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We wanted to find out the best headphones for electronic drums in 2021 so we asked the users who play electronic drums professionally and also some sound engineers about their top picks of the year. The have shared everything in detail like what really matters from sound isolation to comfort level and some extra features that will take drumming practice to next level. We have listed everything below and tried to convert the headphones tech into plain simple English.
The 8 Best Headphones for Electronic Drums for 2021
1. Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones – Best Overall
Sony MDR7506 has been around for decades and has been known for its durability and sound quality. The materials used to make the base structure of the headphones feel premium and should last long. The weight of the headphones is mostly delivered through the headband, so your ears won’t be strained. The earpads also have thick padding, so they are quite comfortable. The padding also keeps audio leakage to a minimum. However, the earpads are a little subpar, but if they do wear out, you will be able to replace them quickly and cheaply.
The sound quality is what you would expect from Sony, simply outstanding. It is a closed-back, so you have excellent sound isolation. It has an impedance of 63 ohms, which puts it right in the medium to high range. The high impedance level reduces distortion at higher volume and also gives a more balanced sound compared to low-impedance headphones.
While you do get a carry bag, these headphones aren’t really meant to be carried around. This particular model even comes with a detachable cable, so you will be able to move around freely. While it comes with a standard 3.5mm jack, it includes a screw-on 6.3 mm plug. Therefore you will be able to plug them into any e-drum without worrying about which headphone port they have. The headphone uses gold connectors, so it has a better signal transmission. However, the cable is a little too bulky and coiled. You even get a carrying bag.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio Headphones – Runners-up
The Beyerdynamic is an excellent pair of headphones that is suitable for not only electronic drums but also for other audio equipment. It is available in three different impedance ratings: 32, 80, and 250 ohms. The ones with more impedance are more expensive. The higher impedance ones deliver better sound quality, but you will need e-drums with higher impedance rating if you want to power them. If you want to use it with your phone and laptop, get the low amp variants as the audio output will be meager with the other options. You will need an adapter if you want to use it with mobiles as it comes with a 6.35 mm jack, therefore won’t fit in the 3.5 mm jack on your phone.
This headphone has a frequency response between 5 Hz and 35 Hz, which is wider than most options in the list. Its closed-back design helps enhance isolation, but some users found the earpads to be a little too small to give a complete seal. The headphones are incredibly comfortable due to the generously padded headband and earpads. However, the adjustment mechanism doesn’t seem to be very durable. The other parts of the headphones are well made and are quite durable.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio Monitor Headphones – Value for Money
The ATH-M50x is a well revered closed-back headphone from Audio-Technica. It has excellent bass, and the closed-back design gives good sound isolation. You will be able to feel the reverb quite strongly. The 45mm big drivers deliver an extended frequency range while also providing great bass. These headphones are marketed over the years, but they are relatively small and tend to press a lot on the ears unless you have tiny ears.
You get two detachable cables with it, one coiled cable and another straight. The headphone is also foldable; this makes the whole setup very portable. The headphones are also capable of rotating 90 degrees, so you will be able to use them for single-ear usage comfortably. The metal headband is durable and flexible at the same time. Overall this is an excellent sounding headphone that will provide you value for money. These drumming headphones also come in many colors, so you’ll find one that catches your eye.
4. Roland RH-300V V-Drums Stereo Headphones – Best in Premium
Roland makes some of the top rated electronic drums in the whole world, and they have used that expertise to deliver a pair of headphones that are custom made for their drums. With these headphones, you will be able to bring the best out of Roland V-drums. But these are not limited to Roland’s drums; they can sound great even with electronic drums from other manufacturers.
The sounds are clear and crisp, and the 50mm drivers deliver incredible bass that you’ll feel in your chest. The set of headphones come with an extra-long cable, so you will be able to move around without issues. However, the earpads are not too good at sound isolation, so you will hear your sticks striking the drum pads quite frequently. The plastic headband and swivel bracket also feel a bit cheap for their price.
5. Sennheiser HD280PRO – For Small Heads
Sennheiser HD280PRO was released way back in 2003 and has since then gone through multiple design changes and feature additions that have kept it relevant. This is a studio headphone for electronic drums that has kept its users pleased for nearly two decades. It has a wide frequency range, allowing it to deliver precise and rich sound. This makes them great if you want to use them for mixing occasionally. The sound leakage is a bit heavy, though.
The earpads are padded and can be worn comfortably for long periods. They are also sweat-resistant, so you won’t be having to take them off when your practice sessions get intense. The overall design is relatively lightweight too. The headband padding, earpads, and even the audio cord is entirely replaceable. So even if there are significant wear and tear, you can easily replace them. The closed-back design also gives excellent isolation. The only possible drawback is that the cable feels a little heavy.
6. Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones V2 (SIH2) – Best Under $100
While Vic Firth isn’t generally associated with audio equipment, the company has still managed to deliver an incredible headphone with the SIH2. This is the second rendition of these headphones, and the new design can reduce outside noise by up to 25 decibels. These headphones are also among the cheapest options on this list. You will not find a pair of headphones with better isolation at its price point.
The inflated and quite large design of the SIH2 helps provide excellent isolation and provides enough space to mount the 50mm drivers. The large drivers produce powerful bass notes. The headphone is slightly heavy, but the thick padding in the headbands and ear cups help reduce the strain on your ears. The frequency range is pretty standard at 20Hz to 20KHz, typical users don’t require a much wider range.
7. KAT Percussion KTUI26 Ultra Isolation Headphones– Best for Practice
There is a good chance that you haven’t heard about KAT Percussion before, but believe us when we say that their headphones provide fantastic value for your money. It has excellent sound isolation, being able to reduce outside noise up to 26 decibels. The earpads have a generous offering of foam, which makes them really comfortable. The minimalistic design of this headphone makes it quite light. While you might think that these all seem to be standard specifications found in premium models, the KTUI26 is priced affordably, making it a great deal.
The bass is a little less powerful than a few others in this list due to the smaller 40mm driver. The impedance is also just 32 ohms, so you can use this pair of headphones to listen to songs on your phone or laptop.. If you can overlook the unimpressive bass, the KTUI26 will be an excellent headphone for your electronic drum that did not leave a hole in your wallet.
8. Alesis DRP100 – Best in Budget
Like Roland’s offering, The DRP100 has explicitly been designed for use with Alesis’s electronic drums. The large and well-padded ear cups deliver impressive external noise isolation. However, the 40mm drivers fall a bit short on bass. While it isn’t terrible, it indeed isn’t impressive. The lower frequencies are a bit better than the rest and sound good.
If you connect this pair of headphones to an amplifier, you will be able to boost the overall sound quality significantly. This means you must either already have an amp or should be willing to shell out some money to get the best out of these headphones. However, even if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on the amp, the DRP100 is one of the best affordable headphones for electronic drum kits.
The Complete Buying Guide for the Electronic Drum Headphones
Look for Sound isolation
Sound isolation is a critical feature as it will ensure that you will only hear the sound coming from your module and not the sound of your sticks banging on your drum pads. Without sound isolation, you will have to turn up the volume very high to block out the sound of the sticks. This is very bad for your ears. Active noise cancellation is another feature you should look out for. It eliminates most of the white noise in your surroundings.
Open or Closed Back
Open-back headphones allow sound to travel between your headphones and the surroundings freely. It gives a more natural feel and, more importantly, allows you to listen to what’s happening around you. This would be ideal when you are practicing in a band and want to hear what your bandmates are saying without having to remove your headphones. However, open-back headphones have limited sound isolation.
Close backs, on the other hand, provide the best isolation for your sound. It prevents bleeding of your music and makes sure that you don’t get disturbed by sounds around you. These are best when you are practicing by yourself at home. If you are stuck between the two, it is best to get close back electronic drum headphones.
Over Ear or On Ear
On-ear headphones rest on your ears and are typically smaller, lighter, and cheaper than over-ear ones. However, they exert pressure on your ears, making them uncomfortable and a little painful when you wear them for a long time. On the other hand, over-ear headphones do not rest on your ears; they instead surround them. This allows them to provide better sound canceling. You will be able to use them for long periods without any discomfort. This makes the over the ear headphones more suited for electronic drums.
Having comfortable headphones for your electronic drums is very important to be able to practice for long hours. Aching of ears should not be a reason to stop practicing. Therefore, look for headphones that have well-cushioned ear cups and headbands. You should also correctly adjust your headphones so that it fits you perfectly.
Versatility – How you want to use it
You probably do not want separate headphones for practicing, live performances, and listening to music. A single headphone that does all three jobs adequately will save you both money and unwanted hassle. Low-impedance headphones are best suited for this job as you will be able to use them with your phone. A high impedance headphone will limit you to just the electronic drum as smartphones cannot power them adequately.
In this list, we have looked for headphones that are specifically designed for studio work, so they lack a few features like microphones and a button that an everyday consumer will need. If you plan to use the same headphones for both drumming and everyday use, you will want to look at something with microphones and the ability to attend phone calls.
The length of a cable is something that deserves a lot of consideration. If you are a professional drummer, you will need a long cable to move around your drum set during recording and gigs. A cable of at least three meters in length is recommended. However, if you are only going to use the electronic drums for home practice, a shorter wire might be better for you. The other factors you need to consider are if the cable is detachable and whether the cable is coiled or straight.
There are plenty of other things you need to consider too. The drivers are an essential part, if they are too big, you will lose out on high frequencies, and if they are too small, you will not get good low-end. Medium-sized drivers are the best. It would help if you also considered the frequency range and impedance rating. The impedance rating is critical, as you will want to match it with your gear to get proper audio output.
If you are buying wireless headphones, the battery life is something you should look very closely at. Another thing to look for is replaceable parts. If you sweat a lot and are quite rough with your headphones, this is very good. Also, ensure that the headphones are of good quality, as you will want them to last a few years.
FAQ’s about Drum Headphones
Can you hear electronic drums with headphones?
Yes, you can hear very low sound of sticks hitting the pads on your electronic drum set. But If you are able to hear the 50% of sticks sound then your headphones are not has good sound isolation. We have ATH-M50x from Audio-Technica which will provide active sound isolation while allowing you to hear sticks hitting the pads.
What kind of headphones should you use for an electronic drum set?
The best kind of earphones for you to use for an electronic drum would be over-ear closed back headphones. The over-ear design will make practicing for long hours a comfortable activity. The closed back feature will mute the sound of your sticks banging on the drum pads. While you can compromise on a few features, sound isolation and comfort are very important for an e-drum headphone.
You can also read our article about best in ear monitors for drummers
Is the noise isolation feature important while playing e-drums?
Yes, it is quite vital. Unlike acoustic drums, when you strike your drum pads with your stick on an electronic drum set, the sound that comes is nothing short of unpleasant. It is just the sound of wood whacking on some cloth. If you play without noise isolation, you will hear this unwanted sound along with the beautiful music that comes out of your headphones. If you have noise isolation, you will only hear the fantastic beats and won’t be bothered by anything else. Therefore electronic drum headphones must have noise isolation.
So when it comes to choosing the best headphones for the electronic drum set in 2021, there isn’t just one pair that leads all way. When it comes to pure sound isolation, there is Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and Sennheiser HD280PRO. Moreover, they are also comfortable and durable too. If you use either Roland or Alesis drums then RH-300V V-Drums and Alesis DRP100 is one you should use because they are most compatible with them. Even though Roland headphones are more in the premium range while Alesis perfectly fit in anyone’s budget.