Best Headphones for Drumming in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On October 4th, 2022.
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A pair of noise-isolating headphones are essential for anybody hoping to practice the drums. Drummer headphones with satisfying sound and near-perfect isolation from their background can help drummers protect their ears while playing with the band.

So if you are a newbie or a seasoned veteran looking for alternatives, this article will help you find the best headphones for drummers. Here, I’ve listed products that span a wide range of budgets and performance characteristics. On top of that, I’ve listed their pros and cons and written a small guide to help casual and professional drummers figure out how to find the best drummer headphones.

With that said, let’s get into it.

Table of Contents
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Comparison of the Best Headphones for Drumming

Best Budget-Friendly Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the Alesis DRP100Alesis
DRP100
Best Sound Quality Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xAudio-Technica
ATH-M50x
Most Premium Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Beyerdynamic
DT 770 PRO
Most Comfortable Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the CAD Audio DH100CAD Audio
DH100
Best Noise Isolation Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the Direct Sound EX-29Direct Sound
EX-29
Runner up for the Best Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the KAT Percussion KTUI26KAT Percussion
KTUI26
Best Value for MoneySee On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016Sennheiser
HD 280 Pro 2016
Most Versatile Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the SHURE SRH840SHURE
SRH840
Best Mid-Range Headphones for DrummersSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony MDR-7506Sony
MDR-7506
Best Headphones for Drummers, OverallSee On Amazon
photo of the Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones V2Vic Firth
Stereo Isolation Headphones V2

Reviews of the Best Headphones for Drumming

For beginners or professional drummers looking for an affordable pair of drummer headphones, the Alesis DRP100 is an attractively-priced alternative. This cheap yet reliable pair offers decent sound quality and provides relatively stable noise isolation to combat those enduring drum sessions.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Frequency Range: 10-30,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 6ft 3.5mm (w/ 1/4″ adapter in the box)
  • Weight: 12.8oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: Unspecified

Despite their affordable price tag, these drumming headphones take up quite a lot of real estate. The ear cups are two rectangular cans, held together with a thin (yet sturdy) yoke and connected with a well-designed headband.

The sweat-proof silicone headband is wide and feels a little rugged, but it’s flexible enough to safely spread its weight around without hurting your head. Also, the headband has metal reinforcements.

These headphones create a tight seal around your ears, but the passive noise isolation is not the best around, and many users have complained that it is uncomfortable to wear after a couple of hours.

These headphones have a decent sound quality which isn’t great for listening to music but just “okay” for click tracks and helping you focus in situations with mild background noise.

What We Like

Budget-friendly price tag

6ft cord

Average sound quality

Know Before Buying

Issues with durability and build quality

Slightly disappointing noise isolation

Bulky

See On Amazon

If you’re looking for the most stable sound quality for drumming or mixing, there’s nothing like the Audio Technica ATH-M50x. Equipped with 45mm drivers and truly neutral frequency response, these studio-grade headphones are the best option for anybody who prioritizes sound clarity over anything else.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 45mm
  • Impedance: 38Ω
  • Frequency Range: 15-28,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 9.8ft maximum length detachable coiled cable
  • Weight: 10.1oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 11.45dB

The Audio Technica ATH-M50x is a true classic, and unlike most of the other drumming headphones on this list, the ATH-M50x is very stylish and compact, allowing the ear cups to fold and swivel.

Also, the ratcheted headband can accommodate adult heads of any size and hasn’t forgotten to include lots of padding. This headband and the ear cushions have a protein-leather liner material for more comfort and better noise isolation.

Although these headphones are very comfortable and don’t get too hot, their biggest flaw is noise reduction; hence, these do a disappointing job of isolating background noise. (Despite their close-back design and faux leather liners.)

That said, if you’re not playing in front of a live audience (or practicing drums in a coffee shop), there’s a better chance of listening to your drums or backing tracks with pinpoint accuracy. It has a satisfying frequency response with an audio quality only found in studio headphones of the premium price range.

If you’re interested, don’t forget to check out this article for a full review of the Audio Technica ATH-M50x.

What We Like

Excellent sound profile for drummers

Comfortable and stable fit

Detachable coiled cord with a maximum length of 9ft

Know Before Buying

Poor noise isolation

Somewhat expensive than conventional drumming headphones

See On Amazon

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO headphones are expensive, but if money isn’t a deterrent, I can wholeheartedly recommend these. These headphones are very viable for drumming because of their accurate and linear sound reproduction with sufficient passive noise isolation.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Frequency Range: 5-35,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 9.8ft
  • Weight: 10.2oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 13.8dB

The headphones are very comfortable, so if you’re a fan of closed-back headphones (and don’t mind your ears getting hot), the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO’s a viable solution for long-term drum sessions.

Although they don’t create a very tight seal or block out a significant amount of ambient noise, these headphones feature velour ear cushions and a headband for more comfort and long-term use. Also, the headphones feel very sturdy and have an impressive build quality that, in my opinion, justifies their premium price tag.

As I said, excellent sound quality is the defining feature of these headphones because of their neutral sound profile. The bass and mids are crisp and clear, while the treble may be a bit spotty — although it’s nothing too major when playing drums.

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO’s also one of the top contenders in our list of the best headphones for guitar amps.

What We Like

Breathable and comfortable ear cups

9.8ft long coiled cable (3.5mm)

Know Before Buying

Slightly disappointing passive isolation of ambient noise

Bulky Headphones

More expensive than regular options

See On Amazon

For the drummer who prioritizes comfort over anything else, I recommend the CAD Audio DH100 isolation headphones. These headphones may look funky, but they are ideal for long-term drum sessions where you want to do nothing else but toot your own horn (I mean drum).

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 50mm High Output Neodymium drivers
  • Impedance: Unspecified
  • Frequency Range: 10-20,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 3.28ft
  • Weight: 20.8
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 19dB

These headphones tend to be more on the heavier end. However, thanks to their wide silicone headband and neatly padded ear cushions (with a similar silicone-like liner material), you’ll have a stable and comfortable fit.

Apart from that, the earcups are snug, creating a tight seal that blocks a significant amount of ambient noise.

The thin wire yoke and exposed cables might make it seem a little fragile, but these headphones look and feel premium, and the frame does seem to be able to handle a few drops.

The sound quality of these isolation headphones is middling since the high-end (treble) tends to be all over the place. Thankfully, as long as you use these strictly as drumming headphones, you’ll have no problems.

What We Like

Highly impressive passive noise isolation

Stable and comfortable fit

Know Before Buying

The large foam ear cushions tend to make your ears hot and sweaty

The headphone cable could have been longer

Average sound quality

See On Amazon

If you’re looking for an optimal noise isolation level with decent sound quality (when it comes to drum sound), there’s nothing better than the Direct Sound EX. These headphones are comfortable, easy to use and create a great seal around your ears, allowing you to play to your strengths with the drum kit.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 40mm dynamic
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Frequency Range: 20-20,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 9ft detachable
  • Weight: 11.5oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 29dB

Right out of the box, these isolation headphones may look a little cheap (due to the plasticky design and rectangular ear cups). However, these over-ear headphones are no slouch as they can push out good audio and create passive isolation from ambient noise.

Unfortunately, the headband is not adjustable, but it is highly flexible and stretches automatically to fit most head sizes. The ear cups are pretty rigid and can only fold inwards (to make the headphones more compact), but because of the ear cushions, they fit comfortably around your ears.

The headband and ear cups are well-cushioned and lined with a protein-leather material.

Unfortunately, the sound quality is not up to par with the other aspects of these isolation headphones. The bass and treble ranges are noticeably weaker, while the mids are somewhat stable. For these reasons, I don’t recommend these for non-drummer situations such as studio work, gaming, and music.

What We Like

Detachable 9ft long cable

Impressive noise reduction

Collapsible design for more convenient storage and transportation

Know Before Buying

Average sound quality

Build Quality feels a little cheap

Slightly more expensive

See On Amazon

Equipped with a comfortable over-ear design, large foam ear cushions, and balanced sound, the KAT Percussion KTUI26 is closer to being the best headphones for drummers. Also, it is a well-designed pair of headphones that offer maximum sound cancelation for casual and professional drummers.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 40mm
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Frequency Range: 20-20,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 6ft
  • Weight: 15.1oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 26dB

These isolation headphones may not be the most imposing, especially with the thin wire yoke and exposed headphone cable, but it’s very comfortable and creates a solid fit around your ears.

Although the headband might look like it’s hanging on for dear life, the frame is quite sturdy and would have no problem fitting into most adult heads. The wireframe and headband are not manually adjustable (like those with a ratcheted headband), but they flex just enough for you to find a snug fit. The headband and ear cups are tightly-padded with a silicone/faux leather lining material.

The overall frequency response and the sound of these drum headphones are somewhat disappointing, and it’s the only complaint I have about this device. The sound profile isn’t warm and tends to get a little muddy; nevertheless, you can hear click tracks or backing tracks with enough accuracy. All things considered: these are okay for drumming, but I won’t recommend them for anything else.

What We Like

The passive noise reduction capabilities are spot on

Comfortable and secure fit

Somewhat affordable (mid-range) price tag

Know Before Buying

The sound quality could be better

The build quality is not very impressive

Bulky design

See On Amazon

If you’re very conscious about buying headphones (and don’t want to spend extra on dedicated drumming headphones), the Sennheiser HD280 Pro studio headphones might be worth your time and money.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: Dynamic
  • Impedance: 64Ω
  • Frequency Range: 8-25,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 9.8ft
  • Weight: 20.48oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: Approx 12dB

These studio headphones are well-designed and feature the conventional headphone design with a sturdy plastic yoke and hidden cables.

The ear cups and the underside of the headband have decent amounts of cushioning, and they create a somewhat comfortable and secure fit. Unfortunately, they have resorted to the wrinkled-looking faux leather liner, which, in my opinion, has a lot of flaws.

For example, the earcups are not the most comfortable, and many users will have to spend a week or so breaking them in. Also, the close-backed ear cups are not highly breathable and don’t create a firm seal around your ears.

Despite all this, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro’s have an organic sound profile which is okay for drumming and studio work. The bass and mids are right on the money, and although the treble can be a bit off, it’s still salvageable.

Overall, I would say these headphones are decent for drummers, sound engineers, and casual users for any use situation, provided they find a comfortable fit.

What We Like

Good Sound Quality

Respectable Price Tag

Collapsible design for easier storage/transportation

Know Before Buying

Weak Passive Noise Isolation

Issues with Comfort and Breathability

The design looks a bit cheap and outdated

See On Amazon

For drummers, sound engineers, DJs, and recording studios, the SHURE SRH840 is a highly viable option. They are professional-grade headphones that deliver clear sound in a neat design that is comfortable and reliable.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 40mm Neodymium
  • Impedance: 44Ω
  • Frequency Range: 5-25,000Hz
  • Cable Length: 9.8ft long cable (detachable)
  • Weight: 11.2oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: Approx 12 dB

SHURE is a well-known brand among many industry professionals, and its headphones and IEMs are known for delivering balanced sound within a comfortable and reliable enclosure.

The same goes for the SHURE SRH840; these over-the-ear headphones feature a plastic frame with thick yokes, headbands, and earcups. As a result, these look like a pair of regular mid-range studio headphones.

The headband and the earcups have a decent amount of padding (although I wish there would be more) with a rugged faux leather material (the wrinkly kind). Despite this, they are somewhat comfortable and would automatically adjust to accommodate your head — without putting too much clamping force.

Although I wouldn’t go so far as to call these “excellent sound quality studio headphones,” these devices have a satisfying sound profile with a frequency response curve that resembles the target curve. Overall, it’s good enough for drumming, studio work, and other casual situations.

What We Like

Good Sound Quality

Decent noise reduction

Detachable cable

Know Before Buying

Somewhat expensive

Issues with durability

It Looks a bit cheap

See On Amazon

The Sony MDR 7506 is a well-designed pair of headphones ideal for drumming and studio work. These cans spit out extremely accurate noise while remaining comfortable and breathable during those long hours in the studio or the recording booth.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 40mm Neodymium
  • Impedance: 63Ω
  • Frequency Range: 10-20,000Hz
  • Cable Length: Almost 10ft long coiled cable
  • Weight: 7.36oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: Approx 11.75dB

The Sony MDR 7506 headphones feature a thin elastic headband with well-stitched cushions and a protein leather lining. Meanwhile, the ear cups have decent padding with a rugged wrinkly faux leather liner material.

Regardless of the thin ear cups and headband, these headphones are surprisingly airy and do an “okay” job of fitting inside your ears. So as long as you’re not working out, you can wear these headphones for hours.

The frequency response of these headphones is surprisingly flat, with all three frequency ranges staying true to the ideal target curve. So thanks to their “clear sound,” these headphones are one of the best to play drums with (and even for other professional applications such as studio mixing, podcasts, voiceover work, etc.).

What We Like

Impressive price-to-performance ratio

Mostly flat and accurate sound profile

Know Before Buying

Somewhat disappointing at external noise reduction

The headphones look a bit outdated

Non-detachable cable

See On Amazon

The Vic Firth isolation headphones are the ultimate drummer headphones. These devices block vast amounts of external sound and allow drummers to fine-tune their music and listen to click tracks or backing music with impressive accuracy. They are a must-have for any serious drummer.

See On Amazon

Specs

  • Drivers: 50mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Frequency Range: 20-20,000Hz
  • Cable Length: Approx 6ft long non-detachable
  • Weight: 11.9oz
  • Passive Noise Attenuation: 25dB

These headphones are bulky, and their oversized ear cups would make you look a little goofy. Regardless, the ear cups create a firm seal around your ears and do amazingly well with reducing external noise.

The ear cups have just enough padding, and these cushions have a silicone-like material for the liner. The headband may look flimsy, especially with the “barely hanging on” yoke and exposed headphone cables, but they are durable and don’t break easily.

The headphones pump out high-quality sound, which is ideal for electronic and acoustic drums. There’s a relatively stable sound profile with the ear cups safeguarding your ears.

Because of the tight seal on these Vic Firth drum headphones, users might face issues with the ears getting hot, so I recommend taking regular breaks as much as possible.

What We Like

Excellent at reducing outside noise

Satisfying sound profile with clear bass and mids

Good value for money

Know Before Buying

Bulky and difficult to store/transport

A coiled cable would have been better

See On Amazon

Buying Guide for the Best Headphones for Drumming

External Sound Isolation

One of the primary reasons drummers go for closed-back headphones is because of their passive noise-canceling properties.

Close-backs (regardless of wired or wireless headphones) are used in the music industry to keep their ears safe from high-intensity noise from percussion instruments. So in our case, it’s to reduce the sound intensity for whoever’s playing drums.

The best way to identify headphones with clear sound and impressive background noise isolation are to look at the passive noise reduction/attenuation spec. This specification uses decibels (dB) to mention the volume intensity the ear cups can shut out.

We’ve gone through several options on this list, from versatile studio headphones to dedicated drummer headphones. From this list, the “jack-of-all-trades” close-backed headphones tend to have lower background noise attenuation levels ranging around 10-20dB. Meanwhile, isolation headphones can reach higher levels of ambient noise attenuation averaging around 25dB.

High noise reduction is better for drummers, but you might have trouble interacting with the band members or the audience. So this may come down to personal preference.

Don’t understand the difference between noise cancelling and noise isolation? Check out this article.

drummer with headphones

Sound Quality

Although you don’t need audiophile levels of high-resolution audio to play and record acoustic/electronic drums, it never hurts to have a pair of headphones with truly accurate sound quality.

Luckily, most studio-grade and isolation headphones offer decent frequency responses with rich and clear sound to identify different drum notes, tempos, and patterns.

Since there’s no absolute measurement for sound quality, I recommend going for headphones with a very stable and flat frequency response curve.

Here’s a more in-detailed guide on frequency range and response graphs.

Cable Length

Wireless headphones aren’t reliable for studio work, and since drummers will be sitting in one place anyway, they don’t need wireless functionality.

However, they do need an aux cable that’s long for the headphone amplifier or mixer, and that’s why headphones with longer cables will never go out of style.

Therefore, I recommend headphones with detachable cables or a non-detachable pair with a sufficiently long (6ft+) coiled cable. A longer cable will have more reach, and a coiled cable won’t get tangled up so easily.

Comfort

Apart from “amazing” sound quality, complete isolation from ambient noises, and a sizeable coiled cable, the next big thing you need from the best drumming headphones is comfort.

Most low-mid tier drummer headphones are not very durable, nor are they comfortable enough for continuous long-term use; hence, you won’t be able to play for more than two hours without pain. Instead, it’s better to go for high-quality sound headphones, which are also comfortable to wear for long hours.

Similar to sound quality, comfort also differs from person to person, but as long as these headphones have high-quality cushions and enough padding on the headband and ear cups, you’ll do okay for the most part.

Common Questions Regarding the Best Headphones for Drumming

Which are better for drummers? IEMs or Over-the-Ear Headphones?

For drummers, in-ear monitors or in-ear headphones won’t provide the same level of protection as over-ear headphones. Therefore, it’s better to go for over-ears, despite being larger devices with less room for your ears to breathe.

Do I need Active Noise Cancellation for Drumming?

Although ANC headphones block external sounds to some degree, they cannot keep up with acoustic and electronic drums; hence, active noise cancellation technology is not very effective at blocking sound and noise isolation from rapidly-changing beats.

Therefore, drummers won’t be at an advantage with ANC headphones.

Gold plates and headphones from the drum set in the recording Studio. Professional drummers play recording

Can I Use Drumming Headphones for Casual Use?

Yes, but they aren’t ideal.

Drumming headphones (in other words: isolation headphones) have a flat response curve and increased passive noise reduction features. Although the prospects of studio-grade sound and noise isolation may sound good, they aren’t ideal for casual music listening or gaming.

For casual use, I recommend listening devices that run at an affordable price, particularly budget headphones that are under $200.

How Much Sound Isolation Do I Need?

The best isolation headphones are ones with passive noise attenuation of around 20-25dB. These headphones have impressive noise reduction capabilities, allowing you to focus more on your drumming.

Sadly, while wearing these headphones, you will have less situational awareness, so coordinating with the band or running from a fire will prove difficult.

Conclusion

Best Budget-Friendly Headphones for Drummers
Best Sound Quality Headphones for Drummers
Most Premium Headphones for Drummers

Even though you can use casual close-backed headphones for drumming, it is not the standard since drummer headphones (apart from reproducing accurate sound) also protect your ears against the heavy clash of percussion instruments.

Depending on the degree of noise isolation and sound clarity, you can go for studio close-backs or dedicated isolating headphones; both are viable options that allow drummers to excel during a live performance or recording session.