Icom 7300 Microphone Christmas Savings Plan
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.
The Yamaha CM500 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.
There is no need for the additional phantom power supply with these BM800 mics. The Icom radios provide the needed power through the mic jack.
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 🙂
Y Cable I got off of E-bay sold by K6VHF
Radio Ham Mic Slapdown – YouTube
Ham Nation 237: Do you want a condenser microphone?
It’s not your microphone, it’s you! – WB2WIK/6
HamRadioAndVision – How To Use An ALC Meter
I hope you find this informative and useful. Best wishes, 73 and good DX. – Rich, K0PIR
I was wondering what all I would need to get the same mic setup as you do for my Icon 7300. Thanks in advance. KI7KWH. 73
The Yamaha is easy and just takes a Y cable if you want to use a simple foot switch. The BM800 will use the same Y cable.
I didn’t provide a link to the foot switch in the post, but there are many choices on E-bay. Personally I still use and old Heil foot switch I bought years ago. It still works okay.
The boom mount to hold the BM800 is just and inexpensive one from Amazon. I hope to upgrade soon to a Heil or studier one. Mine is a little touchy.
Let me know if there’s anything else. Thanks for commenting and thank you for reading my article. Beat 73 and hope to hear you on! – Rich, K0PIR
Great Info!! thanks. One question. You put directly BM800 to IC7300 (1) mic pin and (7) Gnd pin?? or use +8v to feed BM800?.
Thanks for answer.
Hi Tony and very nice to hear from you. Great question and I got my answer from another Ham. He said that this mic does not need more power as it states in most advertisements. Yes, the power from the Icom is enough. He took it apart and discovered the extra power as claimed by the ads is unnecessary. I am using the cable that came with it, no modification, just plugged it into my “Y” cable. Try it. I am sorry I cannot answer about the pin and gnd. I hope this helps. Best 73 and hope to hear you on – Rich, K0PIR
Dear Rick, I followed your recommendation to get a BM400 micro and tried to connect it as it came from the factory, with the 8 pin connector of the IC7300, the 1 to In the Mic and the 7 to micro gnd, without feeding by pin 2. But it does not work for me, you could check the connection of your “Y cable”, thank you very much and happy Christmas.
It’s a Google translation, sorry for the inconvenience.
EA1GQ Angel (Spain)
Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting.
The BM800 requires DC bias. That is probably the issue you are having.
I don’t have the pin out, but it is on the Internet.
Merry Christmas and let us know how it goes.
I am investigating mic’s to use with the 7300.
In the course of doing my reading, besides reading about mic gain and compression settings, I read that some say “for DX, use a narrow bandwidth” whereas another says “Narrow setting does not work well for DX”.
Problem is, I can’t figure how to “set:” the bandwidth they’re talking about.
I see under Tone Control that there are SSB TBW (transmit band width??) of Wide, Mid, and Narrow.
But I don’t see any way to choose one of these and make it “stick” or be in action.
Can you tell me what I’m missing here??
Thanks, Wes AI4FH
Nice to see you on here. That’s a great question!
You change the TBW (transmit band width) by pushing the “FUNCTION” button on the front of the radio. The menu that pops up will show your TBW. Just touch the softkey (softbutton) on the LCD to cycle through the options. WIDE, MID, NAR.
To change the TBW settings (Hz) go to MENU>SET>Tone Control. Push Tone Control and go to TX. Then touch SSB. You’ll see you can change the settings (Hz) for WIDE, MID and NAR from there. I just use WIDE most of the time.
This stuff can be found on page 4-14 and 12-3 of the full manual.
Everyone’s voice is a little different, but generally the narrow works good for DX and the wide for rag chewing. I played around with mine and using the Monitor with a headset, have it where I like it. The default WIDE is good for me.
I hope this helps you. Let me know.
73 – Rich, K0PIR
Thanks Rich – great answer!
Since you mentioned using the Monitor – I have tried that and had miserable results.
Can you outline how you use it successfully? – I didn’t use headphones – is that the trick?
I got a squeal that scared me and i gave up.
You nailed it. Use a headset and it’ll work FB.
I went through my TBW settings today and made a minor adjustment from the default setting. It’s still very hard for me to tell a difference in subtle changes using the monitor, but my hearing isn’t all that great anyway. It takes a QSO with someone who knows or better yet, have some record your transmission and send it to you.
Best 73 – Rich, K0PIR
P.S. From a friend of mine, “The Audio Amp in the
MONITOR circuit is only sampling Audio from the MIC AMP, not the TRUE
RF Signal output.”
hi rich what y conector did you use as heres so many thanks shaun
Thanks for coming by my website and thanks for commenting.
I use this HS 01 C Mic Adapter I got off E-bay. Very reasonable. It’s sold by K6VHF.
Thanks for asking and I’m still using both those mics today. I get positive comments regularly on the audio.
73’s Rich, K0PIR
Hi Rich, Your website is awesome! I asked Santa for a BM-800 for Christmas. I installed it this am and have received many un solicitaed audio reports using your recommend settings on the “mid” profile. This is a great microphone if your looking for something that is not the Big price of th Heil and still has th great results. I also have been using my Yamaha CM-500 and this is a great Headset/Microphone setup! Again, thanks for taking the time to create such a helpful and informative webpage!!
Thanks… W7NEE, Jeff
Merry Christmas and HNY! I’m glad it’s working for you. A friend told me about the BM800 and I’m happy to pass it along. I use mine on the Icom 7300 and love it. It doesn’t look or feel cheap, but cost way less than others.
Thanks for commenting and thank you for visiting the website.
Hi Rich, have a 7300 here and use a Heil 6 Boom/headset but I have to drive the snoot out of the mic gain and possessor to get any output and I am using the IC adapter from Heil as well. The boomset works fine on my Yaesu FTDX3000 but I would like to get a little more audio out of the 7300 so I am looking at the Yamaha CM500 boom/headset combo to use with the 7300. What adapter would I need to use the CM500’s with the 7300 cause I would really like a hot mic on this radio. I have been using Heil for years but to be honest have been not as satisfied with his newer headsets or boomsets, very pricey for something that is more than likely made in china with there name on it, I get the feeling its become a label and not the quality they once produced.
Great question and I ran into the same thing. I couldn’t get VOX to work very well with the Heil dynamic mic, so I went with the Yamaha CM500 and the BM800 boom mic.
I used this y cable that I got off of E-Bay. 8 Pin MIC/Headset Adapter HS-01C for ICOM, it’s sold by K6VHF.
Thank you for visiting my website and best 73!
I purchased a similar adaptor from an Ebay Online Store called TechnoFix UK that allows you to connect PC Microphones to your 7300/7610.
Are you able to tell me if this can be used with the Yamaha CM500 headset?
If this is unsuitable I will purchase the one mentioned in the above comments.
Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting and the question.
That looks like a very nice adapter and yes the Yamaha should work without issue. They show a BM800 and inexpensive headset and I also use a BM800, so it doesn’t look like you’ll need anything else.
The Yamaha is a stereo 3.5 mm like the BM800 and others, so we need to use an adapter to mono for the more expensive Heil Y cables. I have a Heil Y cable too. Maybe I should have bought the one you got for an extra 🙂
Thanks and best to you and yours.
Thank Rich, I think I will try the Yamaha CM500 and I will order up the HS-01C adapter cable for use on the Icom 7300, may try that BM800 mic as well cause I have seen some great packages when bundled with shock mount, foam wind screen, pop filter, adjustable desk stand for around $35 not to shabby. I have a 781 on my FTDX3000 but may be selling that radio and trying the new Flex 6400 and will keep that mic with that radio set up.
I have watched all your reviews on the 7610, would love to get one of those but its a little higher priced right now for my retired pockets so the no knob basic Flex will have to replace the 3000 but that Icom is nice. I am just soo amazed how well the 7300 works and if they made a model between the 7300 and the 7610 with some upgrades I would be in but I have a feeling they will only make one higher end model above the 7610.
Would love to see an Icom SDR radio with an in band dual watch, digi select pre selector, adjustable step attenuator( but the RF gain control on the 7300 works about the same) slightly larger display, maybe just a few more controls on the front panel, better rear panel connectivity(like 2 antenna ports or configure one of the two for RX only like Yaesu does, HDMI or some kind of video) and a price range around $2k or somewhere between the 7300 and the 7610. They would hit it out of the park!
Enjoyed all your video’s and enjoy those Icom’s at your station.
Thank you and great to read your comments. The 7610 is a very nice radio and I’m very happy with it. It is pricey though. It was a tough decision for me.
Ham Radio is an exciting hobby and I enjoy it so much. It’s nice to hear from you and I hope we catch each other on the air.
This weekend the NAQP, hope to hear you on!
Hi Rich, well if I had the extra cash I would have a 7610 but I also like having a backup rig since I bought the 7300 and to be honest for most of my operating it would suffice but the only contesting I really have always liked or at one time was addicted to them were the DX contests, just look at the bottom of my QRZ page of the antennas I had up in the mid 1990ies on a suburban back yard 1/3rd acre plot here on LI but that was in a galaxy long ago and far away before I got re married again, lol. The stories and fun I had with a group of close ham buddies was total radio fun with even the visits by Mr Murphy during the middle of the night and a 40 meter beam boom to mast clamp broke and it was holding on by the RG213 coax so we climbed the tower and roped the boom to the top of the tower pointed NE for the rest of the weekend.
I would hope that Icom would expand there line up of radio’s and I feel that they dont really need the 7851 type radio any more but I do know they look at these blogs from users today so you never know what will be next. Hell they not going to design a radio just for me but I feel many of use would like something in between.
When you look at the design of the 7610 it has as much going on inside that radio as the 7851 on the RX side, two independent RX with separate Digi select front ends so with a classic tri band antenna you can really look at 10m real time while running station on 15m without the RX sensitivity dropping by much at all which is true dual band RX. The SO2R stuff is way overrated plus being proficient enough to be able to make your brain/ears to do it well takes time and to be honest your best to be able to concentrate on the band you are on and just use the second RX for a look see if a higher band does open. I have severely down graded as far as my antennas at my qth but have learned to work with allot less and still have FUN which is what it should be.
I am looking at e bay for the Yamaha’s CM 500’s and will order the adapter for them as well. If I do send up selling the FTDX3000 and go with the basic Flex 6400 I’ll keep the Heil Pro set 6 for either use with the Yaesu or Flex but at a later date I want to try the BM800 mic, there seems to be so many sources for them on e bay plus different packages between $25-$35 for complete systems w/adjustable deck mounts.
Thanks for commenting and it’s nice to hear from you.
Yeah, I think the 7610 has a lot going for it and it’s just under the 7851. The 7851 is so much more $$$.
I looked at the Flex 6400M/6600M and they have the Icom 7610 beat on the LCD touchscreen and monitor as far as resolution goes. After using the 7610 with an external monitor for a while, I have almost abandoned it. I still turn it on occasionally. It’s okay and I know some Hams really like it, but for me it’s just not that impressive. The Flex will win that battle hands down, hi hi.
I agree, SO2R seems a bit much for me. If I were an avid contester, then maybe I could learn to use it effectively, and that’s a big maybe, hi. Using the 2nd RX as you mention is fine and works well. I’m doing it today and while operating on 20 meters, I saw 15 meters open. Good use of the 2nd RX.
I am thinking of the Pro set 6 for myself. I’ve heard them on the air. My problem is my ears and it’s hard to find a comfortable set. The Yamaha is okay as far as comfort and I can’t complain because it’s so inexpensive.
Thanks for the valuable comment and thank you for visiting my website. I am hoping the 7610 gives me years of enjoyable operation and of course, something to write about!
I am sure that rig will keep you happy for a long time, I noticed you live in DS my mother when she was very young grew up as a girl in Fargo, way way way before any movie, back in the early 1900’s. One day I hope in a few years my wife and I will end up on the west coast of Florida and buy a tow type camper RV and travel the states and that little 7300 will be going along for the ride. I just ordered the two different adapter cables one for the Icom and the other for the Yaesu plus the Yamaha CM500, I will compare them to the Pro set 6 Heil set and let you know. The ProSet 6 on the Yaesu can be set up for real DX meat grinding audio but I have a feeling on the Icom the mic stage runs a little to short of the right amount of gain so the condenser mic element will drive the dickens out of the Icom and I will do comparo’s. After I get them here and set up maybe will set up a call on 20m and you can see for yourself. The Heil headphone part of the Pro set has been improved over the years from the original, far better audio on RX but I feel the mic element is not as good as the old HC5 that why my comment on why I think Heil is going to china for his lower price pro sets which at $150 are not cheap.
I would love a 7610 but I will slowly wait for the backlog orders on the plain jane Flex 6400’s to be delivered and pic one of those up, at $2k its a decent TRX and besides I mainly use point and click mostly with my two radio’s now so its no big deal not to have knobs anymore.
Hi Rich, received the CH500 and the adapter cable yesterday, man is this mic hot and the setting show it mic gain at 30%, comp at 3, moni at 15%, TX bass at -2, TX treble at-2, RX bass +1, RX treble +1, a complete opposite from the Heil Pro set 6. So far most seem to like it but if pile up busting is your only game the Proset 6 is slightly better but overall audio the Yamaha is more pleasing. Its hard to find a really good all around Boom set and that’s why I have both but on recording back to me from other stations the Heil sounds pinched. Hope this helps.
Glad to know it’s working for you. That is about what my settings are using it. 30% mic gain and COMP at 3, but I am using a little more treble (+3). Maybe I should look at decreasing it.
I have tried a few different TBW settings and one you could look at is 300 Hz to 2700 Hz. You might like it.
Thanks for the information and have a great time with it.
Question re Headsets. Trying to use an older Heil Proset with a HC5 element. Works, but running gain and compression full bore to get any real audio out and the VOX is sketchy. I do use a foot switch as well which helps.
The Yamaha might be a better solution. Was wondering what cable is needed to connect it to the radio? I have the HC5 proset adapter and I also incorrectly had purchased an AD-1-iC adapter cable from Heil.
Thanks in advance for any insight.
73, Scott, N3RA
Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here.
I used a Heil BM-10 with HC5 for a while and it required more gain and comp like you said. It was okay though.
The Yamaha works very well and is a hot mic. Currently I am using a Heil adapter with it. The AD-1-iC. I have a small stereo to mono adapter in line. It connects to the mic on the AD-1-iC. You can find it here.
The other y cable I used was one I got on E-bay. You can find it here.
Thanks for the info. I have that ad-1-iC adapter already (bought by mistake) so that is good.
Thanks for 40m FT8 earlier. Trying to get RuMlogNG, 7300, WSJT-X and JT Bridge all working. Started with JT bridge recently and very helpful finding States. 🙂
Hi Scott, that’s a good combination I used it and it works really well. RUMLogNG is one of my favorites. I’m going to be using his mobile version on my iPad. Best 73 and thank you – Rich
Got the mic and works well. Thanks much. I just have to figure out which side of the mic is which. 🙂
Okay Scott, hope to hear you on the air! 73!
I just wanted to thank you for all the good info you provide on the 7300. I just got a BM 800 and I am getting great reviews on my audio. I also have a Heil Pro Set for the Icom which works really well but dont like using the head set all the time. When I read your report on the Christmas gift I wanted to try the BM 800 glad I did very happy with the results.
Thanks for the feedback James. I use mine and I still think it’s the best sounding mic I have.
Hi Wes & Rich
I finally received my Yamaha CM500 and have connected it to my Icom 7300. But when I listen in the monitor it doesn’t sound clear, sometimes distorted sometimes not, but people I’ve had listen to me on the air say they don’t notice is this normal?
Yes, maybe a little. I have another headset (TR-2000) that is worse. I turn down the monitor real low and it’s better. The Yamaha is better than my WGA TR-2000. A friend has a Heil Pro set and he reports the same problem.
When I am running barefoot it is good. It makes me think I’m getting some RF when I run my amp, but as you say everyone tells me it sounds fine.
A good place to listen to your TX audio is an online SDR.
The CM500 Requires voltage to work is that correct?
Yes it gets it from the radio.
If the mic gain is too high it will sound distorted using the monitor.
Great info on the Icom 7300 and 7610 radios!
I was looking for info about VOX.
I got the CM500 for my Birthday recently and I was wanting you use the VOX feature on my 7300,
but I’ve never used VOX before, so I don’t have a clue.
I was hoping you could point me in the right direction or a brief explanation.
I watched a video by HamCuredSmoke on YouTube, but it seems that I have to practically
yell to activate it… frustrating!
Thank you for any help in this matter and thank you for all your good work in Ham Radio
and especially the IC-7300!
Thank you for commenting here and that’s a great question.
I don’t have anything on it. I use it quite often with my CM500 and it works great. The manual will help you get it going.
I am on the “Road to QuartzFest”.
Rich, thanks so much for all the great posts on your web site and videos on You Tube – I don’t know how you keep up with it all, but it’s all great info!
I just received (Amazon) my new BM-800 and I also ordered a Heil CC-1-XLR-I adapter cable (XLR to Icom 8 pin round). Out of the box there’s no audio. I’m using the RECORD function on my 7300 to be able to compare the BM-800 to the stock Icom hand mic. I’m wondering now if there’s some wiring modification I need to make to the cable, or maybe I just received a defective mic. Reading the other comments on this thread it seems that most other ham’s experiences have just been “plug n play”. Is that right? Maybe I’m missing something. Thanks. Looking forward to hearing from you. 73 de Herb WB8BHK
It’s nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here.
It is probably the adapter cable you have. I had the same trouble at one time.
If memory serves me right it’s a simple fix. You just need a “3.5mm Stereo Female to 3.5mm Mono adapter”
To verify, is the 3.5mm mic plug stereo? If so, try the adapter.
Thanks for the nice comment, I sincerely appreciate it and I hope to hear you on the air.
Rich, I’m actually not using the 3.5 mm jack (that would be for a headset). I’m using the Heil XLR to Icom 8 pin adapter. Please see the attached photo. I can’t be the only one out there using this setup, but I can’t find any reference online that mentions any problem. I don’t know however if these I’ve been reading are using XLR 3 pin to 8 pin Icom adapters like I am.
Ahh, I see. That one! I have one of those too for another radio, but for a different mic (Heil mic).
With the BM800 I have only used the cable that came with it and it has the 3.5mm plug to use with a Y-cable. I used it that way so I could switch easily between the Yamaha headset and BM800.
So, I’m not sure about using that Heil cable with the BM800.
See if Bob H. has the answer.
Let us know what the solution is if you can.
Sorry I can’t be of assistance. 73 de KØPIR
Rich, I sent an email to Heil and got an answer almost immediately! Turns out I just needed to cut (remove) the blocking capacitor they had installed on pin 2 of the XLR connector in their harness. They do this because their harness is designed to be used with Dynamic mics and not electret condenser mics. The capacitor prevents voltage from damaging the dynamic mic. The photo shows the small blue cap unsoldered from pin 2. I then just needed a short jumper to connect the cable wire direct to pin 2. There was some question by Heil as to whether or not the 8v supplied by the 7300 would be enough to drive the BM-800 and to my surprise the new mic was quite hot! Using the stock hand mic I had Mic Gain at 65% and Comp at 5. Now with the BM-800 I turned down Mic Gain to 50% and Comp at 3 to keep from overdriving.
Here is the text of the email from Heil;
“The reason you have no output from your BM800 is that our CC1-XLR-I has a DC blocking capacitor installed on pin 2 of the XLR connector. The cable is designed for use with a DYNAMIC microphone, NOT an electret or studio condenser microphone. The reason we did that is not all Icom radios can turn bias off in the setup menu (it’s on ALL the time) so for those radios we put the DC cap in the cable preventing voltage from damaging the dynamic mic element. That is why your BM800 is not working. And no, the cable is NOT wired incorrectly…….
Also the BM800 is a condenser element requiring 48 volts phantom power so you will just have to see if the 7300s 3-5 volts will be enough to power the element.
You can do one of two things. 1. Remove ( or just cut the loop wire) the DC blocking capacitor on pin 2 of the XLR if you want to use the cable. 2. Return the CC1-XLR-I and make your own cable with no DC blocking capacitor so your voltage can go through to the element.”
I hope this info helps others using the BM-800 with the Heil adapter cable (XLR to 8 pin Icom)
That’s great. Glad Bob was quick getting back to you.
Yes the BM800 requires bias voltage and the Icom 7300 provides it, given no blocking capacitor is inline, hi hi.
There has been mis-information about the BM800 mic. They do NOT need 48 volts or any external power source. Also, they are not a true condenser mic, they are electret as I understand it from a friendly engineer.
Bottom line it is an excellent inexpensive mic for the Icom radios. Lots of hams are using it and get excellent audio reports.
Thanks for the reminder about the blocking cap, I didn’t think about that one. I had a Y cable from Bob that had the cap in it so I could use a Heil BM10 headset with HC5 element. That mic never did work as well as the BM800 but it was amazing with my old Kenwood TS-570.
Take care and I hope we can have a QSO some time.