The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Which is better? TRS to XLR, or TRS to TRS?
Old 28th May 2020
Here for the gear

Which is better? TRS to XLR, or TRS to TRS?

Updating my studio and noticed I've got both 1/4" TRS & XLR inputs in my amp. Currently going from my audio interface into my speaker amp via the 1/4" TRS inputs. Is it any more advantageous using the XLR inputs in lieu of TRS?

Also, how much do you value a high-end cable versus a generic cable? Have you noticed any additional clarity using a high-end cable?

Thanks in Advance!!


Last edited by tonseyd; 29th May 2020 at 01:11 AM.. Reason: clarity
Old 29th May 2020
In theory, XLR is the more professional, latching solution. TRS is more of a space-saving, semi-pro option. Less robust and the potential to cause damage under certain circumstances (eg leaving phantom on and connecting a ribbon mic within a TRS patch. In practice, if you're not constantly repatching, it's just a different shaped connector.
Old 29th May 2020
Lives for gear

I have always had better luck with XLR connectors. Maybe because of the well designed self-wiping pins and that the pins are more protected when not in use.
Old 30th May 2020
Soundwise, they are the same.

Don’t be fooled by the fallacy: XLR = Good, TRS = Not so good.

Both are balanced connections and if the connectors and soldering are good, you won’t have any difference.
Old 31st May 2020
Lives for gear

Yep, soundwise, they are both the same.
But mechanically, the more robust XLR connector will handle abuse better.
Old 31st May 2020
Lives for gear
Over time, I've only ever had problems with contacts in TRS . They're sprung contacts and can loose their contact force. Then I often find the gold plate doesn't wipe well (or maybe it's that the gold plate rubs off quicker and then corrosion sets in) with TRS. So, it does depend on how often you're going to plug and unplug in my opinon.
Old 7th June 2020
There is much larger interconnect surface area on XLR pins than TRS connections. That won't matter now, but it might in ten years, depending on whether you live in a coastal or humid area or let people smoke in the studio. If you're really concerned about long-term reliability, you should also match the pin plating with that of the equipment: gold with gold, silver with silver. That will prevent galvanic corrosion, preserving not just your cables but also your rack gear connectors.

OTOH, TRS can be more convenient for mobile rigs if you must set up and tear down in a hurry.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump