Need help to find the best isolation headphones for drummers that fit within your budget?
I understand because I have been there too. The search can be tiring, and you don’t know what to choose with so many models available.
Luckily, I can guide you until you find a perfect pair.
I will save you time and your nerves and ensure you get the best value for your money.
I covered the most important questions, including why isolation headphones are important and what kind of isolation there is.
Before we dive in, here is my top pic:
Beyerdynamics DT770 is my top choice and performer in this category. It will not cost you an arm and a leg, they are pretty durable, and the sound quality is more than satisfying. Let’s start!
What are drum isolation headphones?
Drum isolation headphones are a type of headphones that drummers use to protect their hearing.
They are designed to block out external noise, providing drummers with a clear and isolated sound of their drums.
They can reduce noise levels by around 25 decibels. However, these headphones allow drummers to hear their own music in high fidelity.
They can offer high-quality audio while preventing sound leaking, allowing for an unbroken, concentrated drumming practice.
1. Vic Firth SIH2
2. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
3. Direct Sound EX-29
4. Beyerdynamic DT 770
5. Shure SRH 940
6. Audio-Tehnica ATH-M20X
7. Alesis DRP100
Vic Firth SIH2
- Great price
- Value for money
- Easy adjustable
- Lack of comfort
- Lack of low end
- Reduces outside noise by 25 decibels
- 50M/M dynamic speaker mylar con
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20Khz
- 1/4″ and 1/8″ plugs
In comparison to Vic Firth’s first model, the SIH2 has redesigned the dynamic speaker for a more robust and cleaner sound.
It also has improved padded headband for a more comfortable fit.
What I like
There are no better headphones for drummers at this price range period.
Although isolation of 25 dB doesn’t seem like a lot in comparison to other models from this list, those are just numbers, while in real life, the isolation is excellent.
These headphones are well built with solid materials.
The durability makes them a good model for all drummers to bring on the road.
Over-ear design provides better sound isolation than on-ear models.
What I don't like
At this price range, you should not expect much when it comes to sound.
However, the Vic Firth SIH2 has a pretty good sound overall with a frequency range of 20 HZ – 20 kHz.
As a drummer, I understand the need to hear that fat bass drum sound.
Well, it is hard to get that with this model because they don’t have much of a low-end.
With cheaper drivers, the frequency range gets smaller, so you missed out on some sound details.
Overall, SIH2 are good isolation headphones for drummers.
If your goal is to buy well built, durable headphones on budget but still have a pretty good sound, these will do the job.
If you want headphones with more detailed sound, more low end, a wider range of frequencies, you will have to increase your budget and keep searching.
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
- Great design
- Cable quality
- Low quality cushions
- Frequency Response:8Hz-25kHz
- Impedance:64 ohms
- Noise Attenuation:Ambient Noise Attenuation
- Weight:0.49 lbs
At this price range, these are probably a pair of most versatile headphones. And one of the best recording isolation headphones for drummers.
On the first touch, you get that sense of quality.
I didn’t expect to get a low-quality product from Sennheiser, but to get a high-end product for 100 bucks is always a surprise.
These kinds of headphones are great not just for drummers but for extensive use. Let me tell you why…
What I like
They are soo foldable. You get a feel that you can’t break them.
I guess they have used some kind of plastic with more rubber percent or some kind of easily foldable materials, which is excellent for outside use.
When I say outside, not carrying them while you jog but taking them on the road, in a bag, in the bus, airplane.
They will survive all that with no problem.
The second significant fact is comfort. They have soft cushions on the headphones and the headband.
Also, if they wear out or damage, you can purchase only cushions and replace them.
Regarding a sound, with this model, you get a very clear sound great for both studio and live drumming.
What I don't like
The first thing that comes to my mind is cable quality.
Right from the top, you notice a quality difference between the cable and the headphones itself.
It can’t be detached; however, this is not a common feature among the headphones.
Sennheiser HD 280 pro also have curvy part of the cable, which I hate.
After a few months of use, this kind of cable gets messed up.
Depending on your preference, these headphones may be one of the best isolation headphones for drummers.
Because of the comfort and clear sound.
It is hard to find a pair of headphones comfortable enough to wear for long periods.
As a drummer, you need gear that can keep up with the pressure of transportation and external use.
This much foldable headphones should be able to hold out the aggressive use.
Direct Sound EX-29
- Good isolation
- Designed by drummer
- Clear sound
- Driver Size:40mm
- Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz
- Impedance:32 ohms
- Noise Attenuation:29dB
- Weight:.72 lbs
Fun fact about these headphones is that they are initially designed by a studio drummer specifically for drumming.
The market is overflowed with headphones, but still, there are only a few models specifically designed for drumming.
There is nothing flashy about them but pure functionality.
What I like
Direct sound EX-29 are very light and comfortable wearing for long periods of time.
They are not putting high pressure on your ears.
The headband is where simple and flexible with a soft leather cushion on top.
Sliding adjustments are also simple to use.
The cool feature is that they can fold up to be quite compact.
The cord length is 9 foot which is quite long and useful for connecting it to the audio gear that is not too close to your drum set.
The cord that long will always stay out of your way.
The right headphone is coloured red so you will still know the how to put them easily.
Every piece of EX-29 is replaceable separately so you can order it and replace it by yourself at low costs directly from the manufacturer’s website.
When it comes to sound, they isolate up to 37 dB in the higher frequencies, and the leakage from the headphones is minimal.
What I don't like
Direct Sound EX-29 value for the money ratio is quite good.
Although I don’t find materials being used for making these headphones so good as the sound.
They are compact but I think external use is not such a great idea.
They are pretty light and are easy to break.
That’s a con in my book, but if you want to use them in a studio, you will be more than satisfied.
Regarding a sound, you will not be blown away, but again for this price, the overall sound is excellent.
Esthetically they are probably the worst headphones on this list.
Wear them in a studio, and you won’t be disappointed.
Sound is better than Vic Firth SIH2, but also, the price is higher.
This price range still falls under cheaper isolation headphones for the drummers, but the sound you get can not be labeled as cheap or bad.
If you plan to wear them on the road, I think they will not last.
After all, they are only headphones from this list with that many replaceable parts, so I wouldn’t worry too much if something breaks.
Replaceable parts, along with the sound, long cord, and comfort make Direct Sound EX-29 a great set of drummer’s headphones.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 - Best drummer's headphones
- Great sound
- Valure cushions
- Firm and durable
- High pressure on the head
- Cable quality
- Driver Size:45mm
- Frequency Response:5Hz-20kHz
- Impedance:80 ohms
- Noise Attenuation:35dBA, Ambient Noise Attenuation
- Weight:.66 lbs
The company is well known for possessing excellent sound quality instruments that go well with electronic drums.
The tangle-free and unbreakable cable provide the user with a unique drumming experience.
The first time I saw these, I thought about how ugly they look. When I tried them on, I wasn’t too excited about the comfort either.
But, when I played the music that made an impression.
Sound quality is the best feature that you get out of this pair of headphones.
What I like
The first impression when you put these on is that they are very firm and solid.
I love the size because they go over the ear, which is essential for getting the ultimate comfort.
Also, almost all parts are replaceable, and sooner or later, you will need to swap a few things around.
The sound I already mentioned above is clear with a little bit of bass enhancement.
You will enjoy hearing that fat bass drum sound live on stage.
The sound is not too beautified like on the high-fi headphones, so you get the right picture of your drum sound and all the other instruments.
They are powerful and durable, which is important for drummer’s headphones.
If you prefer tight and firm headphones, these would be the right choice.
What I don't like
The cable quality is not durable and they cause a lot of pressure on the head due to tightness.
It’s good that they go over the ear, but at the same time, they are not too comfortable.
I am not too crazy about leather cushions, so I am glad the new version has ear pads made out of velour.
Also, they removed a volume knob, which was an unnecessary feature, especially for a live situation.
You may hit it while you are playing, and it may turn down the volume, which is annoying.
Overall, DT 770 are one of the best headphones for drummers in the current market.
Their most significant virtues are the sound and a price, while the downsides are comfort and design.
Isolation is excellent, and they do remove a lot of background noise.
They put more pressure on the head, but that causes less leakage to the microphones.
Pay attention while purchasing these headphones on the difference between models in impedance.
There are a couple of variations 32, 80, and 250 OHMS.
However, it seems like the 80-OHM model has slightly more enhanced bass, so I would consider that one as the best model for drummers.
Shure SRH 940
- Extraordinary comfort
- Perfect sound
- Cool design
- Build material
- Driver Size:40mm
- Frequency Response:5Hz-30kHz
- Impedance:42 ohms
- Replaceable Cable:Yes
- Weight:0.69 lbs.
These headphones would be a match made in heaven at a lower price range. However, they are still one of the best sound isolating headphones for drummers.
They come at reasonable price, having in mind that are the most versatile model from our list.
They are made for the studio, DJs, live performance, mixing, etc.
You can’t get miss with a reliable company such as Shure.
In comparison to other headphones from our list, these headphones come as a suggestion because they are not as much the drummer’s headphones, but overall fabulous headphones with clear bass and middle range frequencies, detachable cable, modern design, firm and stable.
This is the high-end product and offers incredible sound and comfort.
What I like
I like the design of Shure SRH 940 and next to Sennheiser HD 280 PRO they are only headphones with modern design.
Finally, comfort is just right.
Many headphones have one feature that is always missing.
Either are too small or put a lot of pressure or they have leather cushions that cause us to sweat, even more.
With this model, the pressure is just right, and the valure cushions are soft and cozy.
The headphone size is large enough to cover the ear just right.
Shure is known to have one of the best drivers in the industry. They prove that fact with this model.
Sound is very clear, with a little bit of boosted bass but still clear. enough.
There are no middle or high frequencies that jump out of the picture.
What I don't like
With many of these headphones, the cable you get is not exceptional.
It’s the same thing with this model; still, they added a great feature of detaching a cable so you can replace it.
The only real downside I found but not unique for only these headphones is that they are a little bit shallow, so your ear touches the headphone from the inside, which can influence the comfort.
When it comes to outside plastic, it is also one of the few things I don’t like on these headphones, but knowing the Shure product line, they should be durable.
In comparison to other headphones, this model has a double or triple higher price.
With the higher price, you get a better sound and comfort but don’t expect sound quality to increase two or three times in comparison to other models from the list.
It is the same when it comes to comfort; it is better but not twice as better.
Having that said, they do offer great value for money ratio, and they will do a great job as a drummer’s headphones.
- Great price
- Clear sound
- Great build quality
- Low end not clear enough
- Lower comfort
- Lack of replaceable addons
- Design: OVER-THE-EAR
- Weight: 6.7 OUNCES
- Dimensions: 11.4 x 10 x 4.1 in
- Sensitivity: 96 dB
- Max input power: 700 MW
- Impedance: 47 ohms
- Frequency range: 15 – 20000 Hz
- Ear cup rotation: 15o BOTH DIRECTIONS
- Cable: 3.0 m (9.8′) STRAIGHT
If you have a new found love for drumming and have a low budget for headphones, look no further than this beauty.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are made for low-frequency performance compatible with electronic drums.
Its features include modern style design, comfortable ear pads designed for long sessions, crystal clear and detailed sound, contoured ear cups for sound isolation, made from durable material, and 3 m straight cable.
What I like
Affordable price that is worth the money and available with ¼ inch snap-on the adapter.
Single side cable is excellent for professional applications.
Excellent build quality that looks cool, and the foams and materials are unique.
It is durable enough to last years without being damaged on the outer surface.
What I don't like
Apart from the average range of audio, a sound played in the background, or at low frequencies that are not mixed loud enough is not clear.
Often percussions are hard to hear while replaying the sound of drums.
They feel tight over the head, especially when you wear glasses or a cap/hoodie.
Sometimes it feels uncomfortable when you wear these for long hours as sweat makes your ears wet.
No travel case or irreplaceable ear cups.
In my opinion, if you require a drummer headphones that is low ranged and gives you enough flexibility to focus on your passion for drumming, and then M20x is the option you need to go to.
Made with excellent quality material and designed for regular use, these headphones are worth the money.
- Budget-friendly option
- Good audio quality and isolation
- Accurate sound reproduction
- The built quality is not the greatest
- The sound can be quiet at maximum volume
- Not so durable headphones
- Driver Size: 40mm
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 30kHz
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Cable Length: 6 ft.
- Weight: 0.8 lbs
The most budget-friendly option available. Alesis is a renowned brand known for its audio equipment, particularly for electronic drums. Thus, these headphones act the same when connected to both e-drums and acoustic kits as well.
The headphones are designed for beginners, so don’t expect some high-end sound quality. But they provide a great amount of isolation for both drumming sessions and live performances.
What I like
Everyone can afford them. Even if you are a total rookie and are in search of on-budget isolation headphones, these are your go-to option.
The design is pretty nice; they are not too bulky or heavy. When I was wearing them, they felt pretty light and comfortable. Honestly, great plus for affordable headphones.
The isolation is good. To be honest more than good for this price range.
The wiring is not the best one, but at least the cable length is just enough.
What I don't like
The headphones are very cheap, but the sound is pretty dull.
The built quality is within its price range. A lot of plastic, not much sturdy. But, honestly, this is expected for $60, which is the current price (June 2023).
The sound is not the greatest but not the worse, either. They are also pretty quiet. Even at the highest volume, they don’t sound loud.
They don’t look so durable. In fact, there was a lot of complaining about their durability. However, once again, this is expected.
Alesis DRP100 is a decent pair of headphones for a beginner player. They will isolate a lot of background noises and provide pretty clear sound, though a bit dull.
Don’t expect them to last long. The durability is not their best feature. But their comfortability is justified. Overall the headphones are good if you are a rookie, on a budget, and need a good isolation headphone.
Things to know before buy
Before you decide which headphones you want to buy, check this comprehensive buying guide for the best isolation headphones for drummers.
If you want good pair of headphones for your drumming sessions, the first thing you want to look for is its sound isolation. The headphones must have great noise isolation.
Well, if not, you will be distracted by outside noises and will be unable to hear what you are doing, which is critical to your performance. Also, you can damage your hearing.
We know how much drummers are exposed to loud noises, and if there is one important thing to concentrate on, it is protecting their hearing.
Such headphones can lower the noise while at the same time providing you with a clear sound.
Make sure the headphones you buy have ACN (Active Noise Cancellation) to reduce background noise or, at the very least, great physical sound isolation.
If you don’t receive a good sound quality, your gigging is in vain. Imagine having the performance of your life, and you cannot hear your own drumming clearly. What a nightmare.
The headphones must have good frequency response this means that they should produce audio frequencies from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
It is even better if they can produce a wider range, for instance from 5 to 33,000 Hz. This is because extended frequency responses can improve sound quality.
They should also have accurate lows, mids, and highs. Also, the produced sound must be neutral and crystal clear for not only good performance but also when practicing and recording as well.
Imagine paying a good amount of money for something that will last for a couple of months. You should constantly pay attention to the materials used to make the headphones.
Whether they are made of plastic or metal? Are they sturdy enough to endure everyday drumming yet comfortable?
Metal is very impact-resistant, and its greater density contributes to better audio quality. This makes metal a perfect material for durable headphones.
However, this is not just true in terms of longevity, but bear in mind that you’ll be using the headphones for extended periods of time, so you’ll want to feel comfortable while doing so.
While quality and durability are crucial, comfort is equally important. Imagine gigging or practicing for a few hours with an uncomfortable headset. Horror.
If you want to buy good headphones, you will most likely use them for extended periods of time. As a result, comfort is an important issue to consider at all times.
Look for comfortable headphones with nice cushioning and lightweight ones for easy wear. Usually, the materials like pleather and thick fabric are the best for comfort but also offer good noise isolation.
Consider isolation headphones below 0.55 lbs. These are considered to be lightweight and won’t harm your ears even during a long period of wearing them.
Avoid anything around and above 0.75 lbs. Since they are considered heavy and can be very uncomfy to wear.
If you want to minimize ear strain and being disturbed when using headphones, make sure the earcups are well-padded and adjustable.
Luckily, many companies have put their effort and accent on comfort and realized its importance of it; thus, the majority of them offer great comfort.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wireless headphones offer independence for drummers.
They can move around more freely without fear of becoming entangled in cables. This is especially helpful during high-energy concerts or practice sessions.
Wired headphones, on the other hand, ensure a constant and continuous audio experience by providing a direct and dependable connection to your drums.
This is essential for drummers who need precision and can hear every beat clearly.
When it comes to choosing between wired and wireless headphones, it all comes down to personal choice.
Wireless headphones provide ease and flexibility of movement.
But also good sound quality. But, the precision and consistency of audio quality of wired headphones are usually better. Thus, it is up to you to decide.
Your budget will determine what kind of headphones you can get. Luckily, there are many great and professional headphones offered under $300.
If you are a beginner, you can even find some entry-level isolation headphones for under $100.
Even those will do the job and provide you with a great experience.
The ones that go above $100, usually from $150 to $300, are for those professional and more experienced drummers.
There are many great brands that you can consider buying from. Here are my top 5 brand recommendations:
- Direct sound
How do drummers protect their hearing?
Drummers protect their hearing primarily by using isolation headphones. They reduce noise levels and protect your ears from loud and damaging drum sounds.
Another way to protect drummer hearing is molded earplugs. These earplugs are connected with a leash that is very easy to use and wear.
They allow the drummer to move freely and hear their drumming clearly.
Such earplugs are also easy to find and are very cheap, around $20 to $50. They are also disposable and can cut sound by 20-33 decibels. They come in one size fits all and work well in almost all settings.
Should drummers wear headphones?
Yes, drummers should wear headphones. Headphones direct the monitor input straight into your ears, allowing the drummer to hear what’s happening.
If you are still a beginner, you need to learn how to keep your tempo with the rest of the musicians in your band.
As a result, in order to keep the rhythm as flawless as possible, you need to use headphones.
Aside from that, the headphones will decrease drum noise to increase clarity. Prolonged exposure to loud drumming can lead to hearing loss.
By wearing isolation headphones, drummers can both protect their hearing and improve their performance. Consider headphones to be a necessary piece of equipment, not an optional accessory.
The price range of the best isolations headphones for drummers we compared in this article is not wide.
I wanted to keep everything on budget and not break the bank because, as we all know, headphones are just one of the products drummers will need in their artillery.
However, I chose the 7 best isolation headphones for drummers according to the budget, quality, and sound isolation.
The model I like the best is the Beyerdynamics DT770 because it offers the best value for money. These headphones are durable and have an overall clear sound.