A great voice or sound can be made to sound even better with the right kind of mic.
With condenser mics dominating the recording studios, you will be surprised to find a dynamic mic such as the Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone that can be used for a variety of applications including studio recording, live sound and radio broadcasts.
With a 25 year old history to its credit, Heil PR40 is a familiar name in the world of sound.
In fact even if you are not into microphones and audio equipment, you might vaguely remember seeing it on one of those netcasts.
The Heil PR 40 is a high performance dynamic microphone that comes with a large dynamic element and a steel body.
Its magnet structure and the dynamic element combine together to give you a superior performance in a wide range of frequencies and work equally well with high SPLs (Sound pressure levels). The history of Heil PR40.
Read on as we tease the capabilities of this microphone in our review below.
Best features of Heil PR40
Here is a feature by feature analysis which will show you that the PR 40 is as fine as a ‘thorough-bred horse’ when it comes to sound recording and reinforcement.
- Dynamic microphone
Being a dynamic microphone, the PR-40 has a rugged construction and can be used even with high sound levels without overloading. It performs well no matter what the temperature or the humidity conditions giving you total peace of mind. This is the just the one for all your general sound reinforcement requirements.
- Cardioid pick up
There are 4 rear ports that help to reject axis-noise and give a crisp cardioid pickup pattern.
The PR40 has a crisp output similar to a condenser microphone and can be used to record even poor sound sources. It has also been designed to handle high SPLs and it has a good peak SPL limit of 148 dB. With a range this wide, it’s no wonder that it is such an excellent multi-purpose microphone.
- Best Voice-over microphone
The microphone has a large dynamic element that works well with the frequencies of the talking voice. Due to this reason, it is widely used and is preferred for many voice-over applications.
At first sight the Heil PR40 comes across as a side-address condenser microphone that comes with large diaphragms. But in reality, it is a dynamic microphone and despite its large size, it is much lighter weighing less than 1 lb.
- Frequency range
The PR-40 not only produces bright sound, but due to its wide frequency range of 28 Hz to 18KHz, it picks up even low frequencies very well and hence performs extremely well when used with a base kick drum.
- Shock Mount
One of the best features of the PR40 is its shock mount system. The internal Sorbothane shock mount effectively detaches the heavy steel body of the microphone and the internal microphone elements to reduce noise that arises when handling the microphone.
- No popping
When you use the PR40, you will experience a pop-free transmission of the voice. This is because it has dual mesh screens with different aperture diameter that cuts out the popping. But the real part that does the job is the internal breath blast filter that sits on the diaphragm.
The microphone has a rugged built with an all metal casing and a smooth finish. It is also heavy enough to withstand frequent handling. No factory drop tests but some users, who have had accidental ones, vouch for its sturdiness as it has even survived some nasty falls.
The outer body of the microphone is made of heavy steel and this together with the internal humbucking coil protects the microphone elements and makes it safe to be used around video monitors and noisy lighting fixtures.
A great product that is crafted with quality in mind can be gauged by its warranty. The PR-40 and all Heil microphones for that matter come with a three year warranty for parts and a ninety days warranty for labor.
- Positive customer reviews
An easy way to find out if the PR40 is a great microphone is to read actual customer reviews, but we further simplify your microphone hunt by doing that part on your behalf. The PR40 has extremely satisfied customers who vouch for its all-round capabilities. Users on the Amazon website have given it a 4.4 star rating out of a possible 5.
Download the Accessories sheet: [PDF]Heil Sound
No review is complete without going in to the negative points of a product.
Though some drawbacks of the PR40 mentioned below might seem more of a nice-to have feature than anything else, it could be a deal breaker to some.
- No USB – The PR40 is an XLR model so if you want to connect it to a mixer or to your computer, you will need to purchase an XLR to USB interface separately.
- No XLR cable – The microphone does not come with a XLR cable in the box to be connected to your sound equipment.
- No headphone jack – It is much easier to monitor when your microphone comes with a headphone jack but the PR40 does not come with one.
- Pricey – The PR40 comes with a price tag that is higher for a dynamic microphone but its capacities far outweigh the price factor giving you more value for your money.
Advantages over competition
Let us see how the PR-40 compares against other similar microphones in the market.
Heil PR-40 versus Electro voice RE-20
The PR-40 has a smaller price point than the RE20 and has almost replaced the latter with its superior performance. Compared to the RE20, the PR-40 is quieter and gives a smooth output in the low-mid and top end frequencies.
Though both the microphones use foam to control popping sound, the RE-20 has three pieces of foam that easily wears out over time compared to the foam windscreen in the PR40.
Plus the price of the foam in the PR40 is not incredibly high like the RE20 that cost a good $200 dollars and is also user-replaceable.
Heil PR-40 versus Shure SM7
The Shure SM7, like the Heil PR-40 is great to be used for low frequency instruments like the base kick drum and bass amp, but it needs a lot of gain whereas the PR40 needs less gain.
Also, the Shure SM7 is great for a wide range of applications like the Heil PR-40, but when you add more tracks you will find that the SM7 will need a lot of EQ work to be done.
The PR-40 is also great for live music gigs as it produces a more airy sound than the SM7 for vocals.
All in all the PR40 fares better than the SM7 in many aspects.
If you are confused about choosing between a condenser and a dynamic microphone, you can simply pick up a Heil PR40 as it combines the power of a condenser microphone and the simplicity of a dynamic microphone in one and lets you enjoy the best of both worlds.
Whether it is at-home sound recording that you want to do or use it for professional studio recording or for live audio requirements or for using with on-stage musical instruments, the PR-40 will fascinate you with its all-round performance. Our TOP 5 Most recommended Vocal Mics list!
Why buy separate microphones for different applications or spend your money on expensive condenser microphones when you can get the power of both condensers and dynamic microphones in one. When you get so many features in one microphone and that too at an unbelievably low price, there is no need to think twice.