The 5 Best Overhead Drum Mics – Our Top Pick

Good quality overhead mics can make a massive difference to sound quality, both live and in the studio. In fact, you can even get away with a very minimal mic setup if the overheads are of good quality and well positioned.

In this article, we’re going to delve into the best overhead drum mics that you can buy, which will provide you the sound you want, based on the genre and style you enjoy playing.

If you’re looking to buy drum mics for your whole drum set, then check out guide here. It can be much more cost effective to buy drum mics kits in one go.

The Best Overhead Drum Mics – Our Top 5 Pick

Great Overhead Mic With Amazing Sound Quality
Affordable Overhead Drum Mic For Recording Purposes
Versatile Overhead Drum Mic For Recording Purposes
Perfect Overhead Drum Mic That You Can Also Use For Vocals
Great Overall Mic For Recording Acoustic Instruments

1. Neumann KM 184 Cardioid Microphone

If you wish to become a serious recording artist, then it is essential to find the premium and high-end overhead drum mic. We are talking about Neumann KM 184 overhead mic, which will provide you a combination of great versatility, durability, and fantastic sound quality.

It tends to capture clear and crisp sound, and it will eliminate unwanted noise from other sounds in the room. Therefore, it is an excellent choice if you wish to drum at studio recordings because finally, you will be able to reach the perfect sound.

The best thing about it is an exceptional feature that will provide you the ability to eliminate external noise during the recording process. At the same time, it comes with fantastic sound capture as well as excellent hi-hat response so that you can enjoy all the way.

The main issue, on the other hand, is the expensive price tag that you have to spare for it especially when compared with other mics with the same features and quality. However, you will be able to use it for years after purchase.

To hear sounds of this particular mic, you should check out this video!

2. Rode M5 Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser

If you wish to find the most popular and prominent overhead drum mic for recording purposes, you should check out Rode M5 cardioids condenser mic.

The main reason for its popularity is a combination of usefulness for a wide array of acoustic instruments such as guitar apart from drums.

At the same time, you will be able to get it for the budget-friendly price tag, so you do not have to spare the entire fortune to get the perfect sound for your drums.

It comes with low noise possibility as well as matching capability and full-frequency response, which means that you can use it for various styles with ease. It is an excellent choice for most recording artists nowadays.

It is an excellent solution for studio use and small room performances. You can also enjoy its affordable price tag that will allow you to get a few of them as well.

On the other hand, it can sound boxy for other instruments apart from drums. You should remember that grill is not that durable because it comes from thin material.

Visit this video so that you can check a video review of this particular microphone!

3. AKG C214 Stereo Pair Cardioid Condenser

You have probably heard about AKG and its amazing equipment especially when it comes to microphones for almost anything.

AKG C214 best overhead drum mic is the perfect alternative to pricey AKG C4141, and you will still enjoy an accurate and versatile performance when it comes to recordings. You will be able to use it for a wide array of instruments, and it will reduce the background noise to a minimum.

When we compare it with Rode M5, overhead mic, which we have mentioned above, you, will be able to use it for both live and studio performances. It comes with a double mesh grill, which will not affect the sound quality, and you will be able to enjoy it for years after purchase.

It is perfect for recording vocals, drums, and other acoustic instruments. On the other hand, you should have in mind that it is bulkier than other mics that we have mentioned above.

Check out the test preview of this particular mic on this video!

4. AKG Pro C414

AKG Pro C414 overhead drum mic is one of the best choices that we have made on this particular list, mainly because it will provide you neutral sound and highest linearity, which will help you record any acoustic instrument as well as vocals.

You will be able to select nine different polar patterns, which means that you can use it for various applications and purposes. It comes with three attenuation levels such as -6, -12, and -18 dB.

At the same time, you will be able to enjoy three different switchable bass-cut filters that will reduce proximity effect, subsonic noise, and wind noise as well. Overload warning will detect the audio peak and show you on the LED.

This is a perfect overhead mic that you can use for recording vocals too. It comes with large diaphragm condenser, and you can choose nine different polar patterns so that you can enjoy in additional versatility and customization.

According to previous users, vocals could be more sharp and brighter especially when signing something with S sound. At the same time, noise-reducing effects are not that great when compared with other mics on this particular list.

Check out this video to learn how this microphone acts as a vocal mic!

5. Shure KSM 137 Stereo Pair

Shure KSM 137 Stereo Pair overhead drum mic features cardioid polar pattern, and it is ultra thin so that you can get the perfect response. It also comes with Mylar diaphragm that will provide you a transient response as well.

It is high end due to discretion and ability to provide you transparent recordings due to quick transient response, minimal intermediation and harmonic distortion as well as no crossover distortion.

Due to premium electronic components, you will get a highly durable and versatile mic that will help you enjoy all the way. You can change its sensitivity, volume and even filter out noise so that you can get the best sound possible for your acoustic instruments.

With it, you will get both quality and decent microphone that comes with fantastic adjustability that will capture the sound of a wide array of instruments. The main issue is that mounts are not shockproof, which means that vibrations could enter the track.

Check out this microphone in action on this particular video!

Best Overhead Drum Mic Buying Guide

Before you enter the market and decide which one is the best for your particular requirements, you should learn what type of overhead drum mics you could find. Therefore, by discovering this information, you will be able to choose more wisely than before.

You can find a wide array of the microphone on the market, but only one will work for you and give you the sound you need. It is useless to purchase mic based on your aesthetical perspective, which means that you should know how they function before you make up your mind.

Types of Overhead Drum Mics

  • Condenser microphones – The best thing about this particular type of microphones is that you will be able to get detail sound recording with amazing quality due to the sensitive It is also a durable choice that will provide you perfection for the record. However, it is not that good for live performances.
  • Matched Pairs – This is another consideration that you should remember if you wish to get the sound from different instruments with ease. These pairs are great because most of them are produced together with the idea to work as one mic during the recording sessions.
  • Diaphragm – If you wish to go for more sound details, you should consider the mic that features a large membrane. However, in case you are doing recordings to determine your level of playing, you can choose the one with the smaller diaphragm as well.


We have presented you thorough buying guide and reviews on best overhead drum mics that you can find on the market in 2019. The idea is to understand how they function and what sound you wish to achieve so that you can make a quality purchase.

We will present to you the best choices based on the high-end features and budget-friendly capabilities.

  • High-End Option – AKG Pro C414 overhead drum mic is the one that will provide you versatile options when it comes to its ability to produce perfect sound from an acoustic instrument as well as drums of course. It is also an excellent choice for vocals, so you will have the ability to use it for a wide array of instruments for years after purchase.
  • Budget Option – Rode M5 cardioids condenser mic is the best choice if you wish to find an affordable overhead mic that will provide you varied experience when it comes to other instruments too. The best thing about it is that you do not have to spare the entire fortune and will get the same features as more expensive solutions on the market.

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