Choir mic shootout - Heil PR30 versus Beyerdynamic MC930, Neumann KM185, and Lewitt LCT340

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In order to get a great choir sound in modern worship, you need a microphone with exceptional isolation, great uniformity of the polar or pickup pattern across its frequency response, and to be able to preserve enough warmth to make voices sound natural, without feedback.  And if you're a choir director, you know this is a tall order. There's always too much of something being picked up (besides the choir) - the drum kit, the orchestra, the bass amp, you name it.  You just never have enough of the voices. 

In early April, we were contacted by a church in Huntsville, AL with a little bit of a challenge.  The choir director had read our article about the Heil PR30 and its effectiveness for choir use and wanted to put it up against some big names in the microphone business.  Beyerdynamic (MC930), Neumann (KM185), and Lewitt (LCT340).  We talked with him for a few minutes and decided that we were up for the challenge, albeit with a sliver of trepidation. I mean, all of those microphones cost at least double of the PR30.  So we sent him four microphones to try, and waited for his report. 

Here's what he said. (click the link below for the rest of the story - hint: it's what you think it is, but I'll let his words tell the story)

"Dave, thanks so much for this opportunity. We compared the Heils to our Neumann KM 185s and a pair of Lewitt LCT 340s and were blown away!  We used them Sunday morning for the adult choir and had more gain than we could use, even with our 20 member brass heavy orchestra playing right in front of the choir. Used them Sunday night for our annual children's choir concert and were astonished at how much gain we had.  We still want to compare them to the BeyerDynamic 930s but so far they are blowing everything else out of the water". 

"Funny thing, I think I told you that we got the Lewitts as part of a drum kit mic set to be used as overhead mics. They actually did a spectacular job as drum kit mics, Problem was, we were trying to use them to mic the choir, not the drum kit! They seem to love the high frequency cymbal sounds even when the cymbals were 12 ft away behind the mics. And we're using the low-volume, Zildjian Gen16 Cymbals! (Our drummer is right in front of the Choir and not in a cage!—Cymbals are hybrid electronically enhanced, but Toms, Snare and Kick are acoustic.)"

To get to the punchline, our new client and his team did end up comparing the Heil PR30 with the Beyerdynamic MC930s and then ordered a total of 12 Heil PR30 microphones

The Heil PR30 is one of the best values in microphone technology – period.  Think about it.  The Lewitts are about $900 per pair, the Beyerdynamic MC930s are about $1000 per pair, and the Neumann KM185 is $899 each.  The PR30? $252 each or $504 per pair.  That's 72% less than the Neumann KM185. 

Don't get us wrong.  The other microphones are all great products, and have their place, but if you need more gain before feedback, better isolation of the choir voices from whatever is nearby, and a natural sound, there's nothing quite like the Heil PR30.  If you're serious about improving your choir sound, and you'd like to try a pair, or two, let us know.  We'll be happy to help.  Call us or order online today.