Updated on Dec 14, 2020
When it comes to recording audio at home, you’ve probably wished you could plug your XLR (External Line Return) microphone directly into your computer & record. Luckily for you, there is a handful of XLR to USB cable adapters that can help you accomplish this. As you may know, however, when we convert different electrical signals through different formats, it can affect your output. For that reason, we’re going to help you find the best adapters so that you don’t experience a decrease in audio quality.
It’s important to keep in mind that different microphones have different needs, so this is not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Most condenser microphones require Phantom Power, and so an XLR to USB cable will not allow you to activate your mic. You’ll instead need to use an audio interface (preamp, mixer, etc.) with phantom power capabilities & the option for USB output. On the other hand, dynamic microphones don’t require any special power to work, you can just convert and go, which is significantly cheaper. This is what I do with my Shure SM7B.
For the intents of this article, we’ll only be covering XLR to USB cables, rather than audio interfaces. We strongly recommend you do your own due diligence on the type of power you need before purchasing this list.
The Hosongin Cable is hands-down the best choice on the market with high quality conversion.
The Hosongin Cable uses the best high-quality wiring with a heavy-duty alloy metal connector to deliver the best electronic signal conversion between XLR & USB. We've worked with a lot of XLR/USB cables over the years (for personal, professional, and review purposes) and this is the one I use for my day-to-day work. Even Hosongin is confident in their quality as they offer 18-months of after sales quality assurance.
The NewBEP Cable is another great option at a more budget friendly price.
The NewBEP Cable is what I used to use regularly for my XLR to USB connections. It's nearly just as effective as the above option for recording audio without a noticable drop in quality, however the USB connector itself can be a bit of a pain. If you've used a cheap USB drive that always seemed to eject iself, this cable can have a similar problem, but for the most part it performs well. I've used it for many years with hardly an issues.
The Nuosiya Cable is a high quality conversion cable with a nice aesthetic to it.
The Nuosiya Cable features a gold/black cord with gold-plated metal connectors. I haven't had any memorable issues with this cable, though I've not used it as much as the above two. It definitely looks cool, but if you're more concerned about having a long-lasting regular-use converter cable, I would still recommend the above two options. But for those who need it for occassional use, this one definitely looks better.
The Comica Cable is seperate from the other options as it converts to USB-C, a more modern USB format.
The Comica Cable is a bit different from our other options as it converts to USB-C, rather than USB/USB 2. If you read about the best laptops for music production, you'll see the Macbook Pro is the optimal choice. As of right now, newer Pro models exclusively use USB-C, and I imagine many other computers will follow suit over the years. For this reason, and this reason alone, I would strongly consider buying this cable if you can use it today.
Finding the best XLR to USB cable doesn't have to be a challenge. When it comes to different adapters, it's important to make an educated purchase as the market is flooded with poorly built electronics. In the audio space, maintaining the proper electronic signal through your cables is essential to the audio quality, so using a cable from our list will ensure that happens.
If you end up purchasing off of this list, let us know! We'd love to hear your feedback. Do you have a suggestion for this list? Comment about it and we'll buy it! We're always looking to expand our recommended products.
Posted on Nov 04, 2020
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