Capturing the sound of your voice or instrument makes all the difference in live recordings and concerts.
So, if you are thinking to work like a pro on your home drum studio and looking for some of the best drum mics out there, this guide can help you out in finding one.
Not all mics are intended for the same purpose.
For instance, you may need a mic for recording and playing live. This feature may not be available in every microphone out there. In simple, your choice has to be the best one.
Table of Contents
Best Drum Mics Review
To make it easier for you, we have listed 20 of top-rated drum mics which we have pulled out after hours of research based on features, price and of course ‘real’ user reviews.
AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Stereoset Instrument Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
The AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS is a perfect matched pair of ultra-versatile condenser mics and is from one of the leading broadcast facilities world-wide which are used for professional recording studios and on-stage performance.
Not to mention it is known for having hosted some of the top musical artists of all genres for more than 60 years. This microphone is known as the de facto part of a professional engineer’s mic locker.
It comes with a matched pair bundle which contains a pair of C414 XLS. These have been selected out of thousands of microphones and hand tested for different characteristics which result in 1dB with a range of 300Hz to 8kHz in cardioid mode.
The kit includes all the accessories like the stereo bar, shock mounts, two foam windscreens and a hard shell case for carrying it around with ease. This pair has been engineered to offer you the highest level of linearity and a neutral sound for a great experience.
Overall, it results in reliable sound quality and is super-easy to assemble and use. You won’t have any trouble using any of its features.
- Includes a pair of C414 XLS
- Dual elastic spider suspensions for your convenience
- Two windscreens
- Lightweight aluminium carrying case
- Way too bright
- Rear shielding is a bit loose
Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set Condenser Microphone
The Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set is very much similar to the vintage KM84 as it has the same capsule. However, it differs when it comes to the 0-degree frequency response. KM 184 features a gentle rise of 9 kHz, resulting in tonal balance for a fresh and lively performance and output.
While being a popular mic on the market, it is also versatile and can be used with an acoustic guitar as well. Its tone is pretty good as compared to some more expensive models on the market.
The slender shapes of both the capsules and their outstanding transmission features are worth mentioning here. This makes them versatile for a wide range of tasks.
When it comes to the design, it is modern, sleek and stylish. This gives you a premium feel as you record and play your drum.
Overall, it has a directional pattern cardioid with a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz and sensitivity at 1kHz into one kohm: 12/15/10 mV/Pa.
- Omni direction
- Comes with the unique KM series
- Extremely versatile
- Can be used with various applications
Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 Reference Class Drum Microphone Kit
If you are looking for an elite level microphone kit for your drum, you should opt for Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro which comes with outstanding performance and is designed typically for the professional drummers and engineers who want high performance for reproducing powerful sound with full details.
Whether it be your studio projects or those on-stage live acts, DTP Pro 7 guarantees reliable gear which results in a great performance.
It is a 7-piece pro kit which comes with Lewitt’s drum mic masterpiece, a dual element cardioid DTP 640 REX, two LCT 340 condenser mics, three dynamic DTP 340 TT mics and a single cardioid dynamic MTP 440 DM mic.
This kit also offers you a range of shock and drum mounts and all of these gears included in the kit has been precisely engineered for unrivalled performance. The microphones included in the kit have a tailored frequency response which is especially for the miking of drums, bass instruments and percussions.
You will also enjoy features like SPL handling and off-axis sound rejection which delivers with an outstanding smooth, balanced and bright sound virtually anywhere.
The entire kit is nicely packed in a rugged and lightweight aluminium case which protects your valuables. This case has foam lining inside to prevent any damage while you are carrying it and helps to store it securely.
- 7-piece quality mic kit
- Tailored frequency responses
- Extremely durable metal bodies with hard steel mesh grilles
- Corrosion resistant gold plated 3-pin XLR output connectors
- No drawbacks
Audix DP5A Instrument Dynamic Microphone, Multipattern
The new Audix DP5A is very much identical to DP7 with the only difference of its condenser mics. It is a small five-piece microphones kit which has an outstanding performance whether it be a recording studio or a live stage performance.
Inside the box, you will find D6, Audix flagship kick drum mix, a D4 for floor tom, two D2’s for those rack toms and i5 for your snare. It also comes with D-Vice rim mount clips for each mic in the kit.
However, the D6 kick drum features a heavy duty fit mic clip which helps to keep it in place. All of the gears inside the packages come packed in a nice foam-lined aluminium carrying case which not only keeps them nicely organized but also safe from those unexpected bumps.
All the mix included in the kit have varying frequencies but definitely at their best for an outstanding performance. The sound captured has an exceptional output quality which makes this kit unique.
- A simple and affordable solution for miking your drums
- Different mics for different instruments for optimal results
- Rugged Audix quality
- Perfect for stage and studio performance
- No drawbacks
Audio-Technica AT4053B Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone
One of the most versatile mics that can help with critical recordings, broadcast and sound reinforcement is the Audio-Technica AT4053B Condenser Mic. It is, in fact, a hyper-cardioid microphone which can be used in a variety of different miking applications. This makes it a versatile and affordable option.
It comes with direct coupled balanced outputs for pure signals in high-output conditions and is free from distortion which is usually common with some conventional transformer coupled outputs.
Since it offers a lightning-fast response, it adds a lot to open transparent reproduction of some of the most difficult to capture instruments.
It is RoHS compliant-free from all substances which have been specified in EU directive, typically on the reduction of hazardous substances.
This mic also features two modular subassemblies namely the AT4900b-48 body and the AT4053b-EL hypercardioid head capsule. Its rear rejection is pretty good, thanks to the AT5053B’s hypercardioid pattern which is perfect for live sound instrument recording.
Overall, this mic has been engineered with the highest quality standards, making it extremely versatile and perfect to use for all drummers.
- The hypercardioid polar pattern for reducing pickup of sounds
- Direct couple with the balanced output
- No transformer circuit for eliminating low-frequency distortion
- Easily switchable 80Hz hi-pass filter and 10dB pad
Shure PGADRUMKIT7 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit
The Shure 7-piece drum mic kit comes with seven great mics with cables, mounts and case. It is probably the most affordable full kit which includes everything you need for a professional level and distortion-free recording.
Included in the kit are PG ALTA Series microphones, seven XLR microphone cables, three drum mounts and a hard-shell carrying case. For its kick, it features PGA52 cardioid dynamic kick drum microphone. It is a beauty designed for kick drum and is perfect for low-frequency performance and recording along with swivel joint and quick release latch.
Its PGA56 Carioid Dynamic Snare/Tom Microphone comes with swivel joint and quick release latch very much similar to the PGA52. The PGA57 mic included in the kit is tailored for the cardioid dynamic instrument microphone both for amplified and acoustic instruments, resulting in better performance recording.
Finally, the PGA181 side-address cardioid condenser microphone is for amplified and acoustic instrument along with vocal recording for maximum versatility and recording options.
- Features PGA52 kick drum mic, three PGA56 instruments mics, one PGA57 instrument mic and two PGA181 condenser mics
- Three drum mounts and seven XLR cables included
- Durable carrying case
- No drawbacks
Audix FP7 Instrument Dynamic Microphone, Multipattern
The Audix FP7 is a pro level drum miking package and is reasonably priced. It comes with a whole new series of Audix dynamic mics including f6 for the kick, f5 for snare, three f2’s for toms and finally two small diaphragm f9 condensers for the overheads.
All of it is packed in a nice foam-lined aluminium case which makes it easier for you to organize your kit and carry it anywhere you want. It also comes with stand clips for each mic and separate foam windscreens for f9 condensers.
The mics included in the kit are made from sturdy zinc bodies, and extremely tough steel grilles which can withstand the churn and burn of drum hits Its f9 condenser mics comes with cardioid pickup patterns whereas the dynamics are hyper cardioid, offers better isolation with no external interruption.
Overall, this new Fusion Series from Audix over delivers and comes with a multitude of performance characteristics. It is perfect for individuals who spend most of their time in the studio.
- Features high-quality mics for drums and percussion
- Comes with DFLEX clips for easy rim mounting
- Durable and lightweight
- Heavy duty aluminium rugged case included
- Mic clips are not that solid
CAD Audio Stage 7 Premium 7-Piece Drum Pack
CAD Audio Stage 7 Premium 7-Piece Drum pack is a total drum set miking solution. It is an all-in-one package which comes with the legendary KM212 dynamic cardioid kick drum mic along with three TM211 dynamic cardioid tom mics and attaches drum mount clips.
There is an SN 210 dynamic cardioid snare mic as well which comes with an attached drum mount clip along with two CM 217 cardioid mini pencil condenser overhead microphones and external roll-off pad all for your convenience and ease of use throughout the recording and playing session.
All of this comes packed in a durable vinyl carrying case which also has a shoulder strap to carry it anywhere you want.
The whole kit weighs only 4.6 pounds which makes it extremely lightweight and easy for you to carry it. The D29 tom mics and D19 snare drum mics come with the integrated mounting system while the D10 microphone is cardioid dynamic in its design.
The condenser mics used are perfect for those high hats, cymbals and overhead sounds, making it the perfect kit for all drummers.
- Seven high-quality custom drum mics
- Features integrated clips
- Heavy duty soft sided zippered carry case for your convenience
- Perfect for professional use
- Clamps have a design flaw
Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic
If you are on a tight budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality and still want all the features, Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic can help you out. It is probably the best microphones in the world.
It is so popular nowadays that every major studio has one of these right next to the toms. So much so, even if you chit-chat with some seasonal FOH or may a recording engineer, asking them about their drum miking preference for toms and percussion, Sennheiser MD 421 II will be the first thing that comes out.
This is all because of its excellent sound quality and the ability to deal with different types of recording conditions along with broadcast applications.
It has 5-position bass control which helps to enhance its overall performance. Overall, it is one of the best drum mics you will find on the market with outstanding reviews, high directional cardioid pickup pattern and zero rejection rate.
- Unique 5-position bass control
- Highly direction cardioid pickup pattern for outstanding performance
- Rugged construction
- Slightly expensive
Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit
DMK57-52 is a 4-piece affordable drum microphone set which has everything you need to get started. Firstly, it comes with high-quality clamps for proper alignment of your mics on different drums.
Inside the kit, you will find Beta-52A and 3 x Sm57 mics both of which are dynamic. However, the SM57 features cardioid picking pattern and a tailored frequency response ranging from lows to highs and is extremely stable on the mid-range making it the perfect equipment.
It goes hand in hand with toms and snares. Being extremely versatile you can couple it with different musical instruments. While its price is very low but this doesn’t sacrifice the sound quality it produces.
Both for the toms and snares, it has a clean, accurate and incredible output and requires absolutely no EQ. The mics are pretty easy to setup. All you need to do is simply clamp them, and you are all set to go.
Whether it be studio recording or even live performance, you can trust this kit when it comes to quality output. Overall, it is one of the most affordable 4-piece drum mic sets you will find on the market.
- High-quality clean sound
- Accurate and precise
- Very reasonable price
- Clamps sometimes go loose
Audix FP5 Instrument Dynamic Microphone, Hyper-Cardioid
Audix FP5 Hyper Cardioid is a set of 5 fusion dynamic mics which includes f6 for kick drum, three f2 for rack and floor toms and f5 for the snare. Each of the Audix mics comes with snap to fit DCLIP mix stand adapter, and the whole kit is nicely packed in a heavy-duty rugged aluminium carrying case which makes it easier for to carry it anywhere you want.
- Five high-quality mics included for drums and percussion
- DFLEX clips for quick rim mounting
- Durable case bodies along with steel grilles
- Lightweight yet durable aluminium carrying case
- Takes extra space
Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone
The most used and best-known microphone on stage. The robust SM81-LC offers exceptional sound and ensures perfect voice and instrument reproduction wherever it is used.
The Shure SM81-LC is one of the most widely used microphones in the audio world, and with its extended frequency response, it delivers a sound that has set a new standard in the professional audio world.
Its spherical filter reduces wind and breathing noise, and its solid design allows for long use but also the possibility of renting it. This microphone is also, very little subject to feedback. (Unless you place a speaker right in front of him.)
What differentiates the SM81-LC from the SM 58SE is the on/off switch on the microphone. The usefulness of this switch depends on the use. The advantage of this plus is that the user can control the sound himself.
The disadvantage is that artists remain human, and humans tend to touch everything, especially if stress starts to rise! It may be that once on stage, the artist in question turns off the microphone without realizing it. That’s why Shure offers two versions.
- Outstanding frequency response ranging from 0Hz to 20kHz
- Offer 6 and 18 dB/octave roll-off
- Features both low noise and high output clipping level
- Cardioid polar pattern with uniform frequency
- The on/off switch is very sensitive
Sennheiser E604 Dynamic Cardioid Instrument Microphone Kit, 3-Pack
The Sennheiser E604 is a dynamic microphone primarily designed for recording snare drums, toms or certain wind instruments. It is delivered with a strapping clamp that will allow you to place it as close as possible to your drum, for optimal positioning.
You’ll benefit from extremely precise taps, with a frequency response between 40 Hz and 18 kHz, and without having to fear the slightest distortion, this microphone being able to handle impressive sound pressure levels!
- Three high-quality mics in a single package
- Outstanding sound level handling capabilities
- Offers transparent and dynamic signal response
- Lightweight voice coil which helps with better sound quality
- A bit difficult to assemble but you’ll get used to it after a while
Shure PGADRUMKIT5 5-Piece Drum Microphone Kit
Shure PGADRUMKIT5 is another 5-piece affordable option for those who want all the miking options for their drums. The kit includes five PG ALTA Series mix along with five XLR mic cables, three drum mounts and a hard-shell carrying case.
What makes this kit unique is the ease of use. You will be able to assemble each mic in no time. There is a user-manual inside which helps further with all the setup instructions.
- Most affordable drum mic kit
- Includes mics for drums, toms, instruments
- Break-resistant mic clips and rim mounts included
- Comes with a durable carrying case
- No drawbacks
Audix D6 Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
The Audix D6 is a dynamic microphone designed for recording or amplifying instruments on stage or in the studio. Powerful, light and easy to position, it will be suitable for bass rich instruments such as a bass tom or a bass drum, but also for the cover of a bass amp, among others. A pouch and a DCLIP clip are included.
Ideal for close miking, the D6 features a VLM (Very Low Mass) diaphragm that delivers faithful and highly accurate sound reproduction with a frequency response between 30 Hz and 15 kHz. It is also capable of withstanding high sound pressure levels, up to 144 dB SPL, making it ideal for percussion recording. The microphone also has a cardioid pattern that ensures not only good source isolation but also no feedback, which is ideal for use on stage.
- Clarity and attack at the same time
- Perfect for kick drums, bass cabs and floor toms
- VLM diaphragm offers great transient response
- Easily handles high SPLs without any distortion
- Cannot be used as a standalone bass drum mic
Shure BETA 91A Half-Cardioid Condenser Kick-Drum Microphone
With a superior attack and a punchy output with unrivalled sound quality, Shure BETA 91A half Cardioid Condenser Kick Drum Mic is leading the market. It is extremely versatile and can be used with a variety of other applications.
It has an updated mic capsule and comes integrated with preamplifier along with XLR connection. This mic can offer strong low-frequency response and results in great studio-quality sound even at SPL.
- Offers two-position contour
- Helps to maximize attack and clarity
- Half-cardioid polar pattern
- Upgraded design with proper furnishing and a zipper pouch
- A few users say it produces popping sound in between
CAD Pro-7 7-Piece Drum Microphone Pack
CAD Pro-7 is an all-in-one drum microphone starter pack which comes with a single KM212 dynamic cardioid kick drum mic, three TM211 dynamic cardioid tom mics and attached drum mount clips along with a single SN 210 dynamic cardioid snare mic which also features an attached drum mount clip and finally two CM 217 cardioid mini pencil condenser overhead mics.
Overall, it is the perfect beginner mic kit with all the gears packed nicely in a durable carrying case with proper foam lining.
- Comes with a convenient vinyl carrying case with a shoulder strap
- Two Cm 217 cardioid mini pencil condenser mix
- One SN 210 dynamic cardioid snare mic
- Three TM211 dynamic cardioid tom mics and one KM212 dynamic cardioid kick drum mic
- The mic grilles are of satisfactory quality
Shure BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element
Another beauty from Shure is BETA 52A Supercardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Mic which has a great frequency response typically designed for the kick drums and bass instruments. It features a built-in dynamic locking stand adapter with the integral XLR connector to simplify the setup.
Its studio quality performance makes it perfect both for studio and on-stage performance. It can easily handle the high sound pressure levels, and its super cardioid pattern results in a high gain and superior rejection of unwanted noise.
- Very low sensitivity to VLI (varying load impedance)
- Better frequency response
- Built-in dynamic locking stand adapter
- XLR connector included
- No drawbacks
Nady DMK-7 7-Piece Drum Microphone Kit
Nady DMK-7 series is constantly being improved. This Nady DMK-7 is the embodiment of the AKG vision of high quality, wide application, and attractively priced studio microphones.
Nady DMK-7 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone and is the most popular model in the Project Studio range. With its switchable -20 dB pad and effective low-cut filter, this is a versatile model.
The Nady DMK-7 comes in a comprehensive configuration, including SH100 shock suspension (for vibration-free recording) and a durable metal microphone case to protect it during transport or storage.
- A perfect 7-piece drum mic
- Include four DM-70 mics optimal for accurate sonic reproduction
- Two CM-88 mics included with small diaphragm
- Comes with mic clips and durable padded storage case
- A few mics are not that lively
AKG P420 High-performance Dual-capsule True Condenser Microphone
The AKG Project P420 is a condenser microphone that offers three directivities. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, it is housed in a metal case. This wide diaphragm microphone can be easily adjusted according to the location and type of instrument or voice you want to record.
Note that it comes with a rugged carrying case and AKG SH100 Spider shock suspension for exemplary recordings without handling noise. The case supplied keeps the P420 in excellent condition. In short, Project P420 will quickly become indispensable once you have tried it.
A good reason to choose the AKG P420 instead of the P220 is that the former is equipped with a three-position directivity selector: cardioid (unidirectional), omnidirectional (no sound source is preferred) and figure 8.
This last directivity allows a Blumlein configuration based on a matched pair of microphones. To learn more about the different directivities proposed by the P420, see the photos above.
In addition to a directivity selector, the P420 features a 300 Hz switchable low-cut filter with a 12 dB/oct slope, which, combined with the supplied shock suspension, effectively suppresses low frequencies and unwanted handling noise.
A -20 dB pad allows a choice between 135 dB SPL and 155 dB SPL. The high-quality membrane displays a wide frequency response, allowing natural sound. Finally, note that this Project Studio condenser microphone has a metal housing, to ensure its longevity.
- Features three selectable polar patterns for perfect setting
- Low noise electronics
- No transformer for a high dynamic range
- Switchable attenuation pad
- Might be too sensitive
How to Choose Good Drum Mics
This buying guide describes the various types of well-known microphones and their characteristics.
One of the essential elements of recordings and concerts is the choice of microphone. A good microphone, in any situation, must be technically adapted to the purpose for which you want to use it, and give you the sound you are looking for.
Condenser microphones are usually used in controlled environments, such as studios, to pick up drums and voices. For live concerts, a dynamic microphone is ideal to hold it in your hand and move it on stage.
A wireless microphone lets you browse the stage during the show, and a USB microphone can turn your smartphone or tablet into a mini studio.
The sound of voices and instruments can vary considerably depending on the microphone used, so try different microphones as much as possible until you find the sound that suits you.
This is the most important thing when buying a mic for your drum set. The type of mic you choose will define how versatile the sound output will be.
No matter what you record, there’s probably a condenser microphone specially designed for your situation.
Condenser microphones are the most used microphones in the studio because they generally have a louder sound output and a wider frequency response (the ability to reproduce the speed of a voice or instrument) than dynamic microphones.
In general, they are also more expensive, although cheaper models also exist. Condenser microphones are powered by an external power source, internal battery power or phantom power from a mixing console. Most mixers have phantom power for voice inputs, but some older and more basic models do not. When shopping, make sure that the model you are considering is compatible with your mixing console.
Condenser microphones are the most common choice for recording voices and drums in the studio. In some cases, it is possible to use condenser microphones for live concerts, for example for choirs, pianos and strings.
Condenser microphones generally work best in environments where the sound is highly controlled.
Well known for their high resilience and versatility, dynamic microphones are the industry standard for both instrument and live voice recording. Almost all dynamic microphones have an integrated shock absorption system to maintain clear and consistent sound quality despite rough or lively handling during concerts.
These features make the dynamic microphone ideal for live music performances that are by nature unpredictable. Dynamic microphones have a limited frequency response and can withstand high sound pressure levels, making them ideal for guitar amplifiers, vocals and high volume drums on stage.
Ribbon microphones are a type of dynamic microphone frequently used for voice recording and most instrumental studio recordings. These microphones are designed to eliminate the strident noise created by feedback, resonate in the mid to high frequencies and “warm up” the tone of the recorded sound.
In general, ribbon microphones are not the first choice of sound recorders or sound engineers because their advantages are too subtle for live concert atmospheres.
USB microphones offer the convenience of plug and play that fits today’s digital music landscape and home recording trend. They are available in a variety of dynamic and condenser microphones for both voice and instrument recording.
Many manufacturers have taken the USB microphone concept a step further by integrating mobile applications for iOS and Android with the microphone to transform smartphones and tablets into portable mini-studios.
Designed for the stage and professionals, wireless microphones allow the singer to move freely on stage or in the concert hall. These microphones feature a battery-powered transmitter built into the microphone body, replacing the cable traditionally used in wired microphones. The wireless transmitter sends the signal from the microphone to a receiver attached to a sound system or mixing console.
While microphone-receiver assemblies operate on corresponding frequencies, microphones and receivers purchased separately may not operate. So pay attention to the frequency of each device when you buy them separately.
Canon microphones are often used when it is not possible to position a microphone directly in front of a sound source. For example, if you don’t want someone to hold a microphone in front of their mouth during an interview.
This explains its elongated cylindrical shape, which gives the microphone a narrower focus to pick up sounds in front of the microphone and repel sounds from the sides and behind. Canon microphones are frequently used in film or video productions, plays, as well as for sound effects.
Microphones for instruments
Instrument microphones are designed to pick up frequencies created by specific instruments. For example, battery microphones are sold in sets where each microphone corresponds to the different components of the battery.
This allows each microphone to pick up the tone of one percussion while avoiding picking up the sound of the others. Battery microphones are generally compatible with XLR jacks and are designed for studio and live to record.
Microphones for classical and Big Band instruments, such as woodwind, brass, strings and pianos, are lightweight and typically designed as micro ties, eliminating the need for permanent sensors. These microphones are available in wireless and wired versions and are primarily used in live concerts.
Tips for Buying Microphones
- Shop for multipurpose microphones to enrich your collection
- Examine the compatibility of microphones with other hardware and software components you already have
- Research the favorite microphones of artists in your musical genre to find out more.
- Explore online forums to read user reviews and recommendations
- Listen to audio sample recordings online
Precautions and Maintenance Tips
- Protect your microphones from heat, moisture and rough handling
- Never place a microphone on a surface: it may collect fine iron particles that will interfere with its proper operation or damage it.
- Never blow into a microphone to test it.
- Protect your microphones when used outdoors with a semi-closed cellular foam windscreen
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for precautions and maintenance.
Though the best drum mics won’t cost you a fortune still you need to access your budget and then choose one accordingly.
If you are brand cautious, you may want to invest a bit more because not all brands come at the same cost.
Finally, I would recommend not to sacrifice quality just to save up that extra buck for your coffee. Invest a little bit more and get something which lasts longer and delivers what it promises.
We have played our part by recommending you the best available options on the market. Now it is your turn to pick the best out of the best.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section, and we’ll reply you back ASAP.
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