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About Female XLR to Male XLR

Blog About Female XLR to Male XLR Microphone Lead
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Blog About Female XLR to Male XLR Microphone Lead

Female XLR to Male XLR Microphone Lead

The Female XLR to Male XLR is best know as a microphone lead or cable, when it is made using a two core and screen cable or Mic Cable.


This can be sometimes confusing as you can use it for more than just
microphones. This type of cable is also referred to as a balanced
cable. We will cover balanced cable on another blog. There are a
variety of male and female XLR connectors with different numbers of
pins which we will not cover here.

A quite overview.

The XLR connector was invented by James H. Cannon, he was the founder of Cannon Electric in Los Angeles, California (now part of ITT Corporation). This is why in some circles it was sometimes colloquially known as a Cannon plug or Cannon connector. The development of these connectors as now become XLR which is the XLR has become the generic term for this type of connector.

All though the IEC Standardized the dimensions of the XLR type connector but specified, they are very loose tolerance for the distance from the end of the female contact carrier to the body of the connector.

Switchcraft brand connectors (and copies of them from Asia) are made to the shorter end of the allowed tolerance range, while Neutrik brand connectors (and copies of them from Asia) are made towards the long end of the allowed tolerance range. At times this results in connectors that will not latch when manufacturers don’t properly follow the IEC Standard for their male connectors.

The AES14 Standard also determined that equipment outputs would always be on the male versions of the XLR, and inputs would always be on female versions of the XLR. Prior to this the custom in Japan was to use the opposite sexing for line level connections while following the rest of the world for microphone level connections.

Please do not panic your Switchcraft plug will work with your Neutrik, this is just an overview but just be aware that sometimes this results in connectors that will not latch when manufacturers don’t properly follow the IEC Standard for their male connectors.

The XLR connector is a style of electrical connector, primarily found on professional audio, video, and stage lighting equipment. The connectors are circular in design and have between 3 and 7 pins. They are most commonly associated with balanced audio interconnection, including AES3 digital audio, but are also used for lighting control, low-voltage power supplies, and other applications. XLR connectors are available from a number of manufacturers and are covered by an international standard for dimensions, IEC 61076-2-103.[1] They are superficially similar to the older and smaller DIN connector range, but are not physically compatible with them.

So the Female XLR to Male XLR is a microphone cable, well yes, but its also a signal cable, meaning that you can send a signal, this means you can contact your mixing desk to your amp or from an out on one device and sent it to your active speaker plus other components, such as graphic equalizers and effects units.

Pin Function

  1. Chassis ground (cable shield)
  2. Positive polarity terminal for balanced audio circuits (aka “hot”)
  3. Negative polarity terminal for balanced circuits (aka “cold”)

Here at Professional Audio Cables we carry a selection of XLR Cable Connectors from Neutrik

Easiest XLR connector on the market to use.

The “industry standard” XLR cable connector, easy to assemble with
only 4 parts, no screws and chuck type strain relief for secure
clamping of all cables. Due to the unique hologram on the boot an
original Neutrik product can be easily identified.

NC3FXX NC3FXX-B NC3MXX NC3MXX-B NC3FRX NC3MRX NC3FRX-B NC3MRX-B

Assembly-instruction-xlr-cable-connector.pdf 

Neutrik Product Guide neutrik-product-guide-1.pdf