XLR cables are among the most popular for carrying balanced audio (microphones, mixers, speakers, instruments, etc.). The often superior performance of high-quality XLR cables makes long cable runs possible without significant losses or interference. These cables are ideal choices for mic and line level signals and find uses in practically all audio recording and sound reinforcement situations.
Though the brand of an XLR cable isn't necessarily the most critical factor in its performance, it's relevant to know the top players regarding XLR cables to give us a better idea of the best options available.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list the top 11 brands that manufacture XLR cables. My decisions are based on personal experience along with the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Variety of cables
- Performance of the cables
- Accessibility of the cables (how easy they are to find/buy)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let's list out the brands.
The Top 11 Best XLR Cable Brands Are:
Let's get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best guitar/bass cable brands. I'll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of an XLR cable, and a link to their official website.
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Mogami has become synonymous with high-quality yet affordable audio cables. The brand's XLR cables are cherished by studio professionals, live sound engineers and broadcast technicians alike.
Koichi Hirabayashi wanted to prove that famous Japanese audio critic Saburo Egawa was wrong. Saburo was investigating the sonic differences of diverse audio cables, and Koichi set out to tell him that cables sounded all the same.
Regardless of his efforts and hard work, he couldn't prove him wrong; different cables did make audible differences.
Upon realizing this, Koichi Hirabayashi set out to create the world's best audio connections. Needless to say, his mission was largely successful.
Today, all Mogami XLR cables still ship from Japan with a 10-year warranty, ready to make history. Mogami XLR cables are among the best value and, in many cases, the best available. These superb cables are used worldwide to connect some of the best-sounding, most expensive equipment.
Mogami cables are a golden ticket to lossless audio and sonic bliss.
Notable XLR cable: Gold Studio Microphone Cable – 25-foot
Equipped with Mogami's famous Neglex Technology, the Gold Studio cable is the perfect match for any home (or pro studio) in the world.
The reason behind this statement is that, with its quad-cable format, it is more efficient at reducing outside noises, including RFI interference, which, in many cases, is the home studio's biggest enemy.
Also, if you have a packed room with lots of EM interference, Mogami 2534 connectors can reduce the noise in your signal up to 20dB. For electronically noisy environments, the best cable money can buy at this length is the Mogami Gold Studio Microphone.
Since its founding in 1974, the Pro Co mission has provided the world with affordable, sturdy, well-made audio accessories. With the introduction of the famed Pro Co RAT distortion pedal in 1978, the company has enjoyed great success and growth in the audio market.
Today, the corporation manufactures everything from the simplest cables to the most complex Dante Compatible digital systems. Pro Co XLR cables are simple, effective, and among the best on the market.
In almost five decades of non-stop innovation and hard work, Pro Co has built its reputation as a manufacturer of sturdy, durable, and affordable cables and equipment.
If you're on a tighter budget than Mogami cables would demand, Pro Co cables make for perfect options on stage or in the studio.
Notable XLR cable: EXM-25 Excellines Microphone Cable – 25 foot
When searching for an absolute workhorse that won't break the bank, this Pro Co cable is a definite contender. With a limited lifetime warranty covering material and workmanship defects, Pro Co delivers this XLR cable with excellent value.
But why choose this cable out of the sea of other options available in the market? Well, the Neutrik connections on both sides of the 24AWG twisted cable ensure good sound and maximum durability.
These are terrific cables to connect your system(s) without breaking the bank. They're great for general purposes and even in the most demanding scenarios.
The year was 1970; Kimio Kawamoto founded Canare Cables in Nagoya, Japan, taking its name from the nearby Kanare River.
One of the first innovations by the company was to create coloured microphone cables in 1977, which, though seemingly simple, put the company on the map and eventually became a benchmark in the industry.
The same bold spirit accompanied countless technological improvements, pushing the brand's popularity forward as one of the best in the world in its price range.
Nowadays, with offices in over 7 countries, the company continues to reshape how we think of connections. If you want affordable XLR cable options that can perform in the big leagues, Canare is the choice for you!
Notable XLR cable: Star Quad (L-4E6S) Microphone Cable 25′ (7.62 m)
The Star Quad L-4E6S is Canare's best cable for singers who hold their microphones. This is because the satin-like finish of the cord, flexibility, durability and audio quality is top-notch.
The 21AWG cable carries forty separate strands for every conductor; thus, you can say goodbye to breakage by flexing the cable. Also, the Star-Quad line gets its name from having four conductors instead of two, assuring you the best sound with no noise.
If you want to go up a step in your cable quality without breaking the bank, you can't go wrong buying Canare. Plus, they come in 10 colours.
Tim Nichol is a road veteran who has first-hand experience seeing countless cables failing. Seeing the opportunity, he eventually fought back against noise, unreliability, and bad craftsmanship, setting out to make a new standard for audio cables in the world.
Tim named his company Cool Cables, but after some lawsuits, he finally settled as Vitrius in 2015. Since then, he has been running his business, making customer care and craftsmanship the company's greatest virtues.
Indeed, you can reach out to this one-man operation and get first-hand aid from an audio professional with over 30 years on the road.
If you want well-made, road-tested cables made with all the leverage of 30 years of abusing cables on the road, Vitrius is the option for you.
Notable XLR cable: VCXLR-M-15
The VCXLR-M-15 cable unites all the characteristics Tim wanted (and did away with all unwanted characteristics) in a single model. The 30+ years on the road gave him enough insight to make the ultimate XLR connector.
One of the many outstanding characteristics of this cable is the 5-year unconditional replacement warranty every unit holds. Also, the die-cast XLR connectors feature chuck-type strain relief, and the cables are made with OFC (Oxygen-free Copper) conductors.
Vitrius offers a road-worthy, road-tested, durable, great-sounding cable at a price most people can afford. Be sure to check these cables out before you buy.
In 1999, the musician, entrepreneur, and natural-born innovator Friedhelm Sommer, along with musician and current CEO Rainer Blanck, decided to create the ultimate cable company. For this task, they recruited master engineer Pascal Miguet.
After 22 years, the company's catalogue holds over 12,000 outstanding products sold in over 50 countries. Among those products, of course, are exceptional XLR cables.
What sets Sommer apart from the competition? Well, the combined insight of world-class engineering and the trained ears of academic musicians make this product the best of both worlds.
This translates to Sommer Cable's reputation for producing rugged, affordable cables with notable sonic performance.
Want top-notch quality at affordable prices? Try Sommer cables.
Notable XLR cable: SGHN Stage 22 Highflex
Speaking of high quality and an affordable price, this AWG24 cable sports dual HICON connectors and a 6.4mm super soft and thick PVC jacket.
Moreover, the cable is filled with PVC all the way to the core, which gives it excellent reeling capabilities. On top of that, the 6-fold strain relief and silver-plated contacts make this an excellent cable to rock night after night.
If you are after reliability, low noise and superior endurance, this might be the best option available today.
Klotz is another German cable brand with excellent XLR options. The company is regarded today as one of the best cable manufacturers in the market, capable of performing in the most demanding scenarios of the world.
Klotz embraces Research & Development, employing an in-house team of engineers. The majority of the quality control process, some soldering, and the final touches are given by human hands in their German facilities.
Out of talent and hard work, Klotz has become a go-to option for professionals and ranks among the best in the market, along with brands such as Monster and Mogami.
Notable XLR cable: TI-M0300 Titanium Star Quad
This cable represents Klotz's superb craftsmanship and obsessive attention to detail perfectly. The gold-plated Neutrik connectors are the top of the crop in terms of connectivity and durability.
Likewise, the Star-Quad configuration ensures maximum connectivity with virtually no interference and effective cross-talk attenuation. In other words, you'll very likely experience no sound loss when plugging one of these Klotz.
Also, this cable is designed to deliver true tone from tip to end, minimizing distortion, reducing phase issues, and minimizing compression. If you want a great cable that will deliver time and again, give Klotz a chance.
Comprehensive Communications Company opened its doors for the first time in 1974. At that time, the company was trying to solve the needs of the A/V industry. Several decades later, they have clients the size of Disney, Microsoft, Apple, CNN, Coca-Cola, NASA, and many others.
Comprehensive's innovative spirit and perfect timing have made the company one of the industry's most highly-regarded names in audio and video connectivity.
Thus, when buying a Comprehensive XLR cable, you're buying a product ready to face millions of viewers when breaking news is given to the entire world on CNN or capture the audio of a hundred-thousand-dollar explosion at a Disney movie.
If you want to be a pro, it's often necessary to use pro equipment and connect it with pro cables. Comprehensive cables are right there, competing with the best of the best.
Notable XLR cable: Touring Series Lo-Z Microphone Cable 25′ (7.62 m)
The Touring Series Lo-Z is Comprehensive's response to the hardships of life on the road. They built this cable with 95% braided shielding to reject RFI at any stage. Also, the black Neutrik gold-plated connectors and the 20AWG balanced conductors are as good as it gets in terms of tone quality and isolation.
The heavy-duty jacket used to protect the cable, along with the lifetime warranty, are proof that this cable left the Comprehensive factory ready to handle whatever the road can throw at you (and in the chance it isn't, you can quickly get a replacement free of charge).
Audio quality, endurance, and an affordable price set this cable apart from the competition.
What once started as a department inside Hermann Adam (a company near Dachau in Munich, Germany) at the beginning of the 1990s became an independent endeavour in 1995.
Since that moment, Cordial's catalogue has been expanding, and the company has been consistently setting trends in the world of audio and video connectivity.
The reason behind the brand's meteoric ascent in the industry is the reliability of its products, including, of course, its XLR cables. They managed to create a concise catalogue of outstanding products with a reputation for withstanding any and all scenarios.
After establishing itself as one of Europe's top connectivity brands, the company has expanded to England, the Czech Republic, and China.
Check out their products before making any decisions; a new Cordial XLR cable will likely serve you and your demanding connectivity needs for many years to come.
Notable XLR cable: CIM 5 FM
The CIM FM microphone cable line is a great entry door for anyone who wants to test superior-quality cables without breaking the bank.
Indeed, this entry-level cable offers AWG24 conductors beneath a spiral shield made exclusively with bare copper wires. This ensures maximum connectivity with zero noise.
Also, this high-quality cable is paired on both ends with Rean Silver connectors (made by Neutrik). It's covered in thick, durable PVC to isolate it from unwanted noises and provide added flexibility, keeping the cable performing at the highest level for the longest time.
This cable offers arguably, the greatest return on investment on the list, granting you quality for years at an affordable price.
Kopul Cables is a company that belongs to the Gradus Group and commercializes high-quality connectors for most uses you can think of. The Gradus Group (and Kopul) were founded in the United States and continue to perform business from New York City.
Kopul's critical acclaim in the business has been a direct result of the company enrolling engineers with decades of experience in creating products that would solve real-life needs in stages and studios around the world.
This expert engineering has brought forth plenty of superb XLR cables with the Kopul brand.
Kopul products reached a great reputation in the world of audio and video because of their sound capabilities, but also because of their innovative qualities and their endurance.
Kopul is a great brand to check out before making any decisions; they can provide the right cable at the right price in nearly all cases.
This Premium Performance 3000 Series cable by Kopul is perfect for live applications but can also excel in a studio environment. This is because the cotton yarn wrap, twin conductive PVC inner shields, and the 95% dual-spiral shield work wonders in isolating noise and preserving optimum-quality sound.
Also, the company employed 24-gauge oxygen-free copper conductors, shrink-wrapped solder points, and Neutrik Silver connectors. Finally, the cage type and the improved ground contact eliminate whatever noise is left in the signal.
This is a definite contender if you are looking for a cable with superior craftsmanship, obsessive attention to detail, and great sound.
After being officially founded in 1974 in the USA, D'Addario is one of the world's main guitar accessories and strings companies. With roots that extend back to the seventeenth century, the D'Addario brand has expanded to produce superb audio cables.
With D'Addario XLR cables, we can expect world-class quality and superb attention to detail.
With a culture of tireless innovation, D'Addario has been responsible for great creations such as the circuit-breaker button.
D'Addario built a reputation as a brand you can trust for all things accessories. XLR cables are certainly no exception to that rule.
Notable XLR cable: PW-CMIC-25 Classic Series Microphone Cable – 25-foot
D'Addario's Classic Series is a great canvas to paint your passion on. They are the entry-level cables for musicians who need a no-compromise approach based on simplicity, reliability, and great sound.
To begin with, singers who like to hold their microphones will especially find the 95% shielding a great ally in reducing handling noises.
Also, the flexible moulded collar is superb for strain relief, elevating the cable's reliability greatly. Finally, the usage of oxygen-free, ultra-pure copper conductors enhances signal transfer.
If you want a no-frills approach to a terrific sound with outstanding reliability, this is a great cable choice.
Audiophile and engineer Noel Lee founded Monster Cable Inc. in 1978 in Brisbane, California. He went from being a door-to-door salesman of his own products to designing headphones with Dr. Dre in 30 years.
Monster is one of those major companies that people tend to have strong opinions about. Though Monster Cable has certainly been controversial over the course of its existence, it remains one of the big names in XLR cables.
Although it manufactures and markets over 6,000 products, the company is best known for its audio cables' quality and virtually indestructibility.
Furthermore, it is safe to say that Monster Cables created a niche of its own, pioneering the sale of premium-quality cables with lifetime warranties.
Monster Cables has remarkable R&D and is not afraid to swim against the tide. It is a staple in the high-end audio cable market for a reason.
Monster XLR cables are comparable in quality and durability to the ones made by Mogami and any other premium cable brand. If you want quality XLR cables, be sure to give Monster Cables a chance.
Notable microphone cable: Studio Pro 2000 Prolink
Picking this best-seller, you can immediately see the gold-plated proprietary XLR connector. What you can't see is the advanced heavy-gauge bass control conductor to retain low frequencies' punchiness and tightness.
Also, the three Time Correct wire networks help with the overall accuracy and dynamic range.
This noiseless cable can take the worst abuse and still sound perfect night after night. If you want to dip your toes into cable greatness (with a lifetime warranty), consider starting with Monster.