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Reviews For: ICOM SM-20 microphone

Category: Microphones for ham radio

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Review Summary For : ICOM SM-20 microphone
Reviews: 63MSRP: 259
Unidirectional, electret microphone w/up/down switches
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
RADIOMANN Rating: 2019-12-25
Low Volume Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I'm using the Icom SM-20 on my Icom IC-765 (big old analog Icom Transceiver, without DSP). My Icom SM-20 has the Serial Number 034***. The Reports I got on my Audio were "studio quality" and "very very clear", maybe a bit exagerated, to me it sounded ok when i recall hearing my voice on the SM-20 back.

The only bad thing with this Mic, is the low Audio Volume, even when the Audio level is set to the MAX on the mic, and without the "Comp" (Compressor) on the 765, I have to talk closely to the Mic to get enough Audio Out for a Power Meter reading on the Transceiver. The low Volume is the only reason why I rate the SM-20 4/5 but not 5/5. There are minor issues but I want to mention them too.

There is a "low cut" button on the Mic but no problem, someone can keep it "off". I had rather would like a "high boost" knob like on some other audio devices to increase the higher range tones.

The SM-20 seems to be very very resistant against HF, very good HF - Isolation! The SM-20 is build in heavy quality, only the Buttons (up/down, ptt & lock) feel a bit cheap, I hope over the time during daily use they dont break. The optical appearance matches my awesome good ol' IC-765 nicely.
Thats my taste but I would have liked much would have been a separable Mic from its Stand but no problem.

a thing i found is, that the SM-20 needs a Foam Cap on the mic to sound better, specially in SSB. nevertheless the SM-20 does not sound as smooth as my Behringer B-2Pro (a studio mic), i would always prefer that Behringer Microphone.

K6MTS Rating: 2014-07-03
Performs and looks great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Run it on my ProIII. Just learning about tuning/adjusting audio adjustments, and may be not be fully adjusted for best performance, but get great audio reports frequently.

It really looks great in the shack too. That said, I'm looking to a PR40 as I am moving to a boom set up and a basic mixer. This HAM gear thing is an expensive/sick hobby, but having a blast, LOL!
N8YQX Rating: 2013-11-01
great audio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I was disapointed with the sound quality of the stock mic for the IC-7410, so I picked up a used SM-20 in hopes of improving it.

After switching over to the SM-20, I have gotten multiple compliments on my sound quality. Some of these compliments came from busy DX stations who would usually only say 59 73.

It also seems like I've been able to bust through light pileups a lot better after switching over to the SM-20.

Overall, I'm very happy with the purchase, I would recommend this to anyone wanting a relatively inexpensive alternative to the stock hand mic.
KD8EZU Rating: 2012-08-20
Here's my settings with 756 PRO 3 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought this mic used, to be connected to my newly acquired ICOM 756 PRO III. Great audio reports and the mic is both stylish and well made. Beware the LOCK button as it's kind of easy to hit.
My SUGGESTED settings with a 756 PRO III is :
Microphone gain on mic = 30 % or less
TURN LOW CUT FILTER SWITCH TO "ON" (too bassy if set to "OFF")

On front panel of TRX:
MIC GAIN to 12 O'clock
COMPRESSION to 10'O'clock
Set COMPRESSION to MID for most QSO's and WIDE for rag chewing with another ham with a STRONG signal. Use NAR for DX pile up work but turn MIC GAIN to 2 O'clock to compensate

In menu for LEVEL:
Set BASS to +2
Set TREBLE to +1

TBW ( NAR ) L =300
TBW (NAR ) H =2700
TBW (MID ) L =100
TBW (MID) H =2700
TBW (WIDE) L =100
TBW (WIDE) H =2900

Keep lips four finger width away from MIC

The only tricky part is the level adjustment on the bottom of the mic which has no "tic" marks to help guage adjustments.

These are just what worked for me with my voice, your mileage may differ, but just thought this would help
KI6OSH Rating: 2012-06-06
Perfect match! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought this microphone when I purchased my 746 Pro and they work well together. A little over 4 years of use and not a single complaint. Not fancy looking or shiny but just plain works well! Lots of compliments on my sound quality so it must work pretty good. I haven't heard myself but I would highly recommend one of these to anybody looking for an excellent desk mike. Not cheap, though.
KC8Y Rating: 2012-06-06
it still works with new rig !!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this mic to work with my IC-736 xcvr...Just last year, traded in the IC-736 and got to IC-7410 xcvr...

This mic (SM-20) still works great with the updated xcvr.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KC8Y on 2012-01-16

I used this mic on my IC-746 (16-yrs old)...Have acquired a new rig, the IC-7410 just June of 2011...Still use this mic with my new rig.

It performs perfect in all forms of modulation...There's a mic variable adjustment-gain
and a HI/LO mic switch on the underside of the base.
Earlier 5-star review posted by KC8Y on 2010-01-09

I bought this mic NEW a few years ago...use it with my IC-736 xcvr...always get excellent audio reports on every band I use it on... Wish they had a rating HIGHER than 5, I would give it a 5+
Earlier 5-star review posted by KC8Y on 2007-04-02

I have an Icom IC-736 Xcvr, BUT always used the hand mic that came with the unit, when I bought this set NEW in July, 1995...The past 4-years, I use a RigBLASTER for PSK31 & RTTY; hence my station gets a little crowded...Therefore I purhased the SM-20 & it works great-no audio muffle or strays on SSB
CR7000 Rating: 2012-06-06
Awesome Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Use this SM-20 with my PRO III

Its a must have item, always get compliments on my audio
M0HJO Rating: 2012-01-16
Very Good. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used the same SM-20 on my 746, 7400, 756pro3 & 7700. I started with the 746 and moved up via the other rigs ending with the 7700.

Always good audio reports.

ZS6DJD Rating: 2011-06-25
Mic seems to work very well on a ts 50 audio seems very clear. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was using a stock d 104 on a ts 50 with vey good audio on dx but mic always over modulated when talking to local guys especially on 40 and 80. Tried almost anything no answer. So after cheking out reviews on e ham and actually praying for advice on the right mike and finding one a local ham had never used I bought the sm 20,and used it on my ts 50 Audio reports have been raging from very clear audio to very clear audio.
DL7ISA Rating: 2011-04-13
Missing Treble Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Audio Volume is low even the Level on the Mic is put to the Max. and I have to use the Compressor on my IC-746 to get the maximum RF Output.

The Audioquality with this Mic misses some Treble, although I have set on the IC-746 the SSB TX Tone to +20 (maximum Treble). The "Low-Cut" is not meant to add more Treble on the Treble there already is but more Treble is what this Mic is missing, at least the SM-20 I got new. I'm glad I didn't get any Report by now that I was sounding muffled. My old Turner Plus Three Desktop Mic was much better, I'm not convinced of the SM-20.