Best Headphones for Drummers
If you are a drummer, monitoring sound during recording sessions is crucial for ensuring proper sound quality and rhythm. Not to mention that dealing with the high noise levels to protect your hearing is necessary. But without the right equipment, this would be very difficult to achieve.
One of the pieces of equipment you’d need for monitoring your drum performance is a good headphone. And since we are now going to showcase the best headphones for drummers out there, this may be insanely helpful to you.
Our handy buying guide may also give you a little helping push towards the right drumming headphone for your needs.
Let’s have a look at the 5 models we’ve picked based on our research.
Best 5 Headphones for Drummers Reviewed
Let’s start with sound. The HD280PRO headphone features a frequency response of 8-25,000 Hz. While the human ear can’t hear frequencies over 20,000 Hz and under 20 Hz, the wide frequency response band in this headphone should have its benefits. Namely, the sound delivered by this headphone should have a fuller and clearer profile in the frequencies that can be caught by the human ear.
With a nominal impedance of 64 ohms, this headphone is neither a full studio nor a mobile device headphone. It is more suitable for mid-powered sound equipment, as well as some unamplified audio sources.
A very important thing for a drummer would be noise attenuation. The HD280PRO is excellent in this regard thanks to its 32 dB of noise isolation. In a studio setting, this would make your ears completely shielded from outside noise.
We also mentioned that this headphone is great in terms of comfort. This is mainly because it has fully articulating ear cups that can adapt to pretty much any head shape. And this is a thing that you may appreciate in prolonged headphone wearing.
Another great thing about the HD280PRO headphone is that its ear pads, headband padding, and the audio cord can be removed and replaced, which would allow you to get more service time out of it.
One common complaint is that it has seemingly boosted highs. This may make the bass sound less good in spite of the headphone’s good lower frequency range. Keep this in mind if the bass is crucial for you.
Up next on our list is Sony MDR7506 professional headphone. This headphone is simpler than the HD280PRO above, but it may actually be more interesting. Namely, it is a very light headphone, which may be a crucial thing.
In terms of sounding, this headphone is a little bit more limited than the HD280PRO. Namely, it has a narrower frequency response of 10-20,000 Hz, which roughly corresponds to what the human ear can hear. While this may make the MDR7506 sound less full and clear than models with wider response range, you should nonetheless get a developed sound with good low and high frequencies from this model.
The impedance of the MDR7506 headphone is nearly as much as in the HD280PRO – 63 ohms – meaning that they both are suitable for use with similar equipment.
In terms of comfort, this headphone is again slightly more limited than the Sennheiser model. Its power cord isn’t detachable, and the ear cups don’t rotate either. The ear cups are only foldable, which may limit the headphone’s comfort for some people.
However, the MDR7506 is a very lightweight headphone, weighing just 8.1 ounces. All other models on our list weigh around 10 ounces or more. If you do care about the weight of your headphone, this model may be an excellent choice.
In the end, in spite of its comfort limitations, the Sony MDR7506 headphone is a great option for drummers at an overall good price.
The variant of DT 770 we based our review on has an impedance of 250 ohms. This isn’t the highest impedance on the market – a few headphones have as much as 600 ohms – but it’s so much that you would need to have a pretty beefy amp to power the DT 770 headphone.
And when you do pair this thing with appropriate equipment, it does sound great. The DT 770 has a frequency response range of 5 – 35000 Hz, well beyond what the human ear can perceive.
However, this kind of frequency range makes the DT 770 headphone the best on our list in terms of overall sound quality. The bass in this headphone is also quite prominent.
Aside from a 250-ohm version, Beyerdynamic also offers 32- and 80-ohm options. The 32-ohm option is good for mobile devices, while the 80-ohm DT 770 is suitable for less powerful audio equipment. The specs are the same across all versions of the DT 770 headphone.
On the other hand, the DT 770 headphone isn’t the best on our list in terms of noise isolation. The 23-ohm version has around 20 dB of noise isolation, while the 80- and 250-ohm versions have 18 dB. This isn’t too bad, but for a headphone with such excellent sound qualities, we’d want to receive more.
In addition, even though the ear cups have some flex to them, they aren’t rotatable, which could limit their comfort. The audio cord isn’t detachable as well, unfortunately, but the ear pads and the headband are.
Overall, the DT 770 is an excellent headphone that is just a tad away from perfection.
This is mainly because this headphone has a lower impedance of 44 ohms. Such impedance would be suitable for less powerful amplifiers, as well as for use with mobile devices.
In terms of sound quality, the SRH840 headphone is great. It isn’t as good as the DT 770 headphone, but its 5-25,000 Hz frequency response range is more than enough to deliver great sound. While the SRH840 won’t have as great highs as the DT 770 headphone, the low frequencies should be similar.
When it comes to comfort, the SRH840 headphone seems to be excellent. Like it was with the Sennheiser HD280PRO, it is thanks to the fully articulating ear cups. In addition, the ear cups and the audio cord are detachable, which should contribute to this headphone’s longevity.
With all that being said, there are two downsides that should be mentioned.
First, it weighs 13 ounces, which is rather heavy. Most other headphones on our list weigh about 10 ounces. If you do need a lightweight headphone, the SRH840 may not be the right choice.
The other downside is the build quality of the headphone. It’s not the greatest, and we’d like to see more oomph to the durability of the headphone, to be fair.
But if you don’t really care about these minor downsides, this headphones may be an excellent choice for you.
Any drummer will find them to be very comfortable for long practice sessions or when recording music in studio. This is largely thanks to the big ear cushions filled with foam. However, they’re still quite lightweight at around 300 grams.
The cable length at around 1.8 meters is a bit short though, you should keep that in mind when you decide to get a pair of the KTUI26.
The 40mm speakers provide a wide dynamic range and with a frequency response of 20 – 20000 Hz, the KAT Percussion headphones are ideal for drummers and can be used both in the studio and outside.
With a passive noise cancellation of up to 26dB, even the noisiest environment would not be an issue.
At a price around $60, KAT Ultra Isolation Headphones are great for drum practices and well worth the price.
Things to Look for in Isolation Headphones for Drummers
Now, let’s have a look at things that matter the most in drum headphones. Obviously, we’ll start with noise isolation.
Noise isolation is a crucial thing to look for in a drum headphone. In order to focus on the sound, you would want no external noises to interfere, right?
Closed-back on-ear headphones – which all of the reviewed headphones are – are the best when it comes to noise isolation. They physically shield your ears from outside sound. However, some headphones do this better than others.
A more or less objective indicator of a headphone’s noise isolation capacity is noise attenuation measured in decibels. Needless to say, the higher, the better.
Some headphones also have active noise cancellation systems. They perform the same function as noise isolation but achieve it differently.
Namely, headphones with ANC have inbuilt microphones that pick sound from outside. Then, the headphone produces the opposite sound wave in order to cancel out the unwanted noise.
None of the reviewed headphones have ANC, but you most likely don’t even need it. Buy a closed on-ear headphone, and you’ll probably get more than enough isolation for your needs.
The frequency response is the frequency range covered by the headphone. It is represented by two numbers, e.g. 10-20,000 Hz, which indicate the range of frequencies delivered by the headphone.
The human ear can hear sounds in the 20-20,000 Hz frequency range. So generally, you should at least go for a headphone that covers this range.
Some headphones out there, like the DT 770 or the HD280PRO, have a frequency response range that goes beyond what the human ear is capable to perceive. While you most likely will not hear frequencies below 20 Hz and above 20,000 Hz, the added frequency range may actually benefit the overall sound quality of the headphone.
A wider frequency range gives the lower and higher frequencies more room to breathe. The sound will technically become fuller, which you may be able to detect in spite of the natural limitation of the human ear.
A thing that you should keep in mind with frequencies is that headphones output each frequency at a different volume. Some headphones may emphasize certain notes over others, like the HD280PRO does with the higher frequencies.
This isn’t a thing that you can determine before buying a headphone, unfortunately. To evaluate the desired headphone’s sound, you will have to listen to music in it or ask someone who has used it for an opinion. You may also read the reviews of the headphone’s buyers for some more perspective into how it deals with its frequencies.
Impedance is the electrical resistance in the headphones measured in ohms. There is no need for you to dive too deep into the physics of impedance. What you should know is that the higher the impedance, the higher the resistance is, and the more power is needed to drive the headphone.
Usually, headphones designed for mobile devices have 30-40 ohms of impedance. Pro headphones designed for studio use have a much higher impedance, which may go over 200 ohms and up to 600 ohms. Such headphones would require a dedicated amplifier device.
Lower impedance headphones use less voltage but require more current. The electrical current creates vibrations to deliver sound, and as a result, low-impedance headphones that draw more current have noticeable background noise.
So, if you mismatch a low-impedance headphone with a powerful amplifier, you will get significant background hiss. Besides, the headphone may just blow from the amount of power it gets.
On the other hand, if you use a high-impedance headphone with a weak audio source, you will get a very quiet sound. This means that you should match the impedance of the headphone with the output of your audio system, regardless of whether using a mobile device or a powerful amplifier.
Comfort is exceptionally important in headphones, especially in a studio setting. You may be practicing hours long, and a non-ergonomic headphone would probably result in some neck pain and headache.
All headphones usually come with headbands and comfy ear pads, so you probably shouldn’t focus too much on them. What you should focus on though is weight and ear cup articulation.
A heavier headphone won’t make your neck hurt necessarily. But overall, you should go for the lightest headphone that satisfies your needs.
As for ear cups, you may want to go for a headphone with articulating ear cups, especially if you have a big head. Such ear cups wouldn’t be restrictive on you: on the contrary, they would adapt to the shape of your head, allowing you to wear the headphone comfortably.
The opinion of others may be very demonstrative of a headphone’s benefits, but it is your opinion and taste that actually counts. You may dislike some headphone, but someone else might like them more than anything else in the world.
The point is that you should conduct as much research as possible before spending money on a drum headphone. Learn more about headphones. Consider what equipment you have. Test the headphone before buying if possible. In the end, a careful approach should award you with those best headphones for drummers.