XLR connectors

All created equal?  Plenty of options for single ended   Any appreciable, affordable upgrades?
Xshadow and EIZZ connectors are very good. Furutech and ETI XLR are also among the best today. 

Neutrik is my go-to, and they have silver pins in some models, perfect for 100% silver conductor cables.
If your equipment supports the Balanced AES standard, then neither cables or XLR connectors are going to be contributing anything significant sonically.
Provide good clean/tight connections and you should be good to go.
I agree with erik & bob! Also, unless you plan on replacing the chassis connectors on your electronics, it would seem pointless to plug a $100 xlr cable connector into the $4 Neutrik on your device.
I’ve used Neutrik, Oyaide, EIZZ, and Bocchino XLRs. EIZZ and Bocchino sound best, probably due to their solderless compression fittings.

BTW, my Atmasphere MP-1 preamp supports the Balanced AES standard, and better XLRs do make an improvement.
Neutrik is good as they are extremely cheap (like around $10 or even less).  However, they are very thin hollow metal conductors.  They are very good resolution for being a gold-plated conductor, but they have a bit of dry glare (due to low mass hollow conductors).

Furutech gold-plating is very nice and full, but warm with rolled off highs.

Furutech rhodium is the absolute best in my opinion.  Extreme amount of resolution, deep tight bass.  However, very expensive.
Thanks for tips.  I should have mentioned these are for a pair of Odyssey Kismets.  Not a true balanced design. XLR just jump off the Single ended inputs 
thanks again
My systems have been deferentially balanced for > 10 years.  I have tried at least 4 different cable manufacturers: they all sound different.

I much prefer WireWorld Eclipse series or better

I can’t recommend James Schmitt at Schmitt Custom Audio Cables enough. I have several Interconnects from him including the XLR pair I use for my Amp / Preamp connection. His prices are very reasonable for the level of quality you get. I personally use his Interconnects made with vintage Western Electric Wire from the 40’s and 50’s. Such a nice sound they help produce. Of course there are options for just about every preference. Here’s some links:


I design and manufacture cables. At the moment my favorites are  Neutrik and Oyaide. The Bocchino's are expensive and often difficult to work with, but they can sound really great. Furutec makes really great power connectors, but I shy away from the XLR's. Interestingly enough not all Neutrik connectors are available for retail purchase (or easily found). Be careful where you purchase connectors, there are a lot of counterfeit connectors.
I bought my XLR cables from EBay. I have tried several of their cables. They are from their older lines but they all did well in my system. Diamond Back, Red River, Columbia, and a silver version Mackenzie. I really like the Diamond Back which is the cheapest. I hated the Red River. Too much of a tin can sound. Mackenzie was good, but too bright and Columbia is my favorite but very expensive. I have a fully differential system. Regardless off it being XLR it does color the system sonically. If I ever get a YouTube channel going I will prove it. Diamond Back is about 125 for a two meter pair on EBay. 
The Vampire ones are a best bang for the buck xlr connector. Very high quality. 
I have 4 different brands of balanced cables, all with different looking connectors. I can't hear a difference in any of them.
Along with the good advice by those who have posted a comment  here, Chris at VH Audio will be very helpful for your XLR needs.
I recommend reading up on the Audioquest line of connecting cables.  They do a lot of R&D on the type of materials for the underlying metal and in the platting process.  They also do a lot of R&D on insulation type, grounding materials, and noise dissipation.  It's the noise dissipation that will provide the most sonic improvement for your system.  Audioquest makes a number of models that are not terribly expensive.  Of course, they offer a number of models that also approach stratosphere price points.  I have been using their line of products for more than 30 years, since the company was very young, and have always found them to be superior in so many ways, especially sonically.  I have always bought new product but you can easily find them used, on eBay, for about 50% (plus or minus, depending on age or demand) less than the price of new.
Good luck.  No matter which you settle on, do enjoy the music.
AQ makes good cables. I used to have their Diamond usb cable which at the time was the best usb cable you can but, this was probably 5 or 6 years ago. The last time I listened to various AQ cables, I would start with the Colorado version and go up from their (these are no longer made but I think the new model might be the Earth or Wind). The cables below Colorado had too many flaws for my tastes
With longer runs for interconnects, XLR definitely is better.  With my 18" wiring, I hear no difference when I switch from one to the other.  The XLR will stay plugged in, but I sent and amp module back for repair, and it was good.  I had a bad XLR adapter (Different amp)  from guess who, Radio Shack.   
For the money, and you have to spend a lot to maybe get better is Neutrik and one I don’t think has been mentioned yet, but used a lot in the pro world is Switchcraft. A lot of well known cable manufacturers and probably in our kits use these jacks. Very well made and made to take abuse way beyond what anyone will see in their home, hopefully.
I have Furutech xlr on my dac as well as integrated amp 
and I am using the 601,602gold over very high a copper content phosphor bronze Cryo treated  and very nicely made .
Buy some Neutrik connectors and DIY wire with some MIC cables.
and DIY wire with some MIC cables.
Or buy some ready made:
Neutrik (Swiss nade) are the best on the market, inexpensive and widely used by the Pro.

Well, I just bought a set of AQ Yukon's at the recommendation of my dealer Audioconnection.
I haven't connected them yet, but when John recommends something, it always works out for the better.