The Icom 7300 microphone that’s included with the radio gets great audio reports, but I can’t use a hand mic while contesting or running a net. When I first received my Icom 7300 I ordered a Heil Y cable with blocking capacitor so I could continue using my dynamic microphones. They weren’t real expensive mics, but I wanted to use what I had. Others purchasing the 7300 did the same thing. Mine were acceptable and sounded good, but I just couldn’t get my VOX to work right. It worked, but the VOX gain had to be set near max and it was still inconsistent.
Speaking for myself, in retrospect I should have broke down and purchased a new electret condenser mic instead of spending money on the cable with blocking capacitor, but looking on the bright side, I probably would have spent too much on the new mics.
You see, I was considering a couple of Heil microphones, an Icom desk mic and and another more expensive brand. All good possibilities and all excellent microphones. Well worth the money, but more than I wanted to spend.
Icom 7300 Microphone
Wanting to save a buck or two I looked for the best deals while not sacrificing on audio quality.
I purchased a Yamaha CM500 for a headset. This is a well known headset with the Flex radios and I have heard good things about it with the Icom 7300. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s comfortable, pretty light and receive audio sounds good. I would say transmit audio is excellent. It’s got a hot mic and activates the VOX like a mic should on the 7300. See more ham reviews at eHam.
UPDATE: A friend, WB0OAF, just sent me a audio recording (k0pir-yamaha-cm500) of the Icom 7300 while I ‘m using the Yamaha CM500 headset. Settings: Mic Gain 40%, COMP 2, TX Bass -1, TX Treble +3, TBW Narrow 300-2500.
And just recently, WA0OAF, told me about the BM800. ( There are many flavors of this mic around. Andy got his off Amazon and I got mine off E-Bay). He was using one with his Icom 7600 and it sounded great.
After looking into it and finding the best deal I could, I purchased one off of E-bay. Again, not disappointed and I have already received a few good unsolicited compliments on audio. People have been asking me where I purchased it.
These are inexpensive electret mics.
The BM800 is not as hot as the CM500, but it doesn’t require 48v like the spec sheet shows and the Icom 7300 is supplying it with 8v just FB. So far I really like this mic. It doesn’t look or feel cheaply made.
UPDATE: WB0OAF made a recording of me on the BM800. My Icom settings were Treble +4, Bass -1, Mic Gain 40%, COMP 4, TBW Narrow. Click below.
I had to replace my Y cable with blocking capacitor, so I got a replacement off of E bay. It’s a 8 Pin MIC/Headset Adapter HS-01C for ICOM and works very well.
Icom 7300 Microphone Transmit Settings
- TX Bass = -1
- TX Treble = +3
- TBW = Wide and Narrow (defaults)
- Mic Gain = 40%
- COMP = 1
(These are beginning settings. Refer to setting-mic-compression.)
Here’s a very good article on compression by G0GSF and AB4OJ.
The Christmas Savings Plan
Heil Pro Set = $168 vs. Yamaha CM500 = $60. Savings = $108
Heil iCM = $118 vs. BM800 = $18. Savings = $100
Total savings = $208
As I said, the Heil mics are excellent microphones and well worth the money. Who knows how long these low cost mics will last. I used a Heil BM-10 for years with my Kenwood 570 and Icom 7000, always getting great audio reports. I still have it today using it portable and I will probably never get rid of it.
Am I happy with the new microphones? Yes! The Icom 7300 VOX works fine with both mics. How do the new microphones sound? You be the judge. I’m on the Breakfast club net every Thursday morning at 6:00 AM CST and every Saturday morning 5:00 AM CST. Come and listen and of course check-in with me. 3.973 MHz.
So saving a couple of hundred dollars I’ll have enough to buy a few more Christmas gifts for the people I love. That’s my kind of savings plan 🙂
I hope you find this informative and useful. Best wishes, 73 and good DX. – Rich, K0PIR