An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.
Best 8-Piece Drum Mic Kits
Audix DP7 Plus
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 8-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
Compared to the Audix DP7 mic kit, the DP7 Plus features an additional ADX51s mic for capturing an additional sound source like the hi-hat or as a spot mic for the ride cymbal.
Having a matched set of overheads ensures proper imaging and placement in the mix.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Mic, 2 x D2s Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 3 x ADX51s Overhead and Hat Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 3 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 2 x WS81C Windscreens, Aluminum Road Case, " How to Mic Your Drums" DVD
Users say this kit is an astounding value package. The mics capture drums well with a lively and hi-fi sounding capture quality. This set sounds best for modern sounding drums and miking techniques. The added ADX51s mic also gets used as a mono room mic for gluing tracks together or as a candidate for NY style parallel compression. The included mic clips were also noted to be sturdy and of high build quality.
The included cables leave much to be desired.
For great sounding drums with definition and cohesion, a modern sounding 8 mic set like the DP7 Plus is a great choice. The DP7 Plus with it's additional ADX51s mic makes it a versatile all-rounder for the modern studio.
Audix Studio Elite 8
The Audix Studio Elite 8 is a collection of high quality microphones from Audix's upper tier line.
8 microphones including the studio standard Audix D6 Kick drum mic round this set out.
It also includes a complete set of mounts and clips.
All mics and accessories fit in a sturdy aluminum road case.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Rack Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 1 x SCX1HC Hi-Hat Mic, 2 x SCX25A Instrument Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 4 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 1 x MW81C Windscreen, 2 x SMT25 Shockmounts for SCX25A, Aluminum Road Case
This set includes several studio standard microphones for drums, especially the D6 Kick drum mic which reviewers praise as one of the best kick drum microphones on the market. Since the set is designed to work together, recordings done with this kit sound cohesive and punchy especially when thumping kick drums are the focus. Many note that the recordings done with the mics sound great right out of tracking with a natural sounding overall tone in the capture.
Price puts this set out of reach of people on a budget. Integrated mic clips limits mounting options.
If you're getting your first drum mic set and want great sounding mics that have a natural tone with a slightly more modern punch, the Audix Studio Elite 8 has all the mics you need to have a head start in quality.
Best 7-Piece Drum Mic Kits
Shure are one of the biggest names in microphones and they've priced the PGADRUMKIT7 for the home recording market.
This kit includes their PG Alta series that have a sleek black metallic industrial design and cardioid polar patterns that reduce background noise and feedback.
It includes one PGA52 and three PGA56 drum microphones along with one PGA57 and two PGA81 instrument microphones.
The PGA52 is a dynamic kick drum mic designed mainly for the kick drum and for low-frequency recording and performing applications.
The PGA56s are dynamic snare and tom microphone made for close-miking percussion applications.
The PGA57 is a dynamic cardioid microphone that works best with picking up drum shells while the PGA81 pair are condenser cardioid mics that are best suited for more subtle jobs like overheads or even as room mics.
This kit also comes with stand adapters, drum mount clips and XLR cables.
- Mics: 1 x PGA52 Kick Drum Mics, 3 x PGA56 Tom Mics, 1 x PGA57 Snare Mics , 2 x PGA81 Overhead Mics
- Extras: 3 x A25D Stand Adapters, 3 x AP56DM Drum Mount Clips, 7 x XLR-XLR Cables, Case
Many gave positive reviews for the microphones' quality and the kit's price overall. The microphones in this kit have a clear and flat response. A lot of people got great recordings when they used the PGA81's for overheads. Some users said this is a great starter kit since it's easy to set up with the provided mounts and cables. Many achieved great results in both live settings and on studio recordings. Miguel Monroy said in his Modern Drummer review that they tested the PGA56 tom mic on maple toms. He said whether they were "playing heavy, thunderous tom patterns or light, articulate fills, the PGA56 captured everything flawlessly. They also delivered a true, accurate representation of the toms."
There were no consistently reported complaints by users. One user felt the kick mic is the weakest of the bunch.
In the sub $500 price range this kit provides the best microphones that are great for both live settings and studio recordings, and other accessories that complete your whole set up. The mics in this kit have a clear and flat response, and are able to capture the subtleties of your drum kit in live performances or recording.
The Audix DP7 is built around the legendary Audix D6 Kick drum mic.
This doesn't mean they skimped out on the rest of the mics though, as the other pieces of this kit include some of Audix's most popular microphones including the i5 Snare mic.
The other mics are no slouch either with 2 ADX51 overhead mics, and a set of D2 and D4 Tom mics -- all packaged in a sturdy aluminum case.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Rack Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 2 x ADX51 Overhead Mics
- Extras: 4 x DVICE Rim Mounts, 3 x DCLIP Microphone Clips, 1 x MC1 Microphone Clip, 2 x WS81C Windscreens, Aluminum Road Case, "How to Mic Your Drums" DVD
One user noted "I expected good, but I didn't expect THIS good". The set receives massive acclaim for its sound quality and overall value for money. It enabled users to get amazing raw tracks right off the bat and made mixing easier for them. A few realized how hard mixing can be with substandard microphones and spending more time fixing things that would have otherwise not been an issue with better mics like these.
Barrier to entry comes at a steep price for most beginners.
The DP7 is a solid first investment for people new to the craft as it eliminates the headaches of trying to improve upon mediocre sounding raw tracks. Pair this with a great Audio Interface and you'll get a decent head start with your recording endeavors.
sE Electronics V Pack Arena
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 7-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
The sE Electronics V Pack Arena is the 7 piece version of their V pack line. This kit enables you to record a drumkit with 2 rack toms and a floor tom with stereo overheads.
The V7 X mic also does a good job for various instruments as well.
- Mics: 3 x V Beat Tom Mics, 1 x V Kick Mic, 2 x sE8 Overhead Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Instrument Mic
- Extras: 3 x V Clamps, Flight Case
Reviews praise the kit's versatility and not tuned specifically to tie the kit down to a specific genre of music. The V7 X Snare mic has a rounder bottom end than an SM57 so for thinner sounding snares, this can be a good benefit.
The overhead mics may not be bright enough for vintage sounding cymbals, dulling them.
The V pack arena kit is tailor made for big rock sounds with a modern punchy feel while retaining some vintage warmth.
Best 6-Piece Drum Mic Kit
sE Electronics V Pack Club
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 6-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
You may have noticed a trend by now with regards to sE Electronics V Pack products, they mostly consist of the same pieces with some mics omitted.
The Club version is a 6 piece mic set that's enough to mic up a drumkit with only 2 toms; a common setup for small venues and home recordings.
- Mics: 1 x V Kick Mic , 2 x V Beat Tom Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Vocal Mic, 2 x Se7 (stereo pair) Overhead Mics
- Extras: 2 x V Clamps, Flight Case
Most rock drummers these days are perfectly fine with one rack tom and one floor tom as they use the space vacated by the second tom to move their ride closer and use two crash cymbals. For this setup, a 6-mic pack like the V Pack Club is perfect. As with other kits in the V-Pack line, users love the vintage-modern tonality the mics bring while being durable enough to last years of accidental hits by even the most energetic of drummers.
A 6-piece drum mic kit might feel incomplete for other genres needing more toms.
If you plan to record a modern rock setup with just one rack and one floor tom, get the sE Electronics V Pack Club.
Telefunken is known for mics costing upwards of $8000.
With the DC6 Mic kit, Telefunken brings together some of its award winning mics to a relatively affordable (for the brand at least) package suitable for a 4-shell kit (kick, snare, rack tom, floor tom).
It features premium mics from Telefunken's lineup like the critically acclaimed M82 kick drum mic.
The other mics are no slouch either, the M60 FET is a small diaphragm condenser that captures fast transients while having a sweet upper frequency range to avoid harsh cymbal captures.
- Mics: 1 x M82 with M 782 mount, 1 x M80-SH with M 784 (metal) and M 785 (plastic) mount, 2 x M81-SH with M 784 (metal) and M 785 (plastic) mount, 2 x M60 FET with M 760 elastic mount
- Extras: 6 x SGMC-5R five-meter XLR with right angle female connector, 1 x HC87 Hard Shell Flight Case
Reviews of the individual mics note the richness and quality of the captures. The M82 kick drum mic scores high points for its versatility and multiple range of sounds from vintage thump to modern click. The snare mic also gets praise for great transient handling even with the most subtle ghost notes. Overheads work well with the shell mics, gluing everything together making for a great natural drum sound fresh from tracking.
The price was seen as a big barrier to entry by many in various discussion boards. The package itself is composed of existing mics that can be bought individually and some argued that they would rather do so.
The DC6 positions itself as the premium mic set in this category, with critically applauded mics on every part of the drum set, the overall drum sound will only be limited by your skills as an engineer. Get it if you want a top-tier starting point for your drum sound.
Best 5-Piece Drum Mic Kits
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 5-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
Shure is well known for their road worthy dynamic vocal and instrument mics, including drum mikes.
The PGADRUMKIT5 is a bundle of five mics, first of which is a PGA52 kick mic which is fine tuned to handle the punchy sound and harsh lows of a kick drum.
There are also three PGA56 mics that are designed to better handle the frequencies of toms, and are versatile enough to work with other percussion instruments.
Last but not the least is the Shure PGA57 mic, with its ability to handle the high sound pressure levels of snares.
It also comes with the necessary tools for setup, including mounts, clips and even XLR cables - all of which are packed inside a road worthy case.
- Mics: 1 x Shure PGA52 Kick Drum Mics, 3 x Shure PGA56s, 1 x Shure PGA57 Snare Mic
- Extras: Shure A25D Mic Clip, AP56DM Drum Mounts, XLR cables, Case
Build quality is the standout feature referred to in customer reviews, but there are also many reviewers who commend this bundle for its sound quality. The snare mic in particular, caught the attention of many with how it handles both soft and loud playing. Noise rejection also gets a good number of positive comments, which makes this package easier to manage on the mixing console.
There are a few users who felt that the sound was too flat. To that effect, some recommend doing EQ adjustments before judging its performance, to get the most out of this mic kit.
With its consistent high ratings, and big brand backing, the Shure PGADrum kit5 is highly recommended in this price range.
As the price of drum mics increase, the more specialized the contents of the package are. Case in point is the Audix DP5A which features a dedicated mic for the floor tom and a premium mic for the snare.
While all three tom mics are dynamic hypercardioid, the D4 floor tom mic can handle more lows with its 40Hz-18kHz frequency response, compared to the 68Hz-18kHz response of the two D2 tom mics.
The D6 kick drum mic's frequency response is 30Hz-15kHz and it has a cardioid polar pattern.
And, the Audix i5 dynamic cardioid mic handles the snare with its 50Hz-16kHz response.
Rounding up this mic package are four D-Vice gooseneck clips and an aluminum case that holds it all together.
- Mics: 1 x D6 Kick Drum Mic, 2 x D2 Tom Mics, 1 x D4 Floor Tom Mic, 1 x i5 Snare Mic
- Extras: 4 x D-Vice gooseneck mic clips, Aluminum Case
This package gets most of its commendations from drummers who are very satisfied with its overall sound. The i5 snare mic in particular gets a lot of positive mentions, along with the D4 floor tom. Some even report that it sounds so good out of the box, there was no need for any EQ. Drummers also report that because of its good dynamic range, it's not limited to specific musical or playing styles.
Other than a few who feel that the price is outside their budget, there aren't any noteworthy complaints.
If you are looking for a drum mic package that captures more of the nuances of your acoustic drum kit and your playing, then check out the DP5A from Audix.
Best 4-Piece Drum Mic Kits
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually achieve a great drum sound with just 4 mics. The Glyn Johns Technique which usually involves four mics: 1 Snare, 1 Kick, 1 Overhead placed above the snare and one side mic beside the floor tom the same distance from the snare as the overhead. This technique results in a very natural sounding stereo capture that works well for classic rock, indie and jazz.
At publication time this was the Highest Rated 4-Piece Drum Mic Kit.
The Shure DMK57-52 features three SM57 dynamic mics and one Beta 52A kick mic.
The SM57 is widely acclaimed as a "do-all" microphone. Having three at your disposal allows you to not only mic up your drum kit, but also gives you more options for expanding by giving you a great starting point for your mic collection.
The Beta 52A has a frequency lift at 4khz to bring out the best modern kickdrum sounds.
This set is versatile enough to be used with other instruments like electric guitar and electric bass.
- Mics:1 x Beta 52A, 3 x SM57
- Extras: 3 x SM57 Mounts, Carrying Case
The set is described by one user as "the starter pack you will never get rid of" as it includes the most commonly used, microphones in the studio, namely the SM57. The Beta 52A was praised as a good, modern sounding kick mic that blends well with shells recorded with the SM57.
The pack does not contain condenser mics so those that want mics to use with overheads may want to purchase them separately.
For miking up shells, the Shure DMK57-52 is a great package that has uses beyond drums as well. Get it if you want a "foundation mic set" that you can use to expand well into the future. If you need overhead microphones, check out our selection of The Best Overhead Mics For Drums.
sE Electronics V Pack Venue
Small venues usually don't need overhead mics, which is why sE Electronics came out with the "Venue" version of their V Pack series.
Again, with just 4 mics, you can actually record great sounding drums.
The V Pack Venue, despite it's minimal content compared to the other offerings in the line, still has the same, high-quality microphones from those packages.
- Mics: 1 x V Kick Mic, 2 x V Beat Instrument Mics, 1 x V7 X Snare/Vocal Mic
- Extras: 2 x V Clamps, 1 x Mic Clip, Flight Case
Reviewers love the versatility of the V Pack and their modern punchy feel with vintage warmth. Having these qualities in a 4 mic setup brings the best of both worlds: Vintage style miking techniques with this mic set.
The price for a 4 mic set may be too high for some.
If you want to commit to the vintage style mic techniques or if you just want to get 4 high quality mics to expand your existing mic locker, the V-Pack Venue is a great purchase.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Drum Mic Kit
Microphones and Uses
It's more affordable, to some extent, to get a drum microphone kit over buying individual drum microphones, because they include important accessories like mounting clips and cases and the mics are usually priced more competitively than buying each one separately. Many of these drum mics can also be useful for vocals and other instruments, adding to their usefulness. While most close proximity drum mics are dynamic, there are also condenser mics used, especially those that are positioned overhead. Dynamic microphones are ideally used on the snare, toms, and kick drum since they offer a good mid-range frequency response and have a sturdy build to withstand occasional miss-hit. They also tend to be pre-EQ’d to make each miked drum sound better. Condenser microphones usually come in a pair and are often used as overheads or room mics to capture the wide frequency range of the cymbals and ambience of the room.
Additional accessories make drum microphone kits more convenient. Many of them come with drum mounts, which are integrated clamps that enable you to fasten the microphones directly to a drum. These mounts enable you to "close mic" a drum, and are attached to the edges, rims and other applicable surfaces. Some have stands that are useful for mounting kick or tom microphones. Another common component included in mic kits are carrying cases, which make storage and transport more convenient. There are some bundles that include XLR cables, but in case you need extra ones, you can see what we recommend in our XLR Cable Guide.
Studio vs Live Setting
Dynamic microphones are the go to mic used in live settings because they can handle large sound pressure levels, they have good noise background noise rejection, and are less prone to feedback. There are instances, mainly in large venues, where condenser microphones are used to achieve better detail live performances. In the studio, close miking each drum component with dynamic mics give you more control over each drum part, which is important in the production process.
On the other hand, overhead omni-directional condenser mics give you a complete picture of the drum sound, with minimal setup time. The downside to this setup is that it is more prone to background noise, and you don't have individual control over the sound of each drum part during mixdown.
Best Drum Mic Kit Selection Methodology
The first edition was published in 2017 and the latest edition was published on May 10, 2021.
For this May 2021 edition, we looked at all the highly rated and popular options available from major online retailers in the USA and put 41 kits from 20 brands on our short-list for closer examination. Those brands were AKG, Ammoon, Audix, Avantone Pro, CAD Audio, Digital Reference, Earthworks, Lewitt, Miktek, Monoprice, Nady, Neewer, Peavey, Pyle Pro, Sabian, Samson, sE Electronics, Sennheiser, Shure and Telefunken. You can see them in the Music Gear Database.
Then we looked at relevant reviews, ratings and forum discussions about each mic kit and fed that data into the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 you see above, and to report on the experiences of users. Over 3,800 sources were examined during this process.
For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.
About the Author and Contributors
Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.
Lead Author & Researcher
An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.
Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.
The individual product images were sourced from their respective manufacturers' websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation.