*PRODUCT REVIEW* The Fin by Heil Sound

logoI’ve reviewed a number of Heil Sound products in the past such as the Quiet Phones and the Heritage mic, with all products getting the unequivocal tick of approval!  This next Heil product titled The Fin is no different and is sure to capture your imagination, just as it did mine when I was first introduced to it by a mate of mine (Sam the Ham) who likes to incorporate a little bit of ‘funk’ into his shack by way of some pretty groovy radio gear.

The Fin is a high quality, live sound, commercial broadcast desk microphone suited for the professional Freeband or Ham shack suite and draws on the technological developments designed into the PR20 dynamic microphone used by many eleven metre band enthusiasts.


Like the Heil PR20, The Fin uses a proprietary magnate structure with a large 1 1/8″ aluminum low mass voice coil assembly.  With a frequency response of 60 to 18 kHz, output level at -55 dB @1000 Hz and its concise cardioid pickup pattern, The Fin is perfect for a wide variety of applications, including studio audio functions which appear to be the new ‘in-thing’ in Freeband communications.

Intriguingly, the Fin is outfitted with four blue L.E.D lamps mounted inside the art deco show chrome body of the microphone that can be activated from the phantom power supply of a mixer.  We used the Xenyx 802 by Behringer which forms part of Sam’s audio rack. According to him, L.E.D lamps give the mic a ‘Star Wars’ type quality during periods of shack darkness more likely seen in an Empire Space Station than in the precinct of a Freeband radio buff!

A blue moulded internal foam windscreen inside the grill enhances the looks and combines with a specially tooled Sorbothane shock mount, which combines shock absorption, vibration isolation and vibration damping characteristics to protect the mic element. If the Sci-fi type L.E.D. lamps don’t appeal, a switch on the underside of the mic turns the lamps off (or on!).


Sam and I tested The Fin by transmitting into a dummy load and listening through the same TX bandwidth in a nearby receiver with my Sennheiser HD280 Headphones.  To achieve maximum audio quality, we adjusted the DSP settings of Sam’s Yaesu FT 1000 transmitter to the following…

  • Menu #4-4 (TREDSP) 3
  • Menu #5-9 (TFIL) 6.0
  • Menu #7-7 (SSBT) 100-3100
  • Menu #8-9 (TLSB) -200
  • (PROCLSB) .08 + .06
  • (TUSB) -200
  • (PROCUSB) .08 – .06
  • 4 dB processing

Overall, we found the pattern control of the microphone to be outstanding.  This reduced the proximity effect and delivered unbelievable rear rejection which removed unwanted sounds seeking entry via the off axis rear.  Speech articulation was excellent also.  According to the spec sheet, this exceptional performance is achieved by using the ideal combination of materials for the large low mass diaphragm and a special mixture of neodymium, iron, and boron that gives The Fin the strongest magnet structure available.

Special attention appears to have been paid to the phasing plug assembly also with equally placed ports that sense audio from behind, entering them out of phase.

Additionally, the standard microphone stand threads allow The Fin to be mounted on booms or floor stands.  Note: Heil also sells a pretty impressive mic boom.  An aluminum case and polishing cloth was also supplied with the mic which retailed at $196 US + postage.


In conclusion, we found Heil’s new Fin microphone to be first class.  Not only is it consistent in performance quality with the company’s other studio mics and extremely well made, but it also adds a unique, visual element to the hobby.

More information on this fantastic product and others is available on the Heil site itself at http://www.heilsound.com/amateur/.

73 de Darren