Best Overhead Drum Mics of 2021

When it comes to recording sounds, drummers have it the toughest. They need to contend with at least five different mics for each drum they own. There are not too many mics that are able to contend with the variety and loudness of a set of drums. Whatever type of music, a good mic dictates good sound quality. Here is a list of the 10 best overhead drum mics of 2021. 

You can also read: Best Drum Sets for Teenagers

Buying Guide

There is no one size fits all when it comes to a microphone, however knowing each type is best if you are to make an informed decision before purchase.

Dynamic Mics

These are the most versatile and cheapest mics out there. It functions based on the principle of a speaker but in reverse. A diaphragm is attached to an induction coil, which is then suspended in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet. When sound waves move the diaphragm the coil moves and is converted into audio signals. These mics are able to handle high sound pressure and are used for just about anything.

Condenser Mics

This type of mic is the most compact type and is used in many things ranging from mobile phones to stand-alone recording mics. Unlike a dynamic mic, where there is a diaphragm and a coil, a condenser mic uses electrostatic principle to work.

There are two plates, one is fixed and another is moveable. When sound hits the movable plate, the distance between the two plates change and changes the capacitance between the plates. This change in distance causes the signal to be picked up as audio.

These mics, especially those used in the studio require an outside power source or phantom power to keep the plates charged. These mics are able to produce a crisp detailed sound and are often used to record acoustic instruments and vocals.

Ribbon Mics

Ribbon microphones are some of the most expensive mics out there. They are quite sensitive and used commonly in the studio. They work quite similarly to a moving coil microphone in the sense that they both produce sound through magnetic induction.

As the name states, a ribbon of thin, corrugated metal is put in a magnetic field and the vibration of this ribbon in the magnetic field is converted to audio signals.

Ribbon mics pickup sound from the air velocity rather than sound pressure and this makes them quite sensitive. They are said to pronounce clean, accurate sounds and tend to pick up sound in a bi directional manner.

Best Overhead Drum Mics in 2021

Product Name
Features
Price
Check on Amazon
sE Electronics sE8
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Hand built for maximum reliability
$490-$500
Audix ADX51
  • Precision machined
  • Works well for most applications
$220-$230
Rode M5-MP
  • Small size when compared with others
  • Gold plated membrane to ensure sound quality
$$$
Lewitt LCT 040
  • Optimized design
  • Best sound quality in small size
$180-$190
Audio-Technica PRO 37
  • Works well in high sound pressure
  • Low profile design for optimal placement
$160-$170

1.  sE Electronics sE8 Matched Pair

Best Overhead Drum Mics of 2021The metal body is matte black and durable. According to sE Electronics, it’s built entirely by hand and the capsules are hand tensioned. The mic has a linear sound and is able to handle high sound pressure with ease.

These mics come matched from the factory for perfect. The package comes with 2 mics, 2 mic clips, a precision stereo mounting and 2 protective windscreens packed in a metal flight case.

Pros

  • Switchable pads and filters give it high dynamic range, and reduce low frequency noises
  • Unique backplate design gives smooth sound and consistent off axis response

Cons

  • The switches for the pads are recessed into the mic itself and hard to reach, making changing settings on the fly tough

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2.  Audix ADX51 

Best Overhead Drum Mics of 2021 The ADX51 is a fantastic option when it comes to instrument recording. This singular microphone is fantastic on its own or as a part of mic kit.

It works amazingly as an overhead for drums or as a part of recording group vocals. Made of solid, machined brass, the mic is made with electronically silent circuitry and works with ease. The box only comes with a single ADX51.

Pros

  • Full brass construction makes it heavy but durable
  • Clean, crisp sounding highs

Cons

  • Only comes with microphone and no other accessories.

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3.  Rode M5-MP Matched Pair 

RODEMade in Australia these mics are small, but powerful and are amazing when used with drums since they handle high SPL sounds with ease.

These mics come as a matched pair and have negligible variation between them. Within the box are two mics and two robust, adjustable mic clips.

Pros

  • Comes with a certificate of authenticity
  • Rode provides a 10-year warranty on these microphones

Cons

  • There isn’t any carry case or pouch included
  • Self-sound may be a little high for some

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4.  Lewitt LCT 040 Matched Pair 

Lewitt

These small, light mini sized microphones pack a punch, as they are ideal for use with drums. They fit into any budget and are lightweight, leading them to be easily set up as overhead mics on a drum set.

Lewitt builds their mics to be able to handle high SPL whilst providing a smooth, clear and natural sound. The package comes with a simple pouch to keep the mics in.

Pros

  • Simple yet robust aluminum construction
  • Plug and play design

Cons

  • Tends to overload when used near High-hats
  • Clips are made cheaply and may wear out quick

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5.  Audio-Technica PRO 37 

Best Overhead Drum Mics of 2021Whether in the studio or live, the PRO 37 is able to excel anywhere. It works well as an overhead drum mic or to pick up acoustic instruments.

It produces an even, rich tone when used as a vocal mic and is able to capture quick crisp sounds clearly. It comes with a mic clip, a windscreen and a mesh travel pouch for storage.

Pros

  • Gold plated contacts for indefinite use
  • Works exceptionally in high SPL applications

Cons

  • Tends to pick up bass frequencies easily

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Conclusion

When it comes to a microphone, there are many choices, especially if you are looking to record music. Some provide colored sounds whilst others are clean and crisp, some are even exclusively for vocal or instrument recording. We hope that, after reading this list of the best overhead drum mics, you can choose with ease.

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