Setting Up Mic Gain and Compression

What are the best mic gain and compression settings? Using the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 I have multiple mics to use. Each mic is a little different. I’ll show you how I setup the mic gain and compression on the Icom 7610 (also 7300) using a WGA TR-2000 headset. It’s pretty simple and I follow the manuals with one exception. See what that is below.

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Mic Gain Setting

As in the manual, with compression off, I use the ALC meter. The manuals state, “In the SSB mode, touch the TX meter to select the ALC meter and adjust until the meter reading swings between 30 to 50% of the ALC scale.” – Icom 7300 Full Manual pg 3-11 or Icom 7610 Basic Manual pg 3-9.

Place the microphone 2 to 4 inches from your mouth, then speak at your normal voice. 30 to 50% on the ALC scale is all we need. Try “Ahhh…”

Mic Compression Setting (Speech Processor)

This is where I stray a little.

After setting the mic gain with the ALC meter, switch to or look at the COMP meter. The manual states, “While speaking into the microphone at your normal voice level, adjust the Speech Compressor level to where the COMP meter reads within the COMP zone (10 to 20 dB range).” – Icom 7300 Full Manual pg 4-12 or Icom 7610 Basic Manual pg 4-8.

Using the WGA TR-2000 with compression set to 3, the compression meter doesn’t move. However, you’ll notice a distinct difference even at this low level. Watch the video below.

BM800 Microphone

BM800 Audio Comp 3 Bass -2 Treble +4 TBW Wide 200-2900

WGA TR-2000

TR-2000 Audio Comp 3 Bass -2 Treble +4 TBW Wide 200-2900


Thank you

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




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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.

14 Responses

  1. bobweb says:

    Great video on ICOM digital radio SSB transmit settings. I look forward to future topics. As a casual arm chair radio operator, I haven’t bothered updating my 7300 firmware since the radio’s introduction since all the basic functions already work great. And, what other settings are particularly worth learning about as another possible tutorial.

  2. David Reed says:

    Hi Rich,
    Do you have any test results or comparisons with “other” headsets? I am awaiting delivery of a BM800 as I write this to try out here. I have a headset, it is hot and heavy in prolonged usage so I am looking for something cooler to use.

    Dave ac0yw

  3. Bob Johnson says:

    While both sound good, i would vote for the BM-800. Perhaps it was just this sample recording, but to me the BM-800 was more natural sounding and understandable. The TR-2000 had a couple of syllables that seemed muffled and i had to focus more to understand.

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Bob,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here. The TR-2000 isn’t my favorite headset, but it works. I think I can adjust the treble down and it will sound better.

      I think the BM800 is the best too.

      Rich, K0PIR

  4. K0PIR says:

    Hi David,

    Nice to hear from you and I have the Yamaha CM500 (lightweight) to test out. I’ve got it in the camper with the 7300, but I will bring it inside and use it for a while. The other headset I have is a Heil BM-10. It’s dynamic and I could try it out too.

    Thanks for commenting here.

    Rich, K0PIR

  5. Jose Gonzalez says:

    Thank you Rich,K0PIR I do not own any of mic you where working with but I do Own the Icom IC-7300. But I did follow your suggestions with my mic that is The Icom SM-50 Desk Microphone and I’ve been getting great reports on the Audio. Thanks again

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Jose,
      Nice to hear from you and I like the SM-50 microphone. It’s a good fit for the Icom radios. I get good reports with mine also and that makes Ham radio that much more enjoyable.

      Best 73!
      Rich, K0PIR

  6. Budy says:

    I think the 800 sounded better also.

  7. Eric says:

    Hi Rich,

    Can you tell me your honest opinion of the MODEL TR-2000 HEADSET?

    I’m looking for a headset and would like a solid review.

    Any help is appreciated.


    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for asking your question here and thank you for visiting my webpage.

      I would not buy one again. It sounds OK TX and RX and it is pretty comfortable. Two things 1. When monitoring my transmit audio it sounds distorted. 2. It will not work with diversity reception and separating left and right audio channels through the headset.

      I will be using it in the camper with my ICOM 7300. That will be a good home for it.

      Thank you again.

      Rich, K0PIR

  8. Eric says:

    Hey Rich,

    Thanks for your input!

    So what (inexpensive) Headset would you suggest?

    Thanks again.


    • K0PIR says:

      I am using a Yamaha CM500 and I like it. It is comfortable sounds good TX/RX and works with diversity reception.

      See the bottom of this page. I paid $60 for mine new.

      Lots of Hams use the CM500. If they send a battery box with it to power the mic, it is not needed since the radio powers it.


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