MIDI cables are perhaps the least-talked-about cables in the world of audio. This is probably because, generally speaking, they either work or they don't. While audio cables will perform differently depending on factors such as balancing, EMI shielding, resistance, capacitance, inductance, etc. MIDI cables are much more cut-and-dry. They either transfer MIDI information, or they don't.
That being said, build quality, accessibility and pricing (along with cable length) all play a role in determining the best MIDI cable for your applications. The best MIDI cable brands, then, offer inexpensive, durable cables in a variety of lengths that can be easily purchased around the world.
In this article, we'll consider what I believe to be the world's top 7 best MIDI cable brands. They are:
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 7 best MIDI cable brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable set of strings, and a link to their official website.
Founded in Osaka, Japan, in 1972 by Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland is one of the biggest names in the MIDI revolution.
To begin with, they are still manufacturing their AIRA line, which is the best modern way to make music in an all-digital way without using a computer. Furthermore, their vision when creating instruments such as the TR-303, 808, and 909 pushed MIDI connectivity and electronic instruments to the front of the stage while giving hip-hop and electronic music a sound of their own.
Roland is one of the most prestigious brands in the world when it comes to making music using digital technology and instruments. The leverage of almost half a century dedicated to pushing the sonic boundaries of the world and never taking a “no” for an answer place them on top of the podium.
It is not common to say that a pioneer brand is also one of the most cutting-edge in the field, but Roland is one of those exceptions. Not only MIDI cables, buy your digital musical instruments from these Japanese giants and focus on your music; they’ll do the rest.
MIDI cables carry a huge responsibility. Most times, they are the ones transferring the timecode (AKA clock) to the entire set. If that fails, everything else is sure to follow.
This Roland MIDI cable features nickel connectors for enhanced connectivity, high-density shielding to ensure every bit of info goes from A to B without signal loss, and four-conductor wires to increase data transmission.
If you are serious about your music, you have to get a Roland MIDI cable.
Roland was founded in 1972 by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka, Japan. The company is headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan (moved in 2005).
Official Website: roland.com
Roland is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
D’Addario is a family-owned business that dates back to Italy in the 17th century but was founded in the United States in 1974.
Since their arrival, they have been collecting fans all across the country and the world. They are, perhaps, better known for being a string manufacturer, but their deployment in other niches such as cables and accessories was an earthquake to the market. A company like D’Addario doesn’t do anything halfway.
Such is the case for their MIDI cables. The company has been manufacturing instrument cables for over 50 years, and all the knowledge they got from research and trial and error cascades into this category. The result is nothing short of awesome; D’Addario MIDI cables ensure the isolation and connectivity you need to make your digital rig sound as it never did before.
Buying from D’Addario is always a safe bet. The company's MIDI cables are no exception.
Notable MIDI cable: PW-MD-05 (link to check the price on Amazon)
The first thing to be said about this MIDI cable is that it is one of the sturdiest, better-isolated cables you can find in the market today. Years of countless stages gave D’Addario the know-how to make reliable connections.
To begin with, the 5-pin gold-plated plugs inside the over-moulded connectors provide higher connectivity and maximum strain relief. Also, the dual shielding layers provide bulletproof performance, insulation, and noise rejection.
If you want sturdy performance that will last for a lifetime, this is your MIDI cable.
D’Addario was founded in 1974 by members of the D’Addario family in Lynbrook, New York. Today, the company headquarters is located in Farmingdale, New York, USA.
Official website: daddario.com
D'Addario is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
To speak about Monoprice’s MIDI cables is the opposite of speaking about the brands in this list you just read. The reason is that Monoprice is a technology company that doesn’t build musical instruments but is committed to satisfying the needs of technology aficionados and pros around the world.
Their market model is straightforward yet utterly effective. They set out to create the best generic components (7,000 in their catalogue) at the most affordable price possible. Hence, they sell them themselves, eliminating all middle people except for logistics.
Buying Monoprice is getting top-notch quality from a high-tech company at a price that will not break the bank. Plus, all orders are shipped the same day.
To know more about this brand’s groundbreaking philosophy, check out this video.
Notable MIDI cable: 108532 MIDI Cable – 3 Feet (link to check the price on Amazon)
The price tag on this MIDI cable is hard to believe when you compare it to its specs. You get a RoHS-compliant cable with dual 5-pin connectors inside moulded connector shields for less than a couple of USD.
Also, the sturdy cable jacket and the shielding level ensure no data loss between connectors. Finally, the company offers a lifetime warranty, so if you ever have any problem with it at any moment during its lifespan, you can get a free replacement.
Monoprice was founded in 2002 by Jong Lee and Seok Hong. The company headquarters is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA.
Official website: monoprice.com
Charlie Wicks founded Pro Co in 1974 in Kalamazoo, MI. His mission was to be the go-to option for musicians around the world, providing top-notch accessories at affordable prices. In that vein, Pro Co proudly announces that their cables have only increased their price by 2% since 1988.
Although their biggest breakthrough is the RAT pedal, the company also offers state-of-the-art solutions for all kinds of needs. For example, their commercial department designs and builds Dante-ready large-scale systems for clients around the world.
Moreover, because it was founded in the 70s, Pro Co lived through the MIDI revolution first-hand and gathered the needed knowledge to offer some of the best solutions in the market.
To buy Pro Co products is to buy quality, reliable, and road-ready products that will never let you down. Buy a Pro Co MIDI cable; it will perform time and again.
Notable MIDI cable: MIDI3-5 Excellines MIDI Cable – 5 foot (link to check the price at Sweetwater)
Pro Co has a reputation for being sturdy and road-ready, and this cable is no exception. The superior shielding, metal connectors, and lifetime warranty speak for themselves.
Moreover, the 24-gauge wire inside the cable ensures maximum connectivity, so not a bit of info is lost in the way. Connecting your gear with this cable is a safe bet even in the most demanding scenarios.
Plus, they have a lifetime warranty so that you can order a free replacement at any moment.
Pro Co was founded in 1974 by Charlie Wicks. The company headquarters is located in Jackson, Missouri, USA.
Official website: procosound.com
Parent Company: Act
Pro Co is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Sho Sato founded Hosa in 1984 to solve real, everyday problems at studios and stages around the world. He did this because he found that not many quality adaptors were offered to those wanting to make connections and fix things on the move.
Sometimes, a little gadget can save the night, and that is where Hosa came in.
For decades they have been making some of the finest connections in the world in the shape of snakes and adaptors. Using all that leverage and knowledge, they created a cable line ultimately received in the world with huge acclaim.
Hosa makes serious products for serious musicians.
Hosa MIDI cables combine the experience of studios and stages with the weight of almost forty years of working relentlessly with musicians and innovators around the world.
Notable MIDI cable: MID-305BK MIDI Cable – 5 foot – Black (link to check the price at Sweetwater)
This MIDI cable series by Hosa Technology provides musicians with everything they need and nothing they don’t.
For starters, the oxygen-free copper conductors enhance signal clarity while the nickel-plated ends maximize signal transfer. On top of that, the OFC spiral shield offers effective protection against EMI and RFI rejection, and the PVC jacket is flexible and durable.
This is the quintessential MIDI cable to get the job done with a minimalist, no-frills approach.
Host Technology was founded in 1984 by Sho Sato. The company headquarters is located in Buena Park, California, USA.
Official website: hosatech.com
RapcoHorizon started making and selling cables in 1990. Since their foundational moment, they have created a reputation for being a sturdy, durable, road-ready solution for all live situations. Moreover, their professional line can be found in the world's most demanding audio and video companies.
RapcoHorizon cables are responsible for much of what we see and hear today.
Their reputation is not an overnight success story but the result of years of hard work and dedication. They share the same parent company as Pro Co, named Act Entertainment. Within the realm of brands this company manages, RapcoHorizon products excel in the field of data connectivity and can be found in stages, conferences, and studios around the world.
Every MIDI cable leaving the RapcoHorizon factory is ready to perform in the biggest stages around the world; you can’t go wrong buying them.
Notable MIDI cable: MIDI3-5 3 Pin Active MIDI Cable – 5 foot (link to check the price at Sweetwater)
RapcoHorizon managed to put together a cable that could overdo everyone’s expectations at a price that won’t break the bank.
This cable sports a 24-gauge wire, an annealed copper shielding covering 95% of the cable’s length, and very low capacitance (only 21 pF/ft.) Finally, the matte PVC flexible jacket makes it stage and studio-friendly.
At a very competitive price, you can’t overlook this option.
RapcoHorizon was founded in 1990 as part of its parent company, Act. The company is headquartered in Jackson, Missouri, USA.
Official website: rapcohorizon.com
Parent Company: Act
This Italian brand was born in 1981. Corrado Bessarione created what he called a factory of ideas, which derived into one of the most cutting-edge in-house research and development teams in the world.
Bespeco is a brand on a mission to change the landscape for music products around the world. Indeed, 40 years later, the role assumed by Corrado is that of a marketing director. In other words, he is still the driving force pushing the company forward.
As a technology-driven company, they stand at the forefront of music innovation. That being said, their products also carry 40 years of being in stages, studios, and live venues around the world; this leverage allowed the company to make changes, tweaks, and improvements to make some of the best cables in the world.
If you want the magic combination of experience and boldness, you have to try Bespeco today.
Notable MIDI cable: SLMM150 MIDI Cable (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video)
This MIDI cable by Bespeco might be one of the most durable in the market. This quality comes from the resin injection that the company applies to connectors preserving them from rust, tugging, and pulling, which are among the most common death causes for MIDI cables.
Furthermore, the company also utilizes shielded cables to avoid data loss in the way between the connectors. All of these specs will cost you less than $10; it is a no-brainer checking them out.
Bespeco was founded in 1981 by Corrado Bessarione and is headquartered in Castelfidardo, Italy.
Official website: bespeco.it