Best Microphone for Toms: These Mics Will Have Your Toms Sounding Amazing

AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone, Multipattern


AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone

  •  Pattern: 5 Polar Pattern Options 
  • Powered: Phantom
  • Price: $$
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Shure KSM32
  •  Pattern: Cardioid/Omnidirectional
  • Powered: Phantom
  • Price: $
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Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic
  •  Pattern: Cardioid 
  • Powered: Connector
  • Price: $
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 Audio-Technica AT4033/CL
  •  Pattern: Cardioid Condenser 
  • Powered: Connector
  • Price: $
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Audio D2 Dynamic Microphone
  •  Pattern: Hyper Cardioid
  • Powered: Connector
  • Price: $
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The Top 5 Best Microphone for Toms

The AKG C414 is a microphone that differs from others like it because of its sound quality for not just instruments but lead vocals as well.

This mic comes with three switchable bass-cut filters that effectively reduces stage vibration, proximity effect and wind noise.

Finding the perfect setting for any application is made easy with the AKG C414 because of the nine selectable polar patterns to choose from.

The Peak-Hold LED displays short overload audio peaks while the three attenuation levels make perfect for close-up recording.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Shure KSM32 is an ultra-thin, low-mass studio microphone that has a natural sounding reproduction due to the key features that are included with this mic.

Background noise can be an issue for certain mics but the Shure KSM32 comes with a switchable low-frequency filter that significantly reduces background noise. “Pop” and breath noises are also reduced because of the integrated three-stage pop protection grille.

The included 15dB attenuation switch is equipped to handle sound pressure levels that are extremely high and the preamplifier cuts out any cross-over distortion for increased linearity range.

The uniform polar response along with the common mode rejection suppresses outside radio frequency interference.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

If you’re looking for a microphone that is known for its excellent sound and its ability to adjust to a wide range of recording environments, the Sennheiser ,D 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic should be a consideration.

Its large diaphragm can handle high sound pressures which makes it excellent for recording drums and guitars. The cardioid pattern is one of the features that significantly enhances this mics feedback rejection and makes it perfect for recording in environments where bleed from other instruments can be an interruption.

The five selectable bass roll-off settings give you complete control over proximity effect giving you the ability to use your mic up close with a natural and clear sound production.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Audio-Technica AT 4033/CL is a high-quality mic that eliminates low-frequency distortion and produces a clear and crisp sound.

The transient response and the clean output are a result of transformerless circuits that this mic offers. Ambient noise and popping are diminished because of the 80Hz high-pass filter that switches between a flat frequency response and a low-end roll-off.

The floating design blocks vibrations and noises while the nickel-plated brass enhances optimal sensitivity and stability. The gold diaphragm goes through an entire aging process to ensure that the most important characteristics of your mic stay consistent throughout your years of use.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

The Audix D2 Dynamic Microphone is compact, lightweight and dynamic in not just its design but also its ability to produce a transient response.

The wide frequency response of this mic gives it the ability to handle extremely high spls which is excellent for instruments with a percussive nature and the balanced output enables the Audix D2 to perform completely interference free.

The natural richness of this mic makes it great for winds and reeds that require sensitive reproduction.

What We Liked
What We Didn’t Like

4 Attributes To Consider When Selecting the Best Microphone for Toms

Sound Quality

If you’re a musician, it’s pretty obvious why the sound quality would be important when it comes to choosing a mic, especially for toms.

With this instrument being able to get as loud as it does, it’s not difficult for a mic to start picking up some distortion in the middle of a performance. You’ll need a microphone that can handle loud sounds and that has a great sensitivity rating.

Also having a mic that can block out other outside noises and feedback is imperative.


Mics that work well with toms are generally pretty affordable.

Mics of this caliber can range anywhere from $17 to $400. You should also consider if you’ll have to buy multiple mics as this can affect the price range that you decide to go with.

Your Situation

Are you recording in an empty recording studio? Are you performing in front of a live crowd?

Determining the microphone you use comes down to the type of environment you are performing in.

With empty rooms, you’ll need a mic that eliminates feedback while during a live performance you’ll need a mic that is sensitive and. can pick up sounds while drowning out background noise.


Just placing your mic on your tom is not enough, you need to have it directly in the right place to get that sound quality that you’re expecting from your microphone.

Your mic should be placed on the outer rim of the tom head and pointing down. Make sure to place your cymbals high enough as to where you can fit the mic on the rim of your tom

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Necessary For Me To Have Individual Mics for my Toms?

How many mics you use should be based on how big the room is that you’ll be performing in.

If you are performing in a bigger room you’ll want to have more mics in order to have more control over the sound.

If you are performing in a smaller space, you won’t need as many mics due to the control you’ll have over stage volume.

Do I Need To Mic My Kick As Well?

Yes, it is recommended to mic your kick as well. The placement of the mic should be 2-3 inches away from the inside head and just a few inches from the center. This placement gives off the best sound.

How Many Mics Do I Need To Record?

There is no one rule that says how many mics you can use when recording your drums. If you’re looking for more of an acoustic balance, you’ll want to stick with one mic. Try starting with one mic and continue to add more mics until you get the sound you’re looking for. 

Final Thoughts

It won’t always be easy to find that perfect sound that you want and it may take some experimenting with different mics and different positioning but another way to achieve the sound you’re looking for is to make sure you have a reliable and high-quality mic.

All of the mics that we’ve listened to in this article are excellent for toms but our top pick is the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone. 

This mic not only has switchable filters but it is also very effective at reducing wind noise and stage vibrations. 

Some of the most important features you need in a mic for toms are embodied in the AKG Pro, which is why it is our top recommendation. 

We hope the tips in this article guide you with making sure you get the best mics for your next performance.  


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