BM800 Microphone and Icom SM-50 Comparison – Recorded Audio

In Equipment by K0PIR16 Comments


I am on either the Icom 7610 or Icom 7300 daily and I spend a lot of time on SSB. A while back I got an Icom SM-50 off of e-Bay for a low price. It does happen occasionally, hi hi. I compared it to my BM800 Microphonebm800+mic&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]” />. The BM800 Microphone ($20) really does sound good. You won’t be disappointed. Lots of Hams ask how the BM800 is connected to the Icom radios. I use a Y cable that came off E-Bay, a foot switch and a Samson mic boom.

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BM800 Microphone and Cables

BM800 XLR Cable

The BM800 Microphone comes with a XLR to 3.5mm cable.

To connect to my Icom radios I have used this Y Cable I got off of E-bay. It’s in my camper with the 7300 right now.

I use this foot switch. Be sure to get the correct plug for whatever Y cable you are using.

Currently, in the ham shack with the Icom 7610, I am using a Heil AD-1-iC cable. I like this one, but it does require a small stereo female jack to mono plug adapter for the microphone input. Not a big deal.

No need for phantom power. This mic gets power from the Icom radio. I have it on a Samson mic boom.

This microphone works great using VOX.

Icom SM-50

I got this one pretty cheap off of E-bay, but I was prepared to buy it eventually at full price. It’s a nice desktop microphone and well built. It seems bigger in person than in the pictures I’ve seen. I like this sturdy microphone.

The lock comes in handy and I can tell a difference between low and low cut. Listen below.

Audio Recordings of BM800 and Icom SM-50

Curious to know what your TX audio sounds like? Use a online SDR.

These audio recordings were saved from a SDR receiver in Utah. There are many variables, including band conditions. So many mic settings to choose from.

Note: SM-50 can be used with mic bias on or off. I have it on.

BM800 Microphone – Comp 3, Bass -2, Treble +4, TBW, Wide 200-2900 Hz.

Icom SM-50 – Comp 3, Bass -2, Treble +4, TBW, Wide 200-2900 Hz., Low Cut.

Icom SM-50 – Comp 3, Bass -2, Treble +4, TBW, Wide 200-2900 Hz., Low.


What do you think? Which microphone sounds better? Post your thoughts below in the comment section.

If you have any questions, comments or solutions, please comment below. I prefer the comment section here or in YouTube over e-mail because your comments and questions will help others as well.

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Rich, K0PIR


BM800 Microphone

Y Cable I got off of E-bay

Foot switch I use in the camper with a 3.5mm plug

SDR receiver in Utah


  1. Hi Rich,

    I have the 7300. Call me a ninny, but can you show how you connect the BM800 to the 8 Pin Mic Headset Adapter HS 01 C? The 8 pin has 2 connections and the BM800 (as far as I can see) has one.

    I just want to make sure I am getting the right parts for the project.

    I’m not to savvy with the microphones.



    1. Author

      Hi Eric,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here.

      You plug the BM800 into the mic end of the HS 01 C (Y cable). The other connector on the Y cable is for a foot switch. You can use the BM800 without a foot switch by using VOX.

      I use a foot switch like this one. My Y cable takes a 1/8″ plug on the foot switch.

      I hope this helps.

      Rich, K0PIR

    1. Author

      Hi John,
      Nice to hear from you and yes I am convinced now. I think the BM800 just edges out the SM-50. I guess the SM-50 is going to the camper, hi hi.


  2. Hi Rich,
    From my OLD ears, there is not a lot of difference from the BM-800 and the Icom SM-50 set to the “Low” position. However, I prefer the audio from the BM-800, it may have a little wider audio response and a little more presence.
    Thanks, Ed KD5EH

    1. Author

      Hi Ed,
      Nice to hear from you and thanks for commenting.
      I’m leaning towards the SM-50 in the LOW position only because it was 5X the price of the BM-800 Hi Hi!
      See you on the BC!
      Rich, K0PIR

  3. Hi Rich,

    Have you tried either microphone with your Drake TR-7?


    1. Author

      Hi Chris,
      No, I have not. The TR-7 takes a high impedance mic. I have a transformer I could put in it, so maybe later!
      Rich, K0PIR

  4. Author

    Thanks Ken. They are both good and a friend who views it on a scope says the BM800 is better.

    Rich, K0PIR

  5. Hi Rich,
    For me the BM800 Microphone sounds much better than the SM-50.
    However, I am 73 years old and I know that this might not be true under hard conditions.

    1. Author

      Thanks for commenting. My hearing is not good but I can tell a little difference.

      Best 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  6. Author

    Yeah my iPad Pro is having a problem. Are you on a Mac?
    I updated it and you should be good now.
    Thank you for the input.

    Best 73,


  7. Hi Rich
    For some reason my laptop cannot play your files.
    Either unsupported format or wrong path.

  8. I just connected a Heil ICM mic, and was surprised to learn that I now must set mic gain to 10% with comp on, or
    18% with comp off. Your BM 800 sounds good.

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