11 Best Headphones For Drummers 2024

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Every musician should own a good set of headphones, but drummers need to make sure that their headphones block out sound to protect their ears.

This means that not every set is a great option for a drummer, so you need to be careful of which headphones you choose.

To make things easier, here’s a list of some of the best headphones for drummers for you to look through.

Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones – Best Overall

Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones

The Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are one of the most iconic and reliable options for drummers. These things work amazingly, and they’re surprisingly inexpensive.

The low price makes them a key piece of gear that every drummer should own. They make an excellent set of practice headphones, as you can protect your ears with the lowered 20 decibels of sound.

Vic Firth had an original version of these out for a while, but they upgraded the headphones to have better sound quality and a more resilient build.

I owned an original set that broke after only two years, but this new updated version tends to be far more durable.

The headphones have 50mm drivers that offer boosted bass frequencies, rounded mids, and very clean highs. The original pair was a bit heavy on the bass side, but I found this newer headphone set to be very balanced.

The cups sit very tightly on your ears, making some drummers feel claustrophobic after wearing them for too long. That’s why they’re not great headphones for casual listening. However, they’re perfect for lengthy drumming sessions. People don’t seem to mind the tight cups when playing the drums.

The headband is incredibly comfortable. It’s another contributing factor to being able to wear these for long while jamming.

It’s rare for me to pick such an affordable piece of gear as my best option for a list, but these are the perfect headphones for drummers to own. They were specifically designed for drummers playing acoustic kits, which is a quality that most other headphones don’t share.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 50mm

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Cable Length: 5’

Roland RH-300 V-Drum Stereo Headphones – Premium Option

Roland RH-300 V-Drum Stereo Headphones

The Roland RH-300 V-Drum Stereo Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are a top-tier set of headphones that Roland designed specifically for their drum modules. However, you’ll mostly get the same results when using these headphones with a drum module from any brand.

All the descriptions say they’re for Roland kits, but I’d recommend these as a premium option for any drummer that owns an electronic kit.

They’re made to bring out all the best frequencies that electronic drum sets offer. This creates a far more immersive experience when you’re playing.

When I tried them out, I was particularly impressed with how beefy they made the bass drum sound. With other headphones, you get more attack from the bass drum than anything. With these, you get a seriously warm and round low-end kick. It makes you feel like you’re monitoring a professional studio mix.

Roland has given these headphones an 8ft cable, making it easy to feel comfortable with the cable hanging.

It can be very frustrating when wearing headphones with an e-kit. The drum module is often far enough away to make the cable positioning a problem. With a longer cable, you can wrap it around a cymbal arm or run it through your shirt, and then you won’t need to worry about it getting in the way.

Another thing that I enjoy about these headphones is the threaded jack adapter. You screw the larger jack on, stopping it from coming loose over time.

These headphones are one of your best options if you own an electronic kit. However, I don’t recommend getting them for an acoustic kit. They’re very expensive, and there are better options available with superior sound isolation that will be safer for your ears.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 40mm

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz

Cable Length: 8.2’

Behringer DH100 Professional Drummer Headphones – Best Budget Option

Behringer DH100 Professional Drummer Headphones

The Behringer DH100 Professional Drummer Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are one of the most affordable sets of headphones designed for drummers available. Don’t let the low price tag fool you, though. These things are fantastic.

They have a closed-back design that blocks up to 19dB of sound from getting to your ears. That’s only slightly less than the Vic Firth headphones, but these are half the price.

The sound quality isn’t amazing, but it’s going to be more than good enough for most casual drummers. The biggest drawback is that the bass is lacking.

You can hear bass tones fine, but they don’t have a lot of oomph, making your bass drum sound quite thin if you use these to monitor your drums. The bass frequencies will also sound thin when listening to music.

The mids and highs are great. They’re clear and distinct, with the 40mm drivers ensuring that you get decent sound quality in those areas.

I highly recommend these headphones to drummers that need to purchase multiple pairs. They’re a fantastic option for somewhere like a teaching studio. If you need multiple sets of headphones for different students to use, getting higher-end ones will cost far too much.

Apart from the lacking bass, the biggest downside of these headphones is the coiled cable. The cable itself is almost 10 ft long. However, the coiled design shortens it by a good amount. If you try to stretch the cable out, it will start tugging on the ear cups and potentially pull them off your head.

So, don’t bank on these having a long cable. It’s better just to think of the cable being around 5 ft.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 40mm

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 22kHz

Cable Length: 9.8’

Alesis DRP100 Drum Monitoring Headphones

Alesis DRP100 Drum Monitoring Headphones

The Alesis DRP100 Drum Monitoring Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are the affordable alternative to the Roland RH-300 set. In general, Alesis drum kits are always more affordable options compared to Roland kits.

So, you get the same thing here in the headphone world. These Alesis headphones were also designed specifically for electronic drum modules, and they can comfortably be used with any module from any brand.

I was pleasantly surprised with how good the audio was on these headphones. You get a decent balanced between lows, mids, and highs. The rich detail that you get from higher-end headphones isn’t there, but the quality is more than good enough for most drummers.

These headphones also provide a decent amount of sound isolation. While that isn’t the most important thing when playing electronic drums, it’s nice to block out the loud tapping sounds from the hi-hat and cymbal pads.

The cable is 6’ long. It would be great if it were a bit longer, but most drummers will be happy with that, especially if they only have a small electronic kit. It may be a bit short for larger kits like the Alesis Strike Pro.

One downside of this set is that you can’t adjust the headband. It’s designed to fit most head shapes, but you’ll always get drummers that want that adjustability. Not having it will potentially lead to a bit of frustration.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 40mm

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 30kHz

Cable Length: 6’

Direct Sound EX-29 Plus Isolating Headphones

Direct Sound EX-29 Plus Isolating Headphones

The Direct Sound EX-29 Plus Isolating Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are one of the most popular high-end options for drummers. These combine pristine sound quality with plenty of sound isolation, giving you the perfect recipe for protecting your ears and enjoying whatever you’re listening to.

They’re not strictly designed for drummers, but they tend to be a favorite among drummers more than any other instrument group. The big reason for that is the sound isolation.

These headphones block up to 37 decibels of sound, which is far more than any other set of headphones on this list.

With the isolation being so high, you may think that they stick to your ears uncomfortably. Somehow, Direct Sound has designed these to feel extremely comfortable while blocking out all the external noise.

The 8’ cable can be detached, meaning you can simply use these as ear protectors if you don’t want to plug them into anything at different times.

The overall build quality of these headphones is outstanding. The cable has an aircraft-grade aluminum grommet, stopping the cable from having any faults.

While they were built for performance purposes, they also work wonderfully as mixing headphones. You can use them while tracking drum parts, and then you can keep using them when working on your drum mix. Not all headphones offer this luxury, as various frequency response levels aren’t great to mix with.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 40mm

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Cable Length: 9’

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are arguably one of the most versatile sets of headphones on the market. These cans are designed to do just about everything, including listening, mixing, and monitoring.

They don’t provide quite as much sound reduction as most of the other options on this list, but they’re an excellent set of headphones to get if you do more than just play drums.

They’re seriously comfortable to wear, and the earcups provide good isolation in the sense of no sound escaping from them. You often get times where a click track can be heard through a set of headphones, so these have been designed to prevent that from happening.

The overall sound quality is very accurate. You get a great balance of highs, mids, and lows, and everything you hear through the headphones is quite clear and detailed.

They have a clever folding design that makes it easy to store them, but folding designs like this often come at the expense of durability. However, these headphones are known to last ages, so you don’t need to worry about that.

One of the other great features is that you can swivel the earcups around. This allows you to wear the headphones and only listen to one cup at a time. This is more of a feature for people that mix, but it could be useful for drummers that don’t want to completely isolate themselves from the environment around them.

Design: Closed back

Frequency Response: 8Hz – 25kHz

Cable Length: 9.8’

Beyerdynamic DT 770 M Isolating Monitor Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT 770 M Isolating Monitor Headphones

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 M Isolating Monitor Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are some of the most comfortable headphones that I’ve worn. If you’re looking for something that you can wear for hours every day as you practice, I highly recommend getting these ones.

There’s just something about the way the earcups and headband are designed that makes these feel great to wear. The headphones are also adjustable enough for drummers with heads of all sizes to feel the same way about them.

In terms of sound quality, they’re high-end headphones that offer excellent quality across the various frequencies.

According to Beyerdynamic, these headphones were designed for drummers and sound engineers. The strong sound isolation makes them great for drummers trying to protect themselves from the acoustic drum sounds.

That same sound isolation also makes these great for front of house engineers to block out the sounds of the environment around them.

These headphones have a volume controller on the wire. It’s incredibly useful when you’re just using them to play music through your phone or computer. However, that controller can be irritating for drummers that have good audio setups.

It becomes unnecessary to use, and it makes the cable feel heavier. So, it’s a good and bad feature, depending on the drummers that use this set.

Overall, I love these headphones, and they’re a solid option compared to everything else on this list.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 45mm

Frequency Response: 5Hz – 20kHz

Cable Length: 9.8’

Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones

Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones

The Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are one of the most popular pairs of headphones in the music industry, and they’ve been an industry-standard option for decades. You can find a pair or two of these headphones in almost every recording studio in the world.

They offer a perfect balance of affordability, good sound quality, and portability. They’re another set of headphones that any musician can use, but the decent sound isolation makes them great for drummers.

Many people refer to these as the best-sounding affordable headphones on the market. They have such good sound quality, and you’d never expect quality like that to come at this price.

The superb quality comes from the way the headphones are designed. They have clean 40mm drivers, oxygen-free copper, and gold connectors. These things work together to produce a great end product.

The portability is another big aspect that musicians love about them. The earcups aren’t massive, but they’re big enough to fit comfortably over your ears. They can also fold to make it easy to transport the headphones in the provided carry case.

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are an easy choice to go with. They’re not the number one headphones for drummers, but they’re certainly a pair that most drummers would love.

I know a few people who have complained about the cable quality, but I don’t think it’s bad, considering how affordable these headphones are compared to the high-end ones that they compete with.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 40mm

Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20kHz

Cable Length: 9.8’

AKG K240 Pro Studio Headphones

AKG K240 Pro Studio Headphones

The AKG K240 Pro Studio Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are more of a casual option that you can use for easy listening. These have a semi-open back design that makes them feel a lot lighter on your ears.

While this adds more comfort, it also means that there is far less sound reduction than any of the other headphones that I’ve listed.

I wouldn’t bank on these if you’re looking to protect your hearing. They won’t do much, and you’ll get frustrated when you have to boost the volume very loud while playing.

They’re better suited for electronic drum kit players or drummers with a seriously light touch behind the kit. Those are the situations where they’re very workable.

So, the selling point is that they’re extremely comfortable to wear, and they’re headphones that you’ll have no problem using when doing other tasks like browsing on a computer. Isolation headphones can often feel too restricting when doing things like that.

The sound quality they offer is top-notch. They were also designed with special technology that allows them to get the same volume levels from mastered and unmastered sound sources. This is another reason why they’re good to use for drumming and more casual things.

The last thing to mention is that they’re relatively affordable. You won’t be spending more than $100 on these headphones, and that makes them an incredibly attractive option.

Again, only get these if you’re not looking for too much sound isolation.

Design: Semi-open back

Driver Size: 30mm

Frequency Response: 15Hz – 25kHz

Cable Length: 9.8’

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Studio Monitoring Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Studio Monitoring Headphones

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 Studio Monitoring Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are a unique version of one of Audio-Technica’s top-sellers. These are the wireless version of the ATH-M50, meaning they operate via Bluetooth.

I don’t typically recommend Bluetooth headphones to drummers, but there are certain settings where someone could really benefit from using these.

They can be used via a wire as well, but the provided cable is only 3.9’, which isn’t long enough to feel very comfortable behind a drum kit.

The benefit of using these is that you can jam on the kit without worrying about a wire getting in your way. They’re incredibly convenient. You just can’t do recordings with them due to the latency of using Bluetooth headphones.

The ATH-M50s are some of Audio-Technica’s best headphones, so you get exquisite sound quality from these cans. The response is quite flat, meaning you get balanced sounds across the highs, mids, and lows.

The headphones are also very comfortable to wear. The closed-back design stops a lot of sound from getting in, so they have decent sound isolation. That’s another reason for them being great for drummers.

The sound and build quality make these headphones quite pricey, so they’re not a great option for everyone. But if you want high-end Bluetooth headphones that you can use for playing music, these are one of your best options.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 45mm

Frequency Response: 15Hz – 28kHz

Cable Length: 3.9’ detachable cable

Vic Firth Bluetooth Isolation Headphones

Vic Firth Bluetooth Isolation Headphones

The Vic Firth Bluetooth Isolation Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) have all the same design features as the main SIH2 Vic Firth headphones. However, these are the wireless version.

If you know how the other Vic Firth headphones square up, you’ll get all the same sounds and performance points from these.

The benefit is that you don’t need to use a wire. These would be the more affordable wireless option compared to the previous Audio-Technica headphones that we just looked at. They also offer far more sound isolation.

In fact, they arguably offer more sound isolation than any other pair of wireless headphones on the market. This is due to them being one of the only wireless sets made specifically for drummers.

As with the Audio-Technica headphones, these come with a detachable cable to charge them. You can also use the cable to plug into a sound source. The cable is just much shorter than a drummer would like.

The battery life of these is around 20 hours, which gives you more than enough time to have multiple practice sessions before needing to charge them again.

I’m a big fan of these, but I don’t think they’re a better alternative to the standard wired version. You should just go with these if you really want something wireless to use.

Design: Closed back

Driver Size: 50mm

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Cable Length: 4.92’ detachable cable

What To Look For In Headphones for a Drummer

Sound Isolation

The very first thing you need to focus on when looking for drumming headphones is sound isolation. This refers to when the cups of the headphones block out external noise, and you primarily just hear what’s coming through the headphones themselves.

With acoustic drums being so loud, sound isolation is essential. If you use headphones that don’t offer sound reduction, you’ll end up boosting the volume so that you can hear the music over the drums.

You’ll then have drums and loud music hitting your ears, and that will lead to irreparable damage over time. You can’t get your hearing back after losing it, which is why it’s so important for drummers to protect their ears at all times.

Ideally, you should get headphones that block up to 10 to 15 decibels of sound. That will give you enough sound isolation to not need to boost the headphone volume.

It’s not as important when playing electronic drums, as the pads on e-kits don’t produce loud sounds. However, if you play both acoustic and electronic drums, it will be easier to just have one pair with good sound isolation if you don’t want to spend too much money.

Design

When looking at headphones, you get two main types of designs. These are called closed-back and open-back headphones.

Open-back headphones are slightly loose at the bottom of the earcups. This gives you a lighter feeling, and it allows you to stay present in your audio environments without feeling isolated by what you’re hearing through the headphones.

Closed-back headphones are tight at the bottom of the cups, and they tend to suction onto your ears a bit. These headphones offer more sound isolation, so they’re more desirable as a drummer.

However, closed-back headphones aren’t very comfortable for easy listening. If you wear headphones while working on a computer, they’ll also feel seriously restricting after a while.

As I said earlier, sound isolation is everything when playing acoustic drums, but you may prefer a set of open-back headphones when playing electronic drums. If you’re happy to purchase two separate sets, it may be a good idea to have a lighter pair with open cups to play electronic drums with.

Comfort

Closed-back and open-back headphones offer different levels of comfort, but there are a few other design aspects that can affect this area.

It’s essential that you have a set of headphones that stays secure on your head while playing drums. Some drummers move more than others while playing, but it’s easy for any drummer to have a flimsy set of headphones fall off while they’re headbanging and playing their favorite song.

A good set of headphones will fit securely over your ears. It will feel tight and rigid, but it shouldn’t feel restricting.

You should also look at the material of the ear cushions. Some headphones have large and soft cushions that feel incredible on the ears. Other headphones may have thin cushions that barely feel as if there’s anything there. Those start to get uncomfortable very quickly.

The more comfortable your headphones are, the better it will feel to have lengthy practice sessions on the kit.

You don’t want to be in a situation where you spend hundreds of dollars on a set that you can only wear for about an hour.

It’s best to read a few reviews on a set of headphones before buying them. You always get people commenting on how comfortable they feel to wear.

Sound Quality

I’ve only mentioned sound quality now, as I think comfort and sound isolation are far more important for the sake of using headphones while drumming. When you have those two things, you can focus on how the headphones actually sound.

All headphones offer various qualities when it comes to sound. They highlight different frequency ranges, with some accenting highs more than lows, and others sitting very heavily in the bass area.

The type of drivers used also affects the richness of the sound, but that’s typically something audiophiles will worry about. If you just want a decent set for drumming, you may not need to worry about that.

If you’re going to monitor your drums through the headphones, you should get a set with balanced frequencies. A full drum set has a lot of lows in the bass drum and floor tom, mids in the snare and toms, and highs in all the cymbals.

Having headphones with a balanced frequency response will give you a natural drum kit sound when combining all those frequencies.

If you’re just getting a set to play music with, you may prefer headphones that are a bit more bass-heavy. The general public tends to prefer bass-heavy headphones.

Cable Length

I think cable length is more important for drummers than any other type of musician. This relates back to comfort, but it’s a point that needs to be emphasized. If you’re getting headphones for drumming, they need to have a very long cable.

If they don’t, you may just feel your headphones tugging at your head due to the cable being too short.

It’s better to have a long cable that will allow you as much freedom of movement as possible. When you’re lifting your arms to whack cymbals, you don’t want to have a cable get in your way. A longer cable can slide down your shirt and snake along the floor, and you’ll never need to worry about being too far away from your sound source where the headphones are plugged in.

If your cable is too short, you can get an extension to make it a bit longer. However, I’m not a fan of extension cables, as they often stop working properly after a while. It can get very frustrating.

Having a long cable can also be frustrating if you just want to use your headphones for everyday tasks. Some headphones come with two cables with different lengths. Those would be appropriate for that situation.

I’d suggest getting headphones with a cable with a length of four feet or longer. Six foot cables are always the safest option.

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones are more popular than they’ve ever been, and you may be thinking that getting a pair for drumming is a great idea.

I wouldn’t rule them out, but it depends on what you’ll be using them for. If you just want headphones to play along with music, and you’re not going to monitor your drums through the headphones, wireless headphones will work wonderfully. They’ll eliminate the problem of the cable getting in the way.

That’s the only reason to use them, though. If you want to record yourself playing drums, wireless headphones will have a slight delay that may throw the whole recording off.

It’s always safer to use headphones with a cable. It’s just more reliable, and you don’t need to worry about latency issues.

If you’re using wireless headphones to play an electronic drum kit, you may just get latency issues anyway. The sounds have to be triggered by the pads, then the signals go to the drum module, and then those sounds go to the headphones. If the headphones are wireless, it adds an extra step, and that often gives a bit of latency.

Price

Headphones range anywhere from $50 to $3000. Realistically, drummers should be looking at headphones that range from $50 to about $300 or $500. Anything priced higher than that is designed for audiophiles that want the best-quality audio they can possibly get.

If you spend less than $100 on a set, they won’t have the best sound quality. However, they may feel comfortable and block out sound. The sound quality won’t be terrible, and that’s all that many drummers need.

Anything priced higher than that will sound better and have superior features. A very good set of headphones will last a long time, while cheaper ones tend to have cable faults after a few years.

Decide how much you’re willing to spend, and then look at all the options within your budget. The great thing about headphones for drumming is that there are dozens of incredible picks that cover every price range.

Best Headphone Brands

There are too many good audio brands to mention them all, but some are more popular to drummers than others. This is just because they have headphones that cater better to what a drummer needs.

Check out the following brands, and you’ll be sure to find something good in their product range.

Vic Firth

Vic Firth is the furthest thing from an audio brand. They actually specialize in making drumsticks. However, they’ve been selling a set of isolation headphones for drummers for years, which are very popular.

This is one of the only brands to provide headphones designed specifically for drumming. These headphones are also very affordable.

Audio-Technica

Audio-Technica is one of the top audio brands in the music industry. They have a particularly good range of headphones that cover most budgets.

If you need some high-quality headphones that can be used in professional settings, this brand has you covered. They also cater to drummers that aren’t looking to spend much.

Direct Sound

Direct Sound is a brand that offers headphones that have been specifically crafted to block sound out. They call them the Extreme Isolation Headphones, and that tells you everything you need to know.

These headphones are a bit much for drummers that play electronic kits, but they’re perfect for protecting your ears from the loud bashing of acoustic drums and cymbals.

Alesis

Alesis is an audio brand that creates electronic instruments. In the drumming world, most people know them for their affordable electronic drum kits.

If you’re needing a simple pair of headphones for an e-kit, Alesis offers one of the most affordable pairs on the market. These headphones aren’t exclusive to Alesis drum sets. You can use them with any brand’s drum module.

Sennheiser

Sennheiser is another fantastic audio brand. Like Audio-Technica, they offer a wide range of headphones, microphones, and other audio-related gear.

They make headphones for audiophiles and beginner musicians alike. I love the sound quality you get from even their cheapest sets of headphones.

However, you should be looking at their sound-isolating options for the sake of drumming.

Top Drumming Headphones, Final Thoughts

Headphones can get very pricey, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a decent set that will work well for drumming.

If you’re not an audiophile, you most likely won’t notice the finer details, so it’s okay to only spend $100 if that’s what your budget allows.

All the options that I recommended above are fantastic, and any drummer would love using them.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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