What Is An XLR Microphone?

If you’re new in the Audio production industry, then maybe you didn’t hard about the XLR Microphone.

USB microphones are pretty common, and you’ll find and see USB microphones everywhere, but most people don’t know about XLR Microphones.

XLR microphones are almost similar microphone as like USB microphones, but it is a bit more advanced.

In today’s article, we’ll talk all about everything what is an XLR microphone and how does it work?

What Is An XLR Microphone

An XLR microphone, named after the type of connector it uses, is a professional-grade device used widely in the audio production industry. Unlike USB microphones, XLR microphones require an audio interface or mixer to connect to a computer.

The term “XLR” stems from “External Line Return”, a reference to the microphone’s robust three-pin connection. This connection ensures a balanced audio signal, reducing the chance of noise interference, especially in long cable runs.

While USB microphones are powered directly by the computer’s USB port, XLR microphones use ‘phantom power’, typically supplied by the audio interface or mixer. This allows XLR microphones to use advanced recording technologies, such as condenser elements.

In terms of sound quality, XLR microphones are generally superior, providing a broader dynamic range and better signal-to-noise ratio. They’re the go-to choice for professional recording environments, from music studios to live broadcasting stations.

How Does An XLR Microphone Work?

An XLR microphone works by converting sound waves into electrical signals that can be processed and amplified. The process begins when you speak or sing into the microphone, causing its diaphragm to vibrate.

These vibrations then interact with a coil or a capacitor, depending on whether the microphone is a dynamic or a condenser type. This interaction leads to the creation of an electrical signal that mirrors the sound wave’s characteristics.

The resulting electrical signal is then passed through the microphone’s output connector using three wires: positive, negative, and ground. This is the famed XLR connection, ensuring the signal remains balanced and free from interference.

Finally, the signal reaches the soundboard or audio interface, where it’s converted back into sound waves through speakers or headphones. This makes XLR microphones highly efficient for professional-grade sound recording and broadcasting.

What Is An XLR Microphone Cable?

An XLR microphone cable is a crucial component in the audio recording process. It’s specifically designed to transmit balanced audio signals from the microphone to an audio interface or mixer.

The cable comprises three wires: positive, negative, and ground, each housed within a protective casing or shield. This design allows the balanced audio signal to be transported with minimal interference from external noise sources.

The “positive” and “negative” wires carry the same audio signal but with opposite polarities. Any noise that gets inducted into the line is thus cancelled out at the receiving end, ensuring a clean, interference-free audio signal.

In sum, an XLR microphone cable is an indispensable tool in professional audio recording, offering superior sound quality by effectively reducing noise interference.

Difference Between XLR and USB Microphones

Difference Between XLR and USB Microphones

The main difference between XLR and USB microphones lies in their design and purpose. While XLR microphones are designed for professional use, USB mics cater to amateurs and beginners.

XLR microphones, with their need for an audio interface, offer superior sound quality and broader dynamic range. In contrast, USB microphones plug directly into the computer, offering a convenient, plug-and-play solution for casual users.

In terms of power supply, XLR mics use ‘phantom power’ from the audio interface, enabling advanced recording techniques. USB microphones draw power directly from the computer’s USB port, simplifying their operation.

Lastly, the XLR connection ensures a balanced, interference-free signal, ideal for professional setups. Conversely, USB microphones, while user-friendly and affordable, may lack the high audio fidelity of their XLR counterparts.


XLR Microphone and USB microphone, there are no huge differences in terms of technology, but they are very different when it comes to performance and purpose.

XLR microphones are professional tools designed for high-quality audio recording and broadcasting, while USB microphones cater to casual users who don’t need advanced recording capabilities.

So, if you’re looking for the best microphone for your professional audio production setup, an XLR microphone should be your go-to choice. With its balanced signal and advanced recording technologies, it’s sure to provide superior sound quality and performance.

Hope by reading this full content, you’ll get enough information about What Is An XLR Microphone and how it works.

If you’ve any further questions, then our comment section is always open for you!

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