The PR40 dynamic cardioid studio mic by Heil is designed for vocals and instruments, providing that type of rich crystal clarity that can make vocals pop and acoustics shine. It’s a little steep in terms of price, but if you’re looking for a mic that’s versatile and one you can use for a wide range of vocal styles and instruments, then this is the mic that can deliver.
Our Verdict: The PR40 is a mic to be reckoned with. It may not be as powerful as some competing higher priced models out there, but it does offer an impressive range, better than average sound quality, and plenty of possibilities in terms of recording options. This mic will work for all types of vocal styles, and can also be used for micing instruments. While it’s not the top-selling dynamic mic, in this price range, it should be. I’d recommend this model for both amateur and pro use.
Overview and Features
In terms of recording and sound quality, this model has plenty to offer thanks to its physical attributes and low-end response. This mic covers 28khz to 18khz, providing an impressively wide frequency range, making it a great choice for the vocalist who’s learning how to sing higher and add more power to their vocals. This model is designed to handle very high SPLs, easily. It can also sound incredibly natural for both instruments and vocals, compared to other models in this price range. Many of the mic’s features are noticeably colored due to its complex porting which is necessary to create the polar pattern. Between the upper and lower roll off points, the frequency response is pretty flat, however, you’ll also find that there’s a slight bump between 3-5 kHz, but this only amounts to a couple of decibels.
Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Models in this price range don’t usually have much to offer in terms of tonal quality or versatility, but that’s where this model differs.
Heil has a tendency to create mics that produce a much tighter polar pattern that results in almost perfect rear rejection. Aluminum is used for the voice coil. The dynamic capsule is large in diameter and is mounted to a shock absorber, which allows it to decouple from the heavy-duty steel body. The addition of a humbucking coil helps to reduce interference that can occur from any type of electronic device in the environment. For a model that’s pressure gradient, the proximity bass boost has been minimized significantly.
Due to the large dynamic element, this is the best vocal microphone for any type of voice over application. The large dynamic element offers a natural and more articulate mid-range, which results in a smoother frequency response. The large size and low mass of the mic are what works to give it its deep, natural sound.
The addition of two mesh screens and an internal filter work to keep sibilance and plosives to a minimum. In order to effectively reduce the effects of handling noise, the manufacturer has included an internal sorbothane. Keep in mind, to use this model, you’ll need to have a preamp that’s high-quality and able to put out a minimum of sixty decibels of gain. If you don’t have a decent preamp then this microphone isn’t going to sound very good.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Smooth response
- Natural mid-range
- Mic can achieve a wider range while also capturing high SPLs
- The four rear ports reject off-axis noise
- Internal humbucking coil minimizes interference caused by other electronics
- Perfect for instruments and vocals
- Built-in pop filter is poor quality
PR40 Vs. Shure 55SH Series II Dynamic Microphone
The PR40 as some seriously steep competition in the form of the Shure 55SH Series ll dynamic mic. This is a model that’s been used on stage by some of the greatest performers of all time, which is what makes it one iconic mic. It has still retained that vintage look but it also comes equipped with modern acoustic components, which is what allows it to remain one of the greatest mics to date. So, how does it measure up to this dynamic mic? In reality, there really is no competition here, the 55SH is the clear winner. It offers bigger, clearer, better sound, but for some, the price will be the biggest hurdle and possibly a deal-breaker. For the musician or vocalist on a budget, saving up for the 55SH will definitely be worth it in the long run, especially if you’re in need of a solid studio-quality mic. However, if you’re in the market for a reliable dynamic mic that’s more budget-friendly, then this model by Heil is the way to go.
Conclusion and Rating
Heil is a company that’s been around for years and by creating some of the best-selling studio-quality mics on the market, it’s clear that they’re a company that’s here to stay. This may not be the most impressive dynamic mic on the market. It does struggle in certain areas, however, for the most part, you’ll find that it offers the type of performance you need in the studio.
Whether or not the PR40 is right for you and your recording setup will really be a matter of personal preference, although there are definitely better mics out there, if you’re willing to pay the price. This model may have its flaws, especially when it comes to the built-in pop filter, which definitely falls flat, however, I still feel that this model is a steal for the price, so I gave it a rating of four and a half stars out of five.