Balanced audio interconnection is the standard in professional audio, and increasingly is coming into use in high-quality home installations as well. Balanced audio circuits use two conductors, each with equal impedance to ground, to carry the signal in differential form: when one is swinging positive, the other is swinging negative, ideally in a perfect mirror image. This makes a useful phenomenon called "common mode noise rejection" possible -- very handy if you are dealing with extremely low signal levels (e.g., a microphone cable) or long run lengths or high noise environments.
In general, where there is a choice between connecting your equipment balanced or unbalanced, it's better to go with a balanced connection. This should be distinguished, however, from the situation where the device at one end of a connection supports either balanced or unbalanced connection, while the other device supports unbalanced (usually through "RCA" connectors) connection only. In such a case, it's almost always better to hook your equipment up unbalanced to unbalanced, rather than try to rig a balanced-to-unbalanced connection. If, however, you do need to connect balanced and unbalanced lines, see our Balanced to Unbalanced page for options.
We use the Neutrik BXX series XLR connectors, with gold-plated pins, on our balanced audio cables; we prefer the Neutrik over any other, particularly because of its unique and highly effective strain relief arrangement. If you need a quarter-inch plug on either end, we use Neutrik there, as well. Both the XLRs and the quarter-inch plugs are available with any of ten different color bands -- here you see a set with red and white markings, and below is an image showing all ten colors. In addition to the color bands on the connectors, we offer some of the cables below in multiple jacket colors -- the combination of jacket color and connector color gives one a great deal of flexibility in marking cables distinctively for easier routing and identification.
Note: until 2023, we used the earlier Neutrik BX series, rather than the BXX, so there is a slight difference in appearance (but not in performance) between older and newer BJC XLR cables. If you want the BX, so as to match cables you already own, let us know -- we still have stock of the connectors and can use them instead if requested.
We offer a variety of individual cables and four and eight-channel snakes, as follows:
Single Channels:For individual, single-channel cables, our principal offerings are Canare DA202, a high-flex AES/EBU cable suitable for digital or analog use (but available only in blue jacket), Belden 1800F, a similar highly flexible, low-capacitance AES/EBU cable available in multiple colors, and Canare L-4E6S, a "star quad" cable suitable for analog usage only, with higher capacitance but also higher common-mode noise rejection. Star quad cables are particularly suited for microphone cable use, where signal levels are extremely low. We carry DA202 in blue, 1800F in eight jacket colors, and L-4E6S in black, white or red.
Snake Cables:We carry four and eight-channel snake cables in three different forms. First, there are Belden 1803F and 1805F, which are AES/EBU snakes composed of cables very like the 1800F individual cable but having foil shields instead of "french braid" shields. Second, there are Belden 1904A and 1908A; these are analog-only stage snakes, highly flexible, with individual french braid shields, which give them high durability for applications where the cable will be repeatedly handled. Third, we carry the more economical Gepco GA72404GFC and GA72408GFC analog-only snakes, which have foil shields instead of braid. The 1803F and 1805F have purple outer jackets, while the other snakes have black outer jackets.
Y-Cables: We can also make Y-cables to run from a single XLR out to two XLR inputs, either in 1800F or L-4E6S -- see ordering table below. Experience has taught us that these are almost invariably ordered in one female to two male XLR configuration, and that the reverse is almost always ordered only by mistake, so the table below provides only for 1F/2M XLR. If, however, you DO need a one male to two female XLR configuration, drop us a note to let us know. The price is the same.
Special Requests: We've offered standard connector combinations below, and made some unusual combinations (e.g., XLR Female to XLR Female) unselectable in the ordering tables, because experience shows that when these are ordered it is more likely to be a mistake than a special application. But all of these cables are made by us in-house and we are happy to handle such configurations as special requests, most often with no upcharge (but with a no-returns policy due to the unusual configuration). Let us know what you need -- we stock such things as mini-XLRs, four-pin XLRs, and what-have-you. If we have the cable and the connectors and you need it, we'll make it.
As with all of our products, we offer a simple and easy return policy. If for any reason you're not completely satisfied, just return the cables, undamaged, within 30 days and we'll refund your purchase price in full.
Just fill in your cable length in feet in the appropriate form below, select your connector configuration, and click "Calculate" to display the price. To purchase, click "Add to Cart."