6 Best Isolation Headphones For Drummers – All Under $300

When it comes to isolation, you can hear a lot of terms such as sound-isolating, noise isolating, noise canceling, passive isolation, active cancellation, etc. 

The sound isolation is one of the main reasons why drummers wear headphones.

What is passive sound isolation?

In simple words, sound/noise isolation or passive isolation is the physical isolation of ambient noise with cushions and isolation materials on the headphones. 

These kinds of headphones are the best isolation headphones for drummers and musicians in general.

All the headphones from this list use passive isolation.

What is active sound cancellation?

On the other hand, terms like noise cancellation and active cancellation refers to noise-canceling technology that enhances isolation by nullifying sounds that seep into the headphones. 

These kinds of headphones are suitable for more commercial use. 

Check out the more detail explanation about the difference between Sound Isolating & Noice Cancelling Headphones.

For this list, we picked 6 headphones suitable for drummers and compared:

  • Price
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Sound

What makes headphones suitable for drummers?

Headphones that solve some common drummer problems like:

  • Sound isolation
  • Leakage to drum mics
  • Short and non-replaceable cable
  • Non-replaceable parts
  • Not comfortable wearing for long periods of time

The headphones I listed below solve most of this problems if not all of them.

Things to know before buy

The Sound – considering your drumming needs, when you’re buying your headphones pick the one that delivers a clear, crisp, and well-balanced sound.

Noise Cancellation – take into consideration how impeccable your headphones block external sounds. Choose headphones that have built-in mini-speakers allowing you to listen to what you play. Advice – the maximum sound cancelation for successful drumming is 35 decibels.

Low-Quality Products – it is very important to have good quality headphones so you can protect your ears perfectly. Low-quality products will harm your ears even worse! If you are using external amplifiers, invest in a good cable too, long enough for your comfort.

The Length Of The Cord – get a product that offers a long and Kevlar-infused cable so that there is no risk whatsoever of damage if you accidentally step on it. Look for a one-meter length of the headphone cables as it’s considered to be an ideal one.

1. Vic Firth SIH

Most durable

9.3

ThatScore

drummers headphones

2. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

Best value for money

9.1

ThatScore

Sennheiser headphones

3. Direct Sound EX-29

Studio pick

9.1

ThatScore

best headhones for drummers

4. Beyerdynamic DT 770

Editor's pick

9.7

ThatScore

best headphones for studio drumming

5. Shure SRH 940

Most comfortable

9.5

ThatScore

headphones grey

6. Audio-Technica ATH-M20X

Lowest price

9

ThatScore

audiotehnica headphones

Most durable

drummers headphones

1. Vic Firth SIH2

9.3

ThatScore

Value for money

Sennheiser headphones

2. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

9.1

ThatScore

Studio pick

best headhones for drummers

3. Direct Sound EX-29

9.1

ThatScore

Editor's pick

best headphones for studio drumming

4. Beyerdynamic DT 770

9.7

ThatScore

Most comfortable

headphones grey

5. Shure SRH 940

9.5

ThatScore

Lowest price

audiotehnica headphones

6. Audio-Tehnica ATH-M20X

9

ThatScore

Vic Firth SIH2

9.3Expert Score
Most durable

Sound quality
8.7
Build quality
9.7
Value for money
9.9
Comfort
8.7
Isolation
9.7
Pros
  • Great price
  • Durability
  • Value for money
  • Easy adjustable
Cons
  • Lack of comfort
  • Lack of low end

Specs:

  • 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.

Verdict

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

9.1Expert Score
Value for money pick

Sound quality
8.5
Build quality
8.7
Value for money
9.7
Comfort
9.8
Isolation
8.8
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Flexible
  • Great design
Cons
  • Cable quality
  • Low quality cushions

Specs:

  • 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. 

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.

Verdict

Depending on your preference these headphones may be one of the best isolation headphones for drummers. 

Why? 

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

9.1Expert Score
Great for studio

Sound quality
9.3
Build quality
8.9
Value for money
9.2
Comfort
9.4
Isolation
9.1
Pros
  • Good isolation
  • Designed by drummer
  • Clear sound
Cons
  • Look
  • Durability

Specs:

  • 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.

Verdict

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

9.7Expert Score
Editor's pick

Sound quality
9.8
Build quality
9.9
Value for money
9.8
Comfort
9.3
Isolation
9.9
Pros
  • Great sound
  • Valure cushions
  • Firm and durable
Cons
  • High pressure on the head
  • Cable quality

Specs:

  • Driver Size:45mm
  • Frequency Response:5Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance:80 ohms
  • Noise Attenuation:35dBA, Ambient Noise Attenuation
  • Weight:.66 lbs

If you are looking for a professional headphones for a drummer meet the DT 770 PRO (80 ohms).

 

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.

Verdict

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

9.5Expert Score
Most comfortable

Sound quality
9.7
Build quality
8.8
Value for money
9.2
Comfort
9.9
Isolation
9.9
Pros
  • Extraordinary comfort
  • Perfect sound
  • Cool design
Cons
  • Build material

Specs:

  • 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. 

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.

Verdict

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.

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M20X

9Expert Score
Most comfortable

Sound quality
9.1
Build quality
9.3
Durability
9.3
Comfort
8.3
Isolation
9.2
Pros
  • Great price
  • Clear sound
  • Great build quality
Cons
  • Low end not clear enough
  • Lower comfort
  • Lack of replaceable addons

Specs:

  • 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.

They offer clear sound that provides filtered frequency ranges.


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.

Verdict

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.

Conclusion

The price range of the best isolations headphones for drummers we compared in this article is not wide. 

Why? I wanted to keep everything on budget and not break the bank because, as we all know, the headphones are just one of the products drummers will need in his artillery. 

The model I like the best is the Beyerdynamics DT770 because it offers best value for money. These headphones are durable and have overall clear sound.

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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