*PRODUCT REVIEW* Heil PR40 Dynamic Microphone

The Heil PR40 Dynamic Microphone is one of 5 models in the fantastic PR series by audio giants Heil Sound… along with the PR20, PR30, PR780 and new PR781 which was built to complement the new ICOM rig.

If you ask me, all are ‘dynamic’ microphones not just in make – but also in quality and performance!

Judging by pics I’ve seen on ‘Shack Pix’, the PR40 is similar in appearance to the PR30 and, prior to the release of the PR781, represented the top of the line in this range of mics.

In essence, this is one of the reasons why I elected to purchase one direct from Heil Sound in the States in the first place.

I also wanted to compare the audio of my Behringer B1 condenser mic with a high quality dynamic one and so quash a bit of the lingering uncertainty I had around the issue of which is best suited to radio communications applications.

After purchasing the unit online, the package arrived on my doorstep in just under 2 weeks.

On this note, in all the reviews I’ve read of Heil products over the years, I can never recall any complaints or problems with postage from this company.

That’s a fair effort in itself and I wasn’t disappointed this time either.

The first thing I noticed when I sliced open the thick cardboard box with a stanley knife and pulled back the bubble wrap was the sleek aluminium carry case.

Not only did it appeal visually, but it also had me feeling confident the unit had not suffered any internal injuries on its voyage across the Pacific to Division 43.

In addition to an amazing carry case which seems a crime to keep locked away in a cupboard, the mic also came with the useful SM-3 mic clip, which includes a Teflon bushing that tightens around the shaft of the mic using a thumbscrew.

Since purchasing the mic for $350 US about a month ago, I’ve been using it with a Behringer Ultragraph Digital Model DEQ1024 and a Behringer Tube Composer T1952, together with an iBox by W2IHY into a Kenwood TS-2000.

The Behringer B1 mic which usually adorns the top of my Hercules mic stand has been put in the bottom drawer.

Obviously, the dynamic quality of this mic negates the need for an invisible mic preamp/external power source also so the Behringer Eurorack UB1002FX is with it…gathering dust for the time being.

By all reports, the PR 40’s components are made in the UK, Malaysia, Japan, China and Taiwan, and then shipped to the U.S. for final assembly and testing.

While on the subject of components, the humbucking copper voice coil which is a highlight of this mic has a centre tap (connected to ground) and uses a neodymium magnet structure for a magnetic field which is apparently 10 times stronger than the traditional magnets in many other mics.

Humbucking allows this mic to work perfectly around computer monitors and high-RF (radio frequency) energy fields that are common in radio shacks.


I believe that good TX audio helps a great deal in inferior band conditions.

For deciphering a signal out of the noise, there’s no doubt that some compression intermixed with high frequency pre-emphasis helps, but before you get to that point, where the signal is merely weak, good TX audio tends to beat the compressed, very restricted range TX audio for ineligibility any day of the week, and so achieves the desired result.

First, I ran the PR40 plugged directly into the TS-2000 with TX DSP HI BOOST, mic gain 80 and 3KHZ band width settings. 

Here, I noted heavy bass with little top end but tidied it up with some more compression via my rig’s menu features.

The end result was a great sounding hi-fi audio with a beautiful low end and comfy mids, ideal for local radio communications, but probably not as brilliant for SSB DXing in the current climate.

What I also noted during this test was that, even with its extended low range, the PR40 has a noticeable lack of boominess.  This is a good thing.

I’ve read that this is due to the reduction of the proximity effect, despite the PR40’s having a supercardioid pattern, which normally generates an artificial-sounding low-frequency boost when a mic is placed too close to a sound source (i.e. your mouth).

Next, I linked the PR40 with my audio rack and straightaway I was surprised with how painless the mic was to equalize.

In fact, it only took me a few minutes before I had brought up the top end and had everything sounding superbly for SSB DXing thanks to the TS-2000’s monitor feature and some friendly audio reports from some of the Delta-Alfa members on the Kiribati Islands.

For the information of readers, the PR40 uses the DM 6 dynamic element with a 1.25-inch diaphragm, in a housing that weighs just under a pound, for a response down to 28 Hz (-3dB point) and flat up through 18 kHz (-3 dB).

This means it is a wider range than your average dynamic mics. 

Fortunately, an end-fire, low-mass, quilted aluminium diaphragm gives the PR40 excellent low-frequency response and low distortion throughout this wide frequency range also.

There’s also a broad 3dB peak in the 4 to 5kHz region which accounts for this mic’s forward but not nasal sound and, being quite a nasally speaker myself, this feature impressed me greatly.

Yes it maintains the 25 year Heil Sound tradition of superbly natural voice articulation but I still liken it to a subtle ‘makeover’ of the voice box!

In my opinion, the PR40 has the gain of most condenser mics also. 

It also has a beautiful low end while maintaining a crisp and clear 3kz range, with a beautiful mid-range rise which adds to the mic’s vocal expression.

On this point, in my opinion, it also surpasses many of the condenser models that have recently flooded the ham market from China and Taiwan from some of the renowned radio communications manufacturers Yaesu and ICOM.


In conclusion, my lasting impression of the PR40 by Heil Sound is that it sounds a lot like my favourite large-diaphragm dynamic mics but with an unrivaled presence and clarity that only a Heil mic can provide.

With its rugged build, wide frequency response, and reasonable price, the Heil PR40 Dynamic Microphone is a perfect alternative for anyone looking to expand their dynamic mic collection.

Stunning craftsmanship, high quality components and a fine-looking champagne luster finish with the most articulate, natural sound from a dynamic, the PR40 will soon become the sound industry standard.

In fact, I feel certain this microphone will find its way into many radio shacks in the future if it hasn’t already.


  • Generating Element: Dynamic with Neodymium magnet structure
  • Body: matte Steel body, zinc die cast bottom ring
  • Frequency Response: 28 to 18,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
  • Connections: Pin 1 Shield ground, Pin 2 + , Pin 3 –
  • Output Level: -53dB @ 1,000 Hz
  • Polar Pattern: End fire, Cardioid, uniform front to back discrimination
  • Diaphragm: low-mass quilted aluminium
  • Finish: Anodized champagne matte
  • Net Weight: 15 oz
  • Built to Last