Home Microphone Comparisons Heil PR40 vs. PR30 | DIFFERENT USES!

Heil PR40 vs. PR30 | DIFFERENT USES!

by Stuart Charles Black

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Updated 2/9/19

  • 1,298 word post, approx. 8 min read.

Aloha friend and Welcome!!

Before we dive right into the Heil PR40 vs. PR30, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

I will outline the PR40, compare it to the PR30, and then give a recommendation in my Final Word 🙂 A rundown:

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Video Review
  6. Who this mic benefits?
  7. What you will need?
  8. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  9. Consensus/Conclusion
  10. Similarities & Differences
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Heil PR40

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check eBay!
  • Frequency Response: 28Hz – 18kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid. What is cardioid capsule?
  • Impedance: 600 Ohms balanced
  • Max SPL: 145 dB
  • Weight: 383g (2 lbs.)
  • Length: 170mm
  • Max Diameter: 52mm
  • Interface: 3-pin XLR male
  • Output Level: -53.9dB @ 1000 Hz

Summary

The Heil PR40 is a dynamic broadcast pro that excels primarily in voice-over applications. It’s been referred to as the Gold Standard for pod-casting and is build rock-solid while also being very flat and neutral. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic. It doesn’t require much EQ’ing, and putting it set to flat will do the trick in most instances. It doesn’t need phantom power, but a good mic preamp with around 55-60 dB of clean gain is a must. Preamp vs. Interface.

Pros

  • Broadcast ready sound, with an extended low-frequency response.
  • Extremely warm, intimate sound. Clear and articulate representation of your voice.
  • Superbly flat frequency response.
  • Easy to EQ with.
  • Bright and rich like a condenser, but controlled and soft like a dynamic.
  • End fire pattern rejects side and rear noise. Excellent noise reduction overall.
  • Nice foam/plush/leather case.
  • Built rugged, with a beautiful and flawless finish. It’s heavy, with everything being metal.
  • Comes with a clamp that has an adapter that screws in to allow the clamp to be used on different sized stands and boom arms.
  • Amazing timbre. What is Timbre?

Cons

  • XLR jack on the mic is a bit tight.

Check out the video review!

What you will need?

  • A Preamp with 58 dB of gain, or a cloud lifter + interface. More on that in a jiffy.
  • Good compression (either a hardware compressor or a software plugin).
  • Heil broadcast boom and mounting piece, suspended shock-mount, and a pop-filter (Popless VAC-PR40). The Electrovoice 309a Shockmount & OC White desk-mounted boom are also solid and should be considered.
  • Acoustic Sound Treatment. It is important to note that this mic does a great job of rejecting room noise, but Acoustic Sound Treatment never hurts!

What people are using?

  • Focusrite Saffire Pro 24DSP.
  • Great match with the Steinberg UR22.
  • Focusrite Solo.
  • Symetrix 528E Processor.
  • The Shure X2U XLR to USB adapter works well and provides a mic control and headphone jack.
  • Alesis Mictube solo with 65dB of gain & +5dB drive with XLR to XLR

What do I recommend?

As with the SM7B, I would go with a cloud-lifter because it’s more affordable, and you can bypass having to buy an expensive Preamp.

So in a nutshell:

Steinberg UR22 + Cloudlifter + PR40. This ensures that you get that extra 25dB of gain (provided by the lifter) in order to effectively and properly amplify the mic.

Also remember:

  • XLR cable(s)
  • Pop-filter
  • Shock-mount

Note: In my Shure SM7B review, I also recommend the Cloudlifter. Which mike you go with entirely depends on your intended use. More on that in my Final Word.

Who this mic benefits?

Endorsed for all of the following:

  • Audiobook
  • Podcasting
  • Voiceover
  • Ham Radio
  • VOIP applications
  • Narration
  • Screen recordings
  • Youtube
  • Skype
  • Kick Drums due to that deeper low-end response.
  • Lectures
  • Female voices
  • Live vocals

Not as good for:

  • Recording music.
  • All around recording.

To Note:

There were some reviews that mentioned its effectiveness with instruments; namely Bass, Didgeridoo, and Kick Drums. Please don’t buy it solely for these purposes, however.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • True dynamic mic. Does not need phantom power.
  • End fire pattern that rejects off-axis noise. This makes it perfect for podcasting and broadcasting.
  • Use the low-frequency gain knob and the HF knob as well. The mic may become a tad bright but both of these methods should do the trick in taming it down.
  • Sounds great with EQ set to flat
  • The PR40 has a slightly “scooped” mid-range that may take the nasal “honk” and stuffiness out of your voice.
  • The Proximity effect is good. Anything more than 6 inches away from the mouth starts to sound thin. The sweet-spot here is around 2-4 inches. You can also put your lips right on the grill and the proximity effect is still controlled. It never becomes too thick or muddy.
  • You may want to mess around with an expander/compressor/limiter/gate to go with the mic, in order to fine-tune the sound.
  • The main draw of this microphone is that it is designed to record only the sound that is closest to it while rejecting everything else. This makes it great for less than perfect recording environments.

Consensus/Conclusion

A solidly built microphone that is perfect for voice-over applications, with a broadcast-ready tone. Doesn’t do as well with the instrumentation, but remains a Gold Standard with its primary intended use. Remember that a good mic preamp is mandatory for this mic to truly shine!

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both of these mics are front address moving coil.
  • Both need adequate shock-mounts.
  • Both are built very rugged and durable.

Differences

  • The PR40 has a faster transient response and more top-end presence.
  • Because the PR30 has less high end than the PR40, you may not need the Cloudlifter all the time.
  • The PR30 does better with electric guitar, snares, and toms, while the PR40 is better for kick drums and bass cabinets.
  • The PR40 is a bigger, beefier mic.
  • The PR40 is a bit hit and miss for vocals due to its presence peak. On the right voice it sounds great (Deep and resonant bass-heavy voices). On thinner nasal-sounding voices it’s not so great. The PR30 works better in this instance.
  • The PR30 tends to sound better on more sources than the PR40.
  • The mid-range on the PR30 is a bit more forward (presence), while the PR40’s sound more scooped (recessed).
  • The PR30 is lighter.
  • The mics are shaped a little differently.

Final Word

Deciding on which of these mics is best for you depends on your intended application. If you’re looking for a naturally beefier mic in the low end, and prefer a broadcast-ready mic that also does well with kick drums and bass cabinets, then the PR4o is the man.

If your aim is more towards the vocal side of things, and you need to mic an electric guitar, snare, or tom, the PR30 does well. Overall I would probably choose the PR40, but stay tuned real quick.

In my mind, the top 3 dynamic microphones are:

  1. Shure SM7B
  2. Electrovoice RE20
  3. Heil PR40

It is a very close race, and in fact, the RE20 and PR40 have been subject to much debate over which is better. My ultimate recommendation today comes in the form of the glorious SM7B. It’s an extremely versatile mic which is why it nabs top spot.

Learn more about it in my:

SHURE SM7B DYNAMIC MICROPHONE REVIEW!


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Heil PR40 vs. PR30.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Which of these tickles your pickle? Are you interested in the SM7B? I would love to hear from you!

Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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6 comments

Jen December 21, 2016 - 2:47 am

Hello, Stu! Thanks for the post. Just adding my thoughts. I’m a woman with an alto voice—in no way nasal sounding. 😉 I tried both the PR40 and PR30 for use on my podcast. After a one month trial on both, I decided I preferred the PR30. It just suited my voice better—it sounds smooth-jazz on this mic. The PR40 sounded very muddy. In my opinion, it complements men with bass voices better. Just something to consider if you’re a female.

Reply
Stu December 23, 2016 - 3:20 am

Wow thanks for that insight Jen! I’m sure that will help someone reading this article for sure. I really appreciate you stopping by. If you ever need anything just contact me.
Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
anthony v bono September 3, 2018 - 4:52 pm

You missed on the BEST DYNAMICS…you need to include the Telefunken M82, Beyer M99 and the Sennheiser MD441. These dynamics are the best all around dynamic mics available, especially for human voice. The Sennheiser MD421 works for some, but needs a small pop filter and the M setting, but can sound muddy on some voices. The Heil PR30 and PR40 are outstanding mics for broadcast, podcast and studio. They are clean, the PR30 has a bit more bass and proximity and needs a pop filter for voice applications. The PR40 is brighter and has a clean mid range that rivals a condenser. Overrated dynamics to avoid (junk) EV RE320, EV RE27, EV RE16, Neumann BCM705, MXL BCD-1, RODE Podcaster, RODE Procaster. Another fantastic mic for the money $80 CAD D189, incredible and clean with extended bass. Runner up to this is the Lewitt MTP440DM for $100 each, extended bass and great instrument mics. Lewitt is an Austrian company made in Chins. Their condensers lack when driven hard, but the dynamics are built like Abrams tanks and sound pretty good for the money. I visit radio stations and see the RE27, include WCBS 101 NYC and see the RE27 and cringe. It has NO BASS and sounds like one is talking through a PVC pipe. Even Elvis Duran on Z100 uses that mic….does he have wooden ears? Ruch likes his RE27, wrong mic since he has had voice issues. Rush would sound better on the RE20 or Beyer M99, but he needs a condenser like the warm Shure KSM44, the king of V-O, a mic that never sounds bad on anybody. In radio I prefer the dynamics for the abuse, RE20, SM7B, M82, MD441, PR40. These mics always treat you right. The RE27 is junk, RE320 also. Launch your MXLs and Behringers, cheap Chinese crap when driven they distort. For inexpensive condensers try a RODE NT-1 Black (flatter the Kansas) and an AT2035, inexpensive and great. Avoid the small diaphragm ATs, overrated, the 2020, 4047, all of them lack bass and the small diaphragm lacks zest. I am a broadcaster of 48 years, station owner, worked in recording studios. Built a lot of facilities. I am a fan of the EV 666, good luck on finding one that works…and the EV 654A…along with the RE20, the best they ever made. Outside of these 3, the remainder of the EVs are durable for remotes or instruments. But I vouch almost all SHURE mics. They have never made junk. Only the SM58 lacks something, but you can hammer nails with it, great for remotes and play by play.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black September 5, 2018 - 3:59 pm

Thanks for the comment. Disagree on the 2020 though. Great entry level mic. Very clean and extremely durable. As far as mics, you’re all over the place lol. Can’t keep up bro.

Reply
T BONE January 31, 2019 - 1:40 am

About your your Cons on the Heil PR40:

XLR jack on the mic is a bit tight.
Does not come with an XLR cable.
No gain control.
No headphone jack for monitoring.

THE XLR JACK IS A BIT TO TIGHT may be a beef, but really I find that a positive so the cord doesn’t disconnect…still COULD be valid. It is the other comments that are disturbing.

DOES NOT COME WITH AN XLR CABLE as most microphones you buy do not. Which Neumann comes with a cable? Really? Only a few special BSW offers come with shockmount and cable…not many others.

NO GAIN CONTROL…so you think that is a problem, no gain control ON THE MIC? What mics have gain controls on the mic? What professional microphone has this feature? I can only think of one. Furthermore, the gain controls are on your mixer or live wire.

NO HEADPHONE JACK FOR MONITORING…ok, no headphone jack on the microphone? You are actually saying this is not normal? What are you smoking dude? There is not a mic on the planet with a headphone jack. You are nuts, I am sorry and I do not want to be insulting, but you write for an online audio magazine acting like an expert. NO HEADPHONE JACK on the mic FOR MONITORING? This is a downside for the HEIL PR40. Your article on the mic was ok but your lack of any kind of normal experience is showing real bad.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black February 9, 2019 - 4:01 pm

I mean, it’s cool man. No big deal. I will edit the article to reflect what you’ve said. There are a lot of mics with headphone jacks, but you’re right: An XLR mic will nearly always be bare bones out of the box (which is normal) and I did not take that into account at the time of this writing. I’ve had a lot of experience with XLR mics and USB mics by the way.

Thank you for stopping by.

Reply

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