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Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Heil HM-i for Icom Help

Reviews Summary for Heil HM-i for Icom
Heil HM-i for Icom Reviews: 39 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $96 (Street)
Description: Studio Condensor Microphone for Icom Radios.
Product is in production.
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WY7CHY Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2019 07:25 Send this review to a friend
Quite Pleased. Excellent Mic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an older microphone. Hasn't been in production for a while. But I've read a lot of great reviews about this microphone over the last 10+ years, and knew if I could find one, I'd get it. It was replaced with the HM-10 and also later with the ICM. There's also the HM-ic which is still available and I believe similar. It's hard to find a comparison of the HM-i and the HM-iC.

Either way; I found this mic at a recent ham-fest, with cable, for a very good price. So I picked it up. I got it home and inspected it deeply. The electret Mic and everything else about it was in excellent shape. The person I bought it from had sold his older Icom and upgraded, so sold me this because he didn't need it any longer. He raved about it; which I expected being he wanted to sell it. But his remarks were similar to all the reviews I've read.

Anyway; I connected it my Icom 756 Pro ii; adjusted the bass to -2 and the treble to +3. I adjusted it while I was monitoring so I could hear the changes. I also Adjusted mic gain and compression and went online with it. The first thing I did was tune up my 2nd radio so I could hear the audio from the HM-i for myself. It sounded clean; not muffled; not tinny; sounded clean. Easily understood with a good punch on the power meter in SSB. I made a few contacts and the replies were all positive. Of course in the HF world, we have to live with everybody's radio sounding different. Fortunately, the mic gain and compression settings were very close to the stock mic HM-36 so I was able to do some comparisons and get some feedback. I think the stock HM-36 I have (Original Japanese, not chinese) is an excellent microphone. But I prefer a mic on a boom. (I also have a headset that I use when band conditions are bad). Anyway, without telling the others on the net which microphone I was using, all of them said the HM-i had a much clearer and cleaner sound. Both had about the same volume. So it looks like I got a good mic. I was going to get either an ICM or possibly the PR-781. I have some high end performance Dynamic mics from when I use to own and run a recording studio. I have a cable with a blocking cap so I can use them. The mics sound good, but the preamp in the Icom do prefer an electret mic.

Anyway; I am 100% completely satisfied with this microphone. I may try out an ICM or 781 some day; but I'm no longer in a rush. If you can find an HM-i (Not the HM-iC); and you can get it at a decent price; (I'd say UNDER $50), then I definitely recommend getting it. It's well made, nice looking, and a great performer. Oh; and as others have found out, leave the mic switch in the WIDE MODE. Don't use NARROW. It takes out all the high frequencies and makes it sound dull and muffled. But in wide mode, it's a beautiful sounding microphone.
K5LDL Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2012 09:00 Send this review to a friend
Awesome sound when properly set up  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned 6 of these mikes in its two and half forms. Yes, 6. I've run stock mikes and others with my various radios. I keep coming back to the HM-i. If and when I see these mikes for sale at a hamfest, I pounce!

On the outside, these mikes look great with their black gun metal look. Inside, in the first generation, the element was about the size of four stacked nickels. Talk about booming audio! Very hot element and superb audio. When used with a sound board (Behringer, etc.) these mikes sound every bit as good or better as some of the other more expensive mikes available elsewhere. Somewhere along the way, there was a short run of BIGGER elements used. These were just a few mikes which I suppose used other spare, left over, (experimental?) elements. And these oddballs sounded even better, if that's possible!

The second generation mikes look just like the previous generation except on the inside. Heil replaced the "big" element with a much smaller one, about the size of a pencil eraser. It was mounted in such a way as to protrude from a black rubber disc and surrounded by foam rubber. It sounded ok, and it lacked that booming punch its previous run featured. For this second generation, DSP, ALC and gain settings were all over the map as to what should work and what couldn't or wouldn't.

I used these mikes on several ICOM rigs for ragchewing, contesting, and a few event stations. I was and am still pleased with the FIRST generation of these mics. Easily spotted: Black highly polished gun metal bodies, black metal screen with a green metal band joining the two metal screen halves with ICOM silk-screened on the band in white. On the inside? Screw off the metal screen and look for that BIG element. IF you're really lucky, you might find one that has a HUGE element; about the size of three stacked quarters. SNAG it! Apparently these were a limited short run, and the other smaller nickel sized element became the norm.

For those who had a bad experience with these mikes, I have to wonder which element they had in the mike body....

Luis K5LDL
WZ3O Rating: 4/5 Oct 6, 2010 15:18 Send this review to a friend
Just got one, used ...LIke it much, BUT....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, mic sounds TERRIFIC on "wide" & when I emailed Bob Heil re: "narrow" setting being "muddy" he replied " Forget the narrow, Gary !" I agree, it is a "useless" IMHO setting unless your voice is HIGH HIGH you've been "Helium Snorting" HiHi...
So, I'd give it a 4.7, well built, solid, clean audio on "wide", but you can only give 1,2,3,4,5!!! Kinda odd ?!?!

KB5PQL Rating: 4/5 Oct 2, 2010 10:34 Send this review to a friend
Sounds good on most radios  Time owned: more than 12 months
This mic sounds great on my Icom 746, Kenwood TS-850S, and even better on my Icom 7700. However, it doesn't sound good on my IC-735. I really like the mic on the 7700 it shines the best here.
W5OP Rating: 1/5 Jul 19, 2007 13:46 Send this review to a friend
Sent It Back  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A friend sent me his HM-i to use on my new 746PRO. A very nice looking microphone on the outside. The inside, however, is a different story. The element is stuck on a rubber plug and the plug is held into the body with some greasy goo. The goo doesen't hold the plug in and it keeps riding up in the body untill the element hits the foam shield. The audio is very soft and has some distortion. The narrow position is useless, as the audio is very muddy and contains only lows. Might be OK for Minnie Mouse. After many mike swaps during QSO's all agree the stock hand microphone is better
G4HAK Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2007 15:43 Send this review to a friend
great with 756pro  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This Just works a storm on the 756pro. Connected it up on the first day and the complements flood in! If you have an Icim try this oldie but goodie!
KF0X Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2006 21:28 Send this review to a friend
ICOM 718 Miracle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After you read this, you will think Bob Heil is paying me off. He is not, I am just being truthful. I have an ICOM 718 and have been using my old ICOM SM-8 desk mic. I bought it back in 1992 for my former rig, the ICOM 728. It has always been a good, solid mic. After reading reviews here and on a couple other sites, I decided to purchase the Heil ICM. Several reviewers were using the mic with my same rig, the 718. So, I felt pretty good about buying it. Ham Radio Outlet in Phoenix send one down to me and WOW!!!! What a MONSTER DIFFERENCE! I am "punching" through the noise much better. I have received unsolicited reports of my "great audio." In all the time I used the SM-8, I never had anyone compliment my audio like that. It never had bad audio, but it was nothing special. Seriously, my FIRST contact on the new Heil ICM got me that wonderful audio report. I had a fellow ham from across town record me on 75, 40 and 10 (10 was a bit rough copy) and he emailed mp3's to me. When I listen to them, I was blown away! It is full, rich and pleasing. Well, let's just say my SM-8 just sold on eBay for $147.00. Not bad for a 15+ year old mic. My new Heil was under $95. I'd say that was a nice transaction.

Way to go Bob Heil!
N6AJR Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2005 17:36 Send this review to a friend
good stuff  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bob Heil makes a great microiphone for icoms but also go to his site and look at the icom info on how to set it up.. the best..
K9NYO Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2005 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Great mic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these a couple of years ago from R&L Electronics at Dayton. Larry had a couple left and wanted to get rid of them, so I got the mic for a good price. My friend Roger, AC9Y, had just gotten a Heil Goldline with his new Kenwood TS-2000, and I wanted one like it for my Icom--with the same Wide-Narrow switch. This is that microphone.

I've got mine shock-mounted on a short boom in the shack, and I receive excellent audio reports. In fact, last year at Dayton I found a guy in the flea market selling a Heil hand mic for the Icom and I snatched that up so I'd have a similar mic when I took the Icom portable for Field Day.

The Wide-Narrow switch allows you to opt for a Rag-chewing element or a DX element. The new Heil ICM doesn't do that, and that's why I like this older series mic. If you can find one and you use an Icom rig, this is a great mic.
K9ZF Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2004 18:20 Send this review to a friend
Finally found a mic that's a keeper!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've owned an Icom 746 for about 3 years now, and I must have gone through a dozen mics.

Some were terrible, some were OK, and some were good, but it's difficult to find a good match for some '746's. [some are different...]

I tried an HM10, but it didn't have quite enough drive. And I didn't want to bother with a preamp.

I tried a D104 with good results.

I even tried a few "computer" mics, that worked OK. Some were even pretty good.

But recently I ran accross a good buy on a used HMi so I decided to give it a try, and I'm glad I did! I think I have finally found "THE" mic for my rig. I have recieved many glowing audio reports, most unsolicited. It's a keeper.

Dan Evans K9ZF
Scottsburg, IN 47170
K9ZF /R no budget Rover
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
QRP-l #1269
Central States VHF Society
IN-Ham list administrator
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