5 Best Overhead Drum Mics (For All Budgets)

Last updated:
Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.
  • Explore our selection of the best-performing drum microphones
  • Find out what makes a mic suitable for recording drums
  • Check out the FAQ section to learn why the best drum mics stand out from alternatives

Recording drums can be tricky. Even if you’re a highly experienced engineer, there are so many variables to keep in mind, but it can be significantly easier if you simply used an overhead microphone.

Many bands and performing artists do it because even though the recordings may not be as accurate and pitch-perfect, the result is more organic and “real.” If you’re looking for the best overhead mics, you’ve come to the right place.

What are the Best Overhead Drum Mics?

The Editor’s Choice for this article is Blue Baby Bottle SL for several reasons. Not only is this one of the clearest-sounding microphones out there, but it’s also remarkably durable and versatile.

It’s a no-nonsense microphone that won’t unnecessarily color the sound of your drums while being able to authentically capture even the smallest accents you’re performing on each part.

Different drummers have different tastes and needs, so you may also want to take a quick look at some of the other microphones I believe are fairly close to Logitech’s Blue Baby Bottle, including the following:

  1. Blue Baby Bottle SL (Our Pick)
  2. SE Electronics SE8 (Runner Up)
  3. TZ Stellar X2 (Best Value)
  4. Audio-Technica AT4047/SV (Best Premium)
  5. PreSonus PM-2 Matched Pair (Best Budget)

 Without any further ado, let’s dive into the reviews of the top 5 best overhead drum mics in the current market.

1. Blue Baby Bottle SL XLR Cardioid Condenser Microphone (Our Pick)

Our Pick
Blue Microphones Baby Bottle

The Blue Baby Bottle SL large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone imbues richly present midrange, smooth top end, and neutral bottom into whatever you put it in front of. 

View Price On Sweetwater

From top-tier gaming keyboards and business webcams to premium quality instrument microphones, Logitech’s catalog is as impressive as it is eclectic. Drummers who value sound quality above everything else will find all they are searching for in the Blue Baby Bottle mic.

Key Features:

  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 134 decibels
  • Total harmonic distortion: approximately 0.5%
  • Custom condenser capsule
  • High-pass filter
  • Machined brass construction

Regardless of whether you’re a musician, a gamer, or simply love modern tech, I’m sure you either own or have considered buying at least one product from Logitech’s vast assortment of goodies. As a brand widely praised for innovative microphones, it’s only fitting for Logitech’s Blue Baby Bottle to open my reviews of the best overhead drum microphones. 

Before I talk about raw specs, I want to address the main benefit it offers – crystal-clear audio. No matter which drumming style and music genre you’ve planted your feet in, this microphone will let you hear everything exactly as you played it.

Unironically, this is why Blue Baby Bottle is a great overhead mic for drummers of all skill levels. If you’re a beginner, your mistakes will be significantly more pronounced, while pros would instantly know whether their tone needs tweaking and in which department.

Overhead mics can be used in various settings; to record album tracks in a studio, band performances in a controlled environment, live gigs out in the open, and pretty much everything in between. Logitech’s Blue Baby Bottle is perfectly suited for all of the above scenarios. 

Its maximum sound pressure levels can reach as high as 134 dB, which is more than enough to capture your band and the first few rows of the crowd.

The microphone is gorgeous, but more importantly, it’s built like a brick house. Better said, it’s as durable as a tower made of brass since Blue Baby Bottle is made of remarkably robust machined brass materials. Even the best drummers sometimes accidentally hit their overhead mics, and this one can endure quite a bit of punishment.


  • Premium quality circuitry grants unparalleled, reliable sonic performance
  • Switchable high-pass filter
  • Outstandingly durable brass construction
  • Pristinely clear audio with almost no THD


  • Pricey

2. SE Electronics SE8 Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone (Runner Up)

Runner Up
sE Electronics sE8

The sE8's short, efficient signal path doesn't employ ICs or transformers, and this is key to the mic's remarkably natural performance in capturing acoustic instruments such as guitar, piano, strings, woodwinds, and percussion. 

View Price On Sweetwater

As a brand helmed by a professional composer, SE Electronics knows what musicians need and delivers the promise of quality. SE8 is an excellent drum mic, boasting a high level of versatility and a variety of quality features.

Key Features:

  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 139 decibels
  • Total harmonic distortion: approximately 0.5%
  • Switchable attenuation pads (-10/-20 decibels)
  • Handcrafted and custom-tuned capsule
  • Gratis Windscreen

For the runner-up, I went with SE Electronics’ SE8 pair not because it’s the second-best option on the list, but because it can work for nearly any drummer, professional or otherwise.

When it comes to overhead drum mics, versatility is vital.

Many artists can’t afford to have separate microphones for recording, performing, practicing, and creating music. Hence many people use the same microphone in all situations. With SE8, this isn’t an issue at all.

Firstly, it boasts two togglable attenuation pads, enabling you to extend or narrow its dynamic range on the fly. This means that you can get similar sound quality and recorded volume when playing in crowded clubs and outdoors; while practicing in a small room or jamming with a band in a large space, you won’t notice a significant difference by using the -10 & -20 pad selectors.

Regarding recording, the clarity SE8 provides is already amazing, but it can be even further reinforced with the low-cut 80 Hz and 160 Hz filters. If you don’t like the depth of your kick sound or if your cymbals sound like breaking glass, these filters can help you out on the spot.

The handcrafted capsule of SE Electronics’ SE8 was tuned by hand by the brand’s engineers to ensure it can efficiently and reliably endure both sonic and physical punishment.

As for the reason why it wasn’t awarded the prime slot in this list, the answer also lies in its versatility. Even though it can cater to the needs of even the most demanding professional drummers, it does not offer the same level of sound quality, clarity, and depth as the Blue Baby Bottle. It also weighs just a tad more than your average overhead microphone, but there aren’t any major drawbacks to SE8.


  • Natural, uncolored sound
  • Almost no self-noise whatsoever
  • Switchable attenuation
  • Robust metal construction


  • Above-average weight

3. TZ Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone (Best Value)

Best Value
TZ Stellar X2

Carefully Tuned Sound: Balanced and Neutral frequency response. Unlike most condenser microphones, this microphone does not sound harsh and will not stand out in your mix or sound fatiguing over time.

View Price On Amazon
03/20/2023 07:36 am GMT

The second iteration of the Stellar X-series condenser microphone is an ultra-light mic boasting a neutral sound signature, a balanced frequency response, and great sound for the price. Since its frame is made from quality iron, it’s as road-worthy as they come.

Key Features:

  • Weight: 0.76 pounds
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 130 decibels
  • Ultra-low self-noise
  • High-freq attenuation
  • Frame made of robust iron material

TZ Audio is an established manufacturer of professional microphones and mic accessories geared toward helping musicians capture the “lightning in a bottle”, lightning being the best sound imaginable and the bottle being a PC.

Whenever someone mentions flat (neutral) sound signatures, I think of Audio-Technica or Sennheiser. After discovering TZ Audio’s X2, I realized that you can reap this benefit without paying close to a thousand dollars.

I was amazed at its responsiveness, which is probably the feature I like the best about the X2. Featuring gold-plated circuitry and WIMA capacitors, this microphone can dependably capture sounds without a millisecond of lag and with almost no harmonic distortion in the mix.

Furthermore, its base is made from quality iron material, yet the microphone weighs barely 0.76 pounds. Its integral components are shielded by mesh and sturdy metal, so bringing it on the road will always be a risk-free venture.

I mainly recommend TZ Audio’s X2 for recording and session drummers, though. Since its sound is completely uncolored, it will mainly be affected by your drumming gear and skills. On-stage, it’s usually better to have a brighter-sounding mic that can sound good without burdening it with various effects.


  • Surprisingly durable considering how light it is
  • Rapid response; ideal for recording drummers
  • A completely neutral sonic signature
  • Excellent clarity; it will capture the authentic sound of your drums without any processing and effects


  • Its bulky design makes it an easy target for musicians standing near

4. Audio-Technica AT4047/SV Cardioid Condenser Microphone (Best Premium)

Best Premium
Audio-Technica AT4047

This large diaphragm condenser microphone is designed to deliver the fine, inviting sonic characteristics similar to old F.E.T. studio microphones, and it does, coaxing out all the nuance and subtleties of quieter, more textured sounds that are sometimes difficult to capture during recording. 

View Price On Sweetwater

Audio-Technica is a brand that excels in making professional gear for recording artists, so if you’re looking for an overhead mic that will help your kit sound as smooth and powerful as possible, AT4047/SV is the way to go.

Key Features:

  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: from 20 Hz to 18 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 149 decibels
  • Dual diaphragm design
  • A unique AT shock mount
  • Switchable 80Hz high-pass filter
  • 10 dB attenuation pad

There’s a good reason why so many sound engineers use Audio-Technica microphones – they’re just unbeatable in a music studio. A flat frequency response, neutral sound signature, and impeccable hardware delivering clear, unfiltered audio are some of the things nearly all AT mics have in common.

The AT 4047/SV kicks it up a notch with a dual diaphragm design, enhanced SPL, and a togglable high-pass & attenuation pad.

The highest level of sound pressure this microphone can tolerate before the sound starts to crackle and break up is 149 decibels, which is considerably higher than we’ve seen so far.

Gigging musicians that want the best microphone available to record their live albums should look no further than this since your entire band, plus the roaring ovations of your audience, will sound exceptionally clear on the recording.

The high SPL rating works in synergy with AT 4047/SV’s dual-diaphragm design, which provides a dramatic boost to the accuracy of the pickups. The polaroid pickup pattern of single-diaphragm mics sometimes “sways” a little, and that’s very rarely the case with this one.

Even if you smash it with a stick a couple of times per set, it will still be fine since it’s made of highly durable machined brass materials. 


  • Extremely sensitive microphone with outstanding tolerance to high sound pressure
  • Dual diaphragms ensure its polar patterns remain accurate across all supported frequency ranges
  • Highly customizable performance with a high-pass filter and attenuation functions
  • Built to last


  • The surgically accurate polaroid patterns may hinder the “organic” element of playing unless the mic is perfectly positioned

5. PreSonus PX-1 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone (Best Budget)

Best Budget
PreSonus PX-1

This affordable microphone is very versatile and can handle applications from recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and podcasts.

View Price On Sweetwater

PreSonus is widely famous for its mid and high-tier microphones. Still, the brand offers quite a selection of low-end models as well. The approachable price of PX-1 doesn’t paint an accurate picture of its performance, and it’s arguably one of the best overhead drum mics you can find on a cash-strapped budget.

Key Features:

  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: from 20 Hz to 18 kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 135 decibels
  • Total harmonic distortion: approximately 1%
  • Complementary carry case and mount

Let’s wrap it up with PreSonus PX-1, which is in my humble opinion an excellent choice for up-and-coming drummers and people searching for a good backup overhead drum mic.

The feature I love the most about PX-1 is its large diaphragm capsule. PreSonus calls this microphone a “true diaphragm” mic since its polaroid pickup pattern is wider and fairly uniform relative to similarly-priced models.

Its maximum SPL is high enough to support recording sessions outdoors, while the main draw of PX-1 lies in its straightforward features. There are no switchable buttons or sliders, so what you see is what you get. 

Disregarding the price, there are a few downsides you should know about. It can’t compete with other models in this list in terms of durability, and it will sometimes struggle with capturing high-pitched sounds accurately. Other than that, it’s a perfect backup microphone and an ideal choice for drummers that can’t afford pricier models.


  • Simple, dependable features
  • Decently durable for the price
  • Good quality, unfiltered sound
  • Its large diaphragm provides extended coverage


  • Slightly narrower-than-average frequency response
  • Low versatility


What microphone type do you use for overhead drums?

Condenser microphones are usually better for overhead drum recordings. They are more sensitive, faster, and usually have a neutral sonic signature relative to dynamic microphones. On the other hand, dynamic mics tolerate harmonic distortion better and are simpler to use because they rarely require phantom power.

Can you use SM57 as drum overhead?

Shure SM57 is a classic microphone that boasts a decent level of versatility while being sturdy enough to withstand a few legs of any given tour. These microphones can serve as overhead drum mics, but there are better alternatives across all price ranges.

Do overhead mics need to be matched?

When you are using multiple overhead microphones, it would be ideal if they are matched to ensure that the audio quality is consistent. Otherwise, you would have to tackle audio bleed, certain mics not picking up on different frequencies, void spaces with very few details, and so on.

Wrapping Up

The best overhead drum mic is a microphone that can complement your drumming style and music taste. Some drummers love raw, gritty recordings and when audio bleeds all over the place (e.g., black metal and crust punk genres). Other musicians prefer their live albums to sound as clear as possible.

All major microphone manufacturers feature audio samples that you can preview on their websites, so in addition to reading the reviews and getting familiar with the specs of the models I covered in the sections above, I suggest checking these mics in action.