Although mainly used for recording purposes, microphone cables are also used in live shows to cancel out background noise and electrical interference. It is as simple and quick as plugging in one end of the microphone cable to the mic and the other into the audio system. These cables are also referred to as XLR to USB cables, which is the connector type of a microphone. However, choosing the right kind of cable will make all the difference to the final sound output, no matter the purpose. And so, considering a few features is quite essential.
Ensuring the Cable’s Compatibility
Before buying any cable or technical equipment, ensuring its compatibility with your device(s) is essential. The first way to ensure this is by selecting a cable that works with all kinds of audio systems like mixing boards, preamplifiers, studio harmonizers, stage lighting, and not just speaker systems. The next and most important thing to check is the type of port your audio system uses. While the microphone uses an XLR port, most systems also use XLR, but there are a few exceptions as some may use TRS and others work with USB. So, choosing a cable that works with maximum devices/systems and your port type is crucial.
Good Wire Construction is Key
A microphone cable’s construction matters the most because it majorly determines the quality of the sound output. A good wire is one with copper conductors and PVC jackets as they deliver a pristine sound quality. An inner copper spiral shielding is also vital as it provides maximum hum and noise cancellation, which is especially beneficial during live sessions. Thick, sturdy, and heavy gauge wires are excellent for long-lasting usage and durability, while polyethylene insulation improves the high-frequency response significantly.
Design Specifications and Cable Size
All microphone cables should have heavy-duty metal connectors with a molded strain relief that do not break or damage easily and are easy to plug and unplug. Self-locking connectors and plated contact points are even better to ensure stability and high-quality output. As for TRS connectors, a 360-degree comfortable grip is vital for durability and easy use. When it comes to size, there are many options ranging anywhere between 3 feet to 50 feet. Smaller sizes are suitable for studios or in-house recording, whereas longer ones are better for live performances. But it mainly comes down to the buyer’s preference and purpose.
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