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Headphones are an essential tool to go along with electronic drum kits. They allow you to practice quietly so that you don’t bother anyone with loud drumming, but you also need to use them if you don’t have an amp to connect your kit to.
Getting a good pair to use is important as you’ll be wearing them just as often as you play. Here are some excellent options.
Roland RH-300V – Best Overall
The Roland RH-300V Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are designed specifically to pair with any drum kit in Roland’s V-Drums line. However, they’re an incredible headphone option for any electronic drum kit, as they do a fantastic job of bringing electronic drum sounds to life.
They have an amazing coverage of all the frequencies, with a special emphasis on bass tones. When you wear these after wearing any other headphones, the first thing you’ll notice is how pronounced and full they make your floor tom and bass drum sound.
These headphones also provide excellent detail when it comes to dynamic playing. Your softest strokes will be distinctly heard with no problems.
The cushioned headband feels very comfortable after you wear it in. It’s a bit stiff at first, but it loosens up over time, giving you a set of headphones that can be used for hours.
The closed-back design does a great job of blocking out any loud tapping sounds from any of the pads, giving you a seamless playing experience.
These headphones are a must-have for any drummers who play Roland V-Drums. Their optimization is amazing. They’re a top-tier option for electronic drums from any brand apart from Roland as well.
Driver Size: 40mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 22 kHz
Cable Length: 8.2’
Audio-Technica ATH-M70x – Premium Option
The Audio-Technica ATH-M70x Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) are the flagship model of Audio-Technica’s popular M line of headphones. If you’re looking for a top-tier professional set of headphones to use with your drums, these are an amazing option.
They have incredible sound quality that makes professional producers happy to use them. You’ll get great clarity from your drum sound, and you’ll feel as though you’re playing drums in a professional recording studio.
One of the best things about these headphones is that they come with three detachable cables. One of them is a coiled cable, while the others are straight cables. The coiled and long straight cables are more than long enough to use comfortably while playing drums.
The shorter straight cable is better to use when you’re using your headphones casually with a computer or smartphone. While it’s necessary to have a long cable for drumming, long cables get in the way when you don’t need them. So, the short cable option is an epic feature.
These headphones are very comfortable to wear, further adding to their value. If you want to get some of the best professional headphones possible, I highly recommend these. They’re not as expensive as the best headphones lines in the world, but I wouldn’t suggest getting those just to play electronic drums. That makes these the premium option in this context.
Driver Size: 45mm
Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
Cable Length: 9.8’
Alesis DRP-100 Drum Monitoring Headphones – Best Budget Option
The Alesis DRP-100 Drum Monitoring Headphones (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) are a great inexpensive option for playing electronic drums. Like the Roland headphones, these are made specifically for electronic drums. They just come at a fraction of the cost.
The sound quality is relatively decent. It’s not as good as what you’d get from professional headphones, but it’s more than good enough for someone who needs headphones to casually jam on an electronic kit.
The sound isolation you get from these headphones is impressive. The earcups are quite big, so a lot of sound gets blocked out.
They’re also very comfortable to wear. Even though the cups are big, they’re light on the ears. So, you can easily wear these headphones for hours.
The drawback of these headphones is that they aren’t the most durable option out there. It’s fairly common for one ear to stop working due to a cable issue. If you’re someone who’s comfortable with opening them up and fixing cables, you won’t feel this issue as much.
If you’re not comfortable with doing that, you’ll need to repeatedly buy these headphones more than you would with any other headphones on this list. Thankfully, they’re very affordable. I’d just suggest wrapping the cable up as well as you can to prevent the cable issue from happening.
Driver Size: 40mm
Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 30 kHz
Cable Length: 6’
Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones
The Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) have been a popular set of headphones for drummers for several years. They’re intended for acoustic drumming, but they work well with electronic drum sets too.
These headphones provide more sound isolation than any other headphones on this list. They’re designed to protect your ears. While that’s not a big requirement with electronic drums, it makes these very useful if you’re someone who has both an acoustic and electronic kit. You can use these headphones when playing both types, and your ears will thank you for it.
They sound great, with the low-end tones being boosted a significant amount. You’ll feel the depth of your bass drum and floor tom, creating a powerful atmosphere when you’re drumming.
The headphones have a large and thick headband, which makes them feel very comfortable over your ears. They’re not as lightweight as a few of the other options, but they still won’t put too much strain on your head and ears when wearing them.
These headphones are Vic Firth’s only headphone product, meaning that the brand puts all their audio efforts into making them. It makes them easy to find, but it also gives a bit of surety that they’re a reliable option to consider.
Driver Size: 50mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Cable Length: 5.5’
Direct Sound EX-29 Plus Isolating Headphones
The most notable feature of these headphones is the shape of their earcups. They’re rectangular, which is noticeably different from the circular designs found on most other headphones. These large rectangular earcups are wonderfully comfortable.
They make these headphones a top option for drummers with larger ears. There’s nothing worse than having to fold your ears a bit when trying to use headphones, so these are the option I suggest if you’re someone who has that issue.
Their sound quality is also brilliant. The frequency response is fairly flat, so you get a balanced tone from all your drums. All your notes and strokes are very rich and detailed.
Something to note about these headphones is that they have an aircraft-grade aluminum cable grommet, giving you the assurance that the cable quality is very good and will last a long time. Since cables are always the first thing to malfunction with headphones, this tells you that these headphones are noticeably more durable than many others.
Driver Size: 40mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Cable Length: 9’
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Headphones (compare prices on Sweetwater and Amazon) are another popular headphone option amongst musicians. These headphones are designed for mixing, so they have a flat sound that works particularly well for electronic drum sets.
They have oversized earcups with a fuzzy material that makes them very comfortable to wear. Since they’re made for mixing, they’re designed to be worn for extended periods.
These are the kind of headphones that I’d suggest getting to use for everything. Their versatility is a big selling point. It just so happens that they’re an incredible choice for e-kits too.
One of their best features is that every single part is replaceable. So, if something stops working, you can easily get these headphones serviced and then continue to use them. This gives them an incredibly long lifespan.
The cable is almost 10 ft, giving you an extra amount of comfort when connecting these to an electronic drum kit module.
Overall, they’re a solid and reliable option to consider. The fuzzy material on the earcups is my favorite part, but the audio quality they have is the main selling point.
Driver Size: 45mm
Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 35 kHz
Cable Length: 9.8’
Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones
These headphones are a popular choice for musicians who want an affordable pair to do mixing and intentional listening. You’ll find dozens of pairs of them in studios where multiple sets of headphones are needed for the people that come in there.
Their sound quality is very good for their price, and they’ll bring out all the details of whatever you play on your electronic kit.
They have a closed-back design, but they don’t provide as much sound isolation as most of the other options on this list. That’s an attractive feature for drummers who don’t want to feel too isolated when playing.
The headband feels fairly comfortable when resting on your head, and you can adjust the position of the cups very easily.
These headphones are an industry-standard choice for musicians needing a reliable yet affordable set. This makes them an excellent option for electronic drum kits.
Sony makes some of the best headphones in the world. Although these are one of the brand’s more affordable sets of headphones, they still provide that well-known Sony quality.
Driver Size: 40mm
Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 20 kHz
Cable Length: 9.8’
What To Look For In Headphones for Electronic Drums
Audio quality is the most important thing to look out for when buying headphones for electronic drums. While good audio is naturally what everyone wants, you need to be looking for which frequencies the headphones emphasize.
Some headphones have a lot more bass to them, while others have better mids and highs. When it comes to electronic drums, you need headphones that sound fantastic across all frequencies.
Drum kits have low bass tones from the floor tom and bass drum, and they have piercing highs from the cymbals. Getting a pair of headphones that cover the wide gap nicely is ideal.
If they’re too bass-heavy, you may feel quite claustrophobic, especially if you play many notes on the bass drum.
So, it’s best to get drumming headphones that have a flat frequency response. This means that they’re even across all the frequencies. Headphones that are used for mixing also have this quality, so look out for mixing headphones as they’ll work well for drums.
Higher-tier headphones have greater subtlety to them. However, I’d only suggest getting high-tier headphones if your ears can hear the differences. If you’re not accustomed to high-fidelity audio, you won’t need to spend as much on a set of headphones. Rather, look for drumming headphones that fit other requirements like comfort and durability.
After audio quality, comfort is the next important thing that you need to look out for. These are headphones that you’ll be wearing every time you practice. If you practice playing drums for hours on end, you need headphones that don’t put a strain on you.
The biggest issue with drumming headphones is that most of them have a closed-back design. Open-back headphones are more comfortable, but they don’t work as well as closed-back headphones for drumming.
So, you need to find closed-back headphones that offer as much comfort as possible. Don’t expect to find the most comfortable headphones in the world. Just look for a pair that are solid enough to wear for however long you practice for.
Lighter headphones are better in terms of comfort, so look out for those as well. If you only practice for short periods, comfort won’t be as big of a factor to worry about.
Sound isolation is vital when it comes to using headphones with an acoustic drum kit. With electronic drum kits, it’s not as important. However, if you want to have a seamless drumming experience, I suggest getting headphones that offer a bit of sound isolation.
Closed-back headphones all offer sound isolation, and that’s why they work so well for drumming. If you wear open-back headphones, you’ll hear the sounds of your sticks tapping the rubber pads. You’ll also hear the clicking sound your bass drum beater makes when it hits the bass drum pad.
Getting sound-isolating headphones will make you feel like you’re playing drums in a studio environment, thanks to the mixed sound of electronic drums.
So, sound isolation is vital, but it’s better for getting an immersive experience. If you’re going to use the same headphones for your acoustic drums that you’re using for your electronic drums, then it’s vital.
Durability is key when using headphones to play an instrument. There’s nothing more frustrating than plugging your drum kit in to get ready to play, and then you can’t hear anything coming through the earpieces.
The biggest and most common issue that occurs with headphones is that they cut out in one ear. This happens to cheaper headphones more often, so investing in a good pair of durable earphones will prevent this from happening too soon.
If you want headphones to use for your electronic kit as well as other activities, durability is even more important to worry about. If your headphones are simply going to live with your e-kit, you won’t need to worry as much about it.
Cable length isn’t something that most people think about when buying headphones, especially when they’re buying them to play drums. However, the length of a cable can end up being one of the most frustrating things about a set of headphones.
The cable needs to connect to the drum module and then make its way to one of your ears. The longer the cable, the more freedom of movement you have. If the cable is short, you’re going to feel very restricted while you play.
There will be times when you stand up from your throne to do something around the kit. If the cable is too short, it could get pulled, and your headphones will get yanked off your head. Having a lengthy cable will stop this from happening.
I’d suggest not getting headphones that have a cable shorter than five feet. Anything shorter than that may end up frustrating you often. If you do get pair of headphones with a short cable, you’ll need to get an extender. It’s not ideal, though, as cable extenders can get faulty very quickly.
Thankfully, most studio headphones have very long cables for this reason. Just make sure to double-check that when buying headphones for your electronic drum kit.
You’ll need to establish a budget when looking for headphones. There are plenty of very cheap headphones out there, but they’re not going to make your drums sound good. They also won’t last very long after extensive use.
My biggest suggestion is to get headphones that are labeled as studio headphones. These will perform much better than cheap headphones that are intended for casual use.
You can still find some incredibly affordable studio headphones. They’ll just be a bit more expensive than entry-level casual headphones.
The more money you spend, the better audio quality you’ll get. You’ll also get better durability, comfort, and value for money. However, as I mentioned earlier, there comes a point where the better audio quality won’t be noticeable for people who aren’t audiophiles.
Best Electronic Drum Headphone Brands
There aren’t any brands that purely make headphones for electronic drums. However, there are amazing headphone brands with products that tend to work better for electronic drums. Here are a few to check out.
Roland is the leading brand in the world when it comes to anything related to electronic drums. So, it’s to be expected that all the headphones they’ve released over the years work incredibly well for e-kits.
Their drumming headphones are specifically made for their V-Drums, but they work perfectly for electronic drum kits from any brand.
Alesis is a brand that makes amazing products for affordable prices. Their electronic drum kits are aimed at beginner and mid-level drummers, with one or two kits being an option for professionals.
It’s the same with their headphones. If you want a good set of budget headphones, Alesis is always the first brand that I’ll suggest.
Audio-Technica is an amazing audio brand. Their headphones and microphones are their best-sellers, so there’s a long list of headphones to choose from that will work well with electronic drums.
Any pair of headphones in Audio-Technica’s ATH line will be a good choice to use for drumming.
Sony needs no introduction. When picking a product from one of the biggest and most popular audio companies in the world, you know you’re going to get something good.
The company has a wide range of professional headphones available, but I love that they have several affordable ones as well.
Beyerdynamic is another company that is well-known for making high-quality headphones and microphones.
Their top-tier headphones are used by professional producers all around the world, and they have a few good pairs that cater very well to electronic drum kits.
Top Headphones for Electronic Drums, Final Thoughts
To summarize, make sure that you get a pair of headphones that sound good, are comfortable to wear, fit your budget, and have an extra-long cable.
The difference in audio from a cheap pair of headphones compared to studio ones is incredible, and you’ll be amazed at how good electronic drum kits can actually sound.
So, find your perfect pair and enjoy your instrument even more when you play it.