Are XLR microphone cables suitable for connecting the RME Fireface UFX II AD converter to a pair of Yamaha HS-8 studio monitors? I bought two Roland Black series (RMC-B15) microphone cables to connect the UFX II to the HS-8's. The package for the cables says "Microphone Cables" -- "low impedance", "low capacitance". I know they're XLR cables, so physically they would connect my UFX II and the HS-8s, but is a "microphone cable" suitable for this job? I don't know if a microphone XLR cable would differ in any way from a speaker XLR cable -- whether the impedance, capacitance or anything else matters...

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1 Answer 1


"Microphone" cables are suitable for all balanced, analog audio signals that use XLR connectors, whether they are mic level or line level. So yes, you can use these cables with the "Balanced line-level outputs" on the RME.

One type of connection that uses XLR connectors that you shouldn't use "microphone" cables for is a digital AES/EBU connection. The characteristic impedance of the cable used for AES/EBU has to be a specific value, and a generic "mic" cable won't necessarily have that characteristic impedance. For digital connections, get a cable designed for AES/EBU specifically.

  • So wait, what is the difference between mic cables and speaker cables (assuming both are XLR)? Dec 15, 2022 at 20:37
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    @AndyBonner When I read “speaker cable”, I think of a cable that carries a high power low impedance signal from a power amp to a passive speaker enclosure. I’ve never seen such a cable with XLR connectors and no one should ever make a cable for this purpose with XLR connectors nor use an XLR cable for such a connection. Power amp outputs are also unbalanced. If that’s not what you mean by “speaker cable” then I don’t know what you mean. Dec 15, 2022 at 20:40
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    @ToddWilcox - in the70s, 80s and 90s, I fitted all of my different speaker cabs with XLRs, mainly so they could be extended easily - didn't like jack-female jack, as they didn't lock like XLRs. Always used orange cables (as in 2 core lawnmower cables) so they never got mixed up with mic leads. Never had any problems. It's only recently I've started changing over to Speakons (still with the same orange cables). I also try not to use any black leads which tend to go missing after gigs.
    – Tim
    Dec 16, 2022 at 8:15
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    @Cerulean Did you send the photo to RME or did you just send them the cable code RMC-B20? Because in Rolands website they only list the 3ft cable aka RMC-B3 and if you google RMC-B20 first result will be RMC-B20-HIZ which is an XLR/Jack(TS) cable which is an unbalanced cable. Dec 16, 2022 at 15:49
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    @ChrisButler Aha, I didn’t start working in live sound until the late ‘90s Dec 22, 2022 at 4:17

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