As a the drummer in a band or any other formation you’re the one responsible for the tempo. And have you ever listened to a band that couldn’t keep a steady beat? It sucks – I tell ya. Now, you can easily learn to keep the time, but one thing that can make or break your job on stage is whether or not you can hear exactly what’s going on with the other instruments. And that’s where the best in-ear monitors for drummers come in.
It took me a long time to get my first pair of in-ear monitors. Not because I didn’t think they were cool – no, I craved a pair from the first time I saw one – but because I though they must be hugely expensive. Years later it turns out this was all an excuse for not doing my research on them. And since that time I’ve been happily using in-ear monitors for live gigs every single time. And I would buy them again and again – even just for the fact that they make you feel quite a bit more professional on stage.
So I’ve compiled this list of what I think are the 5 best in-ear monitors for drummers today. I looked into 12 models and chose the following 5 and I’m going to show you exactly why I did so.
The Best In-Ear Monitors For Drummers
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MEE Audio M6 PRO
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Westone UM Pro 10
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Audio Technica ATH-IM02
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Table of Contents
- The Best In-Ear Monitors For Drummers
- Audio-Technica ATH-IM70
- MEE Audio M6 PRO
- Westone UM Pro 10
- Audio Technica ATH-IM02
- Shure SE215-CL
- 1. Audio-Technica ATH-IM70 Dual Symphonic-Driver In-Ear Monitor Headphones
- 2. MEE Audio M6 Pro Noise-Isolating In-Ear Monitors
- 3. Westone UM Pro 10 Single Driver In-Ear Monitors
- 4. Audio Technica ATH-IM02 In-Ear Monitor Headphones
- 5. Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones
- Things to Consider When Buying Ear Monitors
- Questions? Comments? Your Story?
1. Audio-Technica ATH-IM70 Dual Symphonic-Driver In-Ear Monitor Headphones
- The sound is very clear through separation of lows, highs, and mids
- Good quality sound with rich bass
- Cable is extremely short
Size and Comfort: The Audio Techinca ATH-IM70 in-ear monitors weigh 3.4 ounces with the dimensions 4” x 2” x 6.5”. This pair of in-ear monitors is best suited to guitarists and drummers. It features soft ear tips which improve comfort for the drummer and prevent soreness after a long night on stage. Plus: the ear buds come with two sizes of earpieces and many buyers noted that this monitor stayed put really well.
Performance: The Audio Techinca ATH-IM70 in-ear monitors are used by many professionals and are the first for many of those. Picking the best model among the huge variety of monitors available seems to be a daunting task as you just cannot spend aimlessly on anything. Although pricey, performance is not something that need concern you with this in-ear monitor. Its noise canceling proficiency is the stuff of legends. This in-ear monitor will not only isolate sound and protect your ear drums, it also provides the wearer with high sound quality.
Sound: The Audio Techinca ATH-IM70 have crisp, clear, rich, and accurate sound owing to the built-in symphonic drivers. They provide a nice blend of bass and treble. Audio Technica enjoys a high user rating as it delivers a satisfying sound and the horn-shaped conductor pipe reduces acoustic radiation resistance.
2. MEE Audio M6 Pro Noise-Isolating In-Ear Monitors
- Great audio and physical quality
- Comfortable and sweat proof
- Materials used offer a custom fit
- Some users found that with frequent use,they wear out quickly
Size and Comfort: The MME Auido M6 in-ear monitors weigh much less than the Audio Technica model (0.6 ounces) while having about the same size (4.2” x 1.8” x 6.6”). This in-ear monitor is also built for comfort, not only featuring detachable ear buds that allow you to play without the constraint of cables but also including both comfortable foam and silicone ear tips.
Performance: The MME monitors are very-well rated in terms of performance and come with a few very nice additional features. The first of those is that the ear buds are detachable, allowing you to replace it in case it ever should cause issues. They are also sweat-proof so you can focus on giving your best on stage without worrying about breaking your monitor. In view of those features it’s a nice surprise that the MEE ring in at about half the price of the Audio Technica in-ear monitors.
Sound: Thie MME in-ear monitors with universal fit features noise-isolating technology that keeps the outside and distractive noises away and protecting your ear drums. This in-ear monitor produces great sound at a wide variety of ranges: rich depths as well as clear and true sounds at a higher pitch. In addition, the deep punch of bass produces a crystal clear and studio tuned sound which is enjoyable to use and will motivate you to play your absolute best.
Again, these MME in-ear monitors for drummers are an absolute steal. They are a powerful set of in-ear monitors that almost 900 customers have bought and almost all of them are satisfied with the performance. Therefore, this is my “Best on a Budget” in-ear monitor for drummers.
And if you don’t want to take my word for it, see what Ryan had to say after using them for more than one year.
3. Westone UM Pro 10 Single Driver In-Ear Monitors
- Crystal clear sound
- Easy to put on due to the comfortable ear buds
- Rough usage is not recommended as it may ruin the sound quality in time
- Short cable
Size and Comfort: The Westone UM Pro 10 are heavier and a bit larger than the other 2 in-ear monitors for drummers so far (1 pound at 4.2” x 2.2” x 7.2”)., but still this pair of in-ear monitors has been described by many buyers as very comfortable. This is because the package comes with multiple sizes of premium comfort ear tips which provide not only a custom fit, but also an awesome noise isolation. These in-ear monitors will also stay put as they are designed for over-the-ear wear.
Performance: For most drummers, the very basic thing to look for in a pair of ear monitors is the sound quality and noise reduction. The Westone UM Pro 10 are very well rated by professional drummers despite having “only” a single driver. Yet, that one driver seems to do its job well and provides clear sound in any frequency range. The result is of course: a more crisp and clearer sound. Apart from that, this Westone in-ear monitor is made of quality material and you’ll be able to use especially the cables for a long while. Plus: the Westones come with a two-year warranty and a cleaning tool for optimal maintenance.
Sound: Despite their tiny size, the ear buds of the Westone UM Pro 10 deliver big on sound. The dual drivers enable you to play a professional performance based on a clean, crisp, and sharp sound range. In particular this means: you’ll hear a well-rounded bass, considerable treble (if you choose too) and clear mids and highs. Because of their good noise cancellation, the Westone UM Pro 10 are a particularly good fit for very loud musical genres such as metal or hard rock.
4. Audio Technica ATH-IM02 In-Ear Monitor Headphones
- Great noise isolation
- Detachable cable
- Crystal clear sound
Size and Comfort: The Audio Technica ATH-IM02 are my best in ear-monitors for drummers. This pair of in-ear monitor comes at about the same weight and size as the other Audio Technica above (4” x 2” x 6.5” and 3.4 ounces), so they are easy to store and travel with. These Audio Technica in-ears come with silicone ear tips to give you a custom-like fit. You also have the option to use the foam tips that come with the package. Finally, the ear tips feature a seal for ultimate noise isolation and the ear buds are detachable from the cable in order for you to move freely behind your drum set.
Performance: Although the second Audio Technica product on the list, the ATH-IM02 has earned its spot here. It may be expensive but is one of the most used and bestselling items online. The sound quality, build quality, and the positive reviews from the customers make these in-ear monitors what I regard as best value for the money. To top it off, the Audio Technica ATH-IM02 come with the exclusive dual balanced armature drivers that produce clear, crisp, and pure sound.
Sound: These in-ears come with strong dual drivers and provide great isolation for a crystal clear listening experience. That basically means that the frequencies are generated by 2 separate drivers that, so to speak, specialize in their range of frequencies. As such, these in-ear monitors excel in the general sound department, with a particular strength at higher vocal ranges. Overall, the Audio Technica ATH-IM02 offer near perfect sound, coupled with comfort and the convenience of cable-free playing and therefore…
…these are my “Best of the Best” in-ear monitors for drummers. The Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 fulfill all the requirements that a good ear monitor must have while remaining comfortable and providing high quality sound.
5. Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones
- High-end design
- Protects against hearing damage/tinnitus
- Option to use cable-free
- The sealing ear tips can make this monitor difficult to put in
Size and Comfort: Like the other products on this list, the Shure SE215-CL are handy to travel with and highly portable (sized 3” x 2” x 2″ and weighs around 5.6 ounces). These in-ear monitors come with a variety of tips to fit any ear. The nozzle of the ear bud sits in the ear without exerting uncomfortable pressure, even after long use. Plus, the Shure SE215-CL feature a detachable cable, allowing you unbounded drumming whenever you need it. If you choose to wear the cable, the over-the-ear fit will ensure they stay in place and that the cables are out of the way.
Performance: Shure is known for manufacturing what’s among the finest audio equipment and these in-ear monitors are no exception. They are made of high-quality, rugged materials, which ensure longevity even with rough or frequent use. There are three color choices and the monitor comes with a one-year warranty.
Sound: The Shure SE-215 come with an acoustic seal that keeps them shut very tightly and prevents any outside sound from intruding. In terms of sound range, they offer rich bass and clear trebles so that the Shure in-ears are suitable for listening as well as for monitoring – be it behind the drums or any other instrument.
Things to Consider When Buying Ear Monitors
No matter what your purpose is when buying an in-ear monitor, there are always few characteristics or factors to consider. Remember that what’s very important for one drummer might not be crucial to you. So do make your own decisions but make sure to keep these things in mind when searching for the best in-ear monitors for drummers:
- Sound quality must be top notch. There is no room for more or less of it because you being a drummer cannot afford to have a bad sound in ears. The better the sound, the better you can coordinate with your band to play great music.
- Noise isolation is another factor to look for. The ear monitors must have the capability to reduce the outer noise thus focusing on the main music or the sound you hear directly. This will not only allow you to focus on the music without distraction but will also protect your ears from long-term damage.
- Ear buds are highly important in-ear monitors as the bad buds can ruin your ear walls when exposed to music for long hours. While banging the drums, sweating is natural and a good pair of ear monitor withstands it well to offer a comfortable atmosphere to the drummer.
- Look for a protective case and spare silicon ear buds to fit every ear size.
I hope that this guide will put you well on your way to purchasing the best in-ear monitor to achieve your drumming dreams!
Questions? Comments? Your Story?
Have you tried any of these monitors? Do you think I missed something? Let me know what you think in the comments below!