Bass is important. No matter if you’re a professional working at the studio, or an amateur who is trying things out at home for the first time, getting a good bass sound is essential for a good audio record. The key to achieving that is to have the right equipment, and most importantly: the right bass microphone. But there are so many out there, how can you know what is the best bass mic for you?
Don’t worry, we got your back. Our team of experts has gone through hundreds of products and has picked up the finest ones listed down below. Check out our selection of the top 15 bass mic to decide which one is best for you.
Best Bass Mic Comparison 2020
|Electro-Voice RE20||Sennheiser MD 421 II||Shure SM57|
Best Bass Mic for controlled sounds
Best Bass Mic for versatile
best for affordable
** You will find our detailed reviews of the Best Bass Mic below, also, click these following links to view the current prices and customer comments on Amazon.
Top Best Bass Mic Reviews 2020
The Electro Voice RE-20 wasn’t originally created as a bass microphone. It was actually known as a broadcast mic for radio announcers, but due to its beautiful bass tone, it has become a popular choice for bass recording. Its smooth sound and flat frequencies are what makes it able to handle vocals, guitar amps, kick drums, and other bass instruments.
This versatile microphone also comes with the “Variable D” technology, which will cancel out any proximity effect that can be annoying sometimes. You can move freely around on stage without fearing sounding off-mic. It also gives you a controlled and smooth tone, which is perfect for jazz or acoustic settings. But if you’re looking for something with a more boomy bass voice, you might find RE20 not very satisfying.
Another bonus point for me is the RE20 is pretty durable. It has been a workhorse mic in the industry for years and has recorded thousands of hits. Its look also gives me a strong vintage vibe, which I and many others are very attracted to.
If you want your kick drum sound controlled without too much bass yet still smooth and deep, this microphone is your answer.
- Great vintage look and durable.
- Enhanced vocal clarity.
- Create a control, rich, and smooth tone.
- Minimizing tonal shifts from the proximity effect.
- Can be quite heavy with the included microphone chip.
Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic
This baby is another one that wasn’t created specifically for bass but happens to be a good one. MD 421 II can record a variety of different instruments such as piano, drum overheads, guitar, bass, and just about anything else you can come up with.
It does its work brilliantly, its large diaphragm produces sounds that are natural and powerful when it comes to recording guitar and drums. Full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control make MD 421 II an excellent choice for most instruments, vocals, and broadcasters. The design also helps to reject feedback and takes high SPLs.
But I do want to mention this baby isn’t very suitable for live performance or kick drum. It’s a bit more sensitive, thus can get a little bit more bashing than other mics.
- Very versatile.
- Can handle high SPL.
- Competitive price.
- Works great with vocals, specifically rock, rap, metal, and similar styles.
- Can be a bit pricey.
- Not suitable for live performance since it’s more sensitive.
- Requires serious mic placement.
Having the widest frequency range available in a dynamic microphone, The Heil PR40, or the “perfect mic for podcaster” as many knew it, is known for its deep bass response. Another versatile mic as not only it is perfect for podcasting, but it also amazing for bass and kick drums. You’d be surprised how well the PR40 handles the high SPLs that bass cabinets generate without distortion.
This mic creates a beautifully natural, deep sound due to its design that will enrich your bass tone. However, it does require a bit of effort to reach its maximum potential.
Aside from that, PR40 was solidly built and comes with a mount and hard case for added protection during transport, which I appreciate.
- Have a deep bass response.
- Wide frequency response that is capable of handling the high SPLs without distortion.
- Create natural, deep, and smooth sounds.
- Solidly built, comes with a mount and hard case for added protection during transport.Comes in a variety of colors.
- Requires pop filter for vocals.
- The bass can be overwhelming with deeper vocals sometimes.
- Need a quality preamp.
Shure Beta 91A
If you’re looking for an easy and comfortable mic then this microphones is just for you.
Combining the most shining features of Shure Beta 91 and SM91, along with the unique design that doesn’t require a stand, Beta 91A is easily one of the best mics when it comes to efficiency and sound. You can just simply place it inside or outside the kick drum and walk away. But do be mindful that due to its half-cardioid design, you’ll need a drum mount to place it close to the kick drum if you don’t want it to record the whole kit.
While it requires a bit of extra help, Beta 91A’s half-cardioid polar pattern provides a strong low-end response and rejection of off-axis sound, or to put it simply, it makes your records sound crisp, clear, and powerful without a fuss. It can cancel out unwanted noises that are usually there when you use a cheaper kind. Its frequency response was designed specifically for low frequency and a wide dynamic range in high SPL.
Another bonus is the Beta 91A, like many other Shure products, is very sturdy and comes with a zipper pouch!
- Unique design that doesn’t have you fumbling with stands.
- Clear and crisp sound.
- Easy to set up.
- Comes with a zipper pouch.
- Requires drum mount to place it close to the kick drum for precise recording.
Since 1965, the Shure SM57 has been one of the most widely used mics in history. You can see it everywhere from small clubs, studios, to stadiums and live performances. And there is a reason for its long-lasting popularity.
First of all, this mic is extremely durable. People have even tested its durability by dropping it ten times from a height of ten feet. Ten feet! And they just picked it up, plugged it on and nothing changed whatsoever.
Of course, you don’t have to drop it from the third floor to test such a claim, but such a test has proven the Shure SM57 can withstand hours of work in the studio or many rough elements of a live performance. You don’t have to worry about dropping your mic once and have to get a new mic right after.
Speaking of a mic drop, a live performance can be a big disaster because of many background noises thus creating distortions in the sound quality. Shure SM57 makes sure to get rid of that. This baby will cancel out all background noises, produce a clear and accurate sound so your live performance can live to its fullest potential.
Aside from that, Shure SM57 also has a wide frequency response, which means it can be very versatile and can handle many instruments. If you want, it can also be used for vocals too. Vocalists who want their performance raw with no turning in their voices have chosen Shure SM57 many times.
The SM57 surely is the best bass mic for someone who doesn’t have more than 100$ to spend.
- Exceptionally durable and long-lasting.
- Cancels all background noises and distortions.
- Capture clear, accurate, and warm sound.
- Wide frequency response.
- Very versatile and can be used for a wide range of instruments.
- Very affordable.
- No power switch.
- Requires lounder amp for guitar.
- Requires setting changing.
Shure Beta 52A
The BETA52 is a versatile microphone that is originally designed specifically for bass instruments. Great for performance as well as studio and home, this mic can give you the punch that you need in your recordings.
Its secret comes from its extremely low-frequency response (10-20Hz) and a neodymium magnet to give you a powerful bass tone. Furthermore, it cancels out any unwanted noises with its modified supercardioid for off-axis sound resistance and advanced pneumatic shock mount system. BETA52 does have a proximity effect, which can benefit a kick drum but does require more effort for other low-end instruments like bass guitars.
Like many other Shure products, BETA52 also has outstanding durability. It was built all-metal and has a steel mesh grille that can withstand many abuses. You won’t have to worry about breaking it anytime soon.
Another bonus point is BETA52 comes with an integrated stand mount that includes a thumbscrew for quick adjustments. You can fit into whatever space you want it to, and rotate it within a 180-degree rotation. Even strong vibrations and blows cannot tip it over and slip as the stand adapter keeps the mic position well fixed and resists slipping.
- Can cover lower frequency, perfect for kick drums.
- Cancel outside noises from the sides.
- Doesn’t get affected by mechanical vibrations.
- Sturdy and highly durable design.
- Comes with an advanced locking stand adapter and a male-type XLR connector.
- Can pick up some sound from the back.
- The frequency response sometimes changes.
- Can be damaged by humidity.
AKG D112 MKII (4.6 stars, 61 rates, 174.99$)
You might know the D112 as the “egg mic” due to its special and unique shape. Aside from that, it is also famous for its ability to pick up the bass tone exceptionally well, and it’s amazing when it comes to bass drum and acoustic/electric bass.
Its large diaphragm is the reason why it can easily pick up the lower sounds. This mic also has a boost in the frequency that will guarantee to make your bass guitar stand out. It originally was designed for drummers back in the heavy-footed days, so there is no doubt about its durability.
But D112 MKII uniqueness comes from its in-built windscreen inside the capsule to protect against popping and the humming noises sometimes appear in lower frequency recordings.
If you are looking for a bass mic for under 200$, you can’t go wrong with the D112 MKII.
- Very Affordable.
- Very Durable.
- Can cancel out the humming noises in lower recording.
- Rich and accurate sound with well-balanced frequency response.
- The mounting clip can be wobbly sometimes.
- Can be difficult to set up and require mic placing skills.
The Audix D6 is a bassy mic that is designed specifically to miking instruments with extended low frequencies such as kick drums, bass cabinets, toms, and large percussion. Some may even argue it’s the best bass mic for a drummer.
Due to its special VLM (very low mass) diaphragm built into it, it can handle the low frequency exceptionally well, thus creating a natural, accurate sound reproduction with a punchier and sharper attack
But this feature also brings the Audix D6 many mixed reviews due to the unique sound it made. This sound comes from the ultra-light diaphragm combined with a specific series of frequency boosts. Some love it and consider it as a boost for their bass tone, others prefer the alternatives. Regardless of the opinion, many agree that the Audix D6 can handle instruments requiring extended low frequency exceptionally well.
It is also pretty lightweight, and easy to position. The mic is omnidirectional, which means no matter where you place it the sound will stay the same. This can be very useful for many beginners by saving them a lot of time in setting up the miking process.
If you’re some drummer that is looking for an ideal kick drum mic or something to make your bass truly stand out, I highly recommend the Audix D6.
- Natural, accurate sound for low frequencies.
- Punchier sound with a sharper attack boost.
- Lightweight, compact, and easy to position.
- Not a transparent sounding mic due to the VLM (very low mass) diaphragm built into it.
- Not very versatile.
Sennheiser e602 II
If you’re looking for a solid kick punch in your next bass recording, the Sennheiser e602 II microphone is one of the best choices for you. With a broad frequency response from 20 Hz to 16 kHz, this microphone is designed especially to easily handle bass cabs, low brass, and other low-pitched sound sources. Even the most difficult bass signals that cause you many troubles can be solved with this baby.
Sennheiser e602 II comes with a large-diaphragm capsule to further enhance the bass response. Not only that, but it also cancels out any unwanted noises in the background. Using Sennheiser e602 II to record will help your records stay beautifully clear from any distortions while keeping all the punches in the bassy tone that you’ve worked so hard for.
Another worth mentioning feature is that the Sennheiser e602 II has something called “frequency-independent directivity“, which basically means that you can position it however you like without fearing that your recording is going to sound completely different afterward.
Aside from that, it’s also very durable, lightweight, and very well balanced. You can easily set it up without fearing your stand is gonna fall over. This is a huge bonus point for people who are trying to figure things out for the first time and haven’t had many experiences in setting up their mic yet.
- Durable, lightweight, and well balanced, easy to set up.
- Good sound rejection, keep the kick isolated nicely.
- Consistent frequency response regardless of positioning.
- Broad frequency response can capture low bass signals easily.
- Not very versatile.
Audix D4 Microphone
Next up in our list, we have a unique one. The Audix D4 is the smallest bass mic I’ve ever seen. But it wasn’t a drawback for me, as I find it easier to handle and position. This baby can fit anywhere you wish it to be.
And small in size doesn’t mean it is also bad in quality. It can handle extremely high SPL’s without distortion, plus a wide spectrum of sounds with extended bass response. Another good point is its VLM diaphragm and tight off-axis rejection when combined with other features will produce amazing natural and accurate sound.
Audix D4 has a wide frequency response and can go as low as 63 Hz. This means it is a good mic for miking large rack toms, Cajon, acoustic bass, bass cabinets, and small kick drums among other instruments that need an extended low end. If you want to try out new things, definitely try this one.
- Small size, can easily be handled or positioned.
- Excellent transient response.
- Natural and accurate sounds.
- Can handle high SPLs without distortion.
- Not very versatile.
Electro-Voice ND68 Dynamic Supercardioid
One of the best features of the ND68 model is its ability to block out noises from other instruments. Its excellent acoustic isolation is due to its supercardioid polar pattern. The ND68 delivers a deep low end, relaxed midrange, and powerful top-end punctuation.
It also has a durable, tight-mesh grille to help it withstand some extremely rough treatment. You can place it near your speaker and EMF-generating equipment racks without fearing that you will break it.
- Excellent acoustic isolation.
- Create deep lows and top-end punctuation.
- Can be placed near speaker cabinets and EMF-generating equipment racks without fearing it will break.
- Slower feedback.
Next up on the list is another one from Shure. I know, I know. Shure again? But seriously though, you cannot deny that they make good mics. Very high quality and durable, which is also the case with the PGA52 – LC model. This mic is easy to set up, stay where you want it to be, and features a special swivel joint with a quick-release latch for extremely quick and easy positioning. Afraid of fumbling with your mic no more with the PGA52 – LC.
In terms of performing, Shure PGA52 – LC does have a proximity effect which makes it perfect for kick drum. Its cardioid pattern also cancels out all unwanted noise that can be surrounding you and your instruments, resulting in a clear and intense sound recording.
- Can block out unwanted noises.
- Easy to set up and well-balanced.
- Swivel joint with quick-release latch for extremely quick and easy positioning.
- Comes with a zipper pouch.
- Can be a bit bulky.
- Sometimes have a “ping” sound each time the bass drum is hit.
- Not ideal for internal mounting.
MXL A-55 Kicker Dynamic Microphone
The MXL A-55 is designed especially for bass instruments, which should come with no surprise that it can handle low-frequency sounds from instruments with great accuracy in a rich, deep, and natural sound. It can capture some pretty sick low kick sound that will make a punch in your recording. The cardioid pickup pattern and the diaphragm of A-55 will minimize any unwanted sounds. Perfect for kick drums, floor toms, bass cabinets, and tubas.
If you’re looking for a snappy, quick response that packs a punch then definitely try this one out.
- Long-lasting battery.
- Quick response.
- Create good dynamic sounds.
- Clear, natural sounds with a deep, rich tone.
- Quite fragile.
- Cheap design.
AKG Pro Audio P2
If you’re looking for something that can withstand on-the-road travel, then the Pro Audio P2 is the answer for you. Its wire-mesh cap and sturdy die-cast metal body can guarantee it to stage use for days. Other than its toughness, Pro Audio P2 also comes with an integrated stand adapter, which means you can set it up pretty easily without a fuss, bonus a carrying case for safe transport and storage.
The Pro Audio P2 has a cardioid polar pattern designed to reduce other noises from the instruments behind the microphone. This together with its capsule makes it able to handle all the different bass frequencies and SPLs, producing a powerful kick to your recordings.
- Designed especially for bass frequency.
- High-quality and clear sound.
- Easy setting.
- Comes with a carrying case.
- Sometimes can deliver excess frequency.
Heimu Bass Drum Microphone
Well, if you’re a beginner and don’t have much money to spend, then you can try this mic. Despite its really low price, it surprisingly has many good reviews for its ability to capture bass frequency. Designed with a frequency response tailored for kick drums and bass instruments, with a built-in dynamic locking stand adapter which will make it easier to set up, it can be a good choice for beginners to try things out.
- Extremely affordable.
- Designed to kick drums and bass specifically.
- Easy to set up.
- Low durability.
Key Factors To Choosing The Best Bass Mic For You
Still can’t decide what is best for you? Worry not. Let’s take a closer look at what you might consider before buying a bass mic from the guides below. We hope this will clear up your questions and not waste your money on the wrong mic.
If you’re someone who does live performance or travel on road a lot, then the durability of the mic is extremely important. You don’t want your mic to break down in the middle of a concert or have it damaged on the road without a backup plan. Also, you can’t get a lit mic drop if your mic is gonna break right afterward. Can’t have that now, can we?
Dynamic microphones are stronger than other types of microphones and can handle louder instruments like drums without breaking down. They were designed with stronger diaphragms and stronger features overall, so they can easily withstand rough works. Plus, they’re cheaper than a lot of ribbon mics. And they can survive the mic drop, which is a great reason to get them on stage.
Home recording or studio might not require a heavy sturdy mic, but still, it’s nice to have a long-lasting and durable mic.
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
Another important point to consider before you spend your money on any mic is the Sound Pressure Level (SPL). It tells you how high the volume can go up before the mic begins to crack and break. It’s measured by dB, and to handle the volume of an amplified bass guitar, it should have high maximum SPL’s of at least 130dB. The lower your mic’s SPL goes, the higher the chance it’s gonna get distorted.
Condenser microphones can be distorted easier than dynamic microphones, which only start to distort when they are physically overloaded.
The most essential specification to be considerate wisely: The frequency response. It is measured by Hertz (Hz). It shows the range of frequencies that the mic is capable of capturing and processing. For bass guitar sounds, the mic must have a lower frequency response range. For a kick drum, it would be for the best that you get a microphone that is designed especially for the bass drum.
A quick tip to remember which one to pick is that high-frequency instruments such as acoustic guitar, cymbals, piano,… work better with condenser mics, while low-mid frequency ones like drums work better with dynamic mics.
Why is recording bass different?
Recording bass is different from normal or vocal recording because bass has a much deeper, lower sound, which is quite hard for normal mics to pick on accurately. A good mic for solo might be a terrible mic for bass. This is why bass has specific mics rather than using the same mic as normal recording.
Do I really need a bass microphone?
You can certainly record bass raw, but it won’t be as good as having a bass mic. The D.I is great, but it can’t help you with replicating the sound you love or effects as well as a microphone. With the right mic and the right setting, you can capture the best sound from your bass, which is a fuller, richer, more accurate sound.
But don’t hope that having a good mic can solve all of your problems. If your amp has troubles like static, humming, crackling,…chances are your mic gonna pick some of it up.
Can I Use It For Vocals?
To the versatile ones, then yes. You can certainly use it for vocals. Some of the mics we have selected in the list above are great for vocals too. Just make sure that the one you pick has a wide range of frequency response and SPL. But if you’re planning to use a mic aside from the purpose of recording bass, then you should avoid the bass/kick drum specifically designed mic for the best.
What’s the difference between live and recording?
Well, if you’re planning to use a mic for live performance then the most important thing to consider is the mic’s durability. Studio or home recording is less rough on the mic than live performance (vibrations, background noises, mic drop, etc…). And thus, you really don’t want your mic to break down while you’re using it live.
How To Set Up My Mic?
You can watch this video and figure out more things. But basically, you need to remember that the closer you place your mic to the sound source, the higher the bass response gonna be. The proximity effect could play a part, and you could try placing your mic at different angles, different distances to play around with the sound.
6-12 inches should be fine if you are just starting to try things out, cause further than that might give you some bleed issues. Aiming your mic directly at the cone’s center will likely give you a punchier and brighter sound while moving it to the edge can give you a dark and smooth tone. If your bass seems overpowering, try to move it a little bit further.
Conclude: Our Top 5 Winners Of The Best Bass Mic
Best Bass Mic for controlled sounds.
Best Bass Mic for versatile
Best Bass Mic for affordable
The Electro-Voice RE20 is the best bass mic for many people because of its versatility. As mentioned, The Electro Voice RE-20 wasn’t originally created as a bass microphone, but its beautiful bass tone has turned it into a popular choice for bass recording. It can handle vocals, guitar amps, kick drums, and other bass instruments.
It also has the technology to cancel out any unwanted proximity effect and background noises while still maintaining that beautiful rich bass tone. It gives the controlled bass that not many mics have. If you are a beginner, it can help you get used to the bass tone. If you’re a professional, it will make your job much easier.
When it comes to durability, the RE20 is also a tough one too. You can use it for many things, and for many years without constantly fearing it gonna break with just a drop.
If you’re serious about making music, then having a good bass mic is crucial. We hope our list can help you.
- Don’t forget to share your thoughts about best bass mic at the comment box below!