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Mic Cables- What's the Deal?

XLR cables are a critical part of your home studio- but are you wasting money on what you picked?

I just completed watching an excellent video from Justin Colletti of Sonic Scoop, and I definitely suggest you have a watch here! He reinforced AND demonstrated something I've been telling voice actors for ages: super expensive mic cables likely aren't worth the investment.

An Amazon Basics 10 foot XLR cable costs about $10. A Mogami gold cable costs $76.95 for 6 feet.

Is the Extra Cost of Expensive Cables Worth it?

No. In Justin's video, he made an excellent statement: "We can measure differences on a microscopic level that we can not necessarily hear at all". On paper, there might seem be some advantages to expensive mic cables, but you will never hear it. The added cost goes toward the quality of the build, the feel of the materials used, and durability in challenging situations. But for most voice actors, you're installing a cable in your booth that you'll likely not be moving around very much. And while one of the benefits of higher-end cables is ease of repair in the pressure of a studio environment- it's a pretty good bet that as a voice actor, you're not breaking out a soldering iron to fix your cables. In fact, I strongly urge you to keep a spare on hand on the off chance that cable DOES fail. And as you can see from the prices above, you can purchase several generic cables for the price of one fancy option.

Put that Cash toward Better Use

I've been involved in so many social media threads where people swear by their expensive mic cable purchases. However, in just about every case, the proposed sonic benefit is negated by their poor acoustic environments, cheap microphones, or the air conditioner in the next room. Perhaps a better use of your hard-won money is to invest in better acoustics or a better mic. In fact, in Justin's video, there is a great comparison of a condenser mic to a dynamic mic at about 23:20. That enforces another point- but that's another story!

If you need help with gear choices, or general studio help, feel free to reach out to me. What has your experience been with mic cables been? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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