Ear Monitor For Drummers: Which To Choose

All drummers need a good sound quality in ear monitor for drummers for various reasons:

  • practice with the metronome
  • study the tracks play
  • live with the metronome or backing tracks
  • use an electronic kit
  • protect yourself from the volume of the instrument

Whether it’s closed headphones or in-ear monitors, the choice is very wide, so I’ll just tell you about the best models that I have tested personally and that I think are more functional.

These are my favorites:

Beyerdynamic DT-770-M-80

This model is designed for those who spend many hours with headphones on. They’re light, comfortable and insulated enough not to have to keep up the volume to hear the base.

They can be used both in the recording studio and live, do not bother even after several hours of work and the sound quality is excellent. Personally, they are my number one choice among studio headphones.

Strengths: comfort and sound quality

Recommended for: those who spend a lot of time working with headphones

Vic Firth SIH1

The most famous headphone among drummers, offers a significant reduction in external volume. If you want to hear the sound of the base clearly in headphones, this model is ideal.

The limit, in my opinion, is that after a few hours, the headphone so narrow can cause a slight sense of headache or heat, if used in environments with high temperatures.

Also, the headphone’s isolation does not allow precise listening to your instrument and when used at high volumes it is almost impossible to hear clearly what we play.

Strengths: low price, maximum audio isolation

Recommended for: those who want to feel the basis in an extremely defined way

Sony MDR 7506

For headphones under €100 this is the best quality/price solution. A lightweight model, but at the same time insulating enough to hear audio in a defined way. On the market for almost 30 years, it is a model used in many contexts.

The only thing I don’t particularly like is the coiled cable, which slightly weighs down the headphones.

Strengths: great price, audio quality

Recommended for: those who want a quality solution without spending a fortune

Shure SE535

I tried different models of in-ear monitors and this gave me the best impressions. They are built with a three-way driver (a tweeter and two woofers), which offers good definition even at low frequencies, the main limit of in-ear earphones. (For us drummers, however, it is recommended to pair it with a subwoofer in live contexts, for maximum enjoyment).

They come with a kit of rubber and silicone inserts of various sizes to fit the ear without the need for a cast.

Comfort is guaranteed both by the adjustable cable behind the ear and by the low weight of the headset. In addition, the reduction of external sound is widely guaranteed with whatever rubber you choose to use.

They are certainly an expensive model (over €400), but it is worth buying them for those who work in professional contexts and want to make a long-term investment.

There are however much more expensive and performing models of in-ear, but I have not yet had the pleasure to test …

Strengths: comfort, sound quality with emphasized low frequencies

Recommended for: those who want a highly professional and insulating product with an external volume

Shure SE215

I see this as a low cost alternative to the SE535. In fact, a headset under €100 with this quality and ease of use, I think is difficult to find on the market.

Certainly the sound quality is not the same as the previous model, as is the volume that the headphones offer, but they are a particularly good model, which I used for a long time before upgrading to the 535.

Strengths: value for money

Recommended for: those looking for a comfortable headset, even for live use with their band

Sennheiser CX300

I used these earphones only once by pure chance, having forgotten my in-ears for a concert, but they impressed me positively, even for the price (about €35).

These in-ear monitors are of good audio quality, although they are not overly marked in the bass. They also isolate quite well from the outside and can therefore also be used to make a concert without so much drama…

Strengths: very affordable cost, good audio quality

Recommended for: those who want to spend very little for an honest and versatile product

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