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LED-lit chassis-mount XLR and ethernet connectors with improved packing density and EMC/ESD protection

The concept of Neutrik’s Halo Series is simple in its execution but effective as a game changer in studio and stage environments. By using a clear outer surface on their chassis-mount connectors, with the product designer integrating their own lighting and control systems, Neutrik’s patented ‘halo’ light ring allows end users to easily locate connectors and immediately see which ports are inputs or outputs. With clever design on the part of engineers, additional connection status events such as bad connections or phantom power can also be made visible, providing a better user experience. Making such visualisations is now easy using one or two SMD LEDs (provided by the designer) to the left and right of the connector on the circuit board. These connectors are designed for horizontal PCB mounting.

Neutrik’s Halo Series offers a forward-thinking alternative to light pipes, with improved visibility and easier design integration – there are no extra holes required, and the connectors use industry-standard mounting holes. In addition to these great visual design features, the large, asymmetrical non-metallic latch saves vertical space between connectors while remaining easy to operate. Its matte finish also eliminates disturbing light reflections when compared to metal tabs. The plastic housing minimises cost, but reliability is ensured with steel in all the right places. These connectors are made from compound materials for improved ESD performance in the punishing environment of the World’s biggest stages. For a tough life on the road, they can be mounted in chassis thicknesses up to 3 mm.

Neutrik’s Halo Series connectors are available in male and female 3- and 5-pin XLR variants, each using the smallest XLR receptacles for the highest packing density. An additional RJ45 (ethernet) version of this connector is available for pro-audio, video, and lightning network applications, though Neutrik makes it clear on their website that this does not intermate with their CAT6 cable connector NE8MC6-MO and NKE6S cables. 

Even if you’re new to the pro-audio game, it’s highly likely that you will have heard the name Neutrik when it comes to the most reliable, high-quality connectors, and that’s why I’m not going to do my usual run-off of electrical specs for these products; that is not where the innovation lies. There’s a rule many of my friends go by when it comes to buying new guitar cables: Cut off the stock jack and replace it with a Neutrik! Well, after seeing their latest offering at both EDS AND Electronica, I could no longer hold off on writing about this seemingly innocent innovation.

Keep designing!

(Images sourced from Neutrik)

Neutrik Halo Series Connector Sample

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