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Reviews Categories | Microphones | Yaesu MH31 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu MH31
Yaesu MH31 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 2.9/5 MSRP: $41 Euro
Description: Original Handeld Mic
Product is in production.
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KA3RCS Rating: 2/5 Oct 26, 2014 23:01 Send this review to a friend
Inconsistently bad audio, decent otherwise  Time owned: more than 12 months
--- Original review from Jan 2, 2014 @ 23:41 ---

This is the quintessential poster child for stock microphones. I don't know why this mic even exists. Its dynamic element makes it reminiscent of a 1970s stock CB hand mic, with the same muddy sound. This mic will never allow one to experience anything near the full transmit audio quality available from a variety of otherwise great radios. Encumbering some of the finest radios ever made with a mic of this caliber boggles the mind.

On the positive side, this mic does not exhibit the RFI susceptibility which is characteristic of the otherwise mostly superior MH-36E8J and MH-59A8J DTMF and remote control mics. However, the MH-67A8J offers similarly superior condenser element audio, and without the RFI.

About the only other positive point is the connectorized mic cable. In a pinch, one can even use an Ethernet patch cable with this mic. That feature would be a welcome addition on all mics which do not have it, from any manufacturer.

It is possible to replace the mic element with a proper condenser element (hopefully not forgetting the RFI bypass cap), and make the MH-31 sound good. There are other options as well. I haven't bothered to mod any of mine yet; I use other mics and just keep these around as backups. I should mod them some time to make them worth using.

In summary, the eHam description for a rating of 2 ('Needs help') describes this mic perfectly. It's just about usable, much like a typical HT's stock rubber duck, but there are many better options available. For a widely available alternative which needs no modifications at all to sound very good, the MH-67A8J really stands out. Of course, that's for the RJ45 version; the 8 pin round version would need an adapter cable.

--- Update ---

Since my previous review, I happened to spend some time using an FT-847, equipped with the stock MH-31. Listening to it on another radio, it didn't sound as bad as I expected. I wanted to compare it to my condenser mics, but I could not, as I did not have the necessary adapter (that radio uses an 8-pin round Foster connector, while all of mine use RJ-45 mics). I was, however, able to compare it to my own MH-31 using the 847's mic cable. I was quite surprised to observe that my mic sounded significantly worse than the identical mic from the 847.

I later compared three MH-31s from my collection. Interestingly, there is considerable variation among them. The one which I had previously compared sounds worse than the other two. I opened up the worst one and one of the others, and found identical Foster dynamic mic much for the theory of changing manufacturers. However, adding an MH-36 and MH-67 to the comparison rotation reveals that the best MH-31 is still much worse than a condenser mic.

Strangely, among my three, the worst sounding one has the Yaesu logo on it, while the two which don't sound as bad have the Vertex Standard stylized VS logo on them (despite using identical mic elements). However, even this is not consistent, as the mic from the 847 also predated the Vertex Standard name change.

It should also be noted that the MH-31 (like many other mics) includes a metal weight to give it a better feel. Though particularly challenging to accomplish in this model, it may be removed to reduce unnecessary weight for portable use.

Not only is the MH-31 a mic with poor audio quality, but it is also a crap shoot as to whether one will get a bad one or a really bad one.
PA3CNT Rating: 2/5 Oct 20, 2013 10:10 Send this review to a friend
Not so good sound  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Got this mike with my new FT-817ND.
It looked as it worked fine, until I heard a fellow Ham transmit with my mike. It sounded realy bad.
His own MH31 sounded much better over the air, though not as good as it should.

I placed my mike under test and it sounded as if spoken into a beaker.

On the audio spectrum the response looked like a triangle, with the top at 600 Hz, and shallow skirts on both sides.

After unsuccessfully trying to flatten the response with electronics, I replaced the element with a Peiker omni-directional element from a surplus land mobile set.
Now it has really punch and articulation. I recorded my voice over the air using a distant web-SDR, an I was really confident (with the mike, Caruso had a better voice, HI)

K4FX Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2011 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Impressive  Time owned: more than 12 months
Back when the FT-857 came out, I was impressed with the audio I heard on these little radios. In 2007 I picked up a 857D and was very impressed with the little handmic. For a hand mic it had plenty of punch and good audio. I have since went to my Heil Goldline with the rig through my SO2R setup, but I keep the MH-31 just in case.
K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2010 05:11 Send this review to a friend
Works with Flex Radio 1500  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a Yaesu FT847 10 years ago but instead of using the MH31 hand mic which came with it, I bought a desk type mic. I now use a Flex Radio 5000A which uses a studio balanced type mic but recently bought a Flex 1500 QRP transceiver. Flex Radio used the Yaesu RJ45 pinout for their new model 1500. I had never used the MH31 but soon discovered it does a great job since the 1500 software has a built-in transmit/receive equalizer. The RJ45 connector makes it fast to setup and breakdown after a QRO session in the field.
WV4I Rating: 3/5 Feb 4, 2009 15:35 Send this review to a friend
Needs help  Time owned: more than 12 months
This mike, out of the box, needs the W4RT OBP mod, to get the "punch" needed for a mobile rig, or even a base operation, at least when used with the FT-857D. This is a bit of a tricky mod, and I would recommend having W4RT do it, unless you have VERY good soldering skills, leave no bridges, etc.. Once the mod is complete, you have the option of normal or enhanced audio via the slider switch on the back of the mike. The other item well worth the $$$s on the FT-857D is the 2.4 SSB filter, which works in receive, AND transmit if desired, really makes the FT-857D sound great along with the OBP mod.
DL7ISA Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2008 22:41 Send this review to a friend
Reliable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The MH-31 I write here about, came as original supplied Handheld Microphone with my new Yaesu FT-817ND:

I never got Coments with that (mentioned above) Combination of Mic and Radio like I was sounding great, outstanding, fantastic, marvelous or such but even when my Signals are weak, I am well readable and usually I get 5x Reports. I think thats what this Mic was made for and it does a great Job, therefore I rate it 5.

What I like is that the Cable on the Bottom of the Mic is removable, wich means if I accidently damage the Cable during transport or portable Operation, the repair is much easier done.

The Tone Switch (rear button) makes a big difference and is very usefull.

(The only thing I didnt like is, this Mic is not LOUD enough for me but thats my Problem because I usually dont speak LOUD.)

73 to all Friends
KB2NAT Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2008 16:46 Send this review to a friend
i get unsolicited compliments about this mike  Time owned: more than 12 months
Over a period of many months, I read quite a few reviews of the yaesu FT-897 and FT-857. One of the things that stuck out were the positive comments about the good mike sound. This was actually one of the reasons I bought the rig. I spent years in both the broadcasting and music industries and was not expecting or wanting to produce a studio SSB sound on the ham bands. But after reading the complimentary remarks (and thinking that I didn't want to spend MORE money than necessary for a transceiver) I purchased the FT-897. Its not unusual to be complimented on the sound of the mike. The mike has certainly not been a disappointment and it does what it's supposed to do quite well.
AA5TB Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2008 09:12 Send this review to a friend
It matches the FT-897D it came with fine.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The MH31 microphone came with my Yaesu FT-897D rig. I find that the number 2 position for the switch on the rear of the microphone sounds the best for my voice. I've always received good reports and I've listened to it on FM when my son talked to me and it sounded good. On SSB I've listened to myself on another receiver with headphones and it sounded fine. My voice does not carry well but it seems to drive the microphone and rig fine.

I do not have any RF feedback problems to cause distortion and I would not blame the microphone if I did.

Also, I'm mostly a CW operator so take this review for what it's worth ;-)

Steve Yates - AA5TB
N5XTR Rating: 2/5 Mar 24, 2008 23:04 Send this review to a friend
It was free..  Time owned: more than 12 months
It came with my FT-857D. Audio reports were good on FM and okay on SSB...have tried many audio settings with this mic and nothing helps. It sounds "okay". Well it was free with the rig, it's not a Heil.
KC0VEU Rating: 1/5 Oct 23, 2007 21:05 Send this review to a friend
chinese crap  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is the microphone that came with the radio.

I have had many QSOs and contacts, but on the occasion someone tells me that my audio is horrible, that it sounds like I have rf on the mic. Some people say that my audio is bad, yet understandable and tolerable.

It is a shame that Yeasu could not furnish a decent mic.
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