Introduction: Wire XLR to Mono Cable

This Instructable will show you how to wire a 3-wire XLR cable to a 2-wire MONO cable. I did this because I had the microphone, a mono cable, and the ends of an XLR cable; and I wanted to be able to plug the mic into my computer. This was mostly an experiment, but it worked out ok. I get static when plugged into my Windows XP computer, but no static when plugged into my Windows 7 computer.

Step 1: Prepare the Wires

Strip the XLR sheathing to expose the three wires, red, black, and non-insulated. Then strip the ends of the red and black wires. The red wire will remain single, and the black and non-insulated wire will go together. Observe the end of the Mono cable; there will be a short tab and a long tab. The short tab is the positive (red), the long tab is the negative (black + non-insulated).

Step 2: Solder the XLR Cable to the Mono Cable

The red XLR wire gets soldered onto the short tab on the mono plug. Use a zip tie or small clamps to hold the wire where you need it to be. If there is exposed solder on the mono plug, and you are able to just melt the red wire into the exposed solder, that's probably the best way to go, then you don't need to add new solder or bother with flux.

Step 3: No Flux Zone

Solder the black and non-insulated XLR side wires to the long tab on the Mono cable. Use the same methods as you did for the red wire. There was no exposed solder on this side of my mono cable, so I just soldered the XLR side wires to the bare metal of the tab. You can and should use flux if you are soldering, but I did not, and that's perfectly ok.

Step 4: Zip Tie

Zip tie the XLR and Mono cable together near the soldered areas, this prevents the wires from being pulled apart.

Step 5: Tape

Tape the wires with electrical tape, or you can use electrical shrink wrap for a better look.

Step 6: Plug It in and Try It Out.

Wiring a 3-wire XLR cable to any 2-wire cable will result in an unbalanced microphone, meaning you may experience static. Typically the 3rd wire cancels out the static by shielding the other wires from "electrical noise" or something like that. I experienced static when using this setup with my windows XP computer, but I experienced NO static with my Windows 7 computer. I don't know if the operating system is a factor or if it is the hardware.