Top 5 Best Snare Mics of 2020 – [Reviews & Buyer Guide]

Best Snare MicsLet Your Music Speak For Itself; Be heard With The Best Snare Mics

If you are dissatisfied with the quality of the snare sound, it’s time to opt for the best snare mic in the business. It is a tricky affair to capture the right sound from the snare drums. The placement and the quality of the mics make all the difference between mind-blowing stuff and below par music.

1- CAD Audio TSM411 Dynamic Microphone

[Editor Top Pick and Best For Price]

 CAD Audio TSM411 Dynamic Microphone, Super-Cardiod

CAD is a name to reckon within the audio industry with a history of over 85 years. The TSM411 is an affordable mic for live performances and stage shows, the TSM411 produces cleaner sounds that are easier to mix eliminating all ambient noises in the atmosphere. The mic is ideal not only for snares but also for guitars, keyboards, toms, and congas.

User friendly

The CAD Audio weighs only 9.6 ounces making it a lightweight choice on stage. Its super-cardioid pickup pattern focuses completely on the source and does not allow the entry of other ambient sounds. This produces sharper and cleaner sounds.

Innovative design

You can be free of annoying mechanical sounds associated with mics in this case as the TSM411 relies on the duo-point suspension assembly which comprises an internal polymer flotation device that provides shock isolation.

Sturdy

Constructed of die cast metal and protected by a strong steel casing, the mic is built to last and withstand the rough handling of drummers.

Notable specifications

  • Super-cardioid pickup pattern
  • Duo-point suspension
  • Frequency response of 100Hz to 15 kHz

Overall Summary

This product is really value for money , it is surprisingly a cheap buy for excellent performance. Don’t limit its use to the snares as it has been found to be equally good for tom toms, guitars and bass cabinets according to several reviews.


2- Shure PGA56-XLR 

Shure PGA56-XLR Cardioid Swivel-Mount Dynamic Snare

A professional quality snare mic that evokes a sense of confidence and pleasure with its looks, feel and performance. Where clear precise and clean sound matters, the Shure is sure to be found. The swivel joint makes sure that you don’t waste time meddling with positioning and pay heed to other important aspects of music.

Easy and flexible positioning

Correct positioning of the mic is the key to clear and sharp snares. The PGA56 comes with a swivel joint that facilitates easy latch release and quick positioning of the mic.

Good looking

The PGA 56 is a fatal combination of looks and performance. It has an attractive industrial design with a metallic black finish. The additional grille that keeps away ambient noise adds to the presence of the product.

Pragmatic mount provided

You can do away with the hindrance of mic stands with this Shure mic as it comes with its own drum mount which can safely be attached to the rims of the snare drums.

Complete protection

A useful zipper pouch is provided to cover the mic during transport and storage minimizing damage by dust or water.

Notable specifications

  • Quality construction and design
  • Swivel joint for easy positioning
  • Cardioid pickup pattern
  • Additional zipper pouch for protection
  • The frequency response of 50 HZ to 15 kHz.

Overall summary

If you are looking for a professional level of snare mic then don’t miss checking the Shure PGA 56 which stands nice and tall in a league of its own. Not one of the cheapest on the scene but most certainly one of the best snare mics that are suitable for close-mic snares and toms.


3- Electro-Voice PL35 Tom/Snare & Instrument Microphone

 Electro-Voice PL35 Tom/Snare & Instrument Microphone

A professional grade low profile no nonsense kind of mic, the Electro- Voice PL 35 is a dynamic super-cardioid mic. It has a unique design that eliminates the need for all connecting cables while allowing a super fast transient response. A great tool for both studio and live performances.

Unique design

You need not worry about the annoying cables and clutter that are a part and parcel of any mic set up. The right angle of the mic removes the need for XLR connectors leading to visual clarity in the setup. This new design also boosts natural sound delivery.

Snap on clamp

You don’t need a mic stand to attach the PL35 as it comes with its own clamp that can be mounted on the drum rim. Another thoughtful addition to reducing clutter in workplace.

Rugged looks

Constructed from die cast zinc with a black satin finish the product is built to withstand the drummers’ rough usage.

Notable specifications

  • Super-cardioid pattern
  • Frequency response of 50 Hz to 16 kHz
  • Die-cast zinc construction
  • Integrated swivel

Overall summary

The electro voice PL 35 is a clean looking snare mic that gives anout-standing performance on stage and in the studio as well.


4- Audix I5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone

 Audix I5 Dynamic Instrument Microphone

The favorite of the budget conscious buyer the Audix i5 which is a Cardioid dynamic microphone. An SPL of 140 decibels and a frequency response of 50 Hz to 16 kHz make it an ideal snare mic. And the best part is the mic has a significantly negligible carbon footprint making it a desirable gear for the eco-conscious musician too.

Versatile

The large frequency range and the an even more capable SPL make the Audix a favorable gear not only for snare drums but also for guitars, vocals, and even speeches. There is a minimal distortion of sound.

Natural sound

The mic is equipped with the very low mass or VLM diaphragm which reacts faster than other diaphragms to sounds and is able to produce the most natural and specific sound.

Easy installation

The product is compact in shape and delightfully easy to use without the need for an EQ because the sound is so precise and accurate.

Notable Specifications

  • Frequency response of 50hz – 16 kHz
  • SPL of 140 decibels
  • Constructed of precision cast zinc alloy
  • Cardioid pattern for pickup
  • VLM diaphragm used
  • Assembled and tested in the USA.

Overall Summary

The Audix i5 is a cost-effective budget friendly snare mic that is well constructed and designed to handle stage, studio and even broadcast. A Sturdy tool that delivers the goods without breaking the bank.


5- Avantone Pro ADM Dynamic Snare Drum Microphone

[Our Top Rated Snare Mics]

 Avantone ADM Dynamic Snare Drum Microphone

Probably one of the nicest looking snare mics in the business the Avantone comes in an elegant wine red finish. The rugged black grill contrasts sharply with the red making this piece a sheer delight to look at besides using it. This beauty comes with a five-year warranty.

Great design

Manufactured from die-cast zinc, this piece is aesthetically designed with a polished nickel trimming and a black grill. The absence of plastic anywhere renders the piece more stability and endurance. It feels good and performs even better.

No more slippages

The insets on the body of the mic lock the O-rings of the shock mounts and prevent slippage of any kind. The O-rings are made of ethylene propylene formula which makes them resistant to heat and breakage.

Pro Klamps

Stylish looking clamp attaches the mic to the rim of the drum in three different positions. There is a rubber dampener provided to minimize the transfer of vibrations from the drum to the mic that lead to distortion of sound.

Notable specifications

  • Rugged and reliable design
  • PRO-KLAMP mount provided
  • Cardioid pattern
  • 145 decibel SPL.

Overall summary

One of the best snare mics in the industry, the Avantone ADM can be successfully used for toms, congas, toms, guitar cabinets beside snares. Be ready to be mesmerized by the quality of the snares both on stage and in recording studios.

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Summary

Miking snares is a dicey proposition even for the most trained professionals. It is only through repeated trial and error can you position and align the mic favorably.

Our choice features some of the most cost effective but superb performers in the snare mics sections. Each model is suitable for other percussion and stringed instruments besides the snares. Nice on the pocket, pleasant on the ears these models according to us are the best snare mics in the market.


How To Choose The Best Snare Mics?

Your budget: It is common sense the higher the price tag, the better the quality. But this does not mean that there are no affordable solutions to your needs. Depending on your skill level invest in a snare mic that suits your budget.

Pay heed to the specs: It is crucial that the mic is able to handle the sound pressure level or SPL which varies for the different kinds of drums. The SPL should not overpower the amp system with a loud snare because the mic is held at a close distance to the drum. The frequency also matters.

Number of mics:  Do you want both top and bottom snare mics or just one will do. Remember this will make a difference to the sound quality.

Durability: Snare mics invariably at least once in their lifetime will have to bear the brunt of the drums sticks because they are placed close to the drum set. It is, therefore, essential   that the mic has a rugged construction and can take some amount of abuse.

The specs in detail

There are several kinds of microphone used in the industry for the variety of effects the musicians seeks to produce. The placement of the mic, the quality of the drums and the drummer’s style and strength decide the ultimate quality of sound produced.

But, you must understand the specs to control the resultant sound to produce the desired effect.

1- Polar patterns

This basically conveys the sensitivity of the mic which decides which sounds it accepts from which direction and which are rejected. They are of three types:

    • Omni directional – sounds are picked from all directions
    • Bi-directional- sounds are picked from east and west
    • Unidirectional – sounds are picked only from one direction. This is the most common type of mic used and its displays the following three patterns wherein sounds from therear axis and off-axis are negated. These mics are known as of three kinds:
      • Cardioid – sensitive to sounds from straight ahead and the sides.
      • Supercardiod – it accepts a little more than 180 degree sounds.
      • Hypercardioid – it rejects sounds coming from 90 and 270 degrees while accepting 180 degrees.

Polarity plays a role when you are performing in a noisy atmosphere.

2- Frequency response

It is the range of frequencies that the mic can pick up. For snare mic, the frequency should be low starting around 50 HZ.

3- SPL:SPL

stands for the sound pressure level which indicates the maximum sound a mic can handle. The average SPL for drums is 100decibel.

The specs are only a guideline, the actual performance of the mic will depend on the build, the metal used and the precision of construction. Hence, it is always advisable to listen to a mic before purchasing it.

As you know there are two main types of mics- dynamic and condenser. Normally, snare mics are dynamic in nature because they are sturdier and are built to handle the pressure of hands and follow the cardioid pattern. These mics are affordable and are better suited for stage and live shows.

How to get the best out of the snare mics ?

snare mics

The placement of the snare mic will determine the effect you wish to produce whether in a recording or a live stage show. Here are a few tips that can enhance your experience.

  1. Close settings: to capture the really low volume which escapes the other microphone set on the drums.
  2. 6” above: for a dynamic sound and for hard hitting drummer this is the best setting to produce a natural snare. Focus the diaphragm to the center of the drum. This is also preferred setting if you will use only one mic.
  3. Side setting: this setting is more a choice and experimental in nature. The advantage of this settings is that you can capture the top and bottom sounds along with the ring of the shell.
  4. Below settings: This is the typical setup to capture the natural snare rattle with full clarity.

With proper tuning which comes with trial and error, you should be able to produce the sound which you desire.

After a thorough research and review of the most efficient and popular products in the business, we have narrowed down five of the best snare mics in the industry.

References

Updated: — 4:46 pm