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.
Check the specifications of these headphones in the below table.
|Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones – Our top pick||22Hz-17.5 kHz||17Ω|
|Etymotic Research HF5 Portable In-Ear Earphones –||20 Hz- 15 kHz||16 Ohms|
Sony MDR7506 – Budget friendly
|10Hz – 20kHz||63 ohms|
Sennheiser HD280PRO – Super comfortable
|8Hz – 25kHz||64 ohms|
|10Hz – 22kHz||44 ohms|
|Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones||20 Hz- 20 kHz||250 Ohms +/- 15%|
|Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones||16 Hz- 22000 Hz||70 Ohms|
|Direct Sound EX-29 Dynamic Closed Headphones||20 Hz- 20 kHz||32 Ohms|
|KAT Percussion KTUI26 Ultra Isolation Headphones||20 Hz- 20 kHz||35 Ohms ± 15%|
|Beyerdynamic DT 770M Headphones||5Hz-20kHz||80 Ohms|
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. So drummers should choose the best headphones for mixing.
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.
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.
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.
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 10 best headphones for drumming in 2019
#1. Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones – Our top pick
- Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
- Impedance: 17Ω
- 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.
- Sweat-resistant construction
- Precise sound and booming bass
- Gold-plated connector allows flexible 360° rotation
- Cable can be detached from IEMs
- Foam and flex sleeves block ambient noise
- Heavy-duty cord
- Includes a handy pouch for storage and a cleaning tool
- Treble is not very rich, it is acceptable
- Cables are not very easy to detach
- Cord is unnecessarily very long
- 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, Etymotic HF5 features smooth soft-touch black finishing and exclusive design of 3-flange ear tips will provide a great seal.
- High-performance balanced-armature drivers deliver high fidelity sound
- Ideal for everyday use
- Includes Assorted ear tips, Replacement filters, Tool for removing filters and a carrying pouch
- Lightweight design
- 4 feet long cable
- 3-flange ear tips seal outside noise
- Custom-fit option is available
- Might feel uncomfortable due to tight fit
- Bass is weak; Not recommended for Bassheads
- Expensively priced
#3. Sony MDR7506 – Budget friendly
- Sensitivity: 106 dB
- Impedance: 63 ohms
- Frequency Range: 10Hz – 20kHz
- Type of Speaker: Dynamic
- Type of Input Connector: Gold plated stereo Unimatch plug ¼” and 1/8”
- Cable: 9.8 ft
If you like your headsets a tad aesthetically pleasing, I guess you’re in luck with this one. There are a number of features aimed towards increasing beauty and comfort on the MDR7506.
At 8 ounces, we can call it lightweight, but the cable is quite bulky. This is understandable because the cable is non-detachable, so SONY made an effort to ensure its durability. It would be a shame to lose a whole headset just because the cable stopped working.
It also comes with sliders that click into place with the size of your head. If you’re a drummer, you don’t have to worry about your headset falling off in the middle of a performance.
The SONY MDR7506 has a pretty good representation of the frequency range. However, I feel the bass could be better.
If you listen to music that is big on the low-frequency side—lots of 808s, synth bass, and others, you may find the low frequency a bit underwhelming.
The other frequencies are quite good—the mids and highs are crisp and clear without any harshness.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Good grip
- Bulky cable
- Low frequency deficient.
#4. Sennheiser HD280PRO – Super comfortable
- Sensitivity: 113 dB
- Impedance: 64 ohms
- Frequency Range: 8Hz – 25kHz
- Type of Speaker: Dynamic
- Noise Cancellation: 32 dB
- Type of Input Connector: 3.5 mm stereo mini jack
- Cable: Single-sided, coiled
I would describe the Sennheiser HD280PRO design as efficient or effective. There’s not much going on in terms of aesthetics.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not ugly or anything; it’s just that the manufacturers focused a lot more on what they designed the headphone for—a good listening experience. In that regard, I would say they have not done bad at all.
The headbands and earcups are made of plastic, with some padding for increased comfort and hence it is best suited for drummers.
The Sennheiser HD280PRO can be powered by low energy sources; it’s 16 ohms. Even though the cable is not detachable, you have little worry regards the cable. It’s quite bulky and made to stand some unfavorable conditions.
When it comes to sound, the first thing you want to know is: How’s the bass?
The low frequencies are crucial. For most energetic music, the bass or kick is the life of the party; most especially these days with 808s being almost a signature sound in popular music.
The bass is well represented; no unnecessary distortions, both with electronic and acoustic bass.
About the middle and high frequencies or treble as some people know it, the Sennheiser HD 280 produces these frequencies without any audible spikes or drops across the frequency spectrum.
I should probably note that the Sennheiser HD280PRO does not necessarily add any character or “color” to the music you’re listening to. It’s what you can call a flat response. This means if the material that you are listening to is not of top quality in recording or mixing, then you can be sure that’s what you’re getting.
Also worthy of note is the fact that the Sennheiser HD280PRO is a noise canceling headphone, good for drummers.
Speaking of drummers, it is not impossible that you have seen drummers at performances, rehearsals or concerts using headphones while drumming.
At times, it may seem that the drummer is just being extra or doing too much. Well for your information, there a few reasons that drummers prefer to use headphones while playing:
- To hear clear tracks or metronomes.
- For hearing protection (Noise-canceling headphones).
- Quality sound
- Can cause discomfort if used for long
#5. Shure SRH440
- Sensitivity: 105dB
- Impedance: 44 ohms
- Frequency Range: 10Hz – 22kHz
- Type of Speaker: Dynamic
- Type of Input Connector: Gold-plated 1/8” (3.5 mm) stereo mini jack
- Cable: Detachable coiled oxygen-free copper
Shure is a household name in the music and audio industry. If you are familiar with audio equipment, then you’re probably familiar with the name. The Shure SRH440 in particular is selected as a good fit for drummers because of its lightness.
The Shure SRH440 features a simple design, with not much elaborate stuff going on. If you love headsets but do not want people casting glances at your head all day, this can be a good choice for you.
Most drummers would argue that Bluetooth headphones and wireless headphones are the best to use while playing. They have a point, but then, Shure has made sure that you have ample advantage with the SRH440.
The 40mm drivers used in the manufacture ensure that the headset is lightweight; lighter than most wireless headphones and Bluetooth headphones.
Despite the lightness, it has a sturdy build that ensures its durability.
Featuring a frequency distribution of 10Hz to 22kHz, the Shure SRH440 does justice to the ratings claimed by the makers. If you’re a drummer and you plan to use this headset as in-ear monitors, you can be sure of adequate representation of the frequency range.
Your kick drum will sound solid, without unnecessary distortions or boomy sounds. You can also expect a crisp sound; robust tom sounds and hi-hats and cymbals retain their sizzle and sheen.
All of these will be the case provided the sound from the source is good and well mixed. The SRH440 does not add any artifacts to your sound; so stay on your mix engineer’s neck if you’re not getting what you want.
If you are listening from your own device, you will need to drive the headset a bit to attain high volumes. Its impedance of 44 ohms makes this necessary.
- Simple Design
- Heavy cable
- Low impedance
- Type of Speaker: 50.m/m Dynamic Speaker Mylarcon
- Cord length: 72” (Includes ¼” and ⅛”)
- 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.
However, given its durable design, these stereo headphones are certainly made to last longer and endure rugged use.
- Good treble
- Large-sized foam cushions are comfortable to wear
- Self-aligning design can fit most of the users
- High speaker volume
- Reduces outside noise by up to 24 dB
- Affordable price
- Band that rests on your head might start to hurt after some time
- Bass is weak
- 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, Sennheiser 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, home studio recording, 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.
- Great noise isolation capabilities
- Lightweight design; Perfect for Travelling
- Heavy-duty construction
- Bass is average; Not too high, not too weak
- Clear sound quality
- Fits tightly
- Might feel painful after 1-2 hours of wearing
- For best sound experience, you need to pair it with an amplifier
- Input Connector: 3.5mm gold-plated plug with screw-on 6.3 mm adapter
- Frequency response: 20 Hz- 20 kHz
- 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.
- Precise sound and booming bass
- Impressive Noise isolation
- Foldable design makes them great for portability
- Reasonably priced
- No batteries required
- Comfortable to wear
- Build quality seems to be poor; Headband is made from plastic
- Short warranty period
- One size does not fit all; Might cause sound leakage
- 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.
- Durable construction
- Good Bass response and clean sound
- Large foam cushions provide comfort
- Adjustable headband has padding
- Cable can be detached from IEMs
- Lightweight and portable
- Fits too tightly; Might feel painful after 2-3 hours
- Sound quality might not be very impressive
- Cord: 9.8 feet long with in-line volume control
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-20kHz
- Impedance: 80 Ohms
- Sound pressure level: 105 dB
- Weight: 66 lbs.
- Cable Length: 9.8'
- 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.
- Isolation is ideal for drummers
- Build quality is good
- In-line volume control comes very handy
- Includes a carrying case
- Cord is pretty long
- Mids and treble are clear; Sound is well-balanced
- Lows are not clear
- Noise isolation does not feel like 35 dB
- Bass is extremely weak
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.
SoundMaximum.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and we get a commission on purchases made through our links.