9 Best Drummer Microphones 2024, For Drummers That Sing Vocals

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If you’re someone that sings in your band while playing drums, a good vocal microphone is essential. Things are a bit different for drummers, though, as we need to use mics that don’t get in the way of us playing around the drums.

There are so many options out there, but your pool of choice is a lot smaller when factoring drumming in.

Here are my top suggestions for vocal mics for drummers.

AKG C 520 – Best Overall

AKG C 520

The AKG C 520 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the most popular headset mics I know of that drummers love to use. The best thing about this mic is its reliability.

It has a standard XLR connection with a cable that is 10 ft. This gives you plenty of room to move around and feel comfortable while playing the drums.

The benefit of being cabled is that you don’t need to worry about issues that come from using a wireless unit. It’s far easier for a sound guy to mix and get you set up with a mic like this.

The earpieces mount over the top of your ears very comfortably, and I’ve seen plenty of drummers using this headset for lengthy gigs. It’s a bit tricky to set it up comfortably, but you’ll be good to go once you get there.

Regarding sound quality, it’s crazy how good it is considering how small this mic is. It’s naturally not as good as a standalone mic, but you get great clarity.

The fact that it’s a bit uncomfortable to set up may chase a few drummers away, but you’ll need to persevere with that to experience the extraordinary quality of the C 520 headset.

Type: Cardioid condenser

Design: Headset microphone

Crown CM311 AESH – Premium Option

Crown CM311 AESH

The Crown CM311 AESH (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a top-quality headset mic for drummers who are looking for something with pristine sound quality.

It’s wireless, meaning you won’t feel held back by a cable hanging behind you, but that does come with the potential setup issues. However, I’ve heard that it works fantastically for most people.

While this is a cardioid microphone, I’m surprised by how much bleed rejection it offers. You won’t hear any of your drums and cymbals through it, and your voice will sound as clear as it possibly can.

It’s also seriously comfortable. It’s one of those mics that you forget that you’re wearing, and that makes the high price a lot more worth it.

With this being a wireless headset mic, you just need to make sure that you have a wireless transmitting system to pair with it. Needing to have that, along with the big price tag, is something that will deter a lot of drummers.

However, I don’t know of too many headset mics with better sound quality than this one.

Type: Cardioid condenser

Design: Headset microphone

Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx – Best Budget Option

Audio-Technica PRO 8HEx

The Audio-Technica PRO 8Hex (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a good option for drummers with a tight budget. It’s a reliable mic that offers decent sound quality, and I’d recommend it to drummers who only need to sing for a few songs in their set.

It has soft padding on the earpieces to make it look like you can use it as headphones, but don’t let that fool you. Those soft pieces are just to protect your ears and keep them feeling comfortable.

The cable is 7.2 ft, meaning it’s long enough for you to feel comfortable while playing. I know a few drummers who would prefer a longer cable, but I’ve found that length to be long enough for most.

Another great thing about this headset is that it’s very light. You can barely feel it when positioned on your head, and that adds to the comfortability factor.

It’s just a bit of a bummer that it doesn’t hook over your ears. If you’re a drummer who moves around a lot when playing, it’s likely that this headset will come off when you’re headbanging.

Type: Hypercardioid dynamic

Design: Headset microphone

Shure SM35

Shure SM35

The Shure SM35 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another reliable microphone offered by Shure. I would call this the headset equivalent of the SM57 and SM58 mics, as it has a similar price and similar qualities.

The thing that impresses me the most about this mic is that it doesn’t pick up your breath sounds. It can sound a bit awkward in between songs when you’re breathing heavily from exhaustion, and this mic completely mitigates that.

It allows you to get powerful vocal tones. So, it’s one that I would comfortably recommend for lead singers that also play drums.

The cable is quite short, but I’ve mostly seen drummers prefer using this with wireless packs. In that case, the short cable won’t be an issue when the pack is attached to your body. It will be an issue if you want to plug the cable into something a bit far from your drum kit.

The microphone on this headset is a bit larger than most others on this list, which is a big reason for it feeling so comfortable. However, not everyone will want to use a large headset mic.

Type: Cardioid condenser

Design: Headset microphone

Shure SM58

Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is, without a doubt, the most popular vocal microphone in the world. It’s an easy go-to mic for vocalists, and it performs very well when set up on a boom stand near a drum kit.

It’s mostly used as a handheld mic, but it’s affordable, it’s versatile, and it does a good job of rejecting bleed from the drum kit.

If you get this mic to sing into, I’d suggest using it with a boom stand that can shift around. You can pull the arm close to you when you’re singing and then push it to the side when you’re just going to play the drums.

You may also have times when you’re just going to sing at the front of the stage and not play drums. It would be good to get a mic like this so that you’re equipped for both scenarios. If you have a headset mic for drumming, you’ll need to find a different handheld mic for those times.

Honestly, this mic has no downsides. It’s one of the most solid options available. It’s just not for you if you’re looking for a headset microphone.

Type: Cardioid dynamic

Design: Standalone microphone

Sennheiser ME 3

Sennheiser ME 3

The Sennheiser ME 3 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is one of the more comfortable headset microphone sets on this list.

It has a unique strap design that allows you to fasten it to the back of your head, and that tends to keep it feeling seriously secure.

It has a pin connector, meaning you need to have a wireless pack to use it. Once it’s connected and set up, it works flawlessly.

In terms of sound quality, I’d say it makes your vocals sound clean and open. It’s a great mic for achieving the articulation you need for singing, even while all the drums and cymbals are being played in front of you.

The one downside is that you may feel a bit limited by the boom arm holding the mic in place. It’s not very maneuverable, and that can lead to frustrations with positioning. Some people will have face structures that suit it, while others may find that the mic sits too far away.

All-in-all, it’s a fantastic headset mic that will work for most drummers, but some may find it a bit less intuitive than the other headset options. However, the strap design is a major redeeming factor.

Type: Pre-polarized condenser

Design: Headset microphone

Sennheiser e 945

Sennheiser e 945

The Sennheiser e 945 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is another handheld microphone that drummers should consider using.

It will work the same as the SM58, but I feel that this one has much better sound quality. It is more expensive, though, so you should expect it to sound better.

The supercardioid pickup pattern is what makes it such a good option for drummers. It picks up even less bleed than the SM58 does, so you don’t need to worry about unwanted sounds as much.

This means that you have a bit more freedom with your positioning. You can place drums and cymbals closer if you want, and the mic most likely won’t pick any of their sounds up if you don’t want it to.

A lot of people prefer this over the Shure, and vice versa. You just need to hear both of them being used and make a decision on which one to choose. It becomes a personal thing at this point. The Shure does have the edge with it being more affordable, though.

Type: Dynamic supercardioid

Design: Standalone microphone

Countryman E6

Countryman E6

The Countryman E6 (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a good option for drummers who want something very discreet to wear while playing.

This mic has the same color as most people’s skin, so it will barely be noticeable when you’re wearing it. If you match this with some transparent in-ear monitor, most people in the crowd won’t notice that you’re wearing either.

The mic is incredibly small, but it offers surprisingly good sound quality. Your vocals will be very crisp, and I’ve heard that it’s also quite easy to mix.

The only negative thing I have to say about this mic is that I think it’s a bit expensive for what you get. It’s nowhere near as comfortable as full headset mics, and the lightweight nature of it makes it not feel as durable as other picks.

It’s still a great microphone, though! It’s highly worth checking out.

Type: Omnidirectional condenser

Design: Earpiece microphone

Shure Beta 56A

Shure Beta 56A

The Shure Beta 56A (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is typically a microphone that you would place on toms or a snare drum. However, it’s been known to work very well as a vocal mic as well.

This would be my top pick for drummers wanting to get a good microphone with multiple uses. You may not need to sing on all your gigs. On the ones that you don’t, you could use this on one of your drums. You can then mount it to a boom stand to sing into whenever the call arises.

It has arguably the best bleed rejection out of any of the mics on this list, and it’s incredibly sturdy and durable. I wouldn’t get it if you’re purely looking for a vocal mic, though.

Type: Dynamic supercardioid

Design: Instrument microphone

What To Look For In a Drummer Microphone

Headset vs Standalone Microphones

You have two main choices when it comes to design. The first is standalone microphones that mount to boom stands. These are the mics that singers use, and most of them can also be used as dedicated drum mics.

The big benefit of using one of these is that you can move it away from your face when you’re not in singing mode. That will allow you to talk to your bandmates mid-set without your conversation being heard through the mic.

This type of mic can get in the way, though. You won’t feel entirely comfortable, as you often have to keep in the same position while drumming to have your vocals heard cleanly.

Headset mics are your other option. These are what most drummers opt for, as they get positioned firmly on your head, and then you have freedom of movement.

You can essentially play the drums in any way you want and then sing when you need to.

The downside is that you’ll always have a mic near you, so you can’t freely talk to people around you during the set without your voice being amplified.

Adjustability

If you’re getting a headset mic, adjustability is a big feature to look out for. The mic on the headset should be positioned close to your mouth, but there’ll be various designs that allow you to move that mic around.

I’ve found the best design to be a goose-neck one, as the goose-neck makes moving the mic around very easy. Most goose-neck arms also feel very stable and secure, no matter how much you move them around.

Some thinner mics simply have an arm that is moveable. These work in the same way, but I wouldn’t recommend moving them around too much, as they may lose their structural integrity.

Dynamic vs Condenser Mics

Condenser mics offer much better sound clarity, and I’ve found that they’re a bit easier to mix to get great vocals. However, they can easily pick the sounds up from the rest of your drums. That’s why condensers can often be a bit tricky to use as vocal mics for drummers.

Dynamic mics may be a safer option. They’ll offer better bleed rejection, and they typically have higher sound pressure levels. That means that you can sing into them as loudly as you want, and you most likely won’t get any distortion.

You just need to make sure that you’re singing straight-on with a dynamic mic, and that can be a bit tricky if you have one on a boom stand.

However, it’s completely up to you on which mic type to choose. They both have their pros and cons, so you just need to assess what you need for your situation.

Comfort

Something else to consider is how a headset mic will feel over your ears. Some are heavier than others, and certain ones also have wiry designs.

If you’re playing hour-long or more shows, you want to have something that doesn’t start to hurt. That’s where cheaper mics tend to fall short. As much as the mic may be good, I wouldn’t suggest getting a headset that isn’t comfortable.

You won’t know how comfortable a headset feels until you try it, so it’s a good idea to get other people’s opinions before making the purchase.

Price

Microphones cost anywhere from $50 to $1000. If you have a tight budget, I strongly suggest staying away from mics that cost around $50. I’ve found none of them to be good, so it would be better to save a bit and get something closer to the $100 mark.

Mics that cost between $200 and $500 are pro-tier, especially when looking at ones with headset designs.

If you want to get the best bang for your buck, I’d suggest getting a dynamic microphone that you can also use as a drum mic at different stages.

Best Drummer Microphone Brands

If you’re accustomed to using drum microphones, you’ll be familiar with all the best brands. Most audio companies tend to create incredible instrument and vocal mics. Here are a few standout ones.

Shure

You won’t see any list like this without coming across Shure microphones. They offer everything you need when it comes to quality, reliability, and comfort.

I love Shure’s headset mic options, as they all work well for drummers.

AKG

AKG is one of the most popular brands that offer vocal microphones. You have a wide range of choices when looking through their product range.

AKG is also a sister company of Crown Audio, so there are even more mic options to pick from when adding those mics into the picture. 

Sennheiser

Sennheiser is yet another epic audio brand that offers a large number of vocal mics. Along with Shure, Sennheiser is widely considered to be one of the top wireless microphone companies, and that’s exactly what you want to hear when looking for a vocal mic for drumming.

Top Drummer Microphones, Final Thoughts

Once you’ve decided whether you want a headset or a standalone mic, choosing a good one should be fairly easy. You just need to establish how much you’re willing to spend and then go with the mic that appeals to you most in your budget range.

Remember that singing and drumming at the same time isn’t easy. It’s an entirely new skill that may take a while to master.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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