: Ebxya XLR Microphone Cable
When it comes to sheer value, you’ll be hard pushed to beat these XLR microphone cables by Ebxya. At the time of writing this blog, if you buy 4, you’ll pay just over £6 per cable, yet to look at and use, these aren’t cheap microphone cables.
For starters, that cable is thick. Hardly the piece of spaghetti you get with an Amazon Basics XLR. Then again, it’s fat for a reason. Inside you’ll find that all the cables are individually insulated with Polyethylene, as well as braided with oxygen-free copper and then lined with aluminium foil! And that’s not all for durability – the insulation means you get virtually no interference from electromagnetic or radio frequencies. Plus, the cables themselves have a slight elasticity to them, which works to reduce the stress on the connectors when tugged. No wonder these cables boast a lifespan of over 15,000 bends!
Speaking of which, the connectors themselves have a real nice weight to them, and don’t wobble once they’re plugged into your device. Another feature you can’t afford to overlook is the multiple colours in which you can get this cable. An easy way to avoid confusion, especially if you have multiple XLRs all plugged into the same device. For instance, a midi mixer – DJ decks are another one. Safe to say that these are certainly in contention to be the best microphone XLR cables you can buy
Sizes include: 1m/ 2m
Reasons to choose this XLR microphone cable…
10: Visio Sound XLR Mic Lead
As far as mic cables go, this male to female XLR microphone cable from Visio Sound puts up a good fight. With the option of being specced up to 15 metres as well as various colour waves, its safe to say that it’s a great fit for virtually any musical environment.
What’s more, as a cable itself, it feels durable, especially the metal connectors that have a nice reassuring click to them once the cable is inserted. The button to release the cable feels smooth too. When it comes to flex, the cable offers a good amount of bend – it doesn’t overly flex like a piece of spaghetti, yet there’s enough flex there so it’s not like a stiff braided cable.
The thickness of the wire itself is also pretty decent, even though there are thicker cables on this list. But with that being said, the cable’s shielding does work well! We picked up little interference when conducting tests for electromagnetic and radio frequencies. Although, unlike some of the best XLR microphone cables out there, the connectors on the Visio Sound are not gold plated.
Sizes include: 0.5m/ 1m/ 2m/ 3m/ 6m/ 10m/ 15m/ 20m
What makes this a good microphone lead?
Cheap microphone cables (ideal for beginners)…
When buying cheap microphone cables, you need to be careful. As much as the price of mic cables these days may look attractive, it’s important to know that when budget that you’re buying something that’ll last a decent length of time – not just 3 days. So if you’re on a very strict budget of £10 or even slightly less, we’ve singled out what we think is the best XLR microphone cable that you can buy without breaking the bank…
DISCLAIMER: While this is our budget pick, it’s by no means the best XLR mic cable that you can buy. We’d always recommend investing in quality products, opposed to price, especially when it’s to do with sound.
11: Nuosiya XLR Microphone Cable
Don’t be fooled by the odd name – this is a mic cable that does it properly! What makes it arguably one of the best XLR microphone cables is that it does a lot to reduce interference, as well as boasting some of the highest levels of build quality. We were very impressed by how well this XLR cable does at diffusing electromagnetic and radio signals! A characteristic that’s down to the layer of aluminium shielding, concealed within the cable.
However, what we really like about this cable is the way it feels. It’s made of a soft high-grade rubber, much like that you get alongside a top of the range microphone. But the real star of the show here is the size of the cable, which is significantly thicker than most and if anything, feels a bit industrial. Reason for this is a layer of Polyethylene insulation, that works to improve high frequency response. Also the connector feels super durable too and even has a clever cutout to reduce the stress on your fingers. Neat touch!
On the whole then, this is just a really solid all-rounder. Yes, it’s by no means the lightest XLR cable. Neither is it as funky or stiff as a braided cable. But what you do get is a highly dependable cable that comes with a 24-month warranty and can be specced out in a range of 10 colours! A tempting deal if you ask us.
Sizes include: 1m/ 2m/ 3m/ 10m
What could make this the best XLR microphone cable?
Which XLR microphone cable is best? Our editor’s choice…
So now it’s crunch time – what is the best XLR mic cable that you can buy? To give you the answer in one word…
To be honest, I think you guys knew this was coming, as you can’t really hide the gap between the Mogami and the rest of the cables on this list. In comparison it’s just better! And while of course the rather confidently named, Worlds Best Cable, does use Mogami technology + a lot more, we can’t help but think that because WBC aren’t Mogami (i.e. a third party) that cables made directly by Mogami are always going to be that bit more advanced.
& granted, it doesn’t come in a rainbow of colours, fancy packaging or feature a braided outer, but what it does is offer the two key ingredients that all XLRs should: seamless performance and immense durability. In testing, the Mogami came out on top in terms of interference, and as far as playback goes, was lightning fast.
Couple that with those gold-tipped Neutrik AG connectors and it’s pretty obvious that the Mogami is the best XLR microphone cable out there. Yes, some cables may offer more, but when it comes to mastering the basics the Mogami is the master…
Mogami3080 XLR Microphone Cable – Best XLR Mic Cable
Enjoy this series of XLR microphone cable reviews and eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our Music Production Advice, as well as all the goss around Vocals & Recording + Studio Essentials. Recently we’ve also done a full in-depth guide to the Best Vocal Mics Under £500 + another on Good Microphone Reflection Filters, which may also be a good read.
Or if you’d prefer to keep learning about XLR microphone cables, be sure to check out the FAQs below…