Bob Heil – CEO and Founder of Heil Sound
Bob’s life mission is to have fun and bring LOTS of people along for the trip. Bob barely got through grade school and then started making more money than his teachers by playing the (Hammond) organ. Then Bob became a pimp for his high school gym teacher (Sarah can fill you in on the details). Bob had 50+ years of “just OK” life until God sent him a red headed bundle of joy along with her bundle of joy and together they have more fun than a couple of squirrels in a nut forest.
Heil Sound, Ltd. was founded by Bob Heil in 1966. Bob pioneered the live sound industry with clients such as the Grateful Dead, the Who, Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck and scores of major touring acts of the 60’s and 70’s. Bob and Heil Sound have won numerous awards over the years, including the first ever “Pioneer Award” from the Audio Engineering Society, and the Parnelli Award.
In 2007, Bob was invited into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to put up a display of his historically important gear, including the first modular console (the Mavis) his custom quadraphonic mixer (for the Quadraphenia tour) and the very first Heil Talk Box. No manufacturer has ever been invited into the Rock Hall before.
The Night That Modern Live Sound Was Born: Bob Heil & The Grateful Dead (From Performing Musician)
I have used Heil Headsets for years and consider them excellent value for money. The HC-5 cartridge suits my voice perfectly and works for me looking for rare DX. I would highly recommend Heil products. Three more reviews are below.
Heil Headset Review – Three reviews
I’ve used many headsets and microphones over the years. This combination is near perfection. They are comfortable and the HC-5 dynamic element sounds great. The Heil is an excellent headset & very comfortable. When I first opened the box and held the headset in my hands the size of the headset, microphone boom and element enclosure caused a bit of concern. The sturdy (and substantial) mic boom is mounted on one of the two full-sized, closed cup, circum-aural headphones. Was all this plastic, vinyl and steel a bit too much to wear?
The headband suspension self-adjusts and no knobs or click stops are provided. As if made for my head, the headband fell right into place with just the right amount of tension. The headbands fit me perfectly with no bending or adjustment. Once positioned the whole thing stays in place comfortably. Very nice! A set of cloth earpiece covers are provided if that is your preference.
The ear cups attenuate a substantial amount of room noise and allow total focus on the incoming audio. Despite its robust size the Pro Set Plus is not heavy. After hours of wearing them they are still comfortable. The microphone boom requires a bit of persuasive force to bend and rotate it into position. This is a one-time affair, and it hasn’t budged a millimetre since. A small foam windscreen slides over the element housing and adds to the girth of the mic. For those who like a small, discrete-looking microphone this is not for you.
Compared to other studio-quality headphones, the audio is quite good. This is a nice sounding communications headset. Received audio is crisp and clear with ample low, mid and high frequency response. However headphone volume is a bit less than my other phones at the same receiver setting. This is not a big issue since simply increasing the volume level is the solution. The closed ear cups effectively reduce feedback when monitoring your transmitted audio or making EQ adjustments. The phase reversal switch added something to tinker and experiment with.
The HC-5 microphone element has a pleasing frequency response and has a somewhat full sound with a moderate amount of low end. It is not quite as robust sounding as the Heil Goldline full-range element, but gets good audio reports for it’s smooth and clear audio quality. The HC-4 element is also built-in and a small slide switch changes the active element. This element is harsh sounding and favours the mid and higher frequencies – as intended. I’ll save this one for DX work.
Interfacing with my Kenwood TS-940S was easy using the optional adapter cable. You’ll also need a PTT switch – an easy project. A ¼” stereo phone jack is standard on the Kenwood, so receiver audio was plug and play. I also had no difficulty feeding microphone audio into a pre-amp and an EQ for audio experimentation. The mic connection is by 1/8” mono plug and a suitable adapter was easily found in my parts box. An ample length of wire is provided so you can move around your operating position. I like the Heil Pro Set Plus and this is a fine addition to my shack. The construction and audio quality are excellent and should provide years of use.
The Pro Set Plus very nicely compliments my Kenwood TS-2000. The feel and fit is very comfortable. I am wearing them as I write this, and they have been on my head now for about 3 hours. If not for the microphone being in view when I glance down, I’d forget they were on my head.
Sound quality. I have used many headphones over the years for various applications. The sound quality in the Heil P-S-P is among the best I have ever listened to. The Phase reverse is quite effective. I prefer the “B” setting.
Microphone: Without being redundant with the specs and functions that others mentioned already, the elements in the boom mike on this headset are downright fabulous. The DX /FullRangetoggle is a nice touch and as well effective.
Quality: This Headset is attractively made and I find the design configuration to be perfect (for my Melon at least). It’s very apparent that there was no corner cutting done here. The headset also comes with ear covers [put them on the headset, not your own ears :-)) ] and a Mic “poppy” cover. I employ both. If you want a top notch headset/mic combo, I believe you need not look further than the Heil Pro Set Plus. Money well spent.
73, Dennis NC2F
This is it–the ideal context/DX headset. This is a fabulous headset. If you’re a serious DXer or Contester, buy a set. I’ve been a long-time, not-always-happy Heil customer. I’ve owned three of their headsets prior to this one: One of the open-air sets and two of the Pros. I didn’t care for the feel of the open air set (personal preference) and had a problem with the wiring being flaky in one ear. Both the Pros failed mechanically (ear piece fell off) within a few months. One failed within 30 days.
Honestly, I thought that I was done with Heil products. That thought was a very disappointing for me because I loved the HC-4 audio. Figured it was back to a desk mike for me.
Since then, Bob Heil convinced me to try his new Pro-Set Plus. I’ve now made a bunch of QSOs and run half a dozen contests with this set. I started out REALLY sceptical and worried that I was going to break off yet another earpiece. As time went by, I worried less. By the end of a contest when my eyes are pretty bleary, I’m not thinking about being careful with the headset when I put it on or take it off, so I’ve got some really “honest” hours on this set. I love ’em. Plain and simple.
This set is comfortable to wear for hours at a stretch. They lay well on your ears and the band is comfy for many hours at a stretch on the top of your head. The physical adjustability of the mike is perfect. The weight of the set is a great balance of feeling substantial and “worth” the money with airy comfort.
The ear pieces, though. That’s what I was worried about. I already knew the other stuff was good. Bob’s redesign of the connecting mechanism seems to have yielded exactly the results he (and his customers) desired. When I’m thoughtful, I use both hands to take the set off. When I’ve been trying to break the TN pileup with no success and I strip the phones off my head one-handed, well, I’ve put the set to test and it’s stood up beautifully.
There’s nothing I can add about the microphone’s performance that you haven’t read in a dozen other places. It’s premiere. The speakers are further improved from the Pro-Set. I really, really, REALLY like the speakers in these headphones. I think that you will, too. Another minor, positive note: The cord from the phones to the rig is of ample length.(about 8 feet) so that I can roll around the shack without worry of jerking the phones off my head (ever had that one happen to you?!?). I love the quick connect to the mike input on the rig. When the cord gets tangled it takes 5 seconds to disconnect, untangle and reconnect. Very nice.
So, I’m a fan of this product. Bob Heil has won me as a fan with his personal service, superb product performance, and successful redesign. The mechanical aspects of this set now match the near-legendary talk/listen audio performance.
73 de K7VI