On the surface, the Heil Sound PR40 looks and acts like a condenser microphone. A throwback to the golden age of radio broadcasting, the Heil takes all the best bits of days gone and condenses them into a modern dynamic microphone ideal for today's podcasters.
Professionals, industry experts, and audiophiles have already crowned the Heil Sound PR40 one of the best microphones around. Whether that's true or not is for you to decide...
Premium Price for a Professional Microphone
Addressing the elephant in the room, the Heil Sound PR40 is not cheap. For $329 / £349 you expect nothing but the very best. Aimed at professionals, the PR40 doesn't fail to deliver. Right off-the-bat you'll get a nice warm sound found in dynamic mics, but with all the clarity of a condenser.
Most microphones have a major problem: self-noise. Often sounding like a far away generator humming away, low-hums like this are the byproduct of a microphone's frequency range. The Heil Sound PR40 has low self-noise, so there's very little background fussiness which leaves you with clearer audio.
Designed for use with spoken word, bass instruments, and guitar cabs, the PR40 is considered a versatile microphone. Audio-wise the response feels flat, but not dull and offers a rich low-end sound for a dynamic microphone.
Like most powerful microphones, the PR40 requires 40dB of gain to get to line level. Without a power boost, audio is quiet. Most modern mixers like the Rodecaster Pro and audio interfaces like the Scarlett 2i4 offer that and more to reduce post-production time.
Perfect for Sound-Treated Rooms
Microphones are built for purpose. Take the very popular Blue Yeti. Small close space environments with an untreated room are were this mic works best, that's why bedroom YouTubers, vloggers, and podcasters favour this over others. Microphones like the Heil Sound PR40 are more sensitive and need a sound-treated room to stop unwanted noises being picked up.
Although the PR40 isn't designed for noisy environments, recording in a busy cafe proved less challenging than previously thought.
But that's not what the PR40 is designed for. It's like buying a sports car for a daily commute. The job gets done, but it's overkill. To get the best quality, professional environments like sound-treated rooms, or sound-proofed rooms like the one used to test the Heil Sound PR40 below, work best.
Not everyone has a professional space to record. If you're looking to get the best microphone, but don't have a dedicated room with sound-proofed walls then the Heil Sound PR40 might be overkill. The Rode Procaster or Podcaster gives similar results for a cheaper price.
Heil Sound PR40: Final Thoughts
The Heil Sound PR40 packs a punch. With an impressive frequency range, it's perfect for both vocals and music. Although it looks and acts like a condenser microphone, it's very much a dynamic mic at heart.
Not ideal for every situation, the PR40 works best in professionally sound-treated rooms like studios and sound-booths. Recording in busy places like coffee shops do fair well, but expect ambient noise and background chatter to creep in.
Compared to others on the market, the Heil Sound PR40 is slightly more affordable. Premium mics like the Shure SM7B and Beyerdynamic M99 do the same job, but for a higher price. The PR40 should be everyone's go-to mic for those looking for the best sound they can get.
- Top-Quality: A good all-rounder ideal for professional setups and most recording environments.
- Saves Time: Audio sounds clear without the need for spending time post-production editing.
- Multi-Mic Setup: Dynamic top-down mic perfect for honing in on one voice without picking up others.