What is a XLR cable?


What is a xlr cable

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So you’re scouring Amazon trying to cobble together the perfect podcasting setup and you’re lost in the vast sea of options and peripherals. The amount of gear you need to get started is truly mind-boggling at times.

Starting with the basics is a good way to orient yourself and make sure you don’t miss anything important. Familiarizing yourself with audio peripherals can save you a lot of time and ensure that you have everything you need when you’re ready to get started. 

XLR Cables at a Glance 

So what is a XLR cable? It’s one of the most basic and critical components in any recording setup. XLR cables are simply one of the most common types of cables used for connecting microphones, preamps, mixing boards, and other audio equipment. Chances are you’ve encountered an XLR cable before and didn’t even realize it.

XLR cables utilize distinctive XLR connectors. XLR connectors are those cylindrical plugs with three to seven pins arranged inside of it. The female connector is the opposite, with three to seven holes arranged on the inside. This connector and cable style is very common in audio equipment and is used to link audio signals between devices. 

Female and Male XLR Cable

XLR Cables for Podcasting

When preparing your first podcasting setup, make sure you research which types of cables you will need for the microphones and mixing boards you’re planning to purchase. This can save you a lot of headaches when you’re scrambling to get everything plugged in for the first time and you realize you’re missing a cable or got the wrong kind. XLR cables are very distinctive and common. It’s important to keep them in mind when shopping for sound equipment. 

Quality Cables 

AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable - 6 Feet, Black

Always remember, not all XLR cables are created equal. They can vary greatly in price and quality. Pairing your equipment with the right XLR cables can be a critical step when considering your setup.

A cheaper cable like a LyxPro may seem like a frugal investment but will ultimately reduce the life of your gear and sap your overall sound quality. It’s worth it to spring for something nice like a Mogami Gold Studio. The Mogami Silver is a good choice if you’re strapped for cash.

Though cables seem relatively insignificant when compared to bulkier and pricier gear, they can make or break your entire audio system. Think of your podcasting gear as cities and the cables are the roads that connect them. Quality roads keep traffic flowing smoothly.

Benefits of XLR Cables

Plugging XLR Cable into Mic Input

XLR is simply a common and dependable format. Plenty of gear uses it and many consider it to be much sturdier and more durable than other common types of connectors, such as USB. The three-pronged design is robust and has stood the test of time for audio professionals.

As with any significant startup purchases for a project like podcasting, knowing your gear is the most critical step in success. XLR cables come in a huge variety of lengths as well so they can be found in a configuration that complements any amateur or professional podcasting studio. Just make sure you are getting the right length and a good quality cable for your setup.

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