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Best XLR Cables For Microphones

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An XLR cable might not seem like the most important thing, but it is often the “weak link” in your audio’s signal chain.

You don’t want a high-end condenser or dynamic microphone paired with a cheap cable.

They can wear out, pick up interference, and different materials will conduct electricity better or worse than others.

Some terms you might see are balanced or unbalanced, low or high impedance, conductor material, strand count, and more.

It can definitely get kind of confusing – but don’t worry about all that.

We’re going to help you out by highlighting the best XLR cables among a few different price points.

Most of them will be offered in different cable lengths, with longer cables tending to cost a little more than shorter ones.

They generally fall into three different tiers based on price: budget, mid-range, and high-end.

If you want to save yourself some time, my favorites among the different tiers are:

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Best External SSDs For Storing Audio & Video (120GB-2TB)

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Do you need some extra storage space for all those video and audio files you keep creating?

There are many different options for external storage, but we’re going to focus on external SSDs (solid-state drives) here.

They are fast, small, and secure.

A spinning HDD (hard disk drive) is typically much slower and can be broken easily if dropped or dented.

An SSD does not have any moving parts, making it much more rugged and portable as well.

Even if you don’t need to travel with it, their speed makes them an excellent option to expand your storage capabilities at home with a desktop or laptop.

Before we get into the recommendations, I just want to let you know that brand matters. Cheaper knock-off or no-name brands tend to fail sooner and have much less quality control (if any).

I’m just going to recommend brand-name external SSDs here:

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Best External Android Microphones For Video & Podcasting

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Whether you’re shooting video or recording a new podcast episode, you need to make sure you have great audio quality.

The good news is that for the last couple years, video quality included with your Android smartphone is probably top-notch.

But the built-in microphone in your Galaxy or Pixel phone just won’t cut it.

There are several excellent external microphones in 2021 that will work with your Android phone – and there are different styles depending on your needs.

The most popular option that works well in a variety of situations is a lavalier mic (they clip to your shirt, allowing hands-free use) but there are a few shotgun-style mics that plug into the headphone jack (if you have one) as well.

You can also use other microphones that are designed for digital audio recorders or DSLRs (like these on-camera shotgun mics) but you will need a TRS to TRRS adapter to plug them in.

This post will just focus on microphones that don’t need adapters to keep things simple, but I wanted to point out that there are many options to improve your audio quality.

We also have a separate article specifically for iPhone mics (with many options that use the Lightning connector) if you find yourself needing one of those too.

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Best Pop Filters For Recording Vocals

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Pop filters do what their name suggests – they reduce or eliminate popping sounds.

In natural speech, certain letters tend to cause your mouth and breath to produce fast-moving air. These plosives typically come from the letters P, T, and K.

Try saying the word “podcast” or “pop filter” while holding your hand in front of your mouth – you’ll feel the air.

This air can easily overwhelm a microphone, causing distortion and clipping.

We definitely don’t want that.

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So let’s take a look at some of the best pop filters to use when recording vocals as of October 2021…

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Best Dynamic Microphones For Vocals (For Every Budget)

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Dynamic mics are excellent for recording vocals – everything from podcasting to voiceovers to singing – and work especially well when you’re recording multiple people in the same room.

Like our similar article on the best condenser microphones, there are a variety of different models at different price points.

Dynamic mics, especially higher end models, tend to require a large amount of gain to record adequate levels.

This can introduce noise on cheaper preamps (and some might not even have enough gain to record), so I recommend considering investing in a separate preamp (the DBX286s is a great option) or the Cloudlifter CL-1 (it uses phantom power to give passive mics an extra 25dB of gain). Just remember to get an extra XLR cable.

Dynamic microphones also work well for live performances, so you’ll find a handful of wired dynamic mics that you’d find during a live presentation.

If you’re interested in wireless live vocal mics, we have a separate article for that.

To save you some time, here my top dynamic mic picks in 2021 at various price points:

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