Let’s get straight to the point – if you can’t hear what the rest of your band is playing, then you’re ability to sustain a professional and soulful performance will suffer immensely. There is nothing worse than trying to lay down a drum beat when you are unsure of your place in the song, what the bassist or rhythm guitarist is playing, or what lyrics the singer is belting out. Without the best in ear monitors for drummers, you’re likely just muddling along as an amateur or generally do not take your band performance very seriously.
We have compiled our list of the top drummer in ear monitors. Keep in mind that this is the kind of product that you don’t want to go cheap on, but you don’t necessarily have to spend over a thousand dollars to have them custom made (although that is arguably the most ideal situation). It’s the kind of product you’ll want to consider a long term investment, something that will make you a better player and ultimately improve your band.
We are big fans of Westone products, and these are no exception. The dual driver balanced armature design is one of our favorite reasons to pick up a set. They rest comfortably around the ear and remain securely where they should be. The Westone UM Pro20 uses separate bass and high frequency balanced armature drivers to really bring the sound home so that you can keep rockin’ without worrying about sucking. The real beauty is the bass – exceptional quality and something many drummers really look for with in ear monitors. They also come with a variety of interchangeable tips to fit many different ear shapes, something that truly gives you confidence that expert craftsmanship went into making these. For the price you really can’t go wrong at all. If it’s music monitors – it’s Westone.
Let’s use a pun and crank it up a notch. Widely regarded as one of the best in ear monitors you can buy, the Westone W30 Triple Driver is highly rated and universally hailed by musicians. Many people like an extremely well balanced sound, with highs, mids, and bass all coming in very evenly and distinct. The only way to get that kind of clarity is to get a set like this. The old expression “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true when it comes to equipment you will be using on stage. Drummers will love this product as it beats the hell out of a wedge monitor any day, and the comfort and useability was perfect. If you are serious about putting on a great show and really meshing with your band mates, then you should make the decision to invest in a pair of these. If you are wondering what to buy a drummer as a birthday or Christmas gift, then this is the ideal item for you. Highly recommended.
What’s that?? A set of regular old headphones? Not exactly my friends. For those of your who are looking for total sound isolation, you are better off pulling the trigger on the Beyerdynamic DT-770-M-80. These bad boys include a single sided 10 foot connecting cable equipped with an in line volume control for maximum set up. They are quite rugged and perfect for taking with you on the road from gig to gig. This set is also highly rated for comfort, something that we can stress enough when it comes to electing the right headphones or drummer in ear monitors. No matter how good the quality might be, if they are stressing you out or causing an annoyance due to the lack of fit, you need to consider a different set. This type of headphone monitor for drummers also provides the added benefit of overall ear protection. When it comes to protecting your hearing, we take it very seriously and is the reason this website exists in the first place. For those of you looking for a more complete experience, this might be your go to gig monitor for drummers.
Once again, if your goal is to really isolate the ambient noise while drumming on stage, you’re going to one to choose the traditional headphone monitor such as those of the Pearl Precision variety. Complete with a gold plated 3.5 mm stereo jack and 1/4″ inch adapter, these are excellent quality and perfect for the drummer who not only cares about his performance but cares about his hearing. In ear monitors will never provide quite as much protection as the over the head variety, so you’ll have to work it out and determine what kind of person you are. In the right situation with the right equipment and sound guy, in ear monitors will be fine in most cases. Crappier venues and poorly designed stages might force you to consider to pick up a pair of these. If you want to be able to hear what you’re playing with excellent quality without sacrificing your health, we recommend you buy a pair immediately.
At the end of the day, the intelligent drummer cares both about his/her hearing and his/her performance. All of these products come highly recommended for both performance and protection. Feel free to neglect either of these if you are simply a causal musician who plays tiny bar venues once every so often as you honestly won’t get that much benefit out of the purchase. You might just be better of relying on the internal wedge monitoring system, and pray that you have a sound guy that knows what he’s doing. I don’t know how many gigs we have played where that wasn’t the case, but that makes it fun, right! Drummer iems are a wise investment for the smart drum player. Many drum forums will tell you to buy noise cancelling headphones of some kind, and we tend to agree. Custom in-ear monitors for drummers re the best way to go.
If you are looking to buy ear plugs for gigs, then check out our recommended ear protection for musicians. You don’t want to end up with tinnitus. You’ll regret it!