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I have a sE Electronics ProMic Laser microphone that I've mounted on top of a monitor with the goal of directly connecting and using it with a laptop to record videos.

I currently have a 20 centimeter cable that came with the microphone and a 10 centimeter Hama TRS to TRRS adapter, but I need a cable that is at least 2 meters long. Before getting a new cable, I'd like to ask the community members for some feedback and advice.

I'd like to get the highest possible audio quality that this microphone can offer and so I'd like to learn more about how much does cable quality affect audio quality in order to determine whether buying a higher quality audio cable is worth it.

Would getting a high quality 2 meter or longer cable that plugs both directly into the microphone and the laptop without the need for a TRS to TRRS adapter provide a significantly higher quality then using the 20 centimeter microphone cable together with some high quality extension cable and the 10 centimeters TRS to TRRS adapter?

If anyone has any suggestions or could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

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    Why is "directly connecting" so important to you? If you aim for the "highest possible audio quality", get a decent USB audio interface. – Richard Metzler Oct 1 at 11:20
  • Directly connecting was a minimum viable solution. And I was interested in how much would such a solution cost quality-wise. Do you have any USB audio interfaces to recommend? I got the microphone connected to the laptop right now, but the sound is not high quality. The purpose of all this is to record online educational videos. – Matty Oct 2 at 11:10
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    I'm not much of an expert, and recommending specific products is frowned upon anyway, but I would look into Behringer interfaces or small USB mixers if you're on a tight budget (30-50$), or the entry-level stuff by Focusrite or Presonus if you're willing to spend 80$ or more. – Richard Metzler Oct 2 at 15:12
  • This question is not about musical practice or theory. There are some posts on SOund Design stack exchange which may cover off what you need, so worth a look there. – Doktor Mayhem Oct 4 at 17:36
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Audio cables - don't believe the hype!

I'd say the difference between a $2 cable & a $25 cable would be completely & utterly undetectable.
Your laptop's DACs will lose more than the cable ever will, in terms of 'pure quality'.

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  • Yes. “Qualty” as such is dominated by the mic itself (and possibly room acoustics), noise is dominated by preamp and power supply dirt. Though it should be said that such puny ⅛" connections are quite susceptible to interference, unlike proper balanced XLR ones. – leftaroundabout Sep 30 at 10:36
  • Some shielding is important though: cheap 1/8 "headphone" cables normally found with computer equipment definitely pick up cell phone and EM interference from e.g. HDD motors. I expect a basic Balanced TRS is going to be fine. – Yorik Sep 30 at 14:38
  • ..but that's probably the difference between 50p & £2. Once you pass the basic requirement, the 'refinements' are often just hype… oxygen-free copper, gold plugs, yada yada – Tetsujin Oct 1 at 13:49
  • I’ll just add: if you have a long cable, avoid running it alongside a power cable. Don’t want to get that 50- or 60-Hz (depending on your region) hum via induction. If you NEED to for some reason, get cables with great shielding. – Howlium Oct 4 at 22:33
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    I couldn't say. tbh, overkill is fine if you may ever need better in future. It's slightly different from the 20p to £2 cable price-jump. You would need to spend over a grand before the overkill would be truly significant in a mic preamp ;) – Tetsujin Oct 19 at 18:45
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"I'd like to get the highest possible audio quality that this microphone can offer" does not jibe with "TRS to TRRS adapter". Not because of the potential quality of the adapter but because no device intended for good quality audio recording has a TRRS input.

TRRS is intended for videocall/phone quality. It shares a single, plugin-power unbalanced microphone input with a stereo headphone output on a tiny connector.

Due to plugin power and moderate sensitivity of the input, the input is typically constrained with electret condensor microphone capsules with a FET preamp powered by the plugin power and providing a reasonably low-impedance moderate-level signal.

Regarding the sound quality, you'll be hard put to find a dedicated cable of few meters length that makes things noticeable worse (like admitting significant noise or dampening the trebles). As long as the cable is not grossly unsuitable (and most cables with some TRS/TRRS connector have shield on S which leaves little to chance) or misconfigured (in which case you'd not hear anything) or self-made (in which case you can of course do any number of mistakes), price will at most affect reliability, like when frequently connecting and disconnecting or stepping on the cable.

But there are really no TRRS or TRS cables with 3.5mm that would distinguish themselves in that department.

It's really like discussing which lipstick brand to best put on a pig. The pig is the elephant in the room.

If you are angling for best quality, you would revert to an external sound interface with balanced XLR inputs for microphone (und phantom power) and a suitable microphone or pair of microphones. While there are actually also dynamic microphones with XLR input that get along without phantom power, they tend to make most sense singing directly into them or having them close to an instrument, not mounted in some distance.

Note that the connection type alone does not really guarantee you any quality: it just is a setup permitting good quality to make a difference.

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Cables can effect sound, but the issue is length. Long cables can essentially be a low-pass filter, dropping the highs. I'm told the effect starts to be noticable at 25', but here, Dylan Talks Tone demonstrates the effect with a 500' cable.

At 2 meters, just over 6 feet, it should be fine.

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There is a lot of myth around the cables, of course that they do affect tone, but if you get a standard one, you will be fine, you don't have to expend a lot of money in the "holy-grail" of cables, unless you use cable of more than 30 feet! This is already true for patch cable, that usually are not longer than 1 to 1.5 feet. There is a nice article that talks about it: Guitar patch cables: myths, truths and recommendations

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