15 Best Overhead Drum Mic Reviews 2019

Best Overhead Drum Mics & Best Brands for Overhead Drum Mic

Best Overhead Drum Mics & Best Brands for Overhead Drum Mic

In spite of the fact that a set of drums can make rather loud sounds, having a mic in the right place is required in certain situations. During a live gig or when recording a song in the studio, a mic will help you capture the drum’s sounds in a clear manner so that the audience can get the best of your performance and the recorded song to sound pristine.

An overhead drum mic is one of the most used mics for this kind of instrument because they can be installed over the head of the player or height of the drum. Thus, the mic will capture the sounds made by the drum from above, allowing the player to deliver his performance without any impediments.

What are the Best Overhead Drum Mics to Buy?

2) AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone

  • Neutral sound for beautifully detailed recording
  • Nine selectable polar patterns
  • Three different switchable bass-cut filters
  • Reduce wind noise, subsonic noise or proximity effect

1) Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

  • Contoured frequency response is clean
  • Instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
  • Reducing background noise
  • Extremely durable under heaviest use

3) AKG 3185X00110 Matched Pair Stereo Set Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

  • Packed in a beautiful aluminum case
  • Convenient storage and transportation
  • Suitable for studios and live performances
  • Professional-grade sound quality

What to look for when shopping around for an overhead drum mic? First of all, any mic used should be able to deliver the quality of sound you are looking to get. In other words, a mic should make your drums set sound amazing, without distorting the sounds.

So, ability to loyally capture the sounds made by drums, without any interference from surrounding noises, is definitely on the best features to look for when shopping for mics.

Then, you may also want to have the possibility to adjust an overhead drum mic according to your preferences. Depending on how tall or short you are, you may want to adjust the mic according to your seated position and height, so that it will capture your performance adequately. When it comes to mics, the closer is to the instrument, the better, as the chances for the mic to capture surroundings noises are smaller.

Also, would you like a portable overhead mic or one that is more for studio performances and rehearsals? In the list below you will find a wide range of overhead drum mics that will provide all sorts of features.

You just need to decide which of these mics will work best in your case. Don’t rush into making a decision. Take a look at each overhead drum mic and see which one will suit your needs and playing style.

15 Best Overhead Drum Mic Reviews and the Best Overhead Drum Mic Brands

1) Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Sometimes, one mic is all you need to get the results you want when playing your drums. If you’re looking for a reliable overhead drum mic, this is definitely an option you should consider. You will appreciate the clean frequency response, the instrumental reproduction of this device, and the way your instrument is beautifully amplified.

When playing in a band or during a live performance, this aspect is very important. The cardioid pickup pattern will uniformly isolate the sounds made by your drums while keeping noise and sounds coming from the background to a minimum.

According to the manufacturer, the mic will resist well in time to extended use. So, if you decide to purchase it, you will have the chance to use it over and over again without an issue. The quality you will get from this product is great, considering the amount of money you are going to spend on it.

One mic that uses the best technology is sturdy enough, and capable of loyally producing and amplifying your instrument’s sounds is all you need in most occasions.

2) AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone, Multipattern

It is very easy to deliver an excellent performance or recording your drum playing in a crystal clear manner with this mics set. Reaching toward professional levels, this overhead drum mic comes along with all the accessories needed to do things right.

You even have the chance to choose between 9 different polar patterns that will ensure the ideal application of the mic in every situation that comes up. So, if you are looking for versatility, this mic has high chances of offering it.

There are also three levels of attenuation, allowing you to adjust the mic according to how close or far away it is placed from your instrument. Three different bass-cut filters will also be available for this mic, so you can remove noises made by wind, subsonic sounds, or proximity effects.

You should not worry about overloading the mic because it has an embedded warning system. This way, you will never risk misusing the equipment. Plus you have a great case, with padding on the inside, where you can place the mic when you’re not using it or transport it in complete safety. This kit can truly be what you need for an outstanding performance.

3) AKG 3185X00110 Matched Pair Stereo Set Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

Packed in a beautiful aluminum case for convenient storage and transportation, this overhead drum mics may be just what you need to make sure your performance is up to standards. The large diaphragm condensers of the mics will do a great job capturing the sounds produced by your drum set.

If you want a pair of professional mics, not just by their looks but also by the quality they provide, this is definitely one of the products you need to have in mind.

The set even comes with a windscreen, allowing your performance to be clearly heard even when playing outside in less than ideal conditions. So, we can say that this set of drum mics is quite versatile, being suitable for studios and live performances as well.

In case you think the product is too affordable to offer a professional-grade sound quality, it is worth knowing that the manufacturing company found a way to reduce costs while still offering drum players a great product.

Sometimes, there’s no need to invest a small fortune in order to get the kind of quality you desire. As a beginner, you should focus more on improving your technique, rather than purchasing expensive pieces of equipment.

4) Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package

For beginners, this package can be an ideal choice, considering that affordable price tag and delivered quality. The device itself has a very low level of noisy, producing just 4.5 dB. What does this mean? It means that its presence will not disturb the quality of your performance and will not allow background noises to do that either.

If you ever used old microphones, you will be surprised to notice that this particular mic has that specific signature sound that is characteristic to mics coming from back in the days. Of course, this is not a bad thing, as it may give your performance a unique personality.

Also, it is worth knowing that the mic was created for best redeeming a midrange response. So, if you’re looking for this in particular, this product will definitely help you out. External vibrations are reduced to a minimal level with the help of a transducer that is creatively suspended inside the microphone.

If you get this particular microphone, you can be sure that you’ll be using it for a very long time. With a body made out of aluminum and then plated with nickel, it is light-weighted yet very resistant to corrosion.

5) LyxPro SDPC-2 Stereo Pair of Pencil Condenser Stick Microphones

Your recordings will finally sound as desired, with this pair of overhead drum mics. They are small and slim, but the cardioid condenser they use will definitely deliver the kind of performance you are looking to obtain.

The mics are very well built and they can sense and capture even the slightest changes in tone. The result will be an accurate performance, whether we are talking about recording a song or playing it in front of an audience.

Besides receiving the mic, you will get three different capsules, which are included in the package. They will help you enjoy the desired pickup pattern. And to make things even better, you will have a special case for carrying your gear, clips for the mics, and, of course, a windscreen. The manufacturer claims that you won’t need anything else but this mic and the accessories that come along with it.

This pair of mics are ideal for those taking acoustics seriously, as the gear is capable of delivering exceptional results. If you are wondering if the mics are pro-grade, you should know that the answer is yes. They are pro-grade and their accuracy in getting clear sounds will convince you about this aspect.

6) Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones

With a rather reduced size and compact shape, this overhead drum mic can be a discreet present, capturing the right kind of sounds fast and effective, and reducing background noises. The pair of mics were carefully selected and balanced so that they match and offer you the best experience and performance each time you use them.

A quality certificate will arrive with the mics, which will present a special foil from the manufacturer, so you will know you got the real deal and not cheap, low-quality products.

On the exterior, the mics have a ceramic coating, specific to Rode mics, which gives them a sleek and elegant aspect. It is very easy to look like a professional with this mics set. The mics will come together with suitable stand mounts and windshields. This way, you have everything you need in one single package.

The best part is that the set is highly affordable, being suitable for those with a strict budget or beginners. For the money you are going to spend on these overhead drum mics, you will get a great degree of quality. As you work on your drum playing skills, these mics will be there for you in a variety of occasions.

7) Rode NT5-MP Compact Cardioid Condenser Microphones, Matched Pair

This is another great pair of matched mics that can truly enhance your performance and make your instrument sound great when recorded. How can you use this pair of mics? Whether you need to record your acoustic instrument in a clear manner, make sure your live performance is outstanding, or are looking for overhead drum mics, this set can do them all.

It is a versatile and reliable set of mics that will do its job as expected each time. The mics are thin and elegant and will definitely deliver as expected. It is externally polarized and has a bipolar output buffer. The cardioid pickup pattern is tight in the case of this set, which makes the equipment suitable for indoor conversations as well.

So, it is the kind of mics set that can be there for you regardless of the situation. And if you think about it, it is not as expensive as other options in the same group of products. Paying less is not always a bad thing. It means you can save some money while enjoying a high quality as well. It is also worth mentioning that the mics feature a heavy duty body, which means you’ll be able to enjoy them for a very long time.

8) AKG Perception 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

With this particular mic in the proximity of your drum set, you will manage to get the kind of amplification you need without disturbance from environmental noises. This mic uses a small-diaphragm cardioid condenser, so you can be sure that it has what it takes to capture the right kind of sounds each time.

You’ll probably enjoy the sleek and elegant design as well. It will blend it with your drum set and will help you deliver a great performance. It is light-weighted and slim, yet capable of redeeming sounds of excellent clarity.

As an overhead drum mic, it is ideal, not just because of its size and shape, but also due to its ability to help you improve your experiences and performances. It is an accessible choice that can deliver as expected for the moment.

9) Shure KSM137/SL Stereo Pair

Is it possible to enjoy great sound quality while not having bulky mics around? Yes, it is possible, as this particular product can show. The design is very slim compared to most overhead drum mics available on the market. But, don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the reduced size of the mics, as they are more than capable to help you achieved the desired performance each time.

The preamplifier is transformerless, so the mics will be a discreet presence around your instrument. If you are not a fan of drum mics that stand out, you can easily get things done with this slim and transparent set that will barely be noticed.

The response of these mics is extremely fast while both the intermodulation and harmonic distortions are kept to a minimum. While the price tag is rather accessible, it is worth knowing that some, most important, internal components are plated with gold, for best performance.

The mics are also equipped with subsonic filters meant to reduce the rumble caused by mechanical vibrations. There is also a low-frequency filter that will reduce noises coming from the background while enhancing the sounds captured it the mics’ proximity.

10) Shure PGA56-XLR Cardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Snare/Tom Microphone with AP56DM Drum Mount

This particular mic was created with a sole purpose in mind and that is the ability to capture and reproduce sounds with incredible clarity. The design itself will tell you this, by allowing you to mount is very close to the surface of the instrument. It is probably one of the few models that have this kind of mounting system.

For a beginner, this aspect, plus the highly affordable price tag, can turn this mic into a great choice. Hearing the sounds your instrument makes in a clear manner can help you improve your skills.

This is all due to the cardioid polar pattern pickup, which makes the mic focus on the sounds made by your drum instead of capturing surrounding noises and sounds. Just attach it on the rim of your drums and perform as you usually do. You don’t need an additional mounting system, as the clip of the mic is all you need.

The package will also contain a zipper pouch, so you can safely transport it. In spite of its rather low price, you are actually receiving a good quality Shure mic, so you should not be fooled by this aspect. This mic will indeed perform well.

11) Beyerdynamic MC930 Small Diaphragm True Condenser Cardioid Microphone – Stereo Set

If you want to make sure that all the sounds made by your drums are properly captured, you the need a set of matching mics. This stereo set provided by Beyerdynamic can be just what you need. The cardioid polar pattern of the mics makes them suitable for any kind of application.

Whether you need reliable mics for recording in a studio or mics that will make your live performances enjoyable for the audience, this pair can serve you well. The self-noise level is extremely low when it comes to this model.

Besides, the ratio between signal and noise is more than great. So, you have quite a few good reasons to consider this set. Every piece of this set will come nicely packed in a case that is ready to take in shocks and protect your belongings. Store the mics in the case or use it for transportation, in either case, your equipment will be kept in proper conditions.

The sound they will provide is excellent, while background noises are reduced to a minimum. There are slim changes, with this mic set, for your performance to be disturbed by anything. The quality provided by this brand is indeed outstanding, as it is still family-operated, which means passion and dedication for everything.

12) Audio-Technica AT4041SP Studio Microphone Pack

It is quite easy to get the desired results when opting for the right kind of overhead drum mics. This set is more than suitable even when you don’t have a too generous budget. At a quite affordable price tag, you will receive a set of two slim mics that will surprise you with their performances and easiness of use. The frequency response is smooth and extended.

Both the mics feature a low-mass diaphragm, which will ensure a transient response, offers a great bandwidth response, and reduces the noise transfer triggered by mechanical and handling actions. Once you take a closer look at the product you will realize that the design is top notch and compliant with the latest standards.

This way, you will enjoy a modern set of mics that can deliver a great performance in a wide range of situations. It is normal, as a beginner, to have a lower budget in this sector. But, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for low quality. It is possible to find great quality for your money, and this package is just what you’re missing.

13) Neumann Stereo Pair Kit

This mics set will cost you a little, but it will be an investment well-made if you have a budget that can take it. If you’ve been playing the drums for a while now and you feel that your career in this domain is taking a good turn, you should then seriously consider investing money into a set of mics that will allow you to perform as desired.

Concerning the transducer used by this set of mics, we are talking about pressure gradient condensers. The polar pattern is cardioid, figure-8 and omnidirectional, which shows just how versatile this set is. With two mics of this kind, you will definitely be able to record sounds at the desired quality or perform live in a flawless manner.

And the best part is that you will get a proper case for storing the mics and transporting them when needed. We are talking about a metallic case with proper padding on the inside so that each piece will fit in properly. This way, you can avoid accidental scratches and damages. The package will also contain two elastic suspension mounts, giving you the chance to prop up the mics as desired.

14) Neumann Skm 184 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Pair – Satin

The whole purpose of getting a drum mic is to hear and record the sounds of the drums amplified yet clear. This means that you will want to keep ambient noise down to a minimum. Luckily, this particular overhead drum mic does exactly this. If you’re playing in a band, which happens in the case of most drum players, you certainly wish to have the chance for your instrument to be clearly heard among the other instruments.

There are high chances that this instrument from Neumann will not let you down. It is more than capable of focusing on the sounds made by your drums alone, having the ability to deter noises coming from your surroundings and from other instruments that may play around you at the same time.

Besides the sound quality it offers, you will love the way it comes packed, in a box that is more than suitable to take the mic along with you no matter where you go. Its compact shape and clean design allow you to install the mic and pack it fast each time you need it. And it was not made just to perform well, but also to look great so that even if you are on the TV, you will look like a professional drum player with the right kind of equipment.

15) Shure KSM137 Stereo Pair

When you have a pair of stereo microphones, you can be sure that your performance will be captured from all angles. This pair provided by Shure features a slim design, so they are elegant and versatile. At the same time, they are more than capable of recording sounds at high quality or redeem them with clarity when it comes to living performances.

Both mics in this set have a cardioid condenser and work with the help of a small diaphragm. So, you can be sure that they know how to target the sound in the proximity if your instrument and remove background noise from getting captured.

It is not easy to find an overhead drum mic that will make your drum performance sound as desired. If you have doubts that one single mic won’t be able to give you the desired quality or you would like something slimmer and more discreet than one large mic, a set of two matching yet smaller mics may be a better option for you.

Choosing the Best Overhead Drum Mics

It is true that finding an overhead drum mic can represent a real challenge, especially if you never purchased a product of this kind. However, if you plan to record in a studio, perform live, or simply wish to hear your drums better when you rehearse with the band or orchestra, an overhead mic will be of great help. Still, you will have to decide whether one mic will be enough or you need a matching set.

2) AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone

  • Neutral sound for beautifully detailed recording
  • Nine selectable polar patterns
  • Three different switchable bass-cut filters
  • Reduce wind noise, subsonic noise or proximity effect

1) Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

  • Contoured frequency response is clean
  • Instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
  • Reducing background noise
  • Extremely durable under heaviest use

3) AKG 3185X00110 Matched Pair Stereo Set Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

  • Packed in a beautiful aluminum case
  • Convenient storage and transportation
  • Suitable for studios and live performances
  • Professional-grade sound quality

Also, how large would you like the mic to be?

How about the mounting system?

Would you like something with an individual stand or something that can be attached directly onto the rim of your drums?

The budget you are willing to spend on such a purchase is also a significant consideration. Prices can vary a lot when it comes to overhead drum mics. You can find models under $100 and models that cost several thousands of dollars. So, your decision should be based on your skills, experience, and the results you are looking to obtain with the help of the mic.