Top 5 Best Drum Mics: Ranked and Reviewed

Editor’s Choice

  • Exclusive HEIL Sorbothane isolation system
  • Dual suspension system between the dynamic element and the grille
  • Smooth response sounding like a ribbon

Best Overall

  • Excellent for either live performances or studio recordings
  • Durable to handle increased sound pressure levels and hard stick hits
  • Able to capture the entire sound spectrum from low to high-frequency levels

Budget-Friendly

  • Designed for demanding instrument recordings
  • Works exceptionally well on woodwind and string instruments
  • Lightweight voice coils provide extended high frequency and rapid transient response

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best drum mics, then I’d recommend the Earthworks DK7 Drum Kit System as the best one. 

There has been a steady increase in recorded music revenues in the past years, both in the US and globally. As the pandemic rampaged the world the previous two years, artists changed how they share music. Consumers also relied primarily on recorded content. Outstanding recording output requires stellar equipment. Microphones, specifically, are an essential component in recording and sharing music. Even instruments, like drums, need their microphones. This article will help you know the best drum mics the market offers.

Here are the Best Drum Mics we will be reviewing:

Why Choose the Best Drum Mics?

What are drum mics?

Drum mics are a type of microphone used to record drum sound. Using a drum microphone can result in drastic changes to your sound quality. Regardless of the style and genre of music, recording your drums in the right way with the right gear will help you achieve the sound you like.

Drum microphones catch the complex sounds a drum set makes. As a result, you get rich and coherent sound quality instead of drowned and cracked.

Techniques for Using Drum Mics

Positioning drum microphones takes technical know-how. If you’re a newbie, it might take some research and trial-and-error. In using techniques for miking, know that there should be one unified sound instead of chunking of different drum sounds. It is noteworthy that using these miking techniques all at once creates variations in sound. Thus, make sure these changes result in balanced and coherent sound quality.

Close miking

Close miking is a technique that places the microphone close to the drums. A standard close-miking technique positions the microphone 12 inches (or less) from the drums. This technique isolates the mic signal from ambient noise in the room and other instruments surrounding it.

Distant miking

Distant miking records the sound from a distance away. Such a technique is beneficial for capturing stereo images of a drum kit while recording in the studio. However, some find it helpful for recording an orchestra or live concerts.

Overheads

Overhead microphones are vital in making your music sound professional and YouTube-ready.  This technique allows for capturing the entire drum kit stereo image. Most people think of it as a microphone for cymbals, but it’s for everything. But if you’re playing or recording in small venues and have limited equipment, you can do away with overheads.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Drum Mics

Kind of drum you will use the mic for

Snare drum

A snare drum is a centerpiece and the most versatile component of your drum kit. It produces sounds with a full bang and sharp attack. You can play the upbeats, backbeats, and everything in between with the snare drum. You can mic a snare drum for above or above and below.

Kick drum

A kick drum is the most sizeable drum in your kit. Thus it produces lower frequencies than other types of drums. The sound of a kick drum is vital in all musical genres. Placing the microphone at the lower half of the kick drum should capture the sound. Although, getting the sound quality you want might entail some trial-and-error on the positioning.

Toms

Toms (or tom-tom drums) are a part of a standard five-part drum set. There are four main types of tom-toms: floor, rack, roto, and concert. When recording Toms, it’s best to use a clip holder. The lip holder will ensure the mic is in place and easy to maneuver.

Hi-hats

A hi-hat comprises two cymbals that are fixed in a hi-hat stand. The top cymbal is hooked to a rod raised or lowered via a foot pedal. It produces sound when struck at the edge with the drumstick. Hi-hats have different types of sound depending on whether they are open (the drummer’s foot is raised) or closed. 

Hi-hats sound tends to bleed into the snare microphone, so a separate mic is recommended. Overheads work for hi-hats as a base option. Then you can add additional microphones as you deem necessary to capture the sound you desire.

Type of drum mic

Condenser

Condenser microphones are high in sensitivity and frequency range. Such features mean that they record sounds without lags. They also need external power to work. Condenser microphones follow sound waves in a precise manner and therefore offer better audio quality. This type of mic works best for home and studio settings.

Dynamic

Dynamic microphones use the sound that comes from the direction they are pointed at. This mechanism motions a thin diaphragm in the cartridge. Because of such design, dynamic microphones can be used with a smartphone app. Dynamic mics are best used for high-pitched sounds like what cymbals produce. They are the go-to microphone for live performances.

Ribbon

Ribbon microphones’ chief characteristic is their ability to filter ambient sound. They also work excellently with high-frequency sounds and quick transients.

The environment where the drum will be used

Home or studio recording

It is easier to record drums in a fully equipped professional studio. The expertise of producers and sound technicians helps get the best drum sound. But it is rather challenging to record in a home studio, especially if you aren’t familiar with acoustics and audio manipulation. It can be challenging to find a space in your home optimal for recording. A helpful tip is exploring and discovering the room where your music sounds best. For example, a preference for tight drum sounds can use a small space for recording. A drum sound that is fat and organic can be recorded in the living room.

Stage setting

Stage settings and live performances, like live worship and concerts, have increased sound pressure levels and loads of ambient noise. Thus, you will need a dynamic microphone that handles sound pressures while screening background noise. For larger venues, condenser microphones that capture sound details are also beneficial.

Durability

The best drum mics are durable microphones. They should withstand hard stick hits, especially with close miking. Excellent drum mics are resistant to wear-and-tear brought about by general “road use” during live concerts and gigs. Drum microphones can also be affected by weather and temperature changes.

Number of mics needed

Knowing how many mics you need to record your drum can be confusing. But remember that more microphones do not necessarily equate to better sound quality. In some instances, more mics result in challenges regarding coherence and authenticity. Remember different factors that make for stellar sound. For example, placement and not just the number of microphones impact sound quality.

It’s possible to capture natural-sounding audio with just 2 to 4 excellent microphones. Adding stereo overheads or close microphones does the trick for a more impactful drum sound. Overall, the number of drum mics you will need depends on the kind of project you have, the recording environment, availability of equipment, and budget.

Other brands offer drum mic kits that include all the microphones you need. Some even provide additional accessories with their packages. Standard drum mic kits contain mics for bass, toms, snare, and cymbals.

Impedance

Impedance is the resistance offered by a conductor in an AC circuit. The total impedance of a microphone is equal to the overall resistance of its electrical elements. Most professional microphones have low impedance, such as 75 Ohms.

Accessories

Although accessories are additional tools, they still elevate the sound quality of your music. One standard accessory is the drum mount. A drum mount includes a mic stand or clamps that fasten to your drum’s rims or edges. A drum mount allows you to record sound as close to the drums as possible. In this way, you can get the best sound quality possible.

Another accessory is a carrier bag. Drum mic carrier bags allow you to store and carry your microphone without fuss. This accessory will come in handy for individuals who have gigs in different places and record in various studios.

Budget

Spending on music equipment like drum mics is a question of how much you’re willing to spend for excellent sound quality. The cost of the best drum mics starts at $100. If you have the luxury of spending more, you can go over $1000. But even with minimal spending, you can still capture the sound you desire.

Earthworks DK7 Drum Kit System

Earthworks Audio boasts of microphones that result from precise engineering, art, and design. It envisions audio consumption characterized by perceptual perception. With patented technologies, customers will expect unique sound recordings. 

The Earthworks DK7 Drum Kit System includes seven microphones. It has four DM20 condenser microphones perfect for close-miking tom-tom and snare drums. You also get two SR25 cardioid mics for overheads and one SR2OLS for miking kick drums.  It captures every nuance of drum sounds with coherence. 

The DK7 can handle sharp attacks smoothly. The best characteristic of this Earthworks drum kit is its ability to capture the actual sound of drums in your space. It offers realism and clarity like no other.

Pros:

  • Excellent for either live performances or studio recordings
  • Durable to handle increased sound pressure levels and hard stick hits
  • Able to capture the entire sound spectrum from low to high-frequency levels
  • Designed to withstand the rigors of the road while still delivering the sound quality
  • It comes with mounting accessories

Cons:

  • It might be a little pricey for individuals on a budget
  • A separate dynamic microphone can be bought if you need one

Heil Sound HDK-8 Drum Microphone Kit

Heil Sound works with Grammy Award-winning artists and club musicians alike. The brand even displayed its innovations in an exhibit at the Rock & Hall of Fame. The HDK-8 is a full-gear drum kit. It includes two PR22 mics for snare and hi-hat miking. It also has three PR 28s for tom-tom drums with HH-1 tom mounts. Heil Sound’s HDK-8 offers 2 PR 30s for overheads and one PR 48 for kick drums. 

This drum kit has superior sound isolation and handles large amounts of SPL. Its pickup pattern has an off-axis rejection ability to focus only on the sound source. The mounting system ensures your mics stay put despite stick hitting and maneuvers. Every detail of this drum kit aims to provide high-quality sound reproduction. 

Pros:

  • Exclusive HEIL Sorbothane isolation system
  • Dual suspension system between the dynamic element and the grille
  • Smooth response sounding like a ribbon
  • Leatherette carrying case with a foam windscreen and mic clip
  • Slanted entrance to the 3-pin XLR male connector

Cons:

  • It only includes dynamic microphones
  • XLR cables not included

Beyerdynamic TG D35 Drum Microphones

best drum mics

Beyerdynamic is a brand with roots in Germany spanning almost a hundred years. This drum set is a professional dynamic mic for drums and other instruments. This kit includes microphones for tom-toms, snare, and kick drums. It produces a punchy bass sound with its bass resonance chamber for kick drums. The hum-compensation coil allows for keeping noise at a low. Its high-pressure level handling lets you produce sound without distortion. These are microphones that have been used on stage by artists for over 30 years. The TG D35 is an excellent choice for high-end but affordable drum mics.

Pros:

  • Compact and robust plastic housing ensures an easy and secure positioning
  • Integrated flexible mount
  • Delivers accurate low frequencies
  • Flexible use with all instruments with a high sound pressure level
  • Perfect for toms and snare

Cons:

  • Limited to dynamic microphones
  • The microphone might be too big for toms

Sennheiser e 600 Drum Microphone Kit 

Sennheiser has been creating one of a kind sound experience for its customers for over 75 years. It is one of the world’s leading brands for microphones and more with a global market. The e600 includes two condenser microphones for overhead and four dynamic cardioid mics. It also comes with one cardioid instrument mic. It comes with 2 Sennheiser e 614 Overhead Condenser Microphones; 4 Sennheiser e 604 Dynamic Cardioid Instrument mics for snares and toms; and 1 Sennheiser e 602 II Cardioid Instrument Microphone for the kick drum.

This microphone drum kit is specially designed for low-frequency sound and expects deep bass audio for kick drums and other bass instruments. Its pickup patterns do well in restricting other instruments from bleeding into the drum sound. Because of this and more, it is ideal for home recording. 

This kit has compact and non-intrusive mics for broader movement by the drummer. The mic is designed with fiberglass bodies. The result is a mic that can take knocks and smashes and subdue impact noise.

Pros:

  • Designed for demanding instrument recordings
  • Works exceptionally well on woodwind and string instruments
  • Lightweight voice coils provide extended high frequency and rapid transient response
  • Tough reinforced fiberglass body
  • Clear, balanced, low-distortion signals similar to high-end studio condenser mics

Cons:

  • It is rather expensive

Audix DP7 Drum Microphone Package

With a mission to push the limits of technology, Audix is one of the most popular brands in the market. This drum package includes several microphones from Audix’s D-series. You get the D4 and two D2s for toms, i5 for snare, and two ADX51 for overheads. They all come in solid aluminum cases. 

The spotlight, though, is on the D6 kick drum microphone. It’s been used by many artists and is a fuss-free microphone. The DP7 is excellent for both home and live recording. All of the microphones in this kit are excellent individually and together. They have a fantastic build quality and versatility. With its superior sound quality, the DP7 gives value to your money.

Pros:

  • It includes the sought-after kick drum microphone
  • It comes with mounting and other placement accessories
  • Smooth and easy plug and play output
  • Sonic Sense’s one-year extended warranty adds one year to the manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

  • Lesser flat frequency response limits vintage sounds

Conclusion

Drum microphones are a vital component of an artist’s recording gear. They capture the intricacy of the sound of every kind of drum. The best drum mics reproduce rich, precise, and full drum sound covering the entire sound spectrum. Drum microphones are engineered with the finest technology. Thus, they can spell the difference between recording stellar music, whether live or in a studio. Whether you’re part of a band, a musician, or a music producer, investing in excellent drum microphones proves beneficial.

The best drum mic I’d recommend is the Earthworks DK7 Drum Kit System. This drum kit reproduces your drum sound with superior sound quality. It also comes with an appealing design. In live concerts, such design makes for a more impactful stage presence. The DK7 boasts of providing complete fidelity in capturing the sound you desire. The placement system allows for ease and security of setup. Though it may come at a relatively hefty price, it’s a significant investment in the long run. 

Faith-Filled Content Delivered To Your Inbox

Receive uplifting scriptures, inspiring articles & helpful guides to encourage your faith.

Thank you for subscribing!

Something went wrong.

Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.


Faith-Filled Content Delivered To Your Inbox

Receive uplifting scriptures, inspiring articles & helpful guides to encourage your faith.

Thank you for subscribing!

Something went wrong.