The XLR connector was invented by James H. Cannon, founder of Cannon Electric in Los Angeles, California (now part of ITT Corporation), and for this reason it was sometimes colloquially known as a Cannon plug or Cannon connector. Originally manufactured as the Cannon X series, by 1950 a locking mechanism was added (Cannon XL) and by 1955 a version surrounding the female contacts with a synthetic rubber polychloroprene insulation using the part number prefix XLR. There was also an XLP series which used a hard plastic insulation, but was otherwise the same. ITT Cannon originally manufactured XLR connectors in two locations Kanagawa, Japan and Melbourne, Australia. The Australian operation was sold to Alcatel Components in 1992 and then acquired by Amphenol in 1998. ITT Cannon continues to manufacture XLR connectors in Japan.
The Switchcraft corporation later started manufacturing compatible connectors, followed by Neutrik. Neutrik made a number of improvements to the connector and its second-generation design (known as the X-series) had just four parts for the cable connector and eliminated the small screws used by both Cannon and Switchcraft, which were prone to working loose, falling out and becoming lost.
London Sound Recordist
I am a London Sound Recordist and Sound Editor for many types of projects around the film genres. This covers creative content right through to feature films. I am passionate about sharing my journey and knowledge to help the rest of the community. If you need anything from me, feel free to get in touch with me at London Sound Recordist.