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Drum alone to your favorite tracks with the best headphones for electronic drums.
Our Top Picks
Best overall: Sennheiser HD-25
“Lightweight, clear, and well-built – everything you'd want for electronic drums”
Best in-ear earphones: Shure SE215-CL
“An enduring classic – clear, flat audio with the durability to match”
Best budget headphones: Koss QZ-99
“Perfect noise isolation and low price make these the perfect budget buy”
Best noise isolation: Direct Sound EX-29
“If you want to drum without any outside interference, these are the headphones for you”
If you're playing electronic drums, you need headphones.
Sure, you can hook them up to some monitors but you most likely choose electronic drums to minimize noise, not increase it.
Given the importance of headphones to your entire electronic drums setup, I would urge that you don't skimp on this purchase. Bad headphones paired with a top-of-the-line Alesis or Roland kit will sound like a disappointment.
It doesn't help that drums are tough to EQ. You need a strong low-end (obviously). But you also need great treble performance given the way cymbals behave, especially on electronic drums.
Throw in the fact that you also need good noise isolation and comfort – for the sake of your ears as well as your neighbors/family/roommates – and you have a tough ask when buying headphones.
Which is why I put together this guide. I'll cover the best headphones for electronic drums for different budgets and needs below. Pick the one that describes your requirements best and start drumming!
The 7 Best Headphones for Electronic Drums
Here are my picks for the best headphones for electronic drums on the market right now:
Perfectly suited for DJs and drummers, the Sennheiser HD 25 is a great product with excellent audio quality and a very practical design. The HD 25 is a version specially designed for the 25th anniversary of the brand. For an under 200 price, here's a product with a simple but elegant design, incorporating all the acoustic know-how of Sennheiser.
I really like the style offered by this model. Both simple and stylish, this is personally what I often expect when trying out headphones or earphones. The headset can be connected using a cord that can be plugged into the right or left earpiece, depending on what suits you best. And there are very soft pads that are positioned directly on your ears (supra-aural type). On the two arches, there is a relatively thick padding ensuring perfect comfort at the level of the skull.
To manage the size of the headset, the headphones can slide directly along the hoop. The arc can lengthen or retract. The headband itself is relatively flexible, and the earbuds can be swiveled to free one ear at any time.
The headset is offered with only a 3.5mm jack cable. There's the absence of a second one that can integrate a microphone and a remote control. However, there's an adapter for stereo devices and a zipped carrying pouch. Also, note that the pads can be removed and replaced.
The sound is dynamic and precise. Everything is well balanced between the different tones and offers a truly faithful rendering. The pads provide excellent insulation against external noise. It is, therefore, great for audio professionals who wish to have precise sound without being disturbed by surrounding noise. So, whether you want to make your mixes, or if you are into sound recording, this is perfectly suited for you.
What I don’t like
If you're used to modern headphones, the HD25 can feel a little cheaply built. Some users have also reported sound shorting issues with a few units. Additionally, while the bass and highs are great, the mids are a bit muted.
Best In-Ear Monitors: Shure SE215-CL
Just above the SE112, the SE215 is the entry-level in-ear device and is the first in-ear monitor from Shure. This model incorporates a single transducer per earpiece and is rather reserved for professional use. After use, the Shure SE215 can be housed in the hard case supplied along with the rest of the tips, which can be attached using the small carabiner.
Remember that the in-ear monitors are intended for the stage. Their frequency response is therefore logically designed to offer a high cut, that is to say, a very strong treble attenuation.
The SE215 offers a nice stereophonic width and a good separation of the sound sources. However, the feeling of space could have been sublimated with a better response in the highs and extreme highs.
Passive isolation is another strong point of these in-ears monitors. This makes it easy to cut out surrounding sounds, even in noisy settings or places. Finally, another excellent point is the almost zero distortion level. This lets you have a very clean sound reproduction even at a higher listening level.
Shure offers optional and complementary accessories to the SE215. Among them, an adapter kit including an airplane adapter, a volume attenuator, and an adapter to 6.5 mm jack. The manufacturer also offers various end pieces as well as a replacement cable.
What I don't like
If you are looking for accessible in-ear monitors, the Shure SE215 may be a good choice for you. They offer good reproduction, excellent insulation, low distortion, and comfortable feeling. However, I would have preferred better fidelity and responsiveness of the bass.
Best for Noise Isolation: Direct Sound EX-29
The Direct Sound EX-29 is a sound and isolation headphone that is ideal for musicians and recording studio engineers. When testing Direct Sound's so-called “isolation” headphones, the main concern is whether their 29dB of attenuation really works and whether their sound quality will make them useful. However, I found the surprise in two fold. They sound really good, defined, neutral, and flat.
It captures voice or instruments in the foreground. You will no longer hear the clapperboard, or whatever you use as a guide, through the microphone, and it will guarantee a purer sample.
If you need to check some details with headphones, while mixing with your monitors, its isolation will help you avoid having to lower the volume of the main system.
Drummers and guitarists, mainly, will no longer have to put the headphones at full speed to guide themselves during the performance. The isolation of the EX-29 is such that it favors lowering the volume of your headphones without disturbing the external volume of your instrument.
Study-protected, as its isolation is passive, you will not need to be connected to use its “isolating” function. You will be able to spend hours in front of the instrument. It doesn't matter how noisy it may be. The headphones, therefore, provide good hearing health for students suffering from hearing fatigue.
The device has a 3.5 mm stereo jack with a 6.3 mm adapter. It has 500mW-rated input power with 1000mW maximum. The device weighs 326 grams with cable and connector.
What I don't like
The pair of headphones is made of cheap plastic materials. And while you would think this will mean the headphone will come at a low price, you're in for a rude shock! Even though it has excellent noise-isolating features, I'd prefer investing in a product that wouldn't break apart in the event of a fall.
Best Budget Headphones: Koss QZ-99
As befits Koss products, these headphones also look massive. The closed shells feature a large brand logo in a characteristic light color. On one of them, there is a knob to adjust the volume level, thanks to which you do not have to move from your chair to increase or reduce it. The function of passive noise reduction are excellent cushions made of artificial material, in which I think some delicate sponge was placed. Thanks to this, the Koss QZ 99 headphones literally suck on the ears without discomforting them. They perfectly reduce unnecessary sounds coming from everywhere.
You'll not have the impression that the headphones are about to slip off your heads. Additionally, the earcups are lined with a special sponge, the task of which is to filter noise.
A certain novelty in it is the signal switch – mono and stereo on the cable. Indeed, a useful feature of the Koss QZ 99 headphones is the soft and smooth sound, focused on the mid-frequency range. The presence of low tones is mainly noticed in the background of the music scene.
The treble was omitted, along with the unwanted distorted sounds. The elements necessary to properly perceive the full scale of the sound were also removed. It was undoubtedly done consciously, carefully analyzing the possible consequences.
What I don't like
The headphones literally “suck” on the ears, giving a quite tiring feeling. Also, the headphones are not loud enough. This could have been a much bigger issue if not for the passive noise-canceling ability of the device.
Best Earphones: Sennheiser IE60
Sennheiser is undoubtedly a flagship brand of Hi-Fi headphones. It was, therefore, to be expected that they would develop a range of quality entries like the Sennheiser IE60 from the IE series.
Sennheiser is used to beautiful packaging and never budges. From the unboxing emerges an impression of quality. After opening, you'll find in the bundle the headphones, an aluminum box, three pairs of tips, a cleaning utensil, and a clip for the cable.
The IE6s are supplied with cable conductors which clip onto them and guide the cable, which passes over the ear. The IE does not go very deep in the ear, it is an advantage for comfort, but it loses quality in terms of isolation.
Sennheiser engineers had to work long hours on this device. Designed in plastic and aluminum, it is remarkably compact; no space remains unused. Everything has its exact place – tips, cleaning tool, headphones. A magnet is positioned at the bottom of the sliding part allowing to keep the box closed without anything apparent.
What I don't like
It is difficult to say the sound of the IE60 is exceptional. Yes, the bass is there, the treble too. Still, between the two, there is a large hole, very empty.
Most Affordable Headphones: Monoprice Premium Hi-Fi Dj
If you are looking for good headphones for a comfortable price, give the Monoprice Premium a try. Now, Monoprice is not a brand that we usually associate with audio quality. But you can know how good these headphones sound at their low price. They offer great performance when compared to much more expensive alternatives from more established manufacturers.
The cables are often the accessories that tend to get damaged first in headphones. However, it is great that the 8323, despite the low price, comes with two cables (one extra long) and a 1/4″ adapter. The audio quality is very similar to the Sony MDR-XB920, which cost 3-4 times more; that is, there's an emphasis on low sounds, without sacrificing mid or high tones. They are not the most balanced headphones, but for those who like powerful bass, without losing clarity in the rest of the tones, the Monoprice is excellent.
It is easy to buy a high-end headset at a high price. However, this task is much more difficult with a limited budget. Aside from its low ability to reduce ambient noise, it is arguably the best cheap headphones in the world.
The best on-ear headphones should be the most comfortable and versatile in your collection. They must produce good quality sound with your 16bit/44.1KHz Hi-Def audio sources streaming on Spotify. And they must do so without sacrificing any audio frequencies produced.
While checking out this model, I realized that there are only a dozen headphones that can fulfill these functions (the Status audio CB-1 comes to mind, as does the Sennheiser HD201 and Audio-Technica ATH-M20X). However, the Monoprice 8323 Hi-Fi DJ Style is the cream of the crop. It is a bit cheaper than the others, but it has excellent audio quality compared to its price. Balanced and powerful, the Monoprice 8323 is the epitome of the title “Affordable Headphones”
What I don't like
You'd have to be careful while using this device if you want to keep it for long. This is because the Monoprice is made of plastic. It does not stand out much for its appearance, but they are incredibly resistant and durable. They were also quite comfortable, even after wearing them for several hours.
Best Multi-Purpose Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones deliver impressive sound quality that is very detailed and consistent. The construction is very clean and well finished. With a comfortable design, they can be worn for long hours. A multipurpose headphone, this is probably one of the best deals in the headphone market today.
There are two thick pads on the headphones, which can simply rotate along 2 axes to fit the shape of your head best. They can also fold flat.
In terms of weight, the headphones weigh around 290 grams. This does not make it an exceptionally light model; however, it is not a heavy model. The comfort level for this circum-aural headphones is, however, great. Be careful, though, like most of these headphones; it will tend to get a little hot on sunny days.
Even though Audio Technica's headphones don't include an external noise reduction system, the pads do a good job here. They allow you to isolate yourself from the surrounding world properly. However, it remains certain that headphones such as the Beats Studio 2013 or the Bose QC15 will isolate better. But here is a pair of headphones intended for indoor use. There's also an adapter to connect the ATH-M50 directly to your Hi-Fi system.
In addition to its solid design, the main advantage of the M50 is its sound quality. These headphones offer very well balanced sound and impressive detail. The bass is powerful without being exaggerated. I did different tests with many styles of music, and I was surprised by how Audio Technica's headphones sounded regardless of genre. There is not much to complain about the audio quality. You could easily compare this headset to some big names offered at 2 or 3 times its price. The sound is rich and well detailed, but most importantly, it doesn't feel like it's locked in your head.
What I don't like
There's no built-in microphone for making phone calls in this. The design is also not very optimized, so you could simply store them on the go. I also don't like the fact that the cable is not detachable.
Over to You
There are few situations where headphones have a bigger impact on your experience than when playing electronic drums. Use this guide to help you buy the best headphones for electronic drums you can find on the market right now.
For more recommendations and advice, don't hesitate to reach out to me here.
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- Need headphones for regular drums? Check out our top picks here