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continuously variable pattern selectionSontronics Helios

Multi-Pattern Tube Condenser Microphone

The Sontronics Helios is a multipattern tube condenser microphone with a dual-diaphragm 35mm capsule.

The mic’s SPS-1 power supply features switches for a low-cut filter and 10 dB pad, and a rotary control for polar pattern selection.

The Helios has no included shockmount, and according to Sontronics one is not necessary since the capsule itself is suspended within the head portion of the microphone. This supposedly provides sufficient isolation.

The Helios was part of Sontronics’s initial product offering in 2005, and at the time was its top of the line model. Sontronics says that it is best used for vocal work, though the company also markets it as an all-around “workhorse” microphone. Reviewers agree that (like many contemporary microphones manufactured in China) the Helios features a pronounced high-end presence. This is illustrated in the frequency response graph as a prominent rise (around 7 dB) in the 12–14 kHz range.

Sound On Sound, 2005

The slightly exaggerated presence peak is good for clarity of diction, making this a very good voice-over microphone, and it also helps focus those with woolly or restrained voices, though it can work against you where the singer already has a strident voice…That extra definition can also really help when working with acoustic guitars or hand percussion. No one mic will ever be right for all singers, which is why most studios build up a collection, but these two Sontronics models [The reviewer is referring to the Orpheus, a non-tube version of the Helios.] have a definite character and might help balance out a mic collection dominated by models that are very warm or overly smooth sounding.

The mic, power supply, and cable come in a padded aluminum case, with a padded wooden box for the microphone itself.

Permalink: Sontronics Helios

The mic was released in 2005.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
Helios Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (20 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10 dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: Low-cut at 75 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 27mm
Capsule diameter: 35mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 125 dB
Self-noise: 18.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
900g (31.75oz) 204mm (8.03'') n/a
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Includes tube power supply

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