Home > Tutorials > How to Connect an XLR Microphone to a Computer [Video]

How to Connect an XLR Microphone to a Computer [Video]

Learning how to connect an XLR microphone to a computer will allow you to record professional quality audio without having to spend too much money for audio equipment.

Most professional microphones have an XLR connector which allows high quality audio signals to pass through the cable. Unfortunately, most computer don’t have a native XLR input jack. Even if they did, most XLR microphones require a higher level of power than computers can provide to capture such high quality audio signals.

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As you can see in the video above, you definitely can connect and XLR mic to you computer but you’re probably going to need and audio interface to do this. There are adaptors that allow you to connect XLR cables directly to USB but, when using these adaptors, your computer can’t usually provide enough power to the microphone to capture a signal with enough audio gain.

Audio interfaces such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface used in the video above have a USB output and an XLR input – serving as an adaptor for you to plug your XLR mic into your computer. They also provide a boost of power to the microphone which will increase the gain you receive so that the signal receive by the computer is loud enough.

Many of these audio interfaces also include monitoring features which allow you to listen to your audio signal as you record to ensure that it is the quality that you’re looking for.

The prices of these audio interfaces range from about $100 to thousands of dollars and, depending on the type of audio you’re recording, different audio interfaces will be best suited for your situation.

If you’re just starting out, I recommend trying an audio interface is the low price range. Most of them can be returned within a certain amount of time if you find that you need a higher quality audio interface.

Unfortunately it is difficult to connect an XLR mic directly into your computer but by using an audio interface you should be able to record the high quality sound that you’re looking for!

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Anson Alexander

I am an author, digital educator and content marketer. I record, edit, and publish content for AnsonAlex.com, provide technical and business services to clients and am an avid self-learner. I have also authored several digital marketing and business courses for LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com).

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