7 The Best In Ear Monitors for Drummers in 2022

In this post, I will talk about the best in ear monitors for drummers.

I was looking for the ones with the following:

  • Sound quality
  • Durability
  • Sound isolation

The idea was to find the best IEMS for money, not the most expensive ones with many drivers.

My top pick is the Shure SE535 – triple-driver IEMs that, by the way, Dave Weckl uses.

My budget pick is Shure SE215 – the best in ear monitors for drummers under $100.

Before we start, I need to answer one crucial question.

How many drivers do you need for in ears?

One driver can be more than enough.

The idea is to get more precise sound by separating frequencies and letting each driver deal with specific frequencies only partially.

So, instead of having one driver that deals with lows, mids, and highs, we have three drivers for each frequency range.

But where is the limit? 

How many drivers do I need?

For beginners, even some professionals, one driver will do the work. As an upgrade, I suggest going straight to triple-driver in ears and skipping dual-driver in ears due to the slight price difference.

Anything more than 3 is “not worth the money.” In ears with 5-8 drivers can go over $1000, and all they offer is slightly better sound than the ones with 3 drivers.

7 The best In Ear Monitors for Drummers

Editor's pick
best iem for drummers

Shure SE535

9.9

Runner-Up
drum in ear monitors

Audio Technica ATH-E70

9.6

Best alternative
iems for drummers

Shure SE215

9.7

Highly durable
earbuds for drummers

Sennheiser IE 40 Pro

8.5

Budget pick
best budget in ear monitors

Mee Audio MX2 Pro

9.2

Up to 40dB of sound isolation
wired in ear monitor system for drummer

Mackie MP-240

8.7

Best value for money
best triple driver in ear monitors

The Westone UM-Pro 30s

8.7

Things to know before buy

Replacement Parts – in live circumstances, anything can happen, so make sure in ears you pick have a detachable cable. It’s convenient to replace only the cable, not a complete package. With some companies like Shure, you can even purchase left or right IEM separately.

Drivers  make sure you know what drivers go inside. By that, I don’t mean their specs but what the manufacturer is. Sometimes custom in ear monitors that cost $300 can have the same driver as $15 in ear monitors. So make sure drivers are made by the same company that produces in ears, or try finding out about the exact model of the driver and look for reviews and similar in ears that use the exact driver.

The number of drivers  Somewhere along the road, the manufacturers went from one driver to 16 and more. What for? Three drivers are more than enough since you’ll get lows, mids, and highs separated.

Isolation – in ears are all about passive noise isolation (they block sound with sleeves, not with drivers). Make sure your in ears have memory sleeves; they block sound much better than regular rubber sleeves. For the ultimate level of isolation, go with custom in ears monitors.

best iem for drummers

Shure SE535

Best in ears for drummers

9.5

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Drivers: 3
  • Passive Sound Isolation: Up to 37dB
  • Impedance: 36 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 18Hz-19kHz
  • Sensitivity:119dB SPL @ 1mW
  • Detachable Cable: Yes
  • Cable Length: 64″

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

Since I’ve been more than satisfied with SE215 from Shure, the upgrade to 535s was an obvious choice.

Shure made it clear that they are not making a compromise when it comes to quality. Even low-end products from Shure have high-end quality.

The 535’s are the best IEMS model with 3 drivers I could find at a reasonable price. I recommend paying at most $400 for triple driver in-ear monitors.

Fun Fact: Dave Weckl uses these exact in ears.

Who It’s For

For drummers who want to use something other than entry series with one driver.

Having three drivers is more than enough for professional drummers. The difference between one and three drivers in ears is enormous, but between 3 and 6, it gets smaller. They reach the top with 3 drivers; after that, there is not much room for improvement.

With Shure, you can get it wrong. They made their own drivers and high-quality IEMS, no matter the price tag.

As an upgrade, you may try custom-made in-ear monitors.

drum in ear monitors

Audio Technica ATH-E70​

Runner-Up

9.4

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Drivers: 3 balanced armature drivers
  • Impedance: 39 ohms
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-19kHz
  • Sensitivity: 109 dB/mW
  • Detachable Cable: Yes
  • Cable Length: 5.2′

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

Audio Tehnica is a well-known audio manufacturer that offers 3 IEMs at different price ranges E40, E50, and E70.

We will take a look at their premium model E70.

I am very impressed by the specs and sound quality that E70 provides. The sound is clean and versatile, with exceptional basses, mids, and lows.

But this is to be expected of such an expensive model of IEMs. They are well worth it, but this is undoubtedly a very pricey deal for average drum enthusiasts.

Who It's For

For professionals who like their lows and mids clear and their in ears comfortable. Three sound drivers provided by this model are more than enough even for professionals.

Every premium model in this series is excellent, but my choice is Audio Technica ATH-E70.

iems for drummers

Shure SE215

Best iems under $100

8.9

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Drivers: 1
  • Passive Sound Isolation: Up to 37dB
  • Impedance: 17 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 22Hz-17.5kHz
  • Sensitivity: 107dB SPL @ 1mW
  • Detachable Cable: Yes
  • Cable Length: 64″

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

It almost seems like a mistake that Shure released this good in ear monitors for less than 100 bucks.

The Shure SE215 has the best value for the money ratio you can find in today’s market.

What makes them drummers’ headphones? Enhanced bass, clear sound, and durability.

After you put them in the ear canal, they fill it out and block around 80% of sounds from outside.

They are durable as well. I have used them for more than 7 years. For that period, I washed them with my pants, stepped on them, and drew them in beer, and they still survived.

I ended up buying Shure SE535, but I still use SE215 occasionally.

Who It's For

If your budget is under $100, this is the best deal on the market. I love comparing SE215 to a legendary mic Shure sm57 that costs around $100, but it is so good that the best studios and musicians use it, which is rare for products in this price range.

What makes them perfect for all musicians?

Raw sound – you hear the instrument exactly as it sounds, with no frequency or effect added.
If you want to get a high amount of noise isolation, Shure is a perfect choice due to their foam sleeves and the way these in ears fit in your ear canal.

earbuds for drummers

Sennheiser IE 40 Pro

Most durable in ears for drummers

9.2

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Impedance: 20 Ohms
  • Frequency response: 20 – 18,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL): 115 dB (1kHz / 1 Vrms)
  • THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0.1 % (1kHz, 94dB)
  • Cable length: 1.3m (4.3 feet)
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic
  • Weight: 18 g (0.6 oz)
  • Attenuation: Up to 26 dB

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REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

This is Sennheiser’s budget model, inferior to their other models in terms of sound, but the price-quality ratio is exceptional.

The main characteristic that can distinguish IE 40 Pro is their comfort. You can jam for hours and won’t feel them in your ear.

However, the length of the proprietary cable can seem a bit too short, so that may be a real problem for you.

Who It's For

For drummers searching the best in-ears under $100.

They come with just one sound driver, which is expected at this price range. Their direct counterparts are Shure SE215, as they are similar in price, quality, and sound that they offer.

Sound-wise they offer natural sound with the solid bass quality and sound isolation, which is a must for drummers.

best budget in ear monitors

Mee Audio MX2 Pro

Best low budget in ears

8.6

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Driver type: balanced armature + moving coil hybrid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 34 Ω @ 1 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 104±3 dB (1 mW @ 1 kHz)
  • Maximum input power: 30mW

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REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

Mee Audio designed the new MX Pro series to replace older IEM models, such as M6 Pro and M7 Pro. The MX2 Pro model is specifically designed as a counterpart to the M7 Pro at a lower price. 

The number in the name of the newest Mee audio models tells us how many sound drivers they have, so MX2 Pro has 2 dedicated sound drivers. 

One subwoofer is entirely dedicated to basses, so they are a perfect choice for an average drummer at this price range. 

They are very comfortable and offer above-average sound isolation that can constantly be enhanced by custom accessories. 

Who It's For

For drummers who do not want to break the bank but are still in demand for versatile in ears.

Mee Audio offers a solid accessories package that includes 3 pairs of single silicone tips, a pair of double silicone tips, and a pair of foam tips. If that is not enough, you can order custom ear tips designed specifically for your ear.
The ultimate advantage of this model, indeed, is the price. These are the only in-ears suitable for drummers with 2 drivers and cost under $100.

wired in ear monitor system for drummer

Mackie MP-240

Best dual driver in ear monitors

8.8

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Drivers:Dual Hybrid (single dynamic, single balanced armature)
  • Passive Noise Isolation: Up to 40dB
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz-20khz
  • Sensitivity: 108dB SPL @ 1mW
  • Detachable Cable: Yes
  • Cable Length:59.1″

SEE BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

Mackie MP-240 is a perfect alternative for the standard, well-established models.

Out of the box, these IEMs look very professional, as it offers some serious package accessories. Mackie offers 3 foam tips, 3 dual tips, and 3 standard single tips, which are impressive, to say the least.

Build quality is also outstanding, the cable looks very durable and sturdy, and it will last a very long time.

Who It's For

For drummers who want to go a step further than use the entry series with only one driver.

Mackie MP-240 is equipped with one dynamic driver and one balanced driver. Basses are loud and can be easily distinguished from mids and lows, but they also offer a decent level of flexibility and versatility.

For every drummer, the most important thing, apart from lows, is sound isolation. Mackie offers good sound isolation.

best triple driver in ear monitors

The Westone UM-Pro 30s

Best deal for triple driver

9.3

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Balanced armature triple driver: detail and frequency range that extends well beyond other in-ear solutions.
  • Detachable cable: High-strength, ultra-low resistance tensile wire design with aramid fiber
  • Precise acoustic symmetry: Left and right earpiece responses are matched to an extraordinarily tight +/- 2dB tolerance. 

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

Why I Picked It

Westone is a company with 40+ years in the business of making custom in-ears. There’s a lot of rumble among drummers around this model.

 

 

Although you can get the same model with 1,2,3, or 5 drivers, drummers usually choose this exact one with triple armature drivers.

 

 

Why?

 

It costs less than $300, which is not standard for in-ear monitors with three drivers.
Great value for money earned this model a place on the list.

Who It's For

For fans of Westone sound and drummers willing to expand their budget a little more for a triple-driver in ears.

There is an intense race among audio companies with a clear goal to offer as many drivers as possible under $300 or even $200.

Thumbs up for to Westone, who made it.
This model is the right choice if you want to top up your game on a budget.

Frequenlty Asked Questions

What is the difference between professional IEMs for drummers and commercial IEMs?

Songs in mp3 have standard signals, so to say.

While live instruments have an “unpredictable” signal. Raw, uncut, and intense. 

Professional in-ear monitors can support that raw signal, while commercial earphones can’t.

That is the main difference. You can play mp3 songs through in-ear monitors, but you can’t play raw drum signals through earphones.

Maybe you can, for a few times, but you risk burning their electronics. I burned 4 earphones before I figured out this and decided to spend $100 on a set of in-ear monitors.

Are in ear monitors worth it?

Burning every set of earphones is not affordable, so YES, they are worth it.

I purchased the now-famous Shure SE215 back in 2012. Since then, I stepped on them, soaked them in beer, and washed them with my pants; they are still alive.

They cost less than $100 and have enhanced bass and replaceable cable. I suggest these in-ears as an excellent choice for us drummers.

Custom in-ear monitors, now that is something different. They cost a lot more but offer the highest amount of passive noise isolation (when properly fitted).

How to set up in ear monitors for drummers

You can plug them directly into a mixer with an extension cable or use an in-ear monitor preamp.

The preamp will allow you to adjust volume, pan, or more depending on the model.

For more info, check out the full article on how to set up in-ear monitors.

Wrap up

My top pick for the best in-ear monitor for drummers under $100 are Shure SE215.

They have one driver (more than enough most of the time), enhanced bass, and clear sound. All Shure IEMs use the same memory sleeves, providing the same level of passive noise isolation.

If you want to upgrade with three drivers, I suggest Shure SE535, the exact model Dave Weckl uses. Anything above three won’t be necessary and comes at high costs.

As a drummer, look for durability, models with replaceable parts, models with memory sleeves, and high-quality drivers.

Commercial earphones can’t replace professional ones cause they get burned fast due to raw signals.
Good luck shopping!

Denis Loncaric

Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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