BM800 Microphone and Icom SM-50 Comparison – Recorded Audio

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 BM800bm800+mic&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]” />. The BM800 Microphonebm800+mic&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]” /> ($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 (HS-01C), 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 (HS-01C). 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 Enabled.

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


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 (HS-01C)

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

SDR receiver in Utah

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I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

28 Responses

  1. blank Sam P says:

    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.

  2. blank John, G3UCQ says:

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

  3. blank K0PIR says:

    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,


  4. blank W6BZY, Ken Hendrickson says:

    BM800 gets my vote, but both sound good to me.

  5. blank Jürgen Martens says:

    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.

  6. blank K0PIR says:

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

    Rich, K0PIR

  7. blank W5CMM says:

    Hi Rich,

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


  8. blank Ed Henderson says:

    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

    • blank K0PIR says:

      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

  9. blank John Dolan says:

    Hi Rich,
    I favor the sound of the BM800.

    73, John WB4YAL

    • blank K0PIR says:

      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.


  10. blank Eric says:

    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.



    • blank K0PIR says:

      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

  11. blank Eric says:

    HI Rich,

    Do you think there is any difference in these two mics, although they are the same?

    Between the Zingyou and Voilamart, that is.

    Thanks for any help.


  12. blank K0PIR says:

    Hi Eric,

    Same mic as the BM800, just different names.

    Rich, K0PIR

  13. blank Sean Dickerson says:

    Just got all of my parts for this exact same setup. We’ll have to catch up soon! Thanks Rich!

  14. blank Eric says:

    Hi Rich,

    I just got the HS-01CD adapter along with the BM-800, but the Mic isn’t working.
    The PTT works fine.

    I received a HS-01CD. Do you think that the HS-01CD is different from the HS-01C?

    When I clicked on your link, the CD was the suggested.

    The seller is out of town for a couple weeks, so my inquiry will be delayed.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.



  15. blank K0PIR says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for commenting here and sorry to hear about your trouble. I clicked on the link and it took me to the expired listing (the one I have) that is for the one ending in C. I read the description of the CD and it is for a dynamic mic. You will have to send that one back and get the C. The BM800 is an electret condenser mic and needs power.

    I will look for a better link. Thank you.

    Rich, K0PIR

  16. blank Eric says:

    Hi Rich,

    I was afraid of that. For some reason I thought dynamic was the one that would have worked.

    I did email the seller, but he is out of town right now, so I will let you know in about three weeks.

    If I dared to, can’t I just rewire the one I have?

    I guess I don’t understand the difference between the two.

    I searched eBay and came up with no matches.

    Thank you for all your help.

    As I said, I will keep in the loop.


    • blank K0PIR says:

      There is a capacitor in the line blocking the mic bias. I would wait for the seller to return and ask him about it. Tell him what you have and what you want to hook up.

      I’ve had many times where I had to wait on the right part to come in. Just part of the hobby, hi hi. You’ll enjoy the BM800 when it’s done.

      Rich, K0PIR

  17. blank Rick says:

    Your recordings are kind of confusing to me, the BM-800 is listed at the top up away from the recordings then the SM-50 are there twice. Makes it kind of hard to determine which is which and then there is 3 recordings and only 2 mics. Would be much better leaving all the settings the same and just make one recording for each mic.

  18. blank K0PIR says:

    Hi Rick,

    Nice to hear from you and thank you for visiting the website. Sorry for the confusion. Two of the recordings are for the SM 50 and one has low cut enabled and the other has low cut disabled. The BM800 does not have that option. The radio internal settings are the same in all three recordings. I hope this helps and I hope all is well where you are. Take care, be safe and best 73!

    P.S. While on the air most people say the BM800 sounds better, idk. Maybe it’s just my voice, hi hi. I have been using the SM 50 while operating portable and everyone says it sounds really good. This is with the ICOM 7300, 100 W and a Hi-Q mobile antenna. SSB TX Settings the same.

  19. blank Daniel G0SZI says:

    Hi Rich

    Having Just listened to the recording, the BM800 does appear a little less in overall Level and a little more Bass response. Maybe this is because the overall output level to my ears sounds fractionally less. I wonder if the Audio scope on the 7610 showed the same level on each Mic. ?
    I’m awaiting delivery of my SM-50 so I’m quite looking forward to testing it.
    I always like the sound of Boom microphones but the extra hassle of leads everywhere and footswitches puts me off it’s not like we don’t have enough wires in the shack as it is. So for me the quality and simple solution of a Desk Mic suits me great ( I Hope ) lol

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Daniel,
      So nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting on my website. Your questions and interaction will help others as well.
      I don’t remember offhand about the audio scope. I would have to check.
      I use the SM-50 on my 7300 and others comment on it good quality. It is a nice sturdy mic and suits me well.
      Thank you again and best 73!

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