6 Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers in 2020 – with Buying Guide

[TOC] During a live performance, the stage usually fills with a cacophony of sounds. As such, it makes it difficult for a drummer to hear the sound of his drum set. The drummer may also not be able to tell whether he is on key or off-key with the other band members.

As such, he requires the best in-ear monitors to be in harmony with the rest.  In-ear monitors sit inside the ear canal and help in noise isolation. They ensure that the drummer hears no other sound other than the one he wants to hear.

This article will help you with the review of some of the best in-ear monitor headphones in the market.

CHART With Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers

 IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS BUY
 1. Etymotic Research ER4SR – Best for quality and precision
  • Sleek, laser-etched aluminum body
  • Braided, detachable MMCX cables
  • 35-42 dB of noise isolation
2. Audio-Technica ATH-E70 In-Ear Monitor – Best comfort fit
  • Three balanced armature drivers
  • Flexible memory cable loops
  • Detachable cable
3. MEE audio M6 PRO – Best value for money
  • Seven pairs of ear tips
  • Universal-fit
  • Flexible “memory wire” ear hooks
4. Westone UM Pro 30 In-Ear Monitors – Best full bass sound
  • Triple balanced-armature drivers
  • Silicone foam ear tips
  • Quality MMCX Audio Twisted Cable
5. Etymotic Research ER4P-T In-Ear Monitors – Best noise Isolation
  • Triple balanced-armature drivers
  • Silicone foam ear tips
  • Quality MMCX Audio Twisted Cable
6. Audio-Technica ATH-E40 In-ear Monitors – Best sound quality
  • Dual phase push-pull drivers
  • Flexible memory cable loops
  • Detachable Cable

Review of each In-Ear Monitors

1. Etymotic Research ER4SR – Best for quality and precision

Etymotic Research ER4SR – Best for quality and precision

Things we liked

Highly strong and durable
Offers high performance and has armature drivers for precision
It is sleek and stylish
Offers excellent noise isolation

Things we didn’t like

Quite expensive

Etymotic is among the new entrants in the music products market. It is famous because its products are of high quality. ER4SR comes in a hard shell carrying case. Also included in thepackage is a user manual, filter removal tools, and a cable clip. You will also find six pairs of ear tips.

If you desire nothing less than fidelity, ER4SR is your earphone of choice. It is common and has high ratings because it delivers increased accuracy with greater sensitivity. Its channels are also precision matched.

Another beautiful feature is that these earphones fit perfectly well into your ears. As such, you get good noise isolation.

It also comes in slim and smart housing design. This feature is critical because it helps to avoid any slips or poor grips as you play your drum.

The body of this earphone is of smooth aluminum. As such, It’s one of the strongest and durable brands in the market. That is good news since you will not require buying ear monitors from time to time.

As a drummer, you also do not need a monitor that breaks every time you remove the filters to clean it. The aluminum body of ER4SR appears to have taken care of just that. It is not easily breakable.

 The other key feature that you would be happy to know is the length of the audio cable attached. It is as long as 5-feet, easily moldable, and very sturdy. You can also easily replace the cable if it gets torn or after continued use.

About connecting these ear monitors, you can use a 3.5mm jack. Besides, in case you desire to connect it to other audio equipment, it comes with a ¼” adapter.

ER4SR offers a unique sound to the drummer ear. You will surely enjoy it as you play your drums.


2. Audio-Technica ATH-E70 In-Ear Monitor – Best comfort fit

Audio-Technica ATH-E70 In-Ear Monitor – Best comfort fit

Things we liked

It has a flexible memory cable
It offers your ears a firm grip
It comes with three balanced armature drivers
It is durable
It produces high-quality sound

Things we didn’t like

The earbuds may slip for some users

The ATH-E70 is among the best in ear monitors for drummers.

One key feature of this ear monitor for drummers is the three balanced armature drivers. The drivers ensure that you get a highly accurate and extended response.

Its flexible memory cable is another feature you will like about it. It has a nice loop that helps it to fit perfectly into your ear. As such, you can use it for a long time without it getting loose.

The package includes silicon and memory ear tips. You will also find stereo adapter plugs if you want to use it to plug into many instruments.

This in-ear monitor headphone will provide you with a very clear quality sound. It also offers you excellent noise isolation.

Its frequency range is 20-19000 hertz. Besides, it comes with a nominal impedance of only 39 ohms.

For drummers who have low-output devices, you can still use this earphones. Amazingly, it will give you the same high sound quality.

In most cases, you will not be able to go beyond the 50 percent volume because the sound will be too loud. However, this earphone will still offer you a sound that has no distortion or rumbling.

The ATH-E70 is quite durable and has plenty of power. It also offers you deep bass and treble.

At first glance, you may not like the physical design of this in-ear headphone. However, after putting them inside your ears, you will surely love them.


3. MEE audio M6 PRO – Best value for money

MEE audio M6 PRO – Best value for money

Things we liked

It comes in a great design
It produces a clean and fast sound
It comes with lots of accessories
It produces a strong, punchy bass
It comes with both stereo and headset cable

Things we didn’t like

Physical appearance not so appealing
Provides a flat background detailing

The Mee audio M6 Pro in-ear monitors are very durable.

Unlike many other in-ear monitors, it comes with an in-line remote. This feature makes them look very premium. Its cable is a significant improvement from the one for the old M6.

Its cable has a rubbery texture and springiness that prevents it from getting tangled. The new silver braided sheathed cable looks even nicer.

These in-ear monitors will offer you a balanced and quality sound. If you have ever used the older model M6, then these new models are decently versatile. Their sound is more refined and improvement of the older M6.

The Mee audio M6 Pro is one of the most comfortable fit in-ear monitors for drummers. They come with memory foam ear tips that greatly enhance their comfortability.

You will also like this in ear monitor because of its ear hook design. This design makes them less flimsy and can fit your ears more securely.

However, they may not be ideal for use for long hours compared to other most costly in ear monitors for drummers. After having them for a while, you may start feeling some fatigue in your ears.

The Mee audio M6 Pro also comes with an easy-to-use control scheme. You can use this to perform basic functions such as call or music track skipping and volume control. 

One other important feature worth noting bout these in-ear monitors is their portability. They can fit comfortably in your pockets. They also come with a very portable case, hence very convenient for commuting.

Looking at its price range, the Mee audio M6 Pro is very pocket-friendly compared to other in-ear monitors in the market. If you intend to get a good in ear monitor without spending much, this could be your best option.


4. Westone UM Pro 30 In-Ear Monitors – Best full bass sound

Westone UM Pro 30 In-Ear Monitors- Best full bass sound

Things we liked

Comes with Triple balanced armature drivers
It is compact
It is highly durable
It comes in a stylish design
Comes with an easily moldable twisted MMCX audio cable
Has  a two-year warranty

Things we didn’t like

Quite expensive

Westone UM Pro 30 is another of the best in ear monitors for drummers. It comes with multiple features that are very useful for any drummer.

One feature that endears it to many drummers is its rich and full bass sound. This feature is crucial if you are a drummer who loves to get that punch sound.

You would also be happy to note that this bass sound does not interfere with mids’ sound.

This in-ear monitor also comes with moldable memory wire. It is flexible, and you can easily shape it to your ear to get a tight and comfortable fit. After fixing them securely in your ears, they are very comfortable, and you can last for long hours.

These in-ear monitor headphones also come with True-Fit foam ear tips and STAR silicone sleeves. As such, you will have a variety of options to have your personalized fitting.

Among the available silicone sleeves is a mid-sized one. This sleeve will offer a deep and tight fit to ensure you have a secure fit.

If you travel a lot, you need not worry about the safety of your in-ear monitors. These in-ear monitor headphones come with a classic Westone orange carrying case.

The case ensures that your earphone remains protected as you travel. The in-ear monitor headphones also come in a rock-solid construction. As such, they can withstand any harsh use over a long period.

Another feature worth noting is the USA made UM Pro line. It is durable and will last you for several years.


5. Etymotic Research ER4P-T In-Ear Monitors – Best noise Isolation

Etymotic Research ER4P-T In-Ear Monitors - Best noise Isolation

Things we liked

Offers high performance with better noise isolation
Also perfect for audiophiles and sound engineers
They are a comfortable fit
They offer a secure grip
Come with exclusive braided cables

Things we didn’t like

The cord is slightly heavy

ER4P-T is another name that features among the best in-ear monitors. You will love this in-ear monitor because of its fantastic noise isolation features.

It is also very popular thanks to its unrivaled sound quality. The audio output of this in-ear monitor is of professional quality. Moreover, it comes with a lightweight profile that is very comfortable.

Another feature that makes it very popular for drummers is its ACCU Driver balanced armature drivers. Thanks to these drivers, this in-ear monitor produces much realistic audio.

 Its sound quality is 86 percent more accurate compared to other in-ear monitors. It also comes with a braided cable that helps to reduce the microphonic effect.

This in-ear monitor for drummers also comes with replaceable filters. The filters protect the drivers form earwax as well as other debris.

This in-ear monitor is also common with performing musicians, recording engineers, and audiophiles. It offers a response that is almost similar to that of most monitor loudspeakers.

You can also use them with a headphone amplifier. The in-ear monitor headphones come in three model designs to ensure that they meet your specific listening needs.


6. Audio-Technica ATH-E40 In-ear Monitors – Best sound quality

Audio-Technica ATH-E40 In-ear Monitors – Best sound quality

Things we liked

Offers a nice comfort fit
Has a significant impedance of 10ohms
It has excellent noise isolation
It is durable
You can connect it to any device that has an audio jack

Things we didn’t like

Some customers have had ear irritations after using them

The ATH-E40 is also among the best and popular in-ear monitors. It is popular with drummers for its accurate and precise sound quality.

The sound quality is all thanks to its dual phase drivers. The drivers monitor applications to ensure that the sound is accurate, precise, and exceptional.

The ATH-E40 is also a comfortable fit in-ear monitor headphone that comes with a flexible memory cable. With the cable looping over your ears, it offer you a comfortable fit.

You may consider this in-ear monitor if you are a drummer who loves to get the punch from your drumming. It delivers a powerful bass as well as balanced mid and high frequency range.

This in-ear monitor headphone is also excellent in sound isolation. It achieves this through its housing that comes in a unique design. The design provides maximum isolation, and you can simply focus on your music. 

This in-ear monitor headphones will also offer you an optimized audio performance. It comes with a detachable 1.6 m cable that has newly developed A2DC connectors.

To make the deal even juicer for any drummer, it comes with additional accessories. They include a carrying case, a 6.3 mm adapter, and silicone ear tips.

Its audio jack connecter is also an amazing feature worth noting. It is a gold-plated 3.5mm jack that has an L-shape.

It does not stop at that: its design allows you to connect it to any device that has an audio jack. It also allows you to use it with other music instruments by the use of a convertor.


Buyers Guide for Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers

Whether you play bass, acoustic or electric drums, a pair of an in-ear monitor is an incredible addition to your drumming accessories.

The ear monitors help you to improve coordination and maintain focus on playing. They also protect your ears from noise damage.

Choosing the right pair is a bit tasking, especially if you are not conversant with the different types. Below are vital factors to consider when buying in-ear monitors for drummers.

1. Wireless or Wired?

Conventionally, drummers solely relied on the wired in-ear monitor system. Thanks to technological evolution because we now have wireless ear monitors with Bluetooth connectivity.

Both wireless and wired earphones have merits and demerits. When shopping for one, you need to consider your requirements and usage.

Moreover, if wired, it has higher reliability, but only if you buy a high-quality one. Also, it is less expensive than its wireless counterpart. Nonetheless, a wired in-ear monitor confines you to a limited position on stage.

A wireless in-ear monitor is incredibly flexible. You can use it on any position on stage and allows mobility at the drum set. Also, it is space-efficient since it does not use cables to connect it to the player.

An ideal wireless in-ear monitor should have a set of earbuds, a rack radio transmitter, and a belt pack receiver.

2. Affordability

In-ear monitor headphones come with different prices. The price variation is based on the manufacturer, product quality, and the accompanying features.

The best way to lower the cost on your purchase is by going for a complete IEM kit. Usually, the kit comes with a receiver, in-ear monitors, wireless bodypack, additional antennas, and digital mixing board.

Alternatively, you can look for a low-budget onefrom a reputable company. Products from well-known companies have a balance in quality and price.

Also, it would be best if you looked out for accessories that come alongside the ear monitor. The most common offers by manufacturers are tips, aircraft adapters, storage cases, and extension cords.

You can choose to buy an in-ear monitor that comes with accessories that you need rather than buying them separately. Doing so helps to cut costs.

3. The Presence of Integrated Remote Controls and Microphone

Some in-ear monitor headphones come with remote controls and headphones while others do not. Though the price for the extra features may be slightly higher, it is worth every bit.

Remote control and microphone allow you to control your music with ease. Besides drumming, you can use these headphones with your smartphone. The two feature enables you to make direct calls via the headphones.

4. Sound Quality and Noise Insulation

Sound quality and noise insulation vary from one model of in-ear monitors to the other. The standard ones have a frequency response of up to 25,000 Hz. Premium models have an incredibly high sound frequency of up to 40,000 Hz.

For optimal isolation from external noise, the ear tips should perfectly fit into your ears. Go for a set that comes with different sizes of in-ear tips.

Good sound allows you to coordinate and play great music. Therefore, it is better to go for an expensive set that assures you of quality sound and isolation.

5. The Number of Drivers

In-ear monitors range from one to eight drivers for each. The most common models in the market have two or three drivers.

These two models are great performers, especially for keys and bass drummers.  The more the drivers, the better the frequency range. A three-way configuration has better bass and clarity. 

6. Do You Want General or Custom Molds?

If you are working on a tight, low budget, general ear monitors are an ideal choice. They are quite affordable, and you can always resell and upgrade to new ones with time.

Custom molds, on the other hand, are costly. However, they have high-end sound and quality noise insulation. If you opt for this set, make a good investment, and get the best model.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use in ear monitors for drummers?

Using in-ear monitors is as simple as playing music on your phone via a Bluetooth speaker. However, all audio (mics and instruments) must pass through a mixer before they reach the headphones.

Assign an output to each of the microphones and instruments so as to listen to them individually.

The output comes out of the mixer, and from there, it’s connected to your wireless transmitter. The transmitter sends audio to your belt pack and eventually to the headphones.

Never use headphones in just one ear. Doing so is a sure way of damaging your hearing.

Who makes the best custom in ear monitors?

Custom in ear monitors UK have improved comfort, sound quality, and noise isolation. Some of the best custom-made IEMs are; Hidition Viento-R, Mi-Performer Pro, ProGuard P2+1, Custom Art Music One, among others. A good in ear monitor UK will be good for you.

Why do drummers wear earpieces?

Concerts and live performances tend to be very loud. As a result, it becomes challenging for drummers to hear their own kick drum and their fellow bandmates. Earpieces help to block external noise, thus allowing them to hear what is going on onstage.

Also, earpieces help drummers hear a click track, without the audience hearing it. Doing so keeps them in time with the speed of the song or pre-recorded tracks.

Why do singers use in ear monitors?

Singers wear them on stage so that they can hear the song they are performing. These devices help keep them at par with the song’s tempo, thus preventing them from shouting or singing louder.

The in-ear monitors have a unique noise-insulation technology. It helps to block all external noise and protect the singer’s hearing. Unlike wedges, in ear monitors allows mobility on stage, thus improving the singer’s stage presence.

Conclusion

A good in-ear monitor headphone is essential for any drummer. It helps you to enjoy your music and offers you an excellent drumming experience.

A good earphone should offer you a comfort fit. As such, you can enjoy your long hours of drumming without feeling uncomfortable.

It should also provide you with precision and accuracy in sound quality. An excellent in-ear monitor headphone should also be durable and offer you noise isolation.

In our review, the Etymotic Research ER4SR Studio In-Ear Monitors emerged as the winners. The company that manufactures them is famous for producing high-quality products.

They come with filter removal tools and six pairs of ear tips. They will also offer you accuracy, precision, and perfect sound quality.

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