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8 Keyboard Essentials for Beginners: Must-Have Gear & Accessories to Get Started

8 Keyboard Essentials for Beginners: Must-Have Gear & Accessories to Get Started

Whether you’re embarking on a new personal hobby, setting up a system for your church band, or helping your kid learn something new: Welcome to the wonderful world of the keyboard! This blog is your shopping list for all the essential gear and accessories you need as you master the keys.

The keyboard is a great instrument and introduction to the wider world of synthesizers, but like all things digital, getting started can be overwhelming. Taking a few lessons will help you get started playing, but how do you really plug in? What other keyboard gear or accessories will you need to develop your own style – and what will you need to take your playing experience to the next level?

Here’s an overview of the essentials you will need to make your progression with this instrument that much sweeter.

8 Keyboard Products Every Beginner Needs

#1. A Keyboard, Synthesizer or Digital Piano

Of course, the only thing you REALLY need to get started playing is the instrument itself. However, there are actually three options here: a keyboard, digital piano or synthesizer.

  • Keyboard: Keyboards come with a wide range of sounds and features, and they are usually smaller than traditional pianos. The number of keys ranges from as little as 25 to as many as 88 keys. They’re great for beginners to learn on before advancing to other instruments. Keyboards are also great for worship bands who want to get a good organ sound without the expense of purchasing a traditional organ.
  • Digital Piano: A digital piano is designed to mimic a traditional piano, complete with weighted keys and more traditional sound and functionality. It typically comes with the full 88 keys like a traditional piano. While the options with a digital piano are limited, if you’re looking to learn classical piano and only play traditional styles of music, a digital piano is a more cost-effective way to play the piano without investing in a grand piano or keyboard with a lot of bells and whistles.
  • Synthesizers: Synthesizers (aka synths) are a broad category of instruments that can produce sounds by generating different signals. Synths can produce a much wider range of sounds than keyboards and are used in all types of music like pop, EDM and hip-hop. They’re used frequently in live show settings while also being mainstays in home and professional recording studios.

Deciding which instrument to buy is up to you, your budget and how you plan to use it. There are a lot of great guides out there that can help you narrow down which keyboard (or other keyed instrument) is right for you.

Once you’ve decided on your instrument, here are some of the accessories you’ll want to get to make it your own.

#2. A Keyboard Stand

For a proper keyboard experience, you will want to set your keyboard (or digital piano or synth – hereby referenced as a keyboard) on a proper stand instead of, say, your kitchen table.

A specialized keyboard stand is great for getting your keyboard at the exact height you need to play comfortably. It also lets you get creative with your set up, providing full access to the instrument to connect extra amps, sound mixers and pedals.

When you’re starting out, you don’t need something that will cost hundreds of dollars, but you don’t want to skimp on features and quality. So, look for a stand that’s durable, lightweight and easy to set up. X-frame stands with quick-trigger height adjustments make set-up easy and consistent, and they tend to be cheaper than their Z-frame counterparts.

#3. A Bench or Stool

You don’t want to play standing up all the time, right?

Yes, you can play from just any old chair, but a stool or piano bench is a much better and ergonomic option. A proper bench allows you to sit up straight without any armrests or seat backs to get in the way of playing up and down the keys.

Getting a proper piano bench or stool can help you play with better posture, so you can practice longer and play with more precision.

#4. Covers and Cases

If you’re going to be playing shows or practicing with friends, you’ll want a case to transport your keyboard.

The sturdier, the better. Make sure you find one that’s not too small for your keyboard and comes with extra padding to prevent scratches and dents.

If you’re going to be traveling long distances, heavy-duty padding is essential because luggage tends to get shaken up in flight.

Another thing to consider is a keyboard cover to keep the dust off your instrument while you’re not playing. Dust and dirt can collect on keys and, over time, ruin their press and feel. If you’re already dealing with dusty keys, use a gentle instrument cleaner.

#5. Headphones

A good pair of headphones is essential if you live in a shared space or want to keep it down as you’re playing. Plus, some keyboards have no audio output, which means you need to be plugged into an interface or headphones to hear anything (see keyboard accessory essential #6).

Of course, your standard pair of earbuds would work. However, if you want to hear the full range of your music, you’ll want something with better sound quality – something that was made for this type of music. Here is a good pair of affordable, studio-quality headphones.

Comfort is another consideration. Find a pair that fits well over your ears without pinching or squeezing too tight, so you can play for as long as you like.

#6. A Portable Amp

Many keyboards come with built-in speakers. But if you’re going to be playing gigs or at your local church, you’ll need to amplify your sound.

You can get as fancy as you want here but don’t buy something that will be too big or too loud for the space you will be playing in. A good all-around portable amp will do the trick, especially early on in your playing career.

#7. Sustain Pedal

Sustain pedals allow you to extend the notes and cords you’re playing, helping you add even more flair and expression to your playing.

Many keyboards come with a sustain pedal or effect built-in, but if yours doesn’t or if you want to enhance the built-in effects, a new sustain pedal can help you unlock more sounds to make your play more interesting. Here is a good one for beginners available at Sweetwater.

#8. Cables to Connect it All

Last but definitely not least, make sure you have cables to connect everything.

While we know cables aren’t the most exciting piece of gear you’ll buy, you would be surprised to learn how many different cables and connectors there are. Finding the exact cable you need can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not sure what to look for.

For a beginner keyboardist, you’ll want a classic instrument cable to connect your keyboard to any amp. You’ll also want to grab some patch cables to connect any pedal effects to your setup.

As you progress, you might think about getting a synthesizer and setting up your own DAW or digital audio workstation. If you do, just remember that the cables you use to connect your keyboard setup won’t work on a digital set up. You’ll need MIDI cables to properly record and mix tracks.

If you’re confused about what you need, we have a cable finder tool that can help!

Start Your Keyboard Journey on the Right Foot

Picking up the keyboard for the first time can be intimidating. But it’s also an exciting start that can lead to many different instruments and ways to create music.

As you start out learning your first scales and songs, remember to keep in mind this list of gear that can help you along the way.


Hosa Introduces New Keyboard Stand

Portable, lightweight design with unique trigger-style adjustment for quick set-up & tear-down

Buena Park, CA, August 2023 — Hosa is pleased to announce the release of their new KBT-502 Keyboard Stand.

The KBT-502 Keyboard Stand offers incredible portability in a lightweight, 6.5-pound X-frame design that also features a unique trigger-style adjustment lever with seven height settings. This makes for convenient and easy setup with no assembly required. Despite its size, the KBT-502 packs a punch and can support up to 88 pounds of total weight, making it an ideal choice for a range of keyboards and players. The KBT-502 has a street price of $44.95.

KBT-502 Features
-Portable X-Frame
-Lightweight (6.5 lbs.)
-Single-Handed Trigger Height Adjustment
-Seven Height Adjustment Settings: 21″/53 cm – 37.4″/95 cm
-Weight Capacity: 88 lbs./40kg

“We believe the KBT-502 Keyboard Stand is perfect for beginners and enthusiasts alike,” said CEO Mayumi Allison. “We didn’t pull any punches in its design, making sure it’s as light as possible without sacrificing reliability or performance. We’re always looking for new ways to support musicians of all skill levels. The KBT-502 stand adds to our industry-wide reputation of making high-quality cables and accessory products accessible to all.”

For more information and to purchase the new keyboard stand, click here.


Hosa Exhibiting at NAMM 2023!

Stop by #15108 Hall ACC North Level 1, April 13-15

Buena Park, CA, April 2023 — Hosa is excited to announce it will be exhibiting at the 2023 NAMM Show, April 13-15.

Attendees are encouraged to stop by #15108 Hall ACC North Level 1 to learn more about Hosa’s extensive line of products and distributed brands including Gruv Gear bags, and accessories, and CAIG Laboratories line of contact cleaners.

During the show, Hosa representatives will be on hand to answer questions about their products and application solutions.

Hosa will also be hosting a Project Studio Giveaway, with products from Adam Audio, Focusrite, IK Multimedia, JHS Pedal, Orange Amplifiers, Schecter Guitars and more. NAMM attendees can enter the giveaway by completing a brief cable-themed quiz at one of their six kiosks in the booth. Winners will be notified at the end of the NAMM show, and every participant will receive a limited Hosa t-shirt just for taking the quiz.

“Reconnecting with our dealers and distributors as well as our dedicated enthusiasts and professional musicians at The NAMM Show is always the highlight of our year,” said CEO Mayumi Allison.

For more information about the 2023 NAMM Show and how to register, click here.


Setting Up a Church Sound System: 4 Tips Before Jumping In

Setting up a church or house of worship sound system can be a daunting task, and not just for first-timers. In this post, we review a few things to keep in mind as you plan.

Church sound systems aren’t very different from any other indoor sound system.

You still have the same basic components – a mixer, PA speakers, mics, in-ears or wedges, iso-booths for instrument speaker cabinets, lighting, digital mixers, and the instruments.

However, there are some distinctions about a church environment that you must keep in mind. As with any sound system setup – whether it’s a simple recording studio or a large indoor venue –  it’s easy to overlook the effect of the smaller components and their impact on the overall sound.

But before we get into the setup of your sound system, let’s cover what it should all sound like.

What is a “Good” Church Sound?

Good sound in a church or worship setting is all about control. The sound and experience should be focused primarily on the vocals, so the instruments need to be limited so as to not overpower the vocals.

The instruments will ideally be clean and punchy, but they shouldn’t be loud. The vocals should come through clearly without any harsh reverb or feedback. You want your congregation to be able to hear the lyrics and respond in the right moments, which requires controllable separation between the instruments and vocals.

#1. Know the Challenges

The problem sound engineers run into is that churches are often massive, open spaces with significant echo. Getting a tight and controlled sound with the vocals at the forefront is difficult – especially when the church band includes a lot of instruments.

As a sound mixer or engineer, unfortunately, there are a lot of factors out of your control. You have to trust that the band can play at the right level and that the church has done all they can to set up their building to be as acoustically friendly as possible.

With that out of the way, let’s dig into the things you can control.

#2. Control the Acoustics

Good sound is about control. And, as we mentioned, in a worship setting that mostly means controlling the noise levels of the instruments to prevent them from overpowering the vocals delivering the message.

To do this, you should use iso-booths for the speakers, plexiglass surrounds to dampen the drums, digital solutions that can connect to the right mixers, and opt for in-ear monitors instead of wedges. In-ear monitors allow you to mix the instruments for the performers to hear themselves without affecting the overall volume of the room.

#3. Pick the Right Cables

You can use the best equipment. You can mix everything perfectly. But if your system isn’t connected properly, sound, lighting, and effects will suffer.

Many people overlook the importance of good cabling in a sound system. Using poor-quality cables can negatively impact your sound quality by introducing noise and unwanted feedback into the mix.

Here’s a list of every cable you might possibly need…

#4. Organize Your Gear

Church sound systems are beasts and require planning and organization.

With so many cables running to mics and sending sound everywhere, cable organizers and gaff tape will be a critical part of your arsenal. They keep the cable runs discrete and help prevent people from stepping on them or tripping.

Preventative measures will also save you a lot of headaches, so consider using a cable tester to test connections and make sure everything is working properly before the service. Use instrument stands to keep unused instruments out of the way and undamaged. And finally, cleaners like mic sanitizers, surface and headphone cleaners will help maintain the condition and cleanliness of your equipment over time.


Setting up a church sound system is a process. But a little preparation goes a long way. If you account for the unique environmental qualities, you’ll be well on your way to getting a great sound for every service. Thanks to good-quality cables and plenty of intuitive digital sound equipment, homing in on the right sound for your church worship is easier than ever.


Hosa Introduces New In-Line Mic Preamp

In-Line Preamp Adds +26dB of Clean Gain and Improves Sound

Buena Park, CA, October 2022 — Hosa is excited to announce the newest addition to its in-line microphone adapter collection, the MPA-149 Mic Preamp.

When using low-output dynamic or passive ribbon microphones, a consistent struggle is the introduction of noise from external preamps. Consoles, mixing boards, interfaces, and other preamps can sometimes require the gain to be maxed out, amplifying unwanted noise and often still being too quiet in overall volume. The Hosa MPA-149 Mic Preamp provides an immediate 26dB’s of gain with an impressive -97dBu signal-to-noise ratio, giving users a very clean and immediate gain boost for louder, clearer microphone performance.

Many volume-boost solutions include more cables, electronics, and failure points, whereas the Hosa MPA-149 simply connects directly into the microphone. This convenient solution makes it ideal for podcasters, streamers, public speakers, and gigging professionals relying on unpredictable venue preamps to power low-output ribbon or dynamic mics. The Hosa MPA-149 only needs a preamp supplying 48V phantom power, but does not pass the phantom power onto the microphone.

The Hosa MPA-149 utilizes a discrete Class-A circuit design and selected FET circuitry to help achieve a clean signal path and low-noise operation. Its compact metal housing is designed to perform reliably in any circumstance, whether it’s standing up to harsh environmental changes, eccentric performances, or getting thrown in and out of gig bags on the road.

“With so many microphones to choose from on the market today, many customers are purchasing dynamic and ribbon microphones that, depending on their application, may require more output”, adds David Chavez, Hosa’s Director of Product Development and Marketing. “Our new MPA-149 Mic Preamp resolves this very issue, and does so in a high-quality, affordable form-factor that the Hosa brand is known for.”


Hosa Introduces New USB-C Adapter

Adapts a USB Type A to Type C connection

Buena Park, CA, September 2022 — Hosa is again answering the call for more USB-C solutions with a USB Type A to Type C adapter.

USB Type C connectors are needed more and more in newer devices requiring greater power and transfer speeds. This inevitably creates compatibility issues for those users with a mixture of new and old devices and USB cables. Newer devices, such as Apple laptops, no longer incorporate USB Type A ports and instead only feature Type C, leaving users with equipment dependent on USB cables that are no longer supported.

The new Hosa GSB-314 USB Adapter resolves the issue by adapting a Type A connection to Type C, allowing you to use all previous USB connection types with the current Type C. It’s backwards-compatible up to USB 3.0 with burst speeds up to 5 Gbps, ensuring devices get the power and transfer speeds they require.

“In our 38 year history, Hosa has always been seen as the go-to for a wide array of small adapters”, adds Mayumi Allison, Hosa’s Chief Executive Officer. “As the landscape continues to change with USB-C, people with legacy equipment will look to Hosa first for these types of solutions, and we’re always looking for those gaps to fill.”


Hosa Introduces New 4K HDMI Cables

4K & 3D video resolution with higher frame rates

Buena Park, CA, August 2022 — Hosa is pleased to be adding a highly requested HDMI solution for modern creators, video streamers, gamers, and everyday television watchers.

HDMI has long been the connection for high-definition video and graphics commonly used in televisions, computers, and gaming consoles. Up to this point, most HDMI cables are iteration 1.4, that support up to 30fps (frames per second). However, with televisions, computers, and gaming consoles moving to Ultra HD 4K, HDMI 2.0 supports up to 60fps, which provides greater overall detail even at lower video resolution.

Built to HDMI 2.0 specs, the new Hosa HAOC-400 Series High Speed HDMI Active Optical Cables’ increased bandwidth supports 3D 4K and even dual HD video streams, allowing you to stream the big game while watching the newest episode of your favorite show, or being the hero in Call of Duty while peeking at Netflix reruns.

Using the same HDMI 1.4 connector, Hosa HAOC-400 Series Cables are backwards-compatible with older devices using an HDMI port, allowing you to get the highest video quality available. Likewise, Hosa HAOC-400 Series Cables also support ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio, featured in some computer monitors and cinema televisions.

“As 4K resolution becomes more and more ubiquitous in television and computing devices, there’s been a growing demand for HDMI cables that support the specifications required to both create 4K media, and view 4K media,” adds Mayumi Allison, Hosa’s Chief Executive Officer. “Whether you’re a musician, streamer, gamer, or just enjoy catching up on the latest episodes at home, these cables are built to help you get the most out of your experience.”

The new Hosa HAOC-400 Series High Speed HDMI Active Optical Cables are available in two lengths, 10ft and 16ft.


What is SS USB? – A Quick Guide for Amateur Producers & Engineers

SuperSpeed USB was introduced in 2008. But despite being a relatively “old” technology, many amateur producers and engineers still aren’t familiar with SS USB and how to differentiate it from its predecessors. Let’s break it all down.

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is the industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and protocols for connection, communication, and power supply (interfacing) between computers, peripherals and other computers.

A USB port is a USB port, right?

Wrong. There are many different USB port types and generations relating to speed and performance. The latest generation on the market can be categorized under SS USB or USB 3.1.

Let’s get into what SS USB is and what makes it different.

What is SS USB?

SS USB stand for SuperSpeed USB. The first iteration of SS USB was introduced in November 2008 as USB 3.0, and it ushered in a new era of speed and power from its predecessor, USB 2.0, or High Speed USB.

More recently, USB 3.1, or Gen 2, has come out, bringing further increases in both power and data transfer speeds.

How Can You Tell If You’re Using an SS USB?

There are very little visual differences between USB 2.0 and 3.0. They both use the same standard connector type A, but the USB 3.0 type A receptacles and plugs are typically colored blue.

USB 3.1 also supports other types of USB connectors such as Type B, Micro-B, and the more universally adopted Type C.

What Makes SS USB Different?

SS USB provides dramatic performance improvement over its 2.0 predecessors.

USB High Speed (USB 2.0) supports a bandwidth of up to 480 Mbps, while 3.0 supports up to 5.0 Gbps, and 3.1 (Gen 2) up to 10 Gbps. Likewise, SuperSpeed can support more power. A USB 2.0 port can deliver 500 mA of power while USB 3.1 is able to output 900 mA, an increase in total power delivery from 2.5 W to 4.5 W (at 5 V).

In layman’s terms, all those figures mean USB 3.1 can support devices requiring more power and charge them faster. These data transfer speeds are critical to making sure recording equipment, including interfaces and workstations, is connected and performing optimally.

What Happens if I Use USB 3.1 Cables with 2.0 Ports?

USB 3.1 cables are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports, except for Type B connectors. Type C connectors require an adapter. And USB 2.0 cables cannot be used with a 3.0 port.

One thing to note – if you’re using 2.0 ports with 3.1 cables, the cables will only transfer at 2.0 rates. That means you won’t get the power and data transfer speed benefits.

Conclusion – USBs Aren’t All Alike

So, now you know. Not all USBs are alike. In fact, USB is always evolving.

Currently USB4 is in the works, and it will boast 40Gbit/s data transfer speed. Keep in mind that USB4 will only use the newer, more universally accepted Type C connector to minimize confusion. USB4 will also include Thunderbolt 3 compatibility.

Either way, you can count on Hosa to have the USB cables you need to connect your studio setup. Use our Cable Finder to explore our USB products and find the cables you need.

Cable Connector Components: How Much Do They Really Matter?

Everyone knows what a cable is for. But do cable connector components matter when it comes to tone or sound? Let’s find out.

Before we get too far into the post, let’s make sure we have the basics down.

What are Cable Connectors? – An Overview

Cable connectors are the ends or the “tips” of cables that connect the input and output devices that need to transfer signal. They’re designed to provide a consistent contact point and stable connection.

Most connectors are made with some combination of copper, gold, nickel, zinc, and tin. More expensive and higher-end connector alloys include silver, phosphor bronze, or rhodium, which can all have sonic advantages.

Overall, each of these metals brings its own properties to the table. For example, gold-plated connectors withstand corrosion more effectively because gold withstands corrosion more than most metals.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to what you’re looking to get out of a cable. If you’re looking for a cable that will transmit the best sound, then your connector components will matter. If you’re looking for something that will be durable and last from sessions to session, then the components matter less than the overall build quality.

Let’s get into some of the things to look for in connectors when shopping for cables.

What to Look for in a Connector

#1. Make Sure You’re Getting the Right Connector Types

First (and most importantly) you want to make sure you’re getting the right connectors for the equipment you want to hook up.

Some of the most common connectors for audio equipment include XLR, 1/4’’, RCA, and 3.5mm (often mistakenly called 1/8’’). These connectors all perform essentially the same function, although it’s good to know that RCA connectors can only be used for unbalanced connections.

If you need cables with mismatched connectors, that can be a challenge. Find a place with a lot of options will help you find what you need. You can always use our cable finder to find exactly what you’re looking for if you need a hand.

#2. Make Sure You’re Getting a Solid Build

The next thing to look for is solid build quality. Cheaply made connectors are more prone to fail. Some can introduce noise due to poor isolation, and it makes your cable microphonic – something you don’t want. If the solder points break down internally, it makes the cable unusable unless you can diagnose the problem and solder it yourself.

Make sure your cable connectors have solid solder points. This will make them more resistant to strain and wear and tear. Robust connectors have a better time handling the constant use of being on the road, some even having dedicated strain-relief components. They’ll also be able to withstand the elements better, especially changes in humidity.

Speaking of humidity, let’s talk about storage quickly.

Where you store your cables can have a huge effect on the durability of the connectors. Connectors stored in humid or ocean-coast climates are notorious for failure due to oxidation from the atmosphere. Also, wrapping your cables in the proper way can help ensure that the cable doesn’t break internally, and any fixes will be in the connector ends.

#3. Don’t Overthink It

Lastly, you really don’t have to overthink connectors. If you’re an audiophile, you can get into the detail on metal types and their effect on your sound. Often, these differences are inaudible to the untrained ear, so getting lost in the weeds when it comes to molecular properties and percentage of alloys is time better served towards more immediately consequential parts of creating sound.

Or, if you’re just looking for reliability in hooking up your gear, you can go with the more widely accepted industry standards and not think about it.

A good example is Neutrik and REAN connectors, which come with an industry-wide reputation for creating connectors that meet every demand. They are renowned for both their sonic transfer strength and reliable build quality. When in doubt, these connectors are a solid foundation to look out for.


To sum up, cable connector components do matter to an extent. You don’t want to use something that will break down after a lot of connecting and disconnecting. On top of that, you don’t want something that’s going to ruin your sound.

But finding the right connector doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are industry standards out there that are always solid options. Just make sure you’re getting the right connectors for your equipment and storing them properly.

Like everything in the music industry, you can go as deep as you want. There’s always the consideration of quality to cost, and how critical that is in your environment. The cables and connector types you might want in the studio for recording might not be the same ones you use on the road, or to practice in your bedroom.

No matter what you’re looking for, Hosa has connector components that will meet your needs. Check out our cable selection to see how we can connect your gear.

Cable Noise in Your Recording? 3 Biggest Causes in the Studio

Nothing ruins a good recording session like cable noise. In this post, we’ll discuss what causes cable noise in a studio environment, including ways to avoid or eliminate it.

Let’s get something straight. “Cable noise” isn’t actually noise made by cables.

Rather, it’s when a cable picks up interference – typified by an errant hum or buzz in the background of a recording – which then degrades the overall quality of signal, and thus sound, being transferred through the cable.

Cable noise is bad in any environment, but it’s kryptonite when recording. If the input signal isn’t as clean or transparent as possible, the resulting degradation in frequency or sound cannot be fixed. You can’t unmuffle something that lost all its detail or remove noise that was present when you recorded.

Interference can also cause issues during the mixing stage. If a recording is degraded due to cable noise, the producer won’t be able to hear the cues they need to do their job.

So, yeah, cable noise is an issue. But what actually causes it?

3 Biggest Causes of Cable Noise

Cable noise can be caused by many factors. But generally, there are three main buckets that all factors fall into. If you’re experiencing unwanted humming or buzzing in your recordings, these are the first things to check.

#1. Electrical Environment

Some studios have more electrical interference and ground hums than others. That can depend on a variety of factors including the wiring of the studio and the electronics present at the time of recording.

Ungrounded outlets can cause humming and overtones in a recording. If your studio only has two-pronged outlets, chances are you’ll need to get an electrician in to safely and properly rewire your outlets to ground.

Another environmental factor is the amount of electronic equipment in your studio. The more you have, the greater the risk of interference. Make sure your equipment is properly spaced, and that you only have what you need.

#2.  Shielding

Cables are usually made up of four layers – the inner, central core, a dielectric insulator, a metallic shield, and an outer jacket. All these layers are important, but if you want to get a handle on eliminating cable noise from your studio, start by looking at the shielding.

Proper shielding of your cables and electrical components in your studio can eliminate much of the unwanted humming and buzzing.

First, look for copper shielding over aluminum shielding. Next, look at the shielding type and the cable you’re buying. For mic and instrument cables, you’ll want to go with braided shielding. For interconnects between devices carrying line-level, you only need spiral shielding. The greater the percentage of coverage the better.

#3. Cable Type & Quality

The last factor concerns the type of cable being used – balanced or unbalanced – and the material quality of its parts.

Unbalanced cables carry an unbalanced signal using a signal wire and a ground wire. On the other hand, balanced cables carry a signal with a ground wire and two signal wires that are reversed in polarity, helping to cancel out noise as the signal travels down the wire.

Despite what the internet says, balanced cables aren’t inherently better than unbalanced. If they’re properly shielded, unbalanced cables can be used over a short distance in a studio setting. But if your studio is more spread out, balanced cables can help ensure the signal stays pure from point A to point B.

Once you’ve decided on the type of cable, you’ll also want to make sure those cables have high-quality connectors. You’re looking for something that’s durable and forms a clean connection that will last for years being plugged in repeatedly.


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to cable noise. Every studio space is unique. Each piece of equipment acts and reacts differently to its surroundings. High-quality, properly shielded cables can go a long way to fixing studio noise issues. But bad cables can do a lot to make the situation worse.

Regardless, a cable’s only job is to transfer signals as transparently as possible. If you’re experiencing cable noise, start with these factors to see what you can do to improve signal quality.

Looking for high quality studio cables? Check out our wide selection of studio-ready cables to get the cleanest sound you need.

- Hosa