In this article, we’ll explain why we like to use the Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable and why we recommend you use it for studio recording, podcasting, and more.

Quick Answer: The Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR cable is our favorite for studio recording, podcasting, and other projects in environments prone to interference. Its braided shielding and star-quad wiring make it a durable, high-performing XLR cable.

Canare L-4E6S vs. Canare L-4E6S+

There are two versions of the famous Canare XLR Cable.

While we’ve never owned the L-4E6S+, it’s thought that the L-4E6S is built to a higher standard than the + version. Shop with authorized audio retailers to ensure you buy the better version. 

Made InJapanChina
Build QualityHighNot as good
Sold ByAuthorized retailersLarge scale online marketplaces

If you’re not sure which version you have, you’ll find the model number, brand name, and country of manufacture printed on the side of the cable.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Prices

The price of an XLR cable has so many variables, such as length, color, and bulk buying discounts. Relatively speaking, we’d put the L-4E6S in the mid to high price bracket. 

It’s by no means the most expensive XLR cable on the market, and we think it represents excellent value for money. See how the L-4E6S compares with more expensive options in our best XLR cable guide.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Colors

One of the things we love about the L-4E6S XLR cable is that it comes in a variety of colors. It’s annoying that some high-quality cables only come in black. Why?

Colored cables make it really easy to troubleshoot your setup, as you can see at a glance what piece of equipment is connected to what. This is especially useful when you’re working with other people.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Lengths

Online, you’ll find this cable available in lengths ranging from 3′ to 50′. You can also bulk buy a reel of L-4E6S if you’re looking to make your own XLR cables. We’ll touch on how to these are soldered a little later if you’re interested.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Flexibility & Stiffness

When we first started testing L-4E6S XLR cables, we were really surprised at just how flexible they are. We’ve always found star-quad cables to be really stiff, but we don’t find that to be the case here.

Flexibility is an important quality when you’re running cable along a mic boom arm or routing it around other equipment. Having to compensate and employ workarounds for an overly stiff cable is never fun.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Shielding

Braided vs Spiral XLR Cable

The L-4E6S XLR cable has a PVC outer core and a 95% shielded TAC braided cable. Think of this as a basket weave of tin-covered copper cable under the PVC layer.

It gets a 95% rating as tiny gaps open up in this basket weave when the cable bends and flexes. To get a rating of 100%, the weave would have to be so tight that you wouldn’t be able to bend the cable.

Some cables use a single copper spiral shielding that allows them to claim 100% coverage. While it’s true of a new cable, the spiral shielding degrades quite quickly with use, reducing the overall protection. A braided cable is more resistant to this. 

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Layers

  • PVC outer core
  • 95% shielded TAC braided tin covered copper
  • 100% paper wrap
  • Wound cotton yarn
  • 4 x Copper cable runs

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Conectors

Twisted Pair vs Star Quad XLR Cable

You’ll find top-of-the-line Neutrik XLR connectors at either end of these Canare XLR cables. They’re black with gold internal components, which is our favorite configuration.

We think black connectors look better on stage or on screen, so we always favor these wherever possible. The gold internals are more corrosion resistant, which is a big plus point in our book.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad Explained

Remove the XLR connector cover and plastic protector, and you’ll see what’s going on inside the L-4E6S. Let’s break down how the cable is soldered to the connector.

  • The shielding is gathered and soldered to the ground.
  • 2 x White copper cores soldered to another pin.
  • 2 x Blue copper cores soldered to the remaining pin.

Having two cores for each pin builds redundancy into the cable. A typical balanced XLR cable would just have a single copper core going to each destination. We go into this in more detail in our twisted-pair vs. star-quad XLR cable comparison.

Do We Recommend The Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable?

This is our favorite XLR cable bar none, and we’d recommend it to all of our friends and family. It’s less expensive than the Mogami Gold Studio cables that everyone else recommends and on par with them performance-wise.

When it comes to longevity, we think the L-4E6S is actually better as the braided shielding is more resistant to wear than the copper spiral used by Mogami. We love the fact it’s available in a range of colors too.  

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable For Live Sound?

If you have the budget, then by all means, invest in L-4E6S cables for your production company. You’ll get a good return for your money, and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

That said, we think these cables are 15-20% too expensive to recommend you go out and upgrade every cable you have. Star-quad cables are less beneficial in a live environment, so you’ll get better value for money from a less expensive alternative.

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Review Equipment Prices

Canare L-4E6S Star-Quad XLR Cable Review Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:17 – Canare L-4E6S vs Canare L-4E6S+
  • 1:27 – Price & Specs
  • 2:00 – Various Colors
  • 2:48 – Various Lengths
  • 3:05 – Flexibility & Stiffness
  • 3:43 – Cable Shielding 
  • 6:26 – Cable Layers
  • 7:00 – Star Quad
  • 7:10 – XLR Connector