In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: October 31, 2023
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Do you plan on learning how to play drums, or you are already practicing them with your band? Even if you are a star rocking at concerts, you still need the best headphones for drummers to optimize your performance. Headphones will enable you to reduce ambient noise and follow the beat correctly, which will allow you to demonstrate the playing skills you have.
It is not easy to pick drumming headphones especially if you are not an expert. That is why our dedicated team decided to help you. We examined the top-rated products currently available on the market. Our focus was on the most important features, such as sensitivity, frequency response, nominal impedance, weight, and even cable length. The goal was finding the perfect headphones for your needs.
We calculated that our team had spent more than 63 hours studying and comparing the features of drumming headphones, and products that can meet your expectations. We consulted with the experts, analyzed reviews and feedback to come up with the most honest round-up of drumming headphones. Start with our comparison table to get an idea of the units that we are reviewing. You can find out more about each product in our detailed reviews, and don’t forget to check the buying guide to learn more about factors to consider when purchasing headphones.
"When drummers want to play live, they need to reduce the noise of the drums but still be able to hear the other instruments. This is the situation where these high-quality sounding headphones come in handy."
"Those classy looking headphones for drummers were specially designed for V-Drums, yet, are great for any type of drums. An aluminum housing plate gives extra reliability while two 45mm dynamics provide you with the best sound quality."
"Some drummers might love this budget-friendly option because of the comfortable earpads, noise isolation and the electronic drums compatibility. In addition, the headband is made of silicone and prevent sweating which is helpful during active sessions."
"Those noise-canceling and adjustable drumming headphones always show amazing indoor performance due to the perfect sound quality. They offer great flexibility and portability and come with a free travel case."
"Some drummers mix their live sessions with studio recordings and work, which is why you must check this unit. It is optimized for critical listening, and the bundle includes the second pair of earpads and the carrying bag."
"To be able to play long live sessions, one must have comfortable headphones for drummers. This set prevents ear fatigue due to large foam ear cushions and has durable construction and decent sound quality."
"If you want to find the headphones for drummers with the outstanding noise-cancelling feature, this is your pick. Those headphones have soft and comfortable earpads and create a neutral listening environment."
More features: high ambient noise attenuation, accurate, linear sound reproduction, soft earpads for a comfortable fit, folding and rotating earcups for space-saving transport, tough, single-sided cable, durable construction, great sound quality
This is another pair of headphones designed in Germany but assembled in the US. If you consider the units at this price range, you will notice amazing sound quality. However, the focus is on neutral sounds, which means casual drummers will particularly enjoy the product.
Since the headphones are closed-ear models, they are relatively portable, and being light certainly helps. However, the earpads may retain the warmth, which can be a problem indoors, but also a pro if you are heading outside in cold weather.
These headphones are fantastic because of the high-quality sound they produce. The company clearly emphasizes that noise reduction is 25 decibels. This is what might make this unit to be the best headphones for drummers playing live, when extra noise reduction is not needed and you want to hear the other band members.
The product may not have the same frequency response as some similar units, but that doesn’t affect the performance a lot. The headphones seem to offer optimal comfort and durability, and additionally, you will receive two different plugs.
What stands out?
25dB noise reduction suitable for live performers
Two different plugs included with the package
Optimal comfort and durability
What cons did we manage to find?
The frequency response isn’t as generous as in some other units
Roland has an amazing reputation in the music industry, and for a good reason. The company makes every product with great care, and these headphones are not an exception.
The unit is particularly suitable for electronic drummers due to the flat and accurate sound quality. It is worth noting that the headphones look cool as they feature an aluminum plate housing and padded ear cushions. You should feel comfortable wearing them even during long and tiring performances, even though they are a bit heavy.
These are entry-level headphones designed especially for electronic drummers. The first thing you will notice is its unusual shape, and personal preference might decide whether you will like it.
Once you put them on, you will notice that the headphones have excellent audio isolation. At the same time, silicone headband will prevent sweating, and that can come in handy during long performances.
The product performs great, but it seems that longevity is the biggest issue. It is why they might not be the best drumming headphones overall, but they can be an excellent value for money at this price.
The product can do a good job at noise-canceling, and the sound quality seems optimal and consistent. Those headphones tend to perform better indoors. Swiveling earpads and coiled cable promote flexibility and mobility. Apart from the compact design, the hard and durable travel case makes transport easier.
Although the headphones are light, they might not be comfortable for long performance. However, a couple of hours is more than enough for a perfect drumming practice.
Shure designed a candidate for the best over-the-ear headphones for drummers. They created SRH840 for professional use, and they to offer drummers clear mids, rich bass, and crisp highs.
The collapsible design optimizes it for transportation, and the carrying bag you receive in the box helps, too. The manufacturer even packed a second pair of earpads to prolong your comfort. Overall, the product may be a bit pricey, but it can still be a wise long-term investment.
Why did it make our list?
Designed specifically for studio
Collapsible construction makes it easy to transport
You receive the second pair of earpads with the product
KAT Percussion is a company that specializes in designing headphones for drummers. As for this model, it can do a good job of reducing external noise. According to the manufacturer, the reduction goes up to 26dB.
The product is comfortable thanks to the padded ear cushions and the upper part of the unit. You will also receive a 1/8″ jack with an additional 1/4″ adapter in the box. The overall sound quality is decent, but it seems that bass reproduction is not that clean.
Why did it make our list?
Does an excellent job at reducing external noise
Padded ear cushions contribute to the overall comfort
Audio-Technica designed to be the best studio headphones for drummers. The product is very versatile since it offers balanced sound quality, with exceptionally crisp highs. You will also receive three different cables, which increases versatility.
The ear cushions are very comfortable, and they shouldn’t bother you at least for a few hours. However, the headphones are quite large, and they might not be a smart pick if you are traveling.
What stands out?
You can wear them for a few hours without disrupting the comfort
More features: innovative bass reflex system, high wearing comfort, soft, circumaural and replaceable earpads, designed for critical music and sound monitoring, providing a perfectly neutral listening environment with exceptional isolation
If you want to eliminate ambient distractions, you need closed headphones. Beyerdynamic offers an over-ear unit that delivers impressive sound quality. You can use it to listen to music on portable devices, but most importantly, use them the in studio for professional purposes. These are the best noise-canceling headphones for drummers in our list.
The built-in cable affects flexibility a bit, but it doesn’t change the fact that the headphones are exceptionally comfortable. The durability seems admirable, too, which means this unit should last for a long time.
Why are we impressed?
Excellent sound quality makes them suitable for both professionals and amateurs
Soft earpads are both comfortable and replaceable
Great isolation of ambient noises
What negatives must you be aware of?
The built-in cable isn’t the most flexible solution
Things to Consider
It is not easy to make the right choice among so many headphones out there. Don’t worry because we are here to help with our detailed buying guide on how to choose headphones for drummers. First, we will get to know the variety of drumming headphones, and then we will move to factors you should consider when buying. Finally, we have an FAQ section that should resolve any remaining dilemmas you might have. If you are ready, start reading and learn how to find the perfect headphones!
Drumming headphones variety
Before we go into discussing the feature of drumming headphones, how about we say a few words about their variety? You can use these products in different situations and for different drum types. In the section below, we are telling you more about the potential benefits and the amazing versatility of headphones for drummers. Let’s find more about suitable units for acoustic and electric drums, as well as home and studio sessions.
Headphones for acoustic and electric drums
If you already set your mind on a single type of drums, you also need matching headphones. Truth to be told, the differences in performance of these products are subtle. You may go with KAT KTUI26 for acoustic drumming since it prevents ear fatigue, and does a good job in dealing with ambient noise. As for electric drums, you are pretty much looking for the same features – excellent sensitivity, comfort, and optimal noise reduction.
Home vs studio drumming sessions
When you are playing at home, it is most likely that you are practicing alone or with a band. Although you want to simulate being on a gig, you might not need the best noise-canceling headphones for drummers. Noise reduction is far more critical if you are in a studio and you need to focus and ensure your entire performance goes flawlessly. That being said, Alesis DRP100 can be a budget pick that you can use at home, but go for premium headphones if you plan on playing in a studio.
Multipurpose usage of your headphones
Where else can you use your headphones? You might need them not only during the practice, live performances, or in a studio. It is possible to just listen to music with them. Noise isolation can be a crucial factor when choosing versatile headphones, but you also need a unit that is very adjustable, such as the Sony MDR-7506.
You may think that versatile headphones may lack some quality. To be honest, it all depends on the price and the brand name. The quality of sound of the expensive models is usually up to the standards of a professional drummer.
How to pick the best headphones for drummers
Now that you are familiar with different types of headphones for drummers, let’s discuss the performance features you should consider. You have several factors to analyze, but always keep in mind one thing – you want a solution that is the best for you. Forget about one-size-fits-all mantra because it doesn’t exist in drumming headphones. Take a look at the features, and pick the product that seems the most suitable for your needs. Now, here is what drummers usually consider when buying headphones.
You are buying headphones because of the way they can reproduce sound. You need to rely on them while performing. It is as simple as that, and that is why the sound quality is your primary consideration.
If you are a professional drummer, the chances are you know what makes sound quality optimal.
The headphones must keep consistent performance, which means they have to be equally good at playing mids, highs, and bass.
Some reputable manufacturers are aware of how important sound quality is, and we can see headphones that do a great job in this area, such as Roland RH-300.
The next factor you should consider is design, and there are two headphone types to mention here:
Professionals usually go with over-the-ear headphones for drummers because they offer better noise cancellation. Apart from that, over-the-ear design tends to be more comfortable and suitable to wear during long performances. Thanks to padded ear cushions, these can maintain optimal comfort, especially if you go for a sweat-proof product.
If you want in-ear headphones, you need to choose them carefully. You do not have many models capable of reproducing the sound quality you expect. Etymotic Research hf3 Earphones + Headset might be an exception. It offers impressive noise isolation, and it is also easy to transport due to its compact design.
However, in-ear headphones for drummers are not the best choice because you can’t use them for hours. It’s not only about the comfort, but the ear fatigue as well.
The headphones work like this – they receive an electrical signal, and they have the task of processing and converting it into the acoustical signal. Sensitivity describes how well they perform in doing that.
You could also say that sensitivity tells us about the headphones’ loudness at a specific power level. The higher the sensitivity, the louder the device will be.
Drummers will need to consider the environment, and go for the sensitivity of at least 95dB. However, you should only go for 110dB or more if you plan on playing in extremely loud environments.
If you are an experienced professional, you will need the highest frequency range out there. That way, you will be able to hear every detail of the music played, keeping in mind that you have a great hearing. On the other hand, if you are an ambitious drummer at the beginning of music career, a frequency range between 20Hz and 20,000Hz is more than enough.
It may be interesting to note that manufacturers use dummy heads to measure frequency range. However, they might not be completely precise, especially when it comes to in-ear headphones, which is where the ear canal also plays a role in determining frequency range.
Now, consider where you plan to plug-in the cable of your headphones. If it is nearby, you might not need a large cable, and four feet will be more than enough. But if you want extra mobility and flexibility, it may be wise to go for a long cable, such as the one in Shure SRH840 headphones, which have a ten feet long cord.
You should consider the weight of your headphones for two reasons – if you plan to travel frequently, and if you plan on using them for hours. Heavy headphones may cause discomfort after a while. Nevertheless, some heavier products, such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, deliver generous paddings to keep you comfortable when playing for a long time. Large and heavy headphones are also not a great choice for traveling as they require a lot of space.
The reduction of outside noise is extremely important, especially if you plan to use headphones in a studio. In-ear headphones for drummers offer excellent noise reduction, but if you like more comfort, you can also go for over-the-ear units. Vic Firth SIH2 delivers the required isolation that makes the product suitable for live performances and studios. The optimal noise isolation level should be around 25dB, but the more you get, the better you can hear the sound without the need to increase the volume.
Do you wish to use your headphones every day? In that case, pay a little extra and buy a more durable product like Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. It will be a smart long-term investment that will deliver consistent performance for the time to come.
Strong construction makes headphones resistant to damages from falling or hitting objects with them, and sturdy components promote overall longevity.
If you want to maximize your performance and improve your skills, you will need drumming headphones. They enable you to focus on hearing music while reducing outside noise from the crowd, traffic, etc. That way, you can ensure that you will be in sync with the band, and delight the audience with how well you play. Additionally, those headphones can help to keep your ear from damage or fatigue, compared to regular headphones. If you plan on being exposed to high sound levels for a long time, which happens to musicians at concerts, you want to protect your hearing so that you can perform well in the future, too.
The difference lies in how they work. Headphones that have noise isolation feature physically block the ambient sounds. On the other hand, noise cancellation units process the sound they receive and eliminate actual sound. However, even the best noise cancellation won’t help if you don’t have adequate physical isolation. The ambient sounds will still leak into your ears. It is why many drummers prefer headphones that offer noise isolation, although it ultimately depends on your preference.
Some regular headphones are capable of delivering decent reduction and isolation of ambient noise, which is why you can use them when playing drums. To sum up, it is always better to go with a specialized unit as you can benefit more from it.
In-ear headphones might offer excellent noise isolation, which can go over 40dB, such as in the case of Etymotic Research hf3 Earphones. Nevertheless, in-ear units cannot be as loud as over-the-ear models. Additionally, they can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you are playing for hours.
Over-the-ear headphones for drummers, such as Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, come with a generous earpad cushioning. Thanks to that, you can use them during performances and practices that last for hours without compromising comfort. Furthermore, they can deliver a louder, crisper, and more accurate sound, which makes them a more reliable choice for professional musicians.
Remember how we said that a single pair of headphones couldn’t be the best for everyone? That remains true, but our top picks come quite close to prove the opposite.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is our first candidate for the best headphones for drummers. It offers an excellent ratio of price and quality. The unit provides impressive sound quality, especially for the price. It is also foldable, which means you can easily pack it when going on a tour.
Second comes Vic Firth SIH2 Stereo Isolation Headphones V2 which is an excellent choice for drummers who plan to play live. Their 25dB noise reduction is suitable for live performances, and the product is also durable and ideal if you want to buy headphones so that you can completely focus on music.
Finally, you can’t go wrong with Roland RH-300. These headphones are a part of a reputable brand famous in the music industry for top-quality products.
We hope that you found the best headphones for your drumming needs, so go ahead and test them as they will surely take your performance to the next level!