Products & Product Reviews

Buyer’s Guide: Examining Your Microphone Options

Not all microphones are ideal for radio communications. While you may be thrilled with the mic you use to belt out “Sweet Home Alabama” on karaoke night in your living room, you probably wouldn’t want to use it for calling CQ or rag-chewing from your shack. And as far as singing Lynyrd Skynyrd on the air, or anything else for that matter, don’t even think about it.

Which microphone is right for your station and operating style? DX Engineering offers many choices that deliver crisp, clean, and articulate audio with excellent frequency response. Here’s a rundown of a few options:

INRAD Desk Microphone Systems: Choose from five packages featuring an INRAD dynamic microphone with its own specialized dynamic element and style (M628, M629, M650, M665 or M686); heavy DMS-1 PTT desk stand; and a transceiver adapter cable for Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Elecraft, TenTec, and more.

ICOM SM-30 and SM-50 Desktop Microphones: A great selection for your Icom radios, these unidirectional mics are ideal for SSB and FM voice operation. Both the SM-30 (electret) and SM-50 (dynamic) feature a PTT button with PTT lock switch, adjustable mic output, and a low-cut switch.

Kenwood MC-60A and MC-90 Deluxe Desktop Microphones: Kenwood’s desk microphones are the best complement to the legendary sound of a Kenwood transceiver. They come with a large, locking PTT switch and two mic impedance settings (so they’re compatible with Kenwood’s earlier radios). The MC-60A has a built-in preamplifier that offers an effective boost for older radios. The deluxe version adds a bunch of fine-tuning adjustments and two interchangeable heads that deliver distinct mid- and high-range audio frequency response.

Yaesu Desk Microphones: The MD-100A8X and MD-200A8X desk microphones are tailor-made for use with Yaesu base stations. Yaesu recommends the MD100 Dynamic Desk Microphone for its base station transceivers. It comes with base-mounted PTT switch and reversible connector cable to make it compatible with all Yaesu radios. The MD200 Ultra High Fidelity model delivers the uncompromised clarity you would expect from an audiophile-grade mic.

Heil Sound Microphones: From Heil Sound comes the PR series microphones, from the rugged PR 22 to the PR 40, which comes with the widest frequency range of any mic in the PR series. It features a shock-mounted, low-mass diaphragm which gives you stellar sound reproduction in a durable chassis. Specially tailored for Icom radios, Heil’s affordable Handi Mic microphones feature low noise handling characteristics, making them great for mobile or portable ops.

Want to dig a little deeper? Watch this video from DX Engineering team members Rod, K8RR, and Mark, W8BBQ, covering topics such as how close you should get to the microphone and the difference between mics with an electret (condenser) element and dynamic element.

DX Engineering also carries mobile hand microphones and all the microphone accessories you need for your desktop setup, including booms, risers, bases, desk stands with mic clips, shock mounts, adapters and adapter cables, PTT hand switches, and bulk microphone cables.

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