I get asked frequently what microphone I use. In fact, I hear this: “WOW you sound AMAZING/AWESOME/INCREDIBLE/<insert favorite adjective>! What microphone do you use?” Gee… and I thought my voice and vocal training had something to do with it… but alas…
Here’s a review to answer your question! Now, before I go any further, I want to preface with two things:
- These are my opinions based on my experiences. I know some of you have strong opinions on which microphones to use and so I invite you to share your experiences in the comments below as we can all learn from each other so we can sound the best possible!
- While there are good mics and bad mics, we have to remember that not all VOICES are created equal and, therefore, it’s essential to understand which microphone YOUR voice will sound the best on before making a decision.
Here is my Reader’s Digest recap of the Heil PR 40:
- It sounds fantastic
- It’s the most forgiving mic from a “sweet spot” perspective that I’ve experienced
- It sounds very similar, if not as good, as most professional radio station mics for quite a bit less money
- It does look cool… I know that’s not the reason for purchasing a mic but hey… I gotta be honest… it looks AWESOME. :)
Now for the details.
It sounds fantastic
It really does. I love the way the Heil makes me sound. I first used the Heil with a radio station I programmed. The Heil made each of us sound so much more professional than any of the other mics we had go through the station.
On the other hand, a friend/colleague of mine brought up the point of how each person’s voice sounds with different mics. He has a unique voice because, although he sounded awesome on the Heil, he sounded even better on this 1970’s mic without a brand name that smelled like must, beer, funk, and classic rock. Honestly, he rocked that mic like no one else could. He even uses a Blue mic now and sounds incredible on it. But that’s HIS voice.
I’ll argue that some people will sound better on some mics but most people sound awesome on the Heil.
The Heil PR 40 is also very forgiving
Many mics have this nice little sweet spot that’s so small, if you’re not eating the grill, you ain’t sounding great. I had this problem so many times with co-hosts. They weren’t trained on proper microphone technique.
The Heil, in my experience, has one of the most forgiving sweet spots for hosts who may not have as much technique behind the mic.
The Heil costs less than other professional mics with similar or even equal quality
I’ve used the Electro-Voice RE20 and the Shure SM7B that many radio stations use. Phenomenal mics but you have to know microphone technique and know how to set those mics up with the proper additional equipment. Sure, you could probably get by with just using one of those mics without additional equipment, but I found the Heil to sound as good as the other professional mics and it cost me less money and time to get running.
I have hosted shows with co-hosts who used a Shure SM58, ATR2100, Blue, etc. I’ll say this – they all sounded fine. It really comes down to what fits you and your voice the best. The ATR2100 is a fine mic for a budget. It costs the least of all of the mics I’ve talked about and does a great job. The Shure SM58, while designed for singers, is still a fantastic mic. The Blue, although I’ve heard controversy on these mics, can be a great mic if it fits your voice well.
I recommend the Heil PR 40. I love it. It’s worked amazingly well for me and for the co-hosts I’ve worked with. Just the fact that people ask me what mic I use because I supposedly sound “good” to them shows me that the mic also comes across as very professional and excellent to the listener. It’s a worth-while investment but make sure to see which mic fits your voice, your budget, and your current needs!