Best Overhead Drum Mics 2023

What makes a microphone the best overhead drum mic? This is the question that I will be answering in this article. To answer this, we need to know what an overhead drum mic does and how it is used so we can better understand what qualities make one microphone different than another.

An overhead drum mic usually sits above the drummer and captures the sound of all the drums at once, giving you a fuller mix with less bleed from other instruments on stage. So when looking for an overhead drum mic, you should look for one that has high sensitivity (the ability to pick up subtle nuances), low noise (low-level sounds like breathing or rustling clothes), and wide frequency response (capturing everything from deep basses to cymbals).

I have compiled a list of some of the best overhead drum microphones on the market. These are all top-quality choices that should be able to help with any drum pickup situation. Keep reading if you want to know more about these excellent options!


AKG Pro Audio C1000S

AKG C1000 is my choice for the best overhead drum mic. It’s great with both the sound and features it offers. The sound has a lot of character and never sounds too harsh, even on those very high tones from overheads. In addition to overheads, you can also get some good sound out of these on acoustic instruments, just don’t use them on vocals. It has two polar pattern modes and can even be operated on batteries.

Bear in mind you might need two for the left/right channels to get the widest soundstage for your drum mix.

Best Choice

akg c1000s overhead drum mics

Røde M5-MP Pair

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of my Rode mic. The M5 model is a cardioid condenser microphone. The low noise rating makes this mic one of the perfect models for anyone looking to get quality sound without breaking the bank. These mics only have a cardioid pickup pattern and no option to work with batteries, but they come two for the price of one and that’s always great!

Best Budget

rode m5 overhead microphone pair

Neumann KM 184 MT Stereo Set

When it comes to capturing your sound, no detail is too small. And the Neumann KM 184 MT, is the ultimate studio-quality microphone to meet all your drum overhead needs and more. We’re talking about a state-of-the-art small-diaphragm condenser sound with full range transient response and no off-axis coloration. Assuming you can afford a pair, these mics have no drawbacks. Neumann has another killer on their hands here straight from Germany. With very low self-noise and a great SPL capability, this is one mic that easily meets the standards set by pro audio engineers all over the world!

Best Premium

neumann km 184 mt overhead mics

Best Overhead Drum Mic For You

The best overhead drum mic is the one that works for you. If you are looking to use an overhead microphone, make sure it suits your needs and budget. There’s no single “best” option in this case – only what is right for your situation. When it comes to overhead drum mics, there are many factors that come into play.

If you want the best overheads for your situation, consider which of these three options will work best for you and what features they offer. It’s important to know what kind of sound you’re looking for in order to find a pair that will give you exactly what you need – and of course, what kind of budget you have to work with. Once it’s time to mic up your drums, refer to this great how to mic a drum kit guide by Sweetwater, and if you need one for kick, check out my article on best mics for bass drum. I hope my guide helped clarify which type of mics would be most suitable for your circumstance!

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