Microphones are a vital piece of equipment for any artist, music producer, or band's sound equipment. Without mics, there'd be no way to listen to your favorite music and record your own tunes.
Even drums need their own recording mics. Otherwise, the sound will be drowned out in the studio, and it becomes impossible to capture the complex and varying sounds a drum set makes.
The best drumming mics are a part of a complete drum microphone set, with tom, condenser, and dynamic microphones. That way, you don't have to bother about buying a separate one and worrying if it works for your drum recording.
Let's review the ten best drum kits that'll give you value for every dollar spent.
The Top 10 Drum Mics of 2021
The Audix D6 is a must-have dynamic microphone set. Its aesthetically pleasing black design will make you look like an expert drummer from the start.
To get the best out of this 4-piece drum mic kit, place it close to your kick drum or floor toms. It also handles high sound levels comfortably without any of the usual distortions you get with low-quality equipment.
Audix is renowned for rigorously testing their equipment before they hit the market, and the D6 is no different. You can be assured of top-notch sound recordings with no static during playback.
If you have no space to place it beside the floor toms for any reason and need to place it a bit further out, it will still pick up the sounds. The D6 is a phenomenal microphone because it takes the quality of your recording sessions several notches higher.
- It ensures crystal clear recordings
- It is compact and light
- It deals with high-pitched sounds without static or distortion
- Comes with a high price tag
The Audix D6 dynamic drum microphone is the best drum mic kit and improves your recording sessions significantly. It offers flexibility with where it can be placed during recording, which is a huge positive. It is one of the best kick drum mics available on the market.
If you are ready to go pro, the Shure SM57 is a great option to start your career. It is one of the best drum mic kits available on the market today.
One advantage of going with a Shure is the various microphone packages they offer. You can get only the 4-piece drum mic kit or purchase a set that includes adapters, stands, and cables. The price depends on which accessory you add to your equipment set. Plus, when compared to other equipment you'll need, it's pretty affordable.
Asides from being affordable, it's also well-built and durable. The Shure SM57 is one of those sets that will journey with you as you grow in your career. It has excellent production quality and records top-quality sounds from any nearby instruments, including amplifiers, an outstanding feature for any drummer.
The SM57 also handles high-pitched noises comfortably and will reproduce these sounds without static or distortion.
- Great sound quality
- Rugged and durable product
- Handles high-pitched sounds
- Loads of fakes on the market, so you need to ensure you shop from the Shure store.
The Shure SM57 is a fantastic investment for a newbie who's searching for the best drum mic kit to kickstart their recording and drumming journey. Best of all, it has packages that suit your experience level and budget.
One of the most durable 5 and 4-piece drum mic kit out there, the Sennheiser 604 was the result of a collaboration between DW, Sennheiser, and Randall May. The system comes loaded with a mic and all the accessories you need to get an optimal playback, no matter how loud the recording drums are.
The Sennheiser 604 handles high-pitched frequencies comfortably without any static or distortion. Its fiber-glass reinforced body means it can take the beating that comes with marathon drumming sessions while suppressing any vibrations. Its high sensitivity means you can highlight your recording parts that need to be erased or mastered.
It also comes ready to go from the box. All you need to do is clip it to your drum, and you are ready to go.
- Highly sensitive and durable set
- Professional sound recording
- Compact design makes it easy to use
- Flexible mount
- Can struggle with certain sounds and styles
The Sennheiser 604 system is a worthy investment if you plan to have professional-level drum recordings from the start. It combines excellent design with top-quality recording. Its durability also means you get full value for your dollars. Plus, it's affordable and compact.
The Shure Beta 52 is another excellent option from the stable of Shure, and for a good reason. It's one of the best kick drum mic kits you can depend on. The Beta 52 is designed to enhance and capture the kick drum and all those hidden bass undertones.
It works best when you use it primarily as a kick drum mic and positioned it close to the set. It will capture the steady beat of your music with high accuracy. Its frequency filter also removes any superfluous sounds that distort the quality of your drum recording.
Its well-built body and steel mesh mean that the Beta 52 will handle most of what you throw at it without packing up. Accidental drops, high-impact falls, the Shure Beta 52 handles all these with ease.
When you consider its price, this set delivers the sound and recording quality you can expect from a quality kit.
- Excellent studio sound and recording
- Durable and robust body
- Works perfectly as a bass and kick drum mic
- Works best on stage than in the studio
The Shure Beta 52 is a high-quality 5-piece drum mic kit, which isn't surprising considering Shure's reputation. The Beta 52s are popular with industry professionals and are built to handle stress and sound pressure. With this set, you can guarantee top-notch drum recordings every single time.
The D112 is another excellent option from AKG, one of the best sound manufacturers on the market. The D112 is one of the best drum mic kits for industry use and price-performance ratio.
It's usually called "the egg" by industry professionals due to its oval-shaped grille. This unique shape allows the D112 to handle wind pressure with ease. The microphone is dynamic with a large diaphragm and a frequency response that ranges from 20 HZ – 17 KHz.
Its shape also makes it perfect for getting the best out of your bass drums. The bass drum usually has a small cut-out at the edge of their front heads. This hole enables you to alter or correct the internal felt of the recording drums. The felt acts as a sound regulator, reducing an unwanted tone.
When a microphone like the D112 is placed beside these holes, it picks up the sounds and air pressure that emanates from these holes with clarity. The air pressure adds a beautiful bass undertone to the overall sound of the drums. Not every bass drum has a cut-out, but the presence of one combined with the AKG D112 can make a huge difference in your recorded session.
The D112 has an adjustable mount that you can place in the appropriate position to capture the exact sound tones you need perfectly. Lastly, this equipment can also work with bass amplifiers.
- Affordable drum set
- Top-notch sound quality
- Great for stage and studio production
- Sturdy build
- Loads of fakes on the market
Like most AKG drum mic kits, the D112 is a reliable and dependable microphone. While it's a bit more expensive than most options within its segment, it handles studio and stage recording rigors with ease. The AKG D112 is a great kick set.
The Audix DP5A is a premium 4-piece drum mic kit that delivers your drum recording with a pound. It works great for stage and studio recording. This fantastic set comes with a dedicated floor tom and a top-quality snare mic.
The DP5A drum set comes with one D6 kick drum equipment, three tom mics (1 D4 floor and 2 D2 toms), and one Audix i5 dynamic snare mic. You also get extras such as four gooseneck clips and a padded aluminum carrying case for easy storage and transport.
All of its tom mics are designed to be dynamic hyper-cardioids. The floor tom can absorb frequencies as low as 40HZ to 18kaHZ with clarity.
The overall sound quality and variation of microphones within this equipment set endear it to professionals and beginners. Its range also means you can use it for different musical or drumming styles.
- Suits various playing styles
- Durable Audix build
The Audix DP5A is one of the best drum mic kits that can handle your nuances, especially if you are a newbie trying to discover your playing style.
The Sabian Sound drum mic kit is designed with drummers in mind. It's a three-piece set with a portable mixer, something you won't find in most models on the market.
The Sabian Sound set comes with one SK1 kick drum mic, two overhead SOH2 equipment, and a mixer with an in-built amplifier for your headphones. It also has an SD card slot.
The mixer has three channels, with one channel as a kick drum mic with its SK1 equipment.
The remaining channels are used to record everything else using two overhead mics. The three-channel mixer also enables you to observe the drum sound modulations as you record through a 3.5mm and 1.4" jack. All you need to do is plug in your headphones, and you are set.
- Easy to setup
- Intuitive and flexible mixer controls
- Great value for money
- The overhead mics have tiny diaphragm condensers that struggle to filter out ambient noise
- Poor build quality
The Sabian Sound is one of the best drum mic kits that will continually exceed your expectations. Its affordability usually has drummers assuming it'll have low sound quality. Instead, it always ends up surprising everyone who buys it, offering drummers an affordable option for milking out the best drum sounds.
The Audix MICRO D is a great 4-piece drum mic kit for snare drums and floor toms. The MICRO D is easy to install. Its specialized D-Vice clips ensure you can get going with this kit almost immediately. The mounting system is also padded with rubber to reduce the vibrations from the sound pressure.
The kit includes many features, including:
- Mini XLR connector with a 6" cable
- Miniature gooseneck clip for your set
- Vibration-proof mount
- 48V power plug that allows you connect to pre-amplifiers
- Carrying bag
It works perfectly with recording drums, and you can also use it with your hand percussion instrument. It handles sounds with frequency ranges of 40Hz to 20kHz with ease. It also handles high sound pitches without distortion and a high sound reproduction quality.
- Vibration-proof mount system
- Portable system
- It can be used with different types of drums
- The build doesn't feel sturdy
The MICRO D is a popular set for professionals due to its portability. The vibration-resistant system also makes it a comfortable use, no matter the sound pressure.
The Audix D4 is one of the best tom mics out there. It is designed to get the best out of low-frequency music drums such as your floor toms. Audix's proprietary internal milking system gets the best sounds out of your recording drums by properly isolating the sounds and filtering out any feedback.
Even though it looks large by the box, it's only 3.9 inches long. It also has a consistent Audix look and feel. You'll be sporting the brand's sleeky black finish and aluminum body.
It's one of the most compact, quality microphones and it’s easy to place. It has a wide frequency range of 40Hz to 18KHz. It can also handle high-pitched sound levels in the range of 144db. When you purchase the D4, you'll get a stylish carrier bag and a tension-ready clip.
- Great sounding equipment
- Perfect form factor
- Tends to pick up a lot of the ambient noise
The Audix D4 is a portable drum mic kit that's ideal for either stage or studio drum recording sessions. Its size also means it doesn't take up space while providing you with great-sounding recordings. Finally, it handles high sound pressure without any issues.
The DW Moon Mic is a fantastic system created with low frequency, high sound pressure drums such as the snare drums. It sports a proprietary chrome curved casing you won't find anywhere else.
When you purchase a Moon, you get a DK27 microphone with a custom-designed 8" diaphragm and passive filter. The DK27 records low and sub-bass tones of any high sound pressure instrument with ease, aided by its low impedance (25 Ohms). You also get a high-quality stand to mount the quality microphone that is the DW Moon.
You also get crystal clear sounds when you listen to your recordings' playback, highlighting every detail of your drums sound. The large diaphragm also captures all undertones and vibrations associated with recording drums that produce high sound pressure.
- Unique design
- Handles the high pitch of kick drums with ease
- Robust design
- The casing is quite bulky
- It isn't as flexible as most drum sets
The DW Moon might not be as flexible as other best drum mic kits, but it delivers on its promise without fail. It is excellent for high-pressure equipment and is quite durable. It is also great at capturing high-quality recordings.
What to Look for When Choosing A Drum Microphone
When looking to purchase the best drum mic kit, you'll quickly learn there are various brands, types, and models to choose from (tom mics, bass microphones, etc.). Plus, the prices vary from extremely expensive to affordable.
Here's what to look out for when searching for the best set
#1. What sort of drum will you be using it for?
There are drumming microphones for every drum kit. This means if you have the budget, you can buy individual equipment for your kicks drum, cymbals, and snare drums. When looking to purchase a set, always keep in mind what drum the mic is explicitly designed for. This ensures you don't duplicate equipment later on or end up with a product that doesn't produce the desired sound.
#2. What type of drum microphone is it?
Drum mic kits come in three types:
- Dynamic sets
- Ribbon sets
Condenser microphones are used in studio settings. They are highly sensitive and have a high-frequency range. Their high sensitivity means they record sounds at the speed at which they are produced without any lag. The best microphones come in pairs and are used as room mics or overhead mics to capture the whole picture.
These have a thin diaphragm and do great at high-pitched recording sounds from the cymbal instruments. They are usually designed for toms and snare drums. They have an above-average mid-range frequency and are well-built. They also come pre-tuned to enhance sound quality. Most closely positioned drum equipment are dynamic microphones.
This equipment does great at filtering ambient sound coming from the sides. Ribbon microphones also do great with high-frequency sounds.
#3. What's your budget?
Most of the best drum mic kits are affordable but quality equipment. You should not expect to spend $60 on an equipment set. At that price point, the quality of that microphone would be questionable.
It’s one thing to look for good prices; it’s another to buy the cheapest microphone and expect it to sound like your favorite album. These products are not built for that level of production.
You should budget at least $100 for the right microphone. These products are capable of handling high pitch sounds. These microphones should also reproduce your sounds with outstanding clarity and accuracy. If you have a massive wallet, you can go as high as $1000 for the top-range sets.
Getting an affordable drum microphone is essential if you are a newbie. Remember, you might need to buy equipment for all your drum kits, and that can be a strain on your pocket if you go for the expensive options.
#4. What accessories does the drum microphone set come with?
Accessories aren’t necessary to get great recordings, but they will improve the sound quality of your drum mic kit. A standard accessory is the drum mount. The mount includes stands or clamps that attach your equipment to the drums' rims, edges, and any other applicable surface. With a mount, you can place your microphone close to the drums and get the best sound quality possible.
Another standard accessory is the carrier bags. These help you store and transport your microphone easily. Some drum sets have XLR cables, which can come in handy if you need to transmit sound signals over a long distance.
#5. Will you be using it in a studio setting or a stage setting?
This is a crucial factor when purchasing a drumming recording set. The environment where you’re recording makes a huge impact on the result of your recordings. It doesn’t matter if you buy the best equipment available; if you’re playing in the wrong environment, it won’t give you the sound quality you imagined before the session.
Stage or live settings usually have loads of ambient sound feedback and high sound pressure levels, so you need microphones to handle sound pressures while filtering out the background noise. Dynamic microphones are usually best for these environments – they take extremely high sound pressure and do a great job of background noise reduction.
In specific stage settings, such as large outdoor venues, you might need to use condenser mics instead to capture more detail of the stage performance.
You'll need drumming microphones that can record the closeup pressure you get with studio recordings while still picking out the sound details clearly. In such cases, the dynamic microphone is best for this role. This equipment has more control over the various sounds and undertones, which is critical during production.
If you want a complete picture, you can use Omni-directional overhead condenser drumming microphones. You also don't need to spend much time setting this sort of equipment up before you start recording.
A significant issue with these overhead condensers is they tend to pick up the background noise. They also struggle to pick up on each individual drum's sound when you are mastering the playback.
If you're still overwhelmed by your options when it comes to drumming mics, take this as a good thing; you have tons of products to choose from, including our top ten from this list. You don't have to worry about finding the right match for your sound because there's a drumming microphone for every band.
We think it becomes easier to select your ideal drumming mic once you are clear about your budget. It also helps to know whether you want to highlight certain sounds with bass, kick drum, tom microphones, etc. Keep in mind which accessories you need and if you will use it predominantly on-stage or in a studio.
Once you and your band figure this out, check out the prices on these top ten products, all available on DCP's website for affordable rates!