Microphones- Heil HM-10XD, Heil PR20 & Behringer XM8500

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N8FVJ, Oct 11, 2019.

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  1. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The microphone can have a large impact on your voice sound during transmitting. Three common microphones is the Heil HM-10XD, Heil PR20 and the Behringer XM8500. The Heil PR20 and Behringer XM8500 are full range PRO audio microphones and the Heil HM-10XD is a dual element (wide & narrow response) specifically designed for ham radio. The Heil HM-12 is the single wide element only version of the HM-10XD. I find new HM-12 on eBay, not sure if current production.

    The HM-10XD is about $140, Heil PR20 about $100, Heil HM-12 about $75 and the Behringer XM8500 about $25. The Behringer is good sounding I prefer it to the more expensive Shure SM57 or SM58.

    So, which microphone is best for you? It depends to a degree upon your voice. A voice with lots of bass and soft midrange can benefit with the Heil HM-10XD or Heil HM-12. Neither mic will have a strong bass response, but will boost the midrange for clarity. Bass is flat (normal dB rated) at 300Hz although lower frequencies will be heard. The HM-10XD also has a DX element with 600Hz bass. Not good sounding for casual rag chew roundtables, but provides extra midrange clarity 'punch' to work (contact) weak DX stations. For my voice with little bass and strong midrange neither the HM-10XD or HM-12 is well suited for me.

    The Heil PR20 is a PRO audio full range microphone with bass starting at 50Hz and a very clear high articulated midrange. The midrange is not boosted, just very clear. The bass has a slight boost and strongest at 100-200Hz. This mic suits my voice very well. It is very attractive, best appearance of the four microphones. It just looks very high quality.

    The Belringer XM8500 deserves mention. As previously stated I think it sounds better for radio communications than the somewhat soft sounding Shure SM57 & SM58 microphones. It produces a clearer midrange vs the Shure and has same good bass response of the Shure. It does not produce the same midrange clarity and slight bass boost of the Heil PR20, but never the less a very good sounding microphone as used on Ham transceivers. For $25, it is unbeatable performance. Behringer got this product very right.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  2. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    BTW- you can hear all the microphones on Youtube, A headset would be best.
  3. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Told you so. I've been using the XM8500 for years. Hundreds of unsolicited compliments on the audio can't be wrong.
  4. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    BTW- I bought an audio equalizer. Reports on the air prefers the PR20 with 6db boost at 1100 to 3100 Hz. The PR20 has a flat vs boosted high frequency response of most Ham radio based aftermarket microphones. If you have a deep bass voice, the Heil HM 10, HM 20 and Heil Goldline microphones may be better for you vs the PR20. The HC-10 & Goldline microphones are available with dual elements for DX and rag chewing vs the single rag chew element HM-12.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019

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