Top & Best Microphone cable: How to choose the ideal one in 2021?
Whether for a professional singer, an amateur or simply for those who sing it is just a hobby, it is extremely important to find a microphone cable that is compatible with your needs in each situation.
mypricesaving.com The newsroom brings you everything you need to know about the microphone cables available on the market today. In this article, we will explain all the details of a cable and the ideal conditions of use for each model.
First, the most important
- The microphone cables are of the XLR type, with either male / female tips / connectors or one of the P10 / PS tips
- XLR cables are universal, so microphones and cables from different brands can be used together.
- Type of shield, connectors, cable thickness and cable length are important characteristics to be considered before purchasing a microphone cable.
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Best microphone cables: our recommendations
Soon we will talk about each detail of the microphone cables, but before we bring here, for your appreciation, some of the best models of microphone cable on the market.
Choosing a microphone cable can be more difficult than it seems, after all this product has several peculiarities that can make a difference in its use according to its application.
We try to make a very complete guide, describing the XLR cable (ideal for microphone), answering if the same cable can be used indoors and outdoors, what is the best type of shield, if the thickness of the cable implies something, among other information essential.
What are the XLR cables?
XLR cables have 3 to 7 metallic pins, which may or may not contain a lock. They exist in the female and male versions.
Their use is quite common for microphones and mixing console. The main type of XLR connector is the one with three pins.
XLR cables are balanced, which means they are designed to eliminate noise from the signal source. This is thanks to the three-way system. In this case, the pinout is divided as follows: neutral (ground), positive (hot), and positive inverted (cold).
XLR cables are also known as Cannon. The nomenclature is based on the name of its inventor, James H. Cannon.
Is the same microphone cable suitable for outdoor and studio use?
Most XLR cables are made with the same base and can be used for microphones and instruments.
But the question here is whether indoor use (in the studio, for example) and outdoor use can be done with the same cable. The answer is yes.
However, there are caveats. As the external use requires more movement, it would be interesting to look for cables with better shielding. But, with care, you can use the same cable for all situations.
Does the thickness of the microphone cable make a difference?
Cable thickness is an important factor and can make a difference when transmitting the microphone signal .
It is measured using the American wire gauge scale, or American Wire Gauge (AWG), an American scale that determines the size of the electrical wire gauge.
For microphone cables, such as XLR, the measurements range from 20 (0.515 mm²) to 26 (0.126 mm²), with 26 being the thinnest.
The thicker cables offer more capacitance for better sound. Usually, in studios, these are the ones used.
For live performances, for example, thinner cables are sometimes chosen, as less thickness makes cables more flexible. However, it is a matter of preference.
What is the best type of microphone cable shield?
The shielding of microphone cables is very important, as it protects your signal from any interference.
The pins at the end of the male XLR cable need a good coating, as it will be connected and disconnected several times.
The main materials with which the shields are made are aluminum laminate, tinned copper and spiral copper.
Laminate or aluminum foil shielding is the cheapest shielding material. It is more fragile than the others and does not have a lot of flexibility, so it is not recommended for use in busy outdoor locations, such as at shows.
Tinned copper is very flexible.
Tinned copper or tin braided copper is very flexible, has protection against oxidation and has excellent conductivity. Recommended for use with medium-low frequencies and in the studio.
Tinned copper cables are quite bulky, which can be a problem if you use them in a studio or small place and also work with smaller instruments.
Spiral copper shielding is recommended for external (live) use because it is very flexible, even more than the other two models previously mentioned.
However, this type of cable is more likely to break, so care should be taken when stretching it to avoid damaging the wires inside.
Purchase Criteria: What to Consider When Choosing Your Microphone Cable
Don’t stop reading yet, as we have other extremely important points here that you need to know before you go shopping – or simply browse the internet to purchase your ideal microphone cable.
- Cable extension
- Type of use
Now that we have mentioned these points, we will detail them so that you are completely aware of everything that is important to make the best possible purchase.
The length of the wire will not affect the reception quality of the microphone signal, however it is very important that you make a correct measurement of your demand.
After all, if you are going to use the cable to walk on a stage and go behind the scenes, in the sound control part, there is no point in purchasing a microphone cable of a few meters.
However, also don’t buy more cable than you need to not leave it piled up – after all, it also makes it difficult to store and, if wound in the wrong way, you may end up damaging the cable internally in some stretch.
Another tip is to never measure only the distance, for example, where you will be singing and the speakers. Remember that you will certainly move around and will need more extension on the cable.
XLR microphone cables are quite resistant in general. Either way, you may prefer the type of material used in the connectors.
Most connectors are made at least partially from nickel. The use of connectors that are not exclusively nickel is recommended.
If you are more demanding, the silver plated and gold plated connectors are best liked on the market and resistant.
Gold-plated connectors have better resistance to corrosion, which is something fundamental for those who live close to the beach, they do not deform so easily in adverse conditions and they also get a little colder.
But in general, the silver-plated connectors hold the stride very well.
Type of use
While there is nothing to prevent you from using your microphone cable both outdoors and indoors, there are still a few types that can go better for each type.
In the table below, we made a simulation of the perfect conditions for a microphone cable for outdoor use and a cable for indoor use.
Does the brand matter? Not really. An XLR microphone cable, unless it has a manufacturing defect, will easily connect with another or the device, regardless of the brand, as the inputs are universal.
It is worth mentioning that some XLR microphone cables have a P10 tip (known as TS or TRS 6.35 mm connector), cylindrical in shape and very similar to a headphone connector tip (called P2 , however is much bigger.
Why is it important to quote? To make it clear that the P10 outputs are also universal and brand-independent.