The drum mic is an essential part of a well-rounded recording setup. It is crucial to have drum mics in your arsenal since they have the power to transform your sound in an instant. Whatever kind of music you play, one thing is sure, you must record your drums appropriately to sound their best.
Quality drum mics can help you get the greatest drum sounds possible in a recording studio.
In this article, we will walk you through the various factors you need to keep in mind before making a purchase, the 10 best drum mics on the market and some questions you might have in your mind regarding them. Therefore, let’s get started on our musical journey.
Roundup of the Best Drum Mics
|Overall Best Drum Mic||Shure BETA52A Super Cardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element|
|Best Dynamic Drum Mic||Sennheiser Professional E 604 Compact Dynamic Cardioid Instrument Microphone|
|Most Compact Drum Mic||Shure PGA56-XLR|
|Best Wired Microphone Kit for Drummers||Shure Drum Microphone Kit for Performing and Recording Drummers|
|Best Budget Drum Mic||Heimu Bass Drum Microphone|
|Best Drum Mic for Professionals||AKG D112 MkII Professional Bass Drum Microphone|
|Best Condenser Drum Mic||Shure BETA 91A|
|Drum Mic With Best Design||SOLOMON MiCS LoFReQ Sub Microphone|
|Best Drum Mic for Bass Drums||sE Electronics – V Kick Drum Microphone with Classic and Modern Voices Supercardioid|
|Most Durable Drum Mic||Sennheiser Professional e 609 Silver Super-Cardioid Instrument Microphone|
Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Drum Mics
For your convenience, we have provided essential information to help you choose the best drum mic kits.
1. Build Quality
Choose a drum mic that is durable and can handle some rough handling and still perform admirably for a long time. Given how often you use them, damage may accrue quicker, so go for the strongest microphone you can find. Ensure that the material is durable and long-lasting.
The compatibility varies from one drum microphone to the next. Before purchasing, it is essential to ensure that it is compatible with your drum. As a result, you’ll be able to save time and money.
The number of drum mics in a pack varies depending on the type of microphone. Therefore, you should base your decision on how you intend to utilize it. For example, if you want more than one person to use the microphone simultaneously, selecting the correct number of microphones is critical. You’ll prevent hassles and save time by not searching for another piece.
That is the total of the matter. The rest is a matter of personal choice and, of course, budgetary limits. So it’s possible to get outstanding high-end models and adequate low-cost alternatives.
Top 10 Mics for Drummers
To assist you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 greatest drum mics you can buy in 2023.
1. Shure BETA52A Super Cardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element
Overall Best Drum Mic
- Dependable stainless steel grille
- Rejects mechanical feedback and vibrations
- Neodymium high-gain magnet
- Perfect for use as a bass and kick drum microphone
- Fantastic studio audio and recording
- We found no issues
Shure BETA52A is love at first sound. It creates the kind of heart-pounding kick drum sound you usually hear exclusively in nightclubs. It’s well-built and composed of high-quality materials, so you can count on it to endure for many years, and we have chosen it as the overall best drum mic.
We found that this microphone’s frequency response captures the best sound possible from your kicks when it comes to kick drums. Since it has a tremendous sound pressure level (SPL) of 174 dB and can sustain enormous dynamic ranges up close, and we felt the impact when we set it near kick drum for testing.
In conclusion, Shure Beta 52A drum mic does the job and does it well. So put this microphone in front of your kick so you can rock the house with your footwork! The durable design of this microphone makes it a gadget you’ll never hesitate to take on the road with you. We think it is an excellent choice for both the kick drum and the floor tom.
2. Sennheiser Professional E 604 Compact Dynamic Cardioid Instrument Microphone
Best Dynamic Drum Mic
- Extremely compact and practical size
- 10-year warranty
- Professional sound recording
- High sensitivity and durability
- Can handle high sound level
- We found no issues
If you want to record your drums at a professional quality right from the start, the Sennheiser 604 system is an excellent choice. This mic is capable of handling whatever a snare can throw at it. With this device, you won’t ever have to worry about your levels dipping too low because it can withstand 160dB of SPL, and it is the best dynamic drum mic on our list.
We found that because of its modest weight, you may easily transport it to where needed. At 40Hz-18kHz, it has an excellent frequency response and a tight cardioid pattern that captures the drums’ most direct sound. They have a fantastic sound, and we could easily attach and remove it from the rims of the drums.
In conclusion, it’s hard to beat the sound and build quality of the Sennheiser E604 dynamic microphone. Moreover, with its excellent sensitivity, you may quickly identify areas of your recordings that need to be cleaned up or mastered with this tool. Regarding recording drums, the E604 is hard to top and a sound investment for the future.
3. Shure PGA56-XLR
Most Compact Drum Mic
- Exceptional design & compact construction
- Drum mount available for fast connection
- Swivel joint with a fast release latch
- Decent value for money
- Customized design for accurate replication of your toms
- It lacks the depth and richness of expensive options
The Shure PGA56 XLR is simple to set up but packs a punch. It has a very compact design, and you can place the microphone precisely as you want, thanks to a quick-release leaver and clip-on design. So battling with awkward stands is no longer an option, and we have chosen it as the best compact drum mic due to all these features.
We found in our testing that the cardioid pickup design of the PGA56 mic’s custom microphone cartridge produces crisp sound reproduction while filtering undesired background noise. The Shure PGA56 is the ideal workhorse for live events and can withstand bumps and scrapes thanks to its metal housing and exceptional build quality.
In conclusion, with Shure PGA56, you get clean and powerful tom sounds reasonably priced. The clamp and adaptor that come with it make it super simple to mount to drums. Moreover, it is pretty long-lasting and has a beautiful tone to it. In our opinion, you won’t regret purchasing it, and it’s worth the money.
View on Amazon: Shure PGA56-XLR
4. Shure Drum Microphone Kit for Performing and Recording Drummers
Best Wired Microphone Kit for Drummers
- Pure & high-quality sound
- Excellent precision and presence
- Excellent value for the money
- Works even in harsh situations
- Durable & simple to assemble
- We found no issues
The Shure DMK57-52 is unquestionably one of the most powerful 4-piece drum mic kits (a Beta-52A and 3 x SM57 mics) on the market today. In terms of sound quality, it is near the top end but at a very reasonable price point and occupies the position of the best-wired mic kit for drummers on our list.
It is impossible not to be impressed by the clarity and accuracy of the 57s’ sound on the toms and snare drums. All you need to do is plug them in, and you’re ready to record in no time! Since they are perfect for both live performance and recording in the studio, you can take them everywhere. Beta-52A’s bass is punchy and dynamic without losing attack clarity; the sound has a strong sense of presence and is exceptionally well-rounded.
In conclusion, Shure DMK57-52 is a fantastic drum microphone package. Moreover, you may still utilize this package to its full extent when you’re not recording drums. If you need a bass amp, go with the Beta 52A; for guitar amps or voice cabs, use the SM57. The SM57-52 drum microphones come with three sturdy drum mounts and a heavy-duty carrying box as part of this drum microphone package.
View on Amazon: Shure Drum Microphone Kit for Performing and Recording Drummers
5. Heimu Bass Drum Microphone
Best Budget Drum Mic
- Excellent value for money
- Fantastic low-end punch
- It can be used as a vocal mic
- Excellent range & can handle high SPL
- The mount is of plastic, thus not sturdy
If you’re seeking a reliable bass drum mic but don’t want to spend a lot of money, Heimu Bass Drum Microphone is the answer. It exhibits a robust supercardioid pattern and a positive proximity effect. So if you are getting a lot of everything at a 1/3rd price, this drum mic deserves the place of the best budget option place on our list.
We discovered via testing that the bass response is excellent and doesn’t choke out. It also performs admirably as a vocal mic. In our testing, it caught the snap and the boom from the drums. It has a full-bodied sound, concentrated yet resonant bottom frequencies, and a good impact transient pickup for that beater “slap.”
In conclusion, this is the ideal microphone to purchase if you’re on a low budget. This mic is made to last and has a superb quality for live sound applications, and it is perfect for drummers who are just starting rehearsals or those who perform on the weekends. The output is excellent, and you can do as much EQing as you like!
View on Amazon: Heimu Bass Drum Microphone
6. AKG D112 MkII Professional Bass Drum Microphone
Best Drum Mic for Professionals
- Budget-friendly drum set
- Exact, sharp, and clear sound quality
- Outstanding stage and studio productions
- Sturdy construction
- Versatile on low-frequency instruments
- Excellent for studio and stage use, but perhaps not the best for use at home
The D112 MKII is a beautiful microphone for bass drums and other low-pitched instruments, including bass guitars, trombones, and more. With a frequency response of 20 Hz to 17 kHz, this microphone is dynamic and has an extremely wide diaphragm, and we have chosen it as the best drum mic for professionals.
Due to its oval-shaped grille, industry experts commonly refer to it as “the egg.” Its distinctive form allows it to manage wind pressure. We discovered that there’s plenty of kick to this mic, so it’s an excellent choice for professionals that want an explosive, punchy sound. In addition, we could rotate the microphone and set it at any angle to receive the most output, thanks to the flexible mount, which was terrific.
In conclusion, as far as dynamic microphones go, AKG D112 MKII is at the top of the heap. Every drummer understands that if they want to wow the crowd, they need a dependable and sturdy kick drum microphone. So for both live and studio performances, AKG’s microphone is an excellent choice!
View on Amazon: AKG D112 MkII Professional Bass Drum Microphone
7. Shure BETA 91A
Best Condenser Drum Mic
- Low-profile, precisely engineered design
- 2- Position contour
- Specialized bass drum microphone
- Reproduces audio accurately
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Not mountable on a stand
The Shure Beta 91A is a kick drum microphone that stands out from the rest of this list. A condenser microphone, integrated preamp, and two-position contour switch all contribute to the unique sound of the Shure Beta 91A and, undoubtedly, is the best condenser drum mic on our list.
Our team found that this microphone can endure wear and tear owing to its die-cast construction and steel grille, and it provided studio-quality sound punch even at extremely high sound pressure levels when we tested it. Moreover, we were astounded to discover that an SPL of 155dB did not cause any distortion in this device’s dynamic range, which is quite broad.
In conclusion, Beta 91A gives a more consistent and easy-to-EQ kick sound compared to traditional kick drum microphones. With this condenser drum mic, you can select a flat response and a low-mid scoop option that adds more aggression to your recordings. Furthermore, when it comes to efficiency and sound, this is without a doubt one of the most outstanding designs available.
View on Amazon: Shure BETA 91A
8. SOLOMON MiCS LoFReQ Sub Microphone
Drum Mic With Best Design
- Stylish and well-constructed
- Reasonable pricing
- Integrated mount for quick attachment to a typical mic stand
- Captures the low end on the kick drum
- Occasionally difficult to position
The LoFreq is a fantastic-looking product, and the microphone has a sturdy feel to it in all parts of its design and construction; therefore, we have included it as the drum mic with the best design on our list. So if you’re working on anything that needs a lot of low-end, this microphone could be a good fit.
We found that it primarily adds to your standard kick mic. This reverse speaker cabinet adds a terrific subwoofer to your standard kick set and is sturdy and small. In our tests, we placed this beast in front of the kick drum and blended it with our regular kick drum mic until we had the desired thud and performed exceptionally well. You can use it by itself as well. Our team members were impressed that it remarkably captured the “oomph” of bass drums when they tested it.
In conclusion, the LoFreq is worth looking into if you record a lot of live drumming, particularly if you already like utilizing a subkick-style mic. It is a more lightweight, compact, and reasonably priced variation on the “subkick” mic concept, which has several unexpected applications outside than kick drums.
View on Amazon: SOLOMON MiCS LoFReQ Sub Microphone
9. sE Electronics – V Kick Drum Microphone with Classic and Modern Voices Supercardioid
Best Drum Mic for Bass Drums
- Compact & versatile
- Excellent build quality
- Comes with 4 presets for different sounds
- Extremely easy to set up
- Comes with an internal windscreen that reduces wind noise, popping, and plosives
- We did not find any issue
The V Kick is, without a doubt, one of the most adaptable kick drum mics we have ever had the pleasure of testing. We were astonished at how simple it is to get a muscular, tight bass sound by adjusting parameters without even touching the mixer’s EQ, so we have selected it as the best drum mic for bass drums.
We found that because of the microphone’s built-in swivel joint, we can position it in any desired location. Moreover, the particular capsule it uses has a sound quality optimized exclusively for kick drums. In addition, the V KICK has two switches on the rear that allow for four different sound settings, making it ideal for live events with several bands and rapid changeovers.
In conclusion, because of the V KICK, you can get whatever kick sound you choose. But, of course, you can always make the correct decision even if you have one microphone at your disposal. The V KICK’s sophisticated internal capsule suspension effectively isolates the capsule from shocks and jolts, and you don’t even need an external shock mount. A great buy!
10. Sennheiser Professional e 609 Silver Super-Cardioid Instrument Microphone
Most Durable Drum Mic
- Close positioning microphone with excellent engineering
- Useful for stand-alone usage
- Robust but without being too heavy
- Self-noise is low
- Polarity with a hyper-cardioid orientation
- You must locate the optimal location to get the most out of it
The Sennheiser e609 guitar cab mic is a low-cost and the most durable option on the list, and it effortlessly mimics the sound of classic guitar cab mics.
We found that it’s easy to operate and doesn’t even need a stand, and we liked that the metal body of the mic makes it so durable that even if you knock it over, it will be safe. It is a high-quality product at an affordable price. The sub’s bass has a lot of presence and can handle immense direct sound pressure. So there is no limit to how loud you can make the sound. The hyper-cardioid pattern keeps it focused on what it’s supposed to capture and rejects any unwanted noise.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a mic having excellent build quality, which frees you from the need to use extreme caution while working with it, go for the Sennheiser Professional e 609 Silver Super-Cardioid Instrument Microphone. The construction makes it possible for it to rest against your amplifier. It makes it easy to utilize on the go. If you are the one who is a little bit careless about your gigs, you must invest in e609.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drum Mics
No specific type of microphone is best for drums; it all depends on what kind of sound you want. Therefore, if you want the heavier, more isolated sound that is possible only if you put the mic close to the drum, a dynamic microphone is usually you must opt for.
However, condenser mics are the way to go if you want a more open and natural sound while still having enhanced attack. We think that ribbon microphones provide a silky sound well suited for woodwind instruments such as the saxophone, clarinet, and oboe. Our experts say they are not too sensitive but provide a precise sound.
Dynamic microphones have a relatively small diaphragm and are excellent for capturing high-pitched sounds from cymbal instruments. In most cases, musicians use them with toms and snare drums. They are constructed quite nicely and have an above-average frequency in the middle range.
In addition to its warm and rich sound, a dynamic mic can handle exceptionally high sound pressure levels before they begin to distort. It converts a sound wave into an audio signal by employing a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet in the same way as a loudspeaker does. Onstage miking is often done using dynamic microphones since they provide the best sound quality.
When you are live-miking your drums, one of the most critical decisions you will need is where to situate your microphones and how many to utilize. As a general rule of thumb, at the very least, you will need a microphone to be put on your kick drum, you need to place a microphone on your snare drum, and a microphone overhead to pick up the remaining kit.
There are drummers and audio engineers that don’t stop there. Install at least one mic specifically for the hi-hat, and if at all possible, you should install two microphones in the overhead positions. In an ideal setting, this equates to a total of five microphones.
Below are the ways you can connect different types of drum mics to drums:
Kick Drum Mic
Connect an XLR cable to your large-diaphragm dynamic microphone. Then, connect the microphone to channel 1 of the audio interface. If the resonant head of your bass drum has a hole in it, position the microphone such that it is halfway within the drum on a towel. Then, place the front of the microphone (the side facing the grill) so that it is pointing in the direction of where the bass drum beater hits the batter’s head.
Snare Drum Mic
You will need to take your dynamic microphone and attach an XLR wire.
Connect the microphone to channel 2 of the audio interface that you are using.
Place the microphone stand so that the microphone enters the snare drum in the space between the hi-hat and the first rack tom.
Place the microphone’s grill a few millimeters from the drum’s edge and roughly two millimeters above the drum’s head. Then point the microphone toward the middle of the drum.
Hi-hat Drum Mic
Start by connecting an XLR wire to your hi-hat mic. Then, connect the microphone to channel 3 of the audio interface. After that, you must place the microphone in the middle of the cymbal. This place is midway between the edge and the bell and approximately 5 to 6 inches above the cymbal.
Toms Drum Mic
Playing the toms (tom-toms) will be similar to that of the snare drum. Each mic should have an XLR cord connected to it. Then, connect your toms to channels 4, 5, and 6 in that order (Hi, Mid, and Low toms). Place the microphones, so they are slightly within the rim of each tom and direct them toward the middle of the drum head. Most portable tom microphones come with a clip that you may use to secure the mic to the tom’s rim. Adjust the level of the mic gain for each tom individually.
In most cases, overheads consist of two microphones combined to provide a stereo picture of the drum set. They are positioned a few feet around the drum set with their fronts facing down toward the drums. When it comes to the overall sound of your drum recordings, the overhead microphones are, in our opinion, the most critical mics to use.
Large condenser microphones are the ones that musicians use most often for this purpose.
There are many distinct ways in which one might install a pair of overheads for a drum kit; for example, a “spaced pair” is a trendy one.
Connect an XLR wire to each of the overhead microphones.
Your audio interface should have channels 7 and 8 for the microphone to be plugged into.
Place the first microphone about four to five feet above the left side of the drum set. You must place the microphone such that the front of it faces down toward the drums and covers the “left half” of the drum set on the left side. Place the second mic in the exact location as the first, but angle it so that it faces the right side of the drum set.
Final Words on the Best Drum Mics
This list highlights the most incredible drum mics currently available and may accommodate a variety of price points. Moreover, when it comes to the purchase of recording equipment, it is essential to remember that pricing directly reflects quality; hence, you will either buy good or buy twice.
The finest drum microphones produce indisputably smooth and clear sounds, such as those you hear on popular music recordings. You can also pair them up with karaoke microphones to jam your gig, or if you want, you can use podcast microphones to broadcast your music.
The Shure BETA52A Super-Cardioid Dynamic Kick Drum Microphone with High Output Neodymium Element is a microphone of the same superior quality as is heard on historic hit recordings.
We hope our buyer’s guide was helpful to you in your hunt for the best drum mic kit on the market. We have chosen the finest mics that will provide you with years of dependable service for all your drumming demands, both live and in the studio.