Comb-drive transducers are made of interdigitized fingers formed by the stationary part known as stator and the moving part known as rotor, and based on the transduction principle of capacitance change. They can be designed as area-change or gap-change mechanism to convert the mechanical signal at in-plane direction into electrical output. The comb-drive transducers can be utilized to differentiate the wave motion in orthogonal directions when they are utilized with the outof- plane transducers. However, their sensitivity is weak to detect the wave motion released by newly formed damage surfaces. In this study, Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) comb-drive Acoustic Emission (AE) transducer designs with two different mechanisms are designed, characterized and compared for sensing high frequency wave propagation. The MEMS AE transducers are manufactured using MetalMUMPs (Metal Multi-User MEMS Processes), which use electroplating technique for highly elevated microstructure geometries. Each type of the transducers is numerically modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics program in order to determine the sensitivity based on the applied load. The transducers are experimentally characterized and compared to the numerical models. The experiments include laser excitation to control the direction of the wave generation, and actual crack growth monitoring of aluminum 7075 specimens loaded under fatigue. Behavior and responses of the transducers are compared based on the parameters such as waveform signature, peak frequency, damping, sensitivity, and signal to noise ratio. The comparisons between the measured parameters are scaled according to the respective capacitance of each sensor in order to determine the most sensitive design geometry.