How to use XLR mic on PC: best practices

How to use XLR mic on PC? This guide will show you how to connect XLR microphone to the computer using a USB audio interface and phantom power.

how to use xlr mic on pc
Image credit:

Required equipment

You’ll require a few key elements for operating XLR microphones on the computer effectively:

  • XLR cables. Your USB mic must be connected using XLR cables.
  • The adapter and the USB cable. Use a USB cable if you lack the original one. To connect XLR mic to a USB device, you will require an XLR-to-USB adapter. Keep in mind that condenser mics need phantom power of 48+ Volts, which USB cable connections can not provide.
Image credit:

Setting up the XLR mics

By following these steps and tips, you’ll connect XLR microphone to your PC.

How to connect an XLR mic to the audio interface?

Verify that you have an XLR cable, XLR microphone, and dedicated audio interface ready to connect an XLR mic.

An XLR cable is connected by inserting one of the ends of the cord into the XLR input on the mic.

For this input, a “+48V” or “phantom power” sign should be used.

One of the XLR inputs on the particular audio interface is linked to the end of the XLR cable that faces outward.

Image credit:

Select the appropriate XLR input from the selection most audio interfaces provide.

Make sure each connection fits properly but not too tight to secure it.

You can now proceed to connecting the USB audio interface to the computer by finger-tightening the connectors.

Image credit:

How to connect XLR mic to computer?

Simply attach the USB cable from the dedicated audio interface to a USB input on your device if the audio interface links via a USB port.

Windows or the recording software of your choice should recognize the interface right away.

Image credit:

Other connection alternatives. If the audio interface uses another connection format, such as Thunderbolt or Firewire, be certain you have the appropriate connectors and that your PC has the necessary ports.

Activate drivers. Sometimes, you might have to perform this to use the USB audio interface.

Check the company’s official website to find the latest appropriate drivers.

Image credit:

Configuring audio settings

If the audio settings are configured properly, your XLR microphone will capture sounds with the best possible quality.

Configuring audio settings on your PC

If you right-click the microphone icon in the taskbar of Windows or the Sound preference pane on a Mac, you can access the sound settings by selecting “Sound settings” or “Open Sound settings” from the associated menu.

Under Sound settings, you may find device choices for input (microphone) and output (speakers/headphones).

Double-check that your audio interface is selected for both the input and output devices.

Image credit:

Device properties. Click the input device for your audio interface, then choose “Device properties.”

The volume levels relevant to the audio interface, the microphone boost, and other settings are adjustable here.

Image credit:

How to select the XLR microphone as the input device?

Click the input device (your audio interface) in the Audio options to select an audio input device for your computer.

In the device properties, pick an XLR microphone from the list that displays input sources.

The XLR microphone currently connected to your audio interface should be used.

Image credit:

Adjust input volume. Check that the input levels have been set correctly.

It’s recommended to begin with lower settings and progressively raise them.

Audio settings for optimal recording quality

Sample rate. The number of audio snapshots that get recorded per second is determined by the sample rate. The two most popular sample rates are 44.1 and 48 kHz. High-fidelity audio is produced using sample rates as high as 96 kHz.

Bit depth. The quantity of bits required to represent every audio sample is referred to as bit depth. 16-bit and 24-bit bit depths are the most popular.

Image credit:

Buffer size (latency). The buffer size determines how long it takes for your voice to reach the headset or speakers after you speak into the mic (latency).

Recording format. For the best quality, pick a suitable recording format like WAV or FLAC. These formats maintain audio fidelity and are lossless.

MP3 and other compressed formats work well for ultimate delivery but may not be the best for recording.

Image credit:


After learning how to connect XLR mic to computer, you’ve uncovered the essential components, connected them with precision, and fine-tuned the audio settings to capture sound at its best.


Here you’ll find answers to common questions about ways to connect XLR mic to a PC.

How do I connect my XLR mic to my computer without audio interface?

XLR-to-USB signal adapter. You can use an XLR-to-USB signal adapter for connecting XLR mics.
These USB adapters are suitable for handheld dynamic microphones. Because USB cables lack the phantom power necessary to activate the microphone, condenser microphones cannot be used with them.
External audio interface. Using an external USB audio interface with XLR inputs is advised for improved sound quality and control, even though it isn’t strictly speaking instead of a professional audio interface.

Do you need a mixer for an XLR mic?

Mixers are useful for multiple microphones, live sound, podcasting, and music production.

For basic recording with a single XLR mic, an audio interface may suffice.

Can you use an XLR mic for gaming?

XLR microphones can be used for gaming, however, it might not be the most popular option. Due to the simplicity and ease of use of the USB microphone, gamers frequently use USB microphones.

If you have an XLR microphone instead of a USB microphone, you can use that in its place.

Audio interface. You’ll need an audio interface with XLR inputs to connect your microphone to your PC.

The direct monitoring option, which is available on many audio interfaces, allows you to hear your speech instantly and without any lag.

Use voice chat applications such as Discord or recording tools that let you select your audio interface as the input source.

Configure your audio interface and software settings to achieve the desired sound quality and adjust levels as needed.

What are the types of XLR mics?

There are two types: condenser mics and dynamic mics.

Dynamic microphones. Dynamic mics are robust, adaptable devices that work well for recording powerful sound sources. Audio interfaces are not always necessary for dynamic mics.

XLR condenser microphone. The precision and sensitivity of an XLR condenser mic are well recognized. Subtle nuances are expertly captured by a condenser microphone. In recording studios, a condenser mic is frequently used to record vocals, acoustic instruments, and a variety of other sound sources. To connect the XLR mic to computer, a phantom power supply is required.

Leave a Comment