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If you are in a hurryyou can choose from these three

Best Headphones for Electronic Drums Under $50

Numark HF125’s

Pros
They are one of the best sets of headphones in this price range. At under $15 it’s hard to argue with the value they represent. The drivers in the HF125’s are 40mm and made from Mylar. Each ear cup can be adjusted to 7 different positions to suit all head shapes and sizes.
Cons
One downside to the HF125’s is that they feel a little flimsy and may be prone to breakage. I suppose you’d expect that with a low budget set of headphones like this. Sound-wise they perform admirably.

Best Drumming Headphones Under $200

Direct Sound EX-29

Pros
One of the best pairs of headphones for playing electronic drums under $200 are the EX-29’s from Direct Sound. Drumming is a pastime which often involves playing for hours on end without a break. In this respect, the EX-29’s are great to wear. There is a nice flat response from the drivers and plenty of power, especially when used with a headphone amp.
Cons
One criticism is that the pads around the ear have been known to come unglued in certain cases, but Direct Sound are constantly combating these minor flaws and the newer models supposedly don’t have this issue.

Best High-End Drumming Headphones - Over $200

Beyerdynamic DT1990 Open Studio Headphones

Pros
If you have no limit on your budget and are looking for some of the best headphones for playing electronic drums, then the Beyerdynamic DT1990 Open Studio Headphones might be of interest to you. These are studio-grade set of headphones. The design and execution are close to perfection. These drivers work at 250 ohms and produce full bodied sound across the aural spectrum. You’re paying for top-quality sound and durability here. This set would grace any high-end studio in the world.

In this article we will discuss some of the best headphones available which are suitable for use with electronic drum kits. There are a lot of headphones for drummers out there and we will try to narrow down this vast selection to just a few which you would do well to consider.

Electronic drums come with multiple options sound-wise. Some players prefer to use personal monitors or P.A. systems to hear themselves. Others like to keep the sound down to a minimum. For the latter case, headphones are the ideal solution.

Isolation

When dealing with drums, volume is often a big factor. The average acoustic drum set can produce extremely high levels of decibels. With electronic drums, we can control this volume to an extent with the drum module. The best isolation headphones for drummers using electronic drums will need to keep out the stick noise that is created when striking the pads and cymbals. Usually isolation is maintained by large foam pads which surround the ears and keep sound out, but there is also noise-canceling technology which can further reduce unwanted outside noise. We will return to noise-canceling headphones later in the article.

Headphones for Practicing Drums

When it comes to headphones for drumming practice you will want a pair that sound good, fit well, and keep outside noise down to a minimum.

Comfort is important too. Having a pair of headphones which are tight around the head may make for better sound isolation but it can mean a lack of comfort after some time. With cheaper headphones, comfort tends to be worse.

There are several price ranges for headphones which are aimed at electronic drum kit players and session musicians. Let’s first look at some in the sub-$50 price bracket.

Best Headphones for Electronic Drums Under $50

Sony MDR-V150 Monitor Series Headphones

The best headphones for playing electronic drums on a budget of under $50 throws up a lot of choice. First up we have a pair of Sony MDR-V150 Monitor Series Headphones. This lightweight pair is available in two colors, black and white, and comes with a fixed stereo miniplug. The 30mm drivers are capable of 18Hz to 22kHz sound reproduction. The sound itself is quite decent but they lose points for being fairly uncomfortable. All in all they are not a bad pair of headphones and can be purchased for under $30 in most stores.

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Nady QH-200’s

Next up are the Nady QH-200’s. This set comes with bigger drivers meaning they will suit a bigger head. This means these will probably not be a good fit if you’re buying these for a kid. The bigger drivers mean that there’s plenty of room for the pads to cover the ears, which leads to better isolation and a more comfortable experience. When it comes to connecting the QH-200’s to your drum module, you have a 6-foot cable with a minijack connector. They also come with a ¼ inch adaptor which you will most likely need.

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Numark HF125’s

The Numark HF125’s are another budget set of headphones which can be used with any electronic drum set. They are one of the best sets of headphones in this price range. At under $15 it’s hard to argue with the value they represent. The drivers in the HF125’s are 40mm and made from Mylar. Each ear cup can be adjusted to 7 different positions to suit all head shapes and sizes.

One downside to the HF125’s is that they feel a little flimsy and may be prone to breakage. I suppose you’d expect that with a low budget set of headphones like this. Sound-wise they perform admirably.

The Samson SR360’s

The Samson SR360’s are over-ear dynamic headphones with a lot of style. This set will set you back less than $20 but they look more expensive. They’re suited for kids over 8-years old and adults. For anyone younger than that, these headphones may not be an ideal fit. The headband is limited in this respect.

They have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz with their 35mm drivers. The build quality is good although the ear pads feel like they could come loose over time. The style and color of these headphones will appeal to many consumers and the price is very competitive. The cable is around 5-feet long so it should suit most electronic drum kit players.

Behringer HPS3000’s

Lastly in the under $50 category, we try out the Behringer HPS3000’s. These over-ear headphones are a popular choice among drummers. They’re well built with an easily adjustable headband and ear pads. They feel nice to wear and the padded headband makes for a comfortable experience.

The sound isolation is not bad too. Playing on a muted electronic drum kit with the HPS3000’s you can still hear the slight tapping of the drum pads but it’s barely an issue. It’s certainly not an issue when you enable the module sound or play along with backing tracks.

Best Drumming Headphones Under $200

Direct Sound EX-29

One of the best pairs of headphones for playing electronic drums under $200 are the EX-29’s from Direct Sound.

These headphones are big and sturdy but also comfortable. Drumming is a pastime which often involves playing for hours on end without a break. For this reason it’s important that your headphones are comfortable and are not annoying or irritating to wear. Sometimes it’s only a half an hour into playing before you realise how uncomfortable a pair of headphones is to wear. If you’re playing a live gig you can’t exactly take them off.

In this respect, the EX-29’s are great to wear. There is a nice flat response from the drivers and plenty of power, especially when used with a headphone amp. These headphones are ideal for practicing or performing in the studio.

As their name, Extreme Isolation, suggests – the level of sound isolation is very high too. You won’t hear much stick rebound when wearing these headphones. One criticism is that the pads around the ear have been known to come unglued in certain cases, but Direct Sound are constantly combating these minor flaws and the newer models supposedly don’t have this issue. The EX-29’s are available in white or black and with a short or long cable. The cable is fitted with a standard mini-jack connector and a ¼ inch adapter.

Sennheiser HD598

The Sennheiser HD598 are another good set of headphones in the sub $200 range. This set of headphones is tailor made for the studio and is ideal for practicing. There’s a nice crisp high end along with some full rounded bass frequency response which makes for a healthy kick sound. They’re quite comfortable to wear although my ears get a bit sweaty after longer sessions.

Like the EX-29’s you can get the HD598’s with a short or long cable. This is convenient if you’re tracking in the studio and need to run the cable a long way to the control room. For electronic players, this is usually not an issue as most drummers like to keep the drum module right within arm’s reach.

Vic Firth’s Isolation headphones

Vic Firth’s Isolation headphones have long been a popular product for drummers for decades now. Priced at just around $80, these headphones are strong and sound pretty good for the money too. They come with a mini-jack cable which can be plugged into your electronic drum module. These headphones also work well with portable MP3 players such as iPods or smartphones. They fairly robust and should last a few years with the right care and attention.

The downside to these headphones is that they have a design-flaw which won’t suit all drummers. The design of the drivers means that they sit directly over the ear. There is padding around each driver but for most heads this means that the padding is in direct contact with the ear. Over time this can get annoying as the pressure of the headband pushes the headphones against the ears. Other designs avoid this issue and Vic Firth would do well to follow suit.

ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica is a Japanese company that specialises in audio equipment for consumer and professional markets. Their ATH-M50x model of headphones has been critically acclaimed as one of the best in its class. The ATH-M50x’s offer exquisite clarity and exceptional low-end with a 15Hz – 28kHz frequency response. Their large 45mm drivers are housed in ear cups which can swivel around to allow one-ear monitoring in the studio.

For drum tracking the ATH-M50x’s are a joy to work with. Their padded ear cups make for a comfortable user experience and the headband is snug and fitting. Audio-Technica has done a great job with these headphones and the proof is in the listening. They’re ideally suited for the job.

Best High-End Drumming Headphones - Over $200

Beyerdynamic DT1990 Open Studio Headphones

If you have no limit on your budget and are looking for some of the best headphones for playing electronic drums, then the Beyerdynamic DT1990 Open Studio Headphones might be of interest to you. These are studio-grade set of headphones. The design and execution are close to perfection. They come with both replaceable ear pads and replaceable headbands for maximum comfort. The ear pads also help to alter the sound, so you can choose your favorite and even switch them out for different set when gigging.

The drivers are the 45mm Tesla Neodynium kind. These drivers work at 250 ohms and produce full bodied sound across the aural spectrum. You’re paying for top-quality sound and durability here. This set would grace any high-end studio in the world. Also included in the pack is two different length connecting cables and a premium hardcase.

Shure’s SRH1540’s

Another top-of-the-line option worth considering is Shure’s SRH1540’s. These headphones retail at around $500 so they cost slightly less than the Beyerdynamic DT1990’s. They are quite light in comparison to how they look. They’re made from aluminium alloy to keep the weight down. Also the caps are made from carbon fiber which ensures the durability of the SRH1540’s.

The drivers that Shure have provided with the SRH1540’s are smaller than the DT1990’s but you wouldn’t think so when listening to them. The frequency response covers from 5hz all the way up to 25kHz. Wearing these headphones is a pleasure and the build quality ensures that they will be around for a long time. Just like the DT1990’s, the price range is quite restrictive and in most cases the target customer will be professional studios and multimedia companies. That said if you get a chance, try them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones for Drummers

Damson Headspace

Noise cancelling is a relatively new technology but is already extremely common in consumer audio products. You will find noise-cancelling technology in many free pairs of headphones on long-haul flights and they’re now powerful enough that you probably won’t even realize you’re flying. The benefits of this are obvious as it means you don’t have to push the volume of your earphones quite so much to the max anymore and the same goes for drumming.

Small microphones in the ear cups sense the ambient noise and cancel this out by phasing. The net result is that you perceive a cleaner sound from your sound source, such as an electronic drum set. While noise cancelling headphones are a boon to the performing and practicing musician, they are not essential for playing with an electronic drum kit setup.

If you would like to experience noise cancellation the Damson Headspace is a good place to start. There are cheaper alternatives out there but this set has a number of cool features such as wireless bluetooth connectivity, a wired aux input, up to 16 hours of play time, and a carry case included. The headphones themselves are foldable which means they’re easy to transport too.

Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers

The Shure SE215’s

If you’re not looking for an over the head solution, there are a lot of in-ear options for electronic drummers too. Many studios will opt for drum monitor headphones but in-ears can also be used. The Shure SE215’s are one such option. They usually retail for around $100 online and can be used with any wireless pack or directly. The SE215’s block up to 37db of ambient noise which will help keep stick and pad noise down. There’s a nice clear sound from the SE215’s although they do lack the bottom end of a pair of EX-29’s or the Sennheiser HD 598’s.

KZ AS10’s

KZ AS10’s are a great value set of in-ear monitors which are ideal for drummers both live and practicing. KZ produce high quality, low price products aimed at consumers and professional musicians. The AS10’s are aimed at stage musicians so they’re a good fit for drummers. They fit snugly into the ear and are compatible with any wireless packs also. The downside is the cable is a tad short so if you’re looking to plug directly into your drum module you may need an extender.

 

When it comes to playing live most drummers will opt for in-ears over headphones. This is largely due to the comfort and the look. In-ears are sleek and unnoticeable from a distance. They also are often more comfortable to wear when playing long shows of 2 hours and more.

Conclusion

As you can see there are many, many options when it comes to selecting the best drummer headphones for your situation. Playing electronic drums is like listening to your fully mixed and mastered drum kit in real time. This is all the more reason to invest in a good set of headphones to hear the detail in all its glory.

Stick within your budget and weigh up the pros and cons. Consider what you will be using the headphones for predominantly. If you only use them for practice at odd hours and so as not to annoy the household then buy something suitable, but not too expensive.

If you are a live drummer and are planning on gigging regularly with this investment then you should buy a professional level set. You cannot take the chance of with cheap pair of headphones breaking or blowing mid-performance. In this case, invest in a suitable pair that will withstand the rigors of the road and will pay you back in no time at all.