Top 7 Best Headphones for Drumming
If you are a drummer, you are likely to face more challenges as compared to other band members. That’s because you are highly responsible for tempo and are expected to keep up with the band for a steady beat. That is when good quality headphones for drummers comes into play.
Even without amplifier, drums are pretty loud in nature. But of course, drummers are constantly exposed to high sound levels which may lead to hearing disorders, fatigues or even worse permanent hearing loss.
And so, it is highly recommended to use headphones that are specially designed for drummers to aid these hearing issues. With all these things in mind, we have comprehensively reviewed top 7 best headphones for drumming. Let’s have a look.
Things to consider before buying headphones for drumming
Quality of sound: Be it In-ear or Over-the-ear configuration, the sound that headphones provide must be clear, crisp and precise. Drummers must be able to listen all mixes of instruments and vocals, along with his own playing. You need to specifically make sure that the sound signature has precise bass and treble with well-balanced flat sound. Length of the cord also greatly affects the quality of sound. Take note, too much bass does not mean that headphones are of high-quality.
Noise isolation: Now this factor depends on several ambient conditions like the number of audiences, type of venue and purpose of playing (on-stage or studio). In-ear headphones are known to provide better Noise isolation and enhanced sound quality as compared to over-the-ear headphones because they fit snugly deep into the ear. Active Noise cancellation does not really work in favor of drummers as they just reduce constant ambient noise and not sudden noises like drums.
Comfortable fit: Any headphones that don't fit well are certainly going to hurt even when worn for just a few hours. In this case, Over-the-ear configuration is known to be more beneficial as it can fit almost all of the users and generally has padding. Plus, there is no messy entangling of wires as well. If you choose IEMs, check whether extra ear tips are provided for customized fit. On the contrary, Over-the-ear headphones mostly have adjustable headbands, but some of them also apply clamping force on your head which gets painful later. So, make sure to take all these factors into consideration.
Impedance: If you don’t want too much sound leakage and prefer well-balanced sound quality for efficient drumming experience, look for Lower Ohm headphones with closed drivers. Headphones with high impedance might require separate amplifier to deliver its best sound.
Top 7 Best Headphones for Drumming in 2017
Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
Frequency range: 22Hz-17.5 kHz
Type of speaker: Dynamic MicroDriver
Noise cancellation: Up to 37dB
Type of Input connector: Gold-plated 3.5 mm
Cable: 64” long/Detachable
Available colors: Black, Clear, and Special Edition White
Warranty: 2 years
Be it for professional monitoring or personal use, Shure SE215 provides the best-detailed sound. Extremely comfortable in design, the Sound Isolating Sleeves offered in the Fit Kit can block about 37dB of outside noise. One size does not fit all, so there are 3 sizes of flex and black foam sleeves provided in the Fit Kit viz. Small, Medium and Large. Make sure the earphones fit tightly in your ears for high-quality sound and bass response.
When Drummers are on stage, the Sound Isolation Technology will prevent ambient noise from hindering their on-stage listening experience. Moreover, Shure 215 has been ergonomically designed with low-profile shape and precise nozzle angle so that the earphones fit snugly into your ears.
The most annoying thing that drummers experience is the cables getting in the way or snatched out from the ears. That won’t be the case here as Shure 215 has over-the-configuration.
Featuring Single Dynamic MicroDriver, SE215 delivers a detailed sound with heightened bass response, even in such small size. Detachable cables along with formable wire make the job of replacement much easier and provide a secure fit as well.
Frequency response: 20 Hz- 15 kHz
Response accuracy: 85%
Output sensitivity (at 1 kHz) SPL at 0.1v: 105 dB
Maximum output (SPL): 120 dB
Transducers used: Balanced-armature
Noise isolation: 35 dB - 42 dB
Cable: 4 feet/ 3.5 mm plug
Impedance: 16 Ohms
Warranty: 2 years
Etymotic’s HF5 Noise Isolating Earphones use balanced-armature receivers to deliver high-definition sound quality. These In-ear earphones have the highest response accuracy and best noise attenuation so as to reduce the risk of listening to dangerous levels.
It creates true high-fidelity sound to closely imitate the sound quality as that of a live performance. So, if you are looking for high-quality earphones that deliver precise sound reproduction, then these are the ones for you. Reinforced cable has a rugged design to enhance its longevity. User-replaceable filters are provided to protect the balanced-armature drivers from undesirable debris or earwax.
Without using an amplifier, these might not be as good as some high-end earphones. But, they certainly provide best Noise isolation and clean crisp sound. Speaking of bass, these earphones won't produce overemphasized bass but give more like a balanced flat response.
Aesthetically speaking, HF5 features smooth soft-touch black finishing and exclusive design of 3-flange ear tips will provide a great seal.
Type of Speaker: 50.m/m Dynamic Speaker Mylarcon
Cord length: 72” (Includes ¼” and ⅛”)
Plug: 3.5 mm stereo plug
Frequency response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz
Impedance: 250 Ohms +/- 15%
Magnet: NFB 15 x 1.5 Four-hole style
Sound pressure level: 110 dB +/- 3 dB
Rated Input power: 30m MW
Maximum Input power: 100 MW
Drummers exposed to high sound levels must invest in premium quality Noise Isolation headphones that are comfortable to wear for long hours of on-stage performance. With a very simple design approach, Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones work excellent in terms of Noise attenuation.
It has been reinforced with broad foam cushions, so your ears won’t get fatigued too soon. And, these cushions also drastically block out the external sound by up to 24 dB. Which is why drummers don’t have to increase the volume to its highest for listening. Self-aligning design of the earpieces will automatically adapt itself to give you a perfect fit.
If you are looking for headphones with booming bass, then you might not be a huge fan of Vic Firth Stereo Headphones, as the bass response here is flat. However, given its durable design, these stereo headphones are certainly made to last longer and endure rugged use.
Nominal Impedance: 70 Ohms
Magnet: Neodymium ferrous magnet system
Sound pressure level (SPL): 120 dB
Type of Transducer: Dynamic and Closed
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) : <0.3%
Cord: 5 feet long, Detachable and steel-jacketed
Contact pressure: 2.5 N
Frequency response: 16 Hz- 22000 Hz
Compatibility: iPod, DVD, mp3 players, CD players, phones with 3.5mm jack
Package Includes: Locking ¼” (6.3 mm) stereo plug adapter, Carrying case, and 1 pair of ear pads
Weight (without cable): 4.9 ounces (140 grams)
Sennheiser- a German company popular for launching high-fidelity Audio products has introduced HD25-1 II Closed-back headphones deliberately for professional monitoring. Whether you are a DJ, Cameraman or a Drummer, you will hands-down love the noise attenuation provided by these superior quality headphones.
Made to handle extremely high sound pressure levels, HD25-1 II features closed-back design to efficiently block out background noise. The robust construction of these headphones enables you to use it at audio equipment testing, studio monitoring, sound reinforcement and other such high-noise environments.
Professionals are well-aware of the fact that rotating design of capsule is much rooted-for. Which is why, Sennheiser has crafted rotatable capsule for listening with one ear. Apart from this, with weight of just 5 ounces, these headphones will not feel too clumsy or heavy, even when worn for a long period of time.
Speaking of sound quality, bass response is not very overwhelming but is satisfying, whereas mids and treble are well-balanced. Considering its aesthetic looks, these are plain black headphones- nothing really fancy here. If you seek durable build quality and decent sound quality for monitoring, then these are the ones for you.
Input Connector: 3.5mm gold-plated plug with screw-on 6.3 mm adapter
Frequency response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz
Closed-back drivers: 40 mm
Cable: 9 feet long
Sensitivity: 96 dB
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Yet another Dynamic Closed-back design is featured in these Direct Sound EX-29 Headphones with Passive Noise isolation capabilities. IncrediFlex padding and fully adjustable design of headband allow for comfortable fit to the users. It has been designed to provide up to 29 dB of passive noise isolation; impeccable purchase for drumming purposes.
Most annoying thing about typical large headphones would be their storage problem. That is not the case with these foldable headphones, you can handily store them in any backpack during travels.
In terms of looks, EX-29 has an extremely appealing appearance and is offered in two different colors- Black and White, both with a pizazz of Red accents. For those of you who have budget constraints, EX-29 might be ideal headphones for you. Here, the Frequency response is flat, which is much desirable for studio recordings.
Type of Speaker: 40mm Dynamic Speaker Mylarcon
Magnet: 16 x 3
Sound Pressure Level: 110 dB ± 3 dB
Impedance: 35 Ohms ± 15%
Frequency Response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz
Cord: 6 feet with ⅛” stereo plug and ¼” adapter
Weight: 307 grams
Meticulously designed for drummers, KAT Percussion KTUI26 Ultra Isolation Headphones feature wide dynamic range along with passive noise cancellation aspects. It can reduce the external noise down to 26 dB. These are one of the best headphones in terms of low pricing that do not compromise with its quality.
KAT Ultra isolation headphones might work exceptionally well for practicing acoustic drums. Without creating much bleed, these headphones won’t cause ear fatigue even during long listening sessions. Moreover, you can also use it for tracking and recording.
Flaunting a rough design, KAT Percussion Headphones are crafted to withstand abusive use- yet are quite low-priced. Bass response is not too overemphasized but is good with crisp clean sound quality.
Cord: 9.8 feet long with in-line volume control
Impedance: 80 Ohms
Sound pressure level: 105 dB
Warranty: 2 years
Beyerdynamic’s DT 770M Closed-back headphones are intentionally designed for drummers and Studio sessions. With excellent Isolation features, DT 770M can reduce the ambient noise down to 35 dBA. The single-sided connecting cord has been incorporated with an in-line volume control for your suitability, which is a huge pro.
Additionally, these come fitted with mini stereo plug having ¼” adapter which is compatible with most of the headphone amplifiers. Beyerdynamic has given a very strong look to these headphones along with padded headband, so you won't feel irritated during long hours of wearing.
Integrated ear pads are extremely soft, adjustable and easy to clean. Talking about its sound quality, DT 770M gives out a well-balanced, natural sound along with clear mids and treble. However, the bass response might feel flat with lows being too unclear.
Eventually, which headphones to choose completely depends on your personal choice and type of application.
As regards to IEMs, I would say that Shure SE215 delivers excellent noise attenuation and amazing sound quality.
If you just have to have an over-the-ear style of headphones then Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones might prove to be Best headphones for professional use, given its impressive lightweight design and well-balanced sound.