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How to Wire XLR to Mini Plug

Updated March 23, 2017

Most professional-quality microphones use an XLR port to connect to recording equipment. Most home stereo equipment and consumer-level computer sound cards, however, use a 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch mini plug jack for the microphone input. XLR-to-mini plug adaptors are readily available. However, wiring your own XLR-to-mini plug connector is an inexpensive and relatively uncomplicated electronics project. One you've wired the XLR plug to the mini plug, you'll be able to use your high-end microphone with nearly any type of recording hardware.

Turn the XLR plug so that the pins face toward you. Rotate the plug so that the tab is on the left-hand side of the plug. Take note of the pins' position: The pin on the bottom is "Pin 1," "Pin 2" is at the top of the plug and "Pin 3" is on the right-hand side.

Cut two equal lengths of wire. Solder one end of the first piece of wire to "Pin 2" on the XLR connector. Solder the other end of this wire to the shortest tab on the mini plug.

Solder the second piece of wire to "Pin 3" on the XLR plug. Solder the other end of this wire to the second-longest tab on the mini plug.

Wrap the wires and plugs with the electrical tape to protect the connection.

Tip

Use heat-shrink tubing instead of electrical tape for a more professional appearance.

Warning

Recording with a mini plug connection usually produces lower-quality audio than recording into an XLR port. Always solder in a well-ventilated location. Use caution when operating a hot soldering iron.

Things You'll Need

  • 22-gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Electrical tape
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About the Author

Seamus Islwyn has been writing for radio, print and online publications since 2003, covering subjects from independent Canadian music to automobile smuggling in the Balkans. His work has appeared in the "Tirana Times" in Albania, and he also composes and produces electronic music. Islwyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from McGill University and a certificate in radio broadcasting from Humber College.