Heil PR40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone Review

Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording MicThe Heil PR40 is a dynamic microphone that’s designed for use with kick drums, guitar cabs, vocals and much more. Given its extended low-end response and physical attributes, this model has a lot to offer in terms of sound and recording quality.

Most engineers are familiar with Heil but tend to steer clear of their products in a professional environment because their mics simply don’t offer the type of range and overall quality that’s essential when laying down tracks. But the PR40 received so much buzz and consumer feedback that we just had to dig a little deeper in order to find out if it has what it takes to make it, or if it’s just another mic to save as a backup.

Let’s find out.

PR40 Dynamic Mic Assessment and Features

This model by Heil covers 28kHz to 18kHz, offering a surprisingly wide frequency range for a dynamic mic. The PR40 is designed to easily handle very high SPLs, and yet still manages to sound very natural on vocals and instruments compared to most cardioid mics, most of which feature a noticeably colored sound because of the complex porting that’s needed in order to create the cardioid polar pattern. While the frequency response is very flat between the lower and upper roll off points, you’ll also find that there is the slightest hint of a bump from 3kHz to 5kHz. It will only amount to a couple of DB, but at the top end, it offers a sense of air.

The manufacturer’s approach to dynamic mics has always seemed to produce a tighter polar pattern with near perfect rear rejection. For the voice coil, aluminum is used and the large diameter dynamic capsule is mounted to a shock absorber in order to decouple it from the heavy steel body. An added humbucking coil works to reduce any interference from electronic devices in close proximity. The proximity bass boost has been minimized as much as possible for a pressure gradient model.

Heil Dynamic Mic Pros and Cons

Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording MicrophonePros: This high-performance dynamic mic produces a natural mid-range and a smooth response. The diaphragm’s size combined with an efficient ND FEB magnet structure and low mass, allows the mic to achieve a wider range while capturing high SPLs, which makes it the perfect mic for the kick drum as well. While Heil generally produces lower priced mics and gear, this is one that’s considered a steal for the price, due to its solid build and great, but not totally impressive sound.

You’ll find a total of four rear ports that work to reject off-axis noise, which results in tight, smooth cardioid pickup pattern. The steel internal humbucking coil shield and body make is safe for use near noisy lighting fixtures and video monitors.

This is an ideal model to use for voice over applications, due to the large dynamic element that offers an articulate and natural mid-range and smoother frequency response.

The low mass and large size of the microphone element are what works to give this mic that natural, deep sound.

This model features a couple of mesh screens in addition to an internal filter that keeps plosives and sibilance at a minimum.

The internal Sorbothane mount effectively reduces the effects of handling noise.

Users should keep in mind that they’ll need to use a higher quality preamp that’s capable of putting out at least 60DB of gain. Without the use of a good preamp, this mic won’t sound that great. Most buyers felt that the end address capsule offered great off-axis noise reduction.

Described as solidly built, this mic comes with a mount and hard case for added protection during transport.

Cons: While this microphone is not extremely sensitive to background noise, you’ll still want to use some type of acoustic treatment in your recording studio or home studio and you’ll need to keep your PC as quiet as possible. Some buyers described the built-in pop filter as pathetic, so if your intention is to use this mic for vocals, you’ll definitely need to buy a decent pop filter. While this model is designed for close micing, the bass tends to get a little overwhelming at times, especially with deeper vocals. Overall, it’s a decent microphone, but newbies should really do their research in order to ensure what this mic can and can’t do. If a dynamic mic simply can’t meet your recording needs, take a look at this studio quality condenser by Audio Technica. Basically, this mic by Heil doesn’t have what it takes to make it in a professional studio, but it might be exactly what the novice is looking for in terms of a decent sounding mic that’s both reliable and durable. While this mic may not be considered studio quality by the pros, it’s definitely a great mic to learn with. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to obtain that professional sound until you have a hardware compressor or audio plugin compressor that’s configured correctly.  This will allow you to get a clean level or that big boom sound for vocals.

Studio Quality Microphone Conclusion and Rating

Ultimately, whether or not this mic is right for you and your studio will all boil down to preference, although there are better mics out there that can offer an improved range and an overall smoother sound.

Heil is a brand that’s pretty well known in the recording industry for producing lower priced mics that just don’t quite meet the standards of most recording engineers, however, they do produce some decent mics at a lower price and the PR40 is one of them. While not a model you’d take to lay down serious tracks, this mic does have quite a bit to offer the newbie and it’s definitely a microphone that you’ll get a lot of use out of. Consumers who purchased Heil PR40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone gave it a generous rating of four out of five stars for overall quality and pricing.

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