In transferring audio signal, you have a lot of different cable types to choose from these days. Combination multi-purpose cables like HDMI cables carry audio. The classic 3.5mm cable is quality-made and a favourite among users everywhere.
Then, there are XLR cables. Most consumers won’t run into XLR cables in their day-to-day but for professional musicians, audio engineers, and sound designers, they’re a very valuable tool. Learning about XLR cables, it’s easy to see why.
What Is An XLR Cable?
An XLR cable uses three pins and has a circular connector. It is designed to be a more secure audio cable for use in live audio recording and professional recording sessions. XLR cables commonly are used with microphone technology to communicate the signal to a receiver.
Why Do We Use XLR Cables?
XLR cables deliver perfectly balanced, line-level audio signals across long distances. More than simply a microphone cable, XLR’s abilities as a cable offer more than a 3.5mm cable can or comparable cables.
What Are the Benefits of XLR Cables?
We’ve already mentioned a few of the major benefits of XLR cables. There is another that is certainly worth mentioning. XLR cable’s ability to deliver a balanced signal means the audio received has less unwanted noise and less outside electrical interference. You get more preservation of audio quality with an XLR cable and when combined with their ability in long-distance communication, this is what makes them such an apt voice-capture cable.
Do XLR Cables Have Phantom Power?
Yes. In live sound and studio recording, microphones require a power source. A mixing board designed to provide power can do so across an XLR cable. This is called ‘phantom power’. An XLR cable not only can capture and transmit audio over short and long distances but also, connect in-need equipment such as a microphone to a power source.
What is the Difference Between Unbalanced and Balanced Cables?
Unbalanced cables use two wires, each a conductor and one carrying signal and the other grounded. They are susceptible to noise interference from electronic devices and electric fields. They’re not recommended for audio applications over long distances.
Balanced audio cables have three wires, each a conductor – one negative, one positive, and grounded. Audio signal is carried with opposite polarities through the cable, cancelling out interference. XLR cables are balanced cables. This is what the three pins on the end are representative of – a negative, positive, and ground signal.
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