7 The Best Headphones For Drummers Under $200

January 19, 2024

You want to reduce external noise while getting the clear, accurate sound of your drumming.

Headphones like this need to be firm, durable, and with good sound. For drummers, they need to provide enough isolation so you can hear the metronome, drums, samples, or other instruments in your mix loud and clear.

After putting hundreds of hours into research and testing, I’ve found that the Beyerdynamic DT770 is the best isolation headphones for drummers under $200.

Everything I recommend

Editor's pick
best headphones for studio drumming

Beyerdynamic DT 770 $169


Runner up

Shure SRH 940 $200


Also great
drummers headphones

Vic Firth SIH2 $75


Best value
Sennheiser headphones

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO $79


Best for studio
best headhones for drummers

Direct Sound EX-29 $124


Best price
audiotehnica headphones

Audio-Tehnica ATH-M20X $49


Best for beginners
budget friendly headphones

Alesis DRP100 $59


What I look for

Effective Sound Isolation

I prioritized headphones with strong passive noise isolation capabilities to minimize external distractions and protect hearing during drumming sessions.

Durable Construction

My focus was on headphones built with sturdy materials, ensuring they can withstand the daily demands of drumming while maintaining superior audio quality.

Broad Frequency Response

I looked for headphones offering a wide frequency response range, essential for delivering clear and balanced audio, crucial for performances and recordings.

Comfortable Fit

I selected headphones that are lightweight and feature ample cushioning, ensuring comfort during prolonged use, which is vital for drummers during long practice sessions or performances.

My top pick
best headphones for studio drumming

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Best headphones for drummers



  • Driver Size: 45mm
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 80 ohms
  • Noise Attenuation: 35dBA
  • Weight: 0,66 lbs



Verdict – From the tests I conducted, this is my top pick for the best headphones for drummers. DT 770 are prioritizing excellent sound and sturdy design at a fair price, the DT 770 PRO (80 ohms) is a solid choice. While they may not win style points and can feel snug, their superior sound isolation and enhanced bass make them ideal for live and studio use. 


At first, I wasn’t keen on their look and feel. But the sound quality really stands out.

They’re sturdy and fit well over the ear, crucial for comfort. Despite being a bit tight, they offer solid sound isolation, key for drummers.

The audio is crisp with a nice bass boost. It gives a true reflection of your drum sound, unlike some high-fi headphones.

These headphones are built to last. The newer version has comfier velour ear pads, replacing the older leather ones.

A downside is the removed volume knob. It’s not a deal-breaker but could be annoying during live shows.

Impedance varies – 32, 80, and 250 OHMS. For drummers, the 80-OHM model’s bass enhancement is perfect.

Runner up

Shure SRH 940 Most comfortable headphones



  • Driver Size: 40mm
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-30kHz
  • Impedance: 42 ohms
  • Replaceable Cable: Yes
  • Weight: 0.69 lbs.




Verdict – The Shure SRH 940s offer great value for their price, excelling in sound quality and comfort, but they don’t necessarily outperform others in the same price range by a large margin. They’re a strong choice for drummers looking for high-quality, versatile headphones.

The Shure SRH 940 headphones, while on the pricier side, are a solid investment for drummers seeking versatility. They’re suitable for studio work, live performances, and mixing, making them a multi-functional choice. Shure’s reputation for reliability adds to their appeal.

What sets them apart is their modern design and balanced sound profile, with clear bass and mid-range frequencies. A notable feature is the detachable cable, adding to their convenience.

Professional headphones that accurately reproduce the entire frequency range heard by the human ear. - Shure

Comfort-wise, they strike the right balance. The ear cups are large enough for a snug fit, and the velour cushions enhance the coziness. However, they’re slightly shallow, causing your ear to touch the inside, which might affect comfort during extended use.

Their sound quality stands out, thanks to Shure’s excellent drivers. The bass is slightly boosted, yet it doesn’t overpower the well-balanced mids and highs.

One minor drawback is the external plastic construction, which could be perceived as less durable, although Shure’s products are generally known for their longevity.

Also great
drummers headphones

Vic Firth SIH2 Robust and durable



  • Reduces outside noise by 25 decibels
  • 50M/M dynamic speaker mylar con
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20Khz
  • 1/4″ and 1/8″ plugs



Verdict – For drummers seeking budget-friendly, well-built, and durable headphones with satisfactory sound, the Vic Firth SIH2 is a great option. However, those looking for more detailed sound quality and a wider frequency range may need to consider a higher budget

The SIH2 features a redesigned dynamic speaker, ensuring a cleaner and more robust sound output.

Comfort is enhanced with an improved padded headband, suitable for long drumming sessions.

While they offer a noise isolation of 25 dB, it proves effective in real-world settings, despite seeming less on paper compared to other models.

The over-ear design contributes to better sound isolation, especially when compared to on-ear models.

Sound-wise, they offer a reasonable frequency range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, quite good for their price range.

The low-end sound, crucial for drummers to hear the bass drum clearly, is somewhat limited due to budget constraints on the drivers.

Best value
Sennheiser headphones

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Great bang for buck



  • Frequency Response: 8Hz-25kHz
  • Impedance: 64 ohms
  • Noise Attenuation: Ambient Noise Attenuation
  • Weight: 0.49 lbs



Verdict – For drummers looking for a balance of comfort, clear sound, and durability, these headphones are a strong contender. Their ability to withstand frequent use and transport, combined with a comfortable design, makes them a reliable choice for drummers and audiophiles alike.

In this price range, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro stands out as an exceptionally versatile set of headphones, ideal for drummers and robust enough for heavy use.

The build quality is evident from the first touch. It’s a pleasant surprise to find such a high-end feel in a product priced around $100.

What makes these headphones especially suitable for drummers and those constantly on the move is their impressive foldability. They seem to be made of a durable, flexible material that withstands the rigors of travel – whether in a backpack, on a bus, or on a plane.

Comfort is another key feature. The soft cushions on both the ear cups and headband enhance wearability for extended periods. Plus, the cushions are replaceable, adding to the headphones’ longevity.

Sound-wise, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro delivers clarity that suits both studio and live settings. The only drawback is the cable quality. It’s noticeably less robust than the headphones and is fixed, which is a bit of a letdown. The curly cable design, while common, can become tangled and worn over time.

Best for studio
best headhones for drummers

Direct Sound EX-29 Great headphones for studio



  • Driver Size:40mm
  • Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance:32 ohms
  • Noise Attenuation:29dB
  • Weight:.72 lbs



Verdict – Direct Sound EX-29, initially crafted by a studio drummer, offers functionality specifically for drumming needs. They are lightweight and comfortable for long periods, thanks to a soft leather-cushioned headband and simple sliding adjustments. Their foldable design and a long, 9-foot cord make them a perfect choice iy you want to record drums in the studio.

A distinctive feature is the easily identifiable red-colored right earpiece. Each part of the EX-29 is replaceable, available directly from the manufacturer, which is a cost-effective benefit.

While these headphones isolate sound well (up to 37 dB) and have minimal leakage, suitable for studio work, the material quality is a letdown. 

They feel light and fragile, raising doubts about their durability, especially for outdoor use. Their aesthetic appeal is also underwhelming, making them less desirable compared to other models.

In summary, the EX-29 shines in its design for drummers, comfort, and replaceable parts, making them a good studio choice. However, concerns about their material quality and durability for external use, along with their lackluster appearance, are notable drawbacks.

Best price
audiotehnica headphones

Audio-Tehnica ATH-M20X Great comfort for less money



  • 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




Verdict – For beginner drummers on a budget, Audio-Technica ATH-M20x offers a great blend of affordability and functionality. These headphones excel in low-frequency performance, making them suitable for electronic drumming. 

They feature a modern design, comfortable ear pads for lengthy sessions, and detailed sound quality. The contoured ear cups enhance sound isolation, while the durable build and 3m straight cable add to their practicality.

Despite their affordable price, they deliver a clear sound with a well-filtered frequency range. The single-sided cable is a plus for professional use. 

However, they fall short in delivering clear audio at lower background frequencies, often muffling percussion sounds. 

They can feel tight, particularly for those wearing glasses or headgear, and long sessions might get uncomfortable due to sweat.

Lacking a travel case or replaceable ear cups, these headphones still stand out for their robust build quality and overall value, making them a solid choice for aspiring drummers focused on quality and cost-effectiveness.

Best for beginners
budget friendly headphones

Alesis DRP100 Great isolation on budget



  • Driver Size: 40mm
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 30kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Cable Length: 6 ft.
  • Weight: 0.8 lbs



Verdict – Alesis DRP100 offers an economical solution for beginner drummers, delivering decent sound isolation for both electronic and acoustic drum kits. While their sound quality isn’t top-tier, it’s more than adequate for practice sessions and live performances at this price point.

Lightweight and comfortably designed, these headphones stand out in their budget category. Their isolation performance is impressive for the cost, but the wiring quality and sound volume are moderate. They don’t project very loudly, even at maximum volume.

Priced around $60, the DRP100’s build is predictably heavy on plastic and not extremely sturdy, aligning with its affordable pricing. Durability may be an issue, but their comfort level is a redeeming factor.

In summary, Alesis DRP100 is a viable choice for new drummers seeking good isolation headphones on a tight budget, offering satisfactory sound and comfort despite some limitations in durability and audio richness.

How I Picked and Tested

In the vast world of headphones, especially those suitable for drummers, I embarked on a meticulous journey to select the best models. My selection process at major retailers was guided by specific criteria to filter through numerous brands and models:

Sound Isolation and Quality: I prioritized headphones with excellent noise isolation, essential for drummers to focus and protect their hearing. I looked for models offering a balanced sound profile, ensuring accurate lows, mids, and highs, and a frequency response ideally ranging from 5 Hz to 33,000 Hz.

Durability and Comfort: Recognizing the rigors of drumming, I sought headphones made from sturdy materials like metal for durability and longevity. Comfort was equally crucial, as drummers often wear headphones for extended periods. Models with cushioning and lightweight design (preferably below 0.55 lbs) were preferred.

Price Range: Budget played a significant role in the selection. I looked for professional-grade headphones within a reasonable price range, considering both entry-level options under $100 and professional models up to $300.

Brand Reputation: I leaned towards reputable brands known for quality audio equipment and responsive customer support. This included brands like Shure, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Direct Sound, and Audio-Technica, known for their reliability in the audio industry.

As a drummer and percussionist with over 15 years of experience, I’m deeply passionate about drumming. My insights and writings have earned recognition in Drum Magazine, reflecting my commitment to the drumming community. 

I focus on providing authentic advice and well-researched recommendations, drawing from extensive hands-on experience. My aim is to deliver relatable and informative content that supports drummers of all levels in their musical journey.

Drummer’s headphones buying guide

How much do headphones cost?

Headphones price usually ranges between $50 and $300. 

Under $50 – Usually plenty of random brands, but if you pay attention, you can grab decent JBL or Xiaomi earbuds or Panasonic on-ear headphones at best.

$50 – $100 – At this range, you can grab a pair of solid wired-on-ear or over-the-year headphones. It’s not unusual to find a great set of Bluetooth or bone-conduction headphones as well.

However, I don’t recommend experimenting with wireless or noise-canceling headphones at this stage.

$100 – $250 – The best “bang for buck” headphones are usually in this range, and no need to overpay. At this price point, you can find everything except advanced noise-cancellation headsets.

$250+ – At the highest price tags, you can expect 3+ drivers, advanced noise cancellation, and audiophile brands like Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, Bang & Olufsen, and others.

What determines the audio quality of headphones?

There are 4 factors that influence the headphone’s sound quality:

  • Drivers – Headphones with more drivers tend to have clearer and more precise sound.
  • Frequency range – With headphones that have a wider frequency range you should have a better sound (in theory). Industry standard is 20 to 20,000 Hz.
  • Impedance – The measure for impedance is Ohm. More Ohm headphones have they will need more power, so you might need an additional amplifier.
  • Sensitivity – It’s basically loudness. Headphones with 100 dB can play louder sound than the ones with 27 dB.
  • Isolation – Headphones can have passive (physical) isolation and active (software-made) isolation. More isolation means fewer outside noises.

Which is the best brand for headphones?

Brands like Sennheiser, Shure, Bose, Jbl, Audio Tehnica, and Sony have ruled the market in the past 3 decades. 

However, there are several new brands like Jaybird, Libratone, Beats, and others you should keep your eyeballs on.

Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones provide much better sound isolation. Since they have closed back, they prevent the sound from going away, so most of the music stays in your ears.

Open-back headphones offer worse sound isolation and keep less music inside the cups. However, they have two pros. 

One, they offer a wider sound stage, and two, the sound is more open, like you listen to music on a pair of high-quality speakers.

What is the difference between noise canceling and active noise Cancelling?

All headphones offer some level of “passive” noise isolation. In simple words, headphones physically block noises without using any technology.

With active noise cancelation, outside noises are blocked with the help of technology. 

Active noise canceling headphones use microphones to detect sounds from inside and outside. 

Then the chipset inside inverts the soundwaves, and they get “neutralized” on their way to ear.

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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