Heil USBQ Inline Mic Preamp
- I have played around with the new Heil USBQ on both a Win98 system and my 17" MacNBook Pro, and am quite impressed.
Physically, it is five inches in length. Aluminum housing. Four dials/pots along one side for headset volume, high and low EQ, and mic gain. LED is red when attached to USB port - and turns blue if you engage phantom power. 3-pin balanced XLR female at one end. The other end has 3.5mm 3-conductor headphone monitoring jack, USB Mini-B jack, and a tiny pushbutton switch to activate phantom power.
First impressions/notes ...
1. Aluminum housing, anodized purple.
2. Quality 3-pin XLR female jack, firmly secured to the end of the housing
3. No way to accidentally actuate the 48V phantom power switch - it is a tiny button, and not a slide switch. You really have to "want" to actuate it. Great design.
4. Did I mention that it is purple?
5. Mini-B USB jack - all three of the cords I used fit firmly in the USBQ's Mini-USB jack - unlike problematic jacks I have run in to that are not as tight a fit. All is secure here ...
6. What sets the Heil USBQ far apart from other inline mic preamps (like the Blue Mic Icicle, MXL MicMate, CEntrance MicPortPRO, and Shure RPM626 / X2u) is its built-in equalization.
7. You have +/- 12db of bass equalization down at 80 hertz.
8. You have +/- 12db of treble equalization at 10K hertz.
9. The center of the EQ dials are scored with a white line at the mid/zero point.
10. Also on that end is a 3.5m 3-conductor jack - for realtime monitoring with earpieces or headphones.
11. The unit provides up to 40db gain, adjustable with the GAIN control.
I have informally tested it with both a Heil HM12 and a Heil PR40 mic, using Audacity to make sample recordings. All works as advertised, and the controls are not "noisy" as you adjust the settings.
This little unit can easily replace my PreSonus TubePre in my home office studio. With the mics I am using, I find that I do not need to really use the EQ capabilities much.
- My mini-review of this great new product is on my Web site at ...
Jurupa Valley CA