Once you master the art, drumming is fun, drumming is exciting, both for the drummer and his/her audience if any. It also feels thrilling to listen to your perfectly sounding records after hours and hours of practice. But it’s easier said than done. Without proper control of the tempo and proper timing and maintenance of a steady flowing beat, such a performance can really suck. Other instruments in a band can easily fall out of the beat. It also requires the drummer to pay keen attention to the flow of the other beats in the band. The drums need to be in harmony with beats from other instruments, and vice versa. This means that the sound should be clear and should hit your ear just as soon as it is made. This is made possible by these highly essential devices they call in-ear monitors, to be confused by earphones or earbuds though. When it comes to IEM vs earbuds, IEMS are clearly a winner, especially due to their high noise isolation capability.
In addition to being important in tempo control, in ear monitors also kinda make the drummer feel more professional on stage. Plus they come in handy both during practice sessions and studio recording. They allow you to make music that sounds just like you want it to. However, in ear monitors for drummers come in a variety of designs, features, shapes, and sizes. Some are better than others in things such as performance, sound clarity, pricing, attractiveness, overall quality, and durability. Before we get to the 5 best in ear monitors for drums, let’s first of a look at some important things to look for when shopping for the best drummers’ in-ear monitors.
This point barely requires further explanation. For you to play your music right, stay with the beat, and maintain harmony with the rest of the music, the sound hitting your ear should be pristine, clear, and accurate. While most in-ear monitor pieces for drummers will give you high-quality sound, sure as sunrise, it’s not a like a one day trip to Pluto to come across some that sound like crap.
The best in-ear pieces will also have a noise isolation feature, whose purpose is to cancel out any noise originating from outside the earpiece. It enables you to focus primarily on the sound you’re getting from the music, therefore creating a good positive impact in your music. Without this feature, the ear monitors are not only almost useless but also probably unsafe for your ears. They come in quite handy in live performances, practice as well as studio recording sessions.
Size and Comfort:
The in-ear monitors you pick should be just the right size to fit your ear without causing any kind of discomfort. Unlike regular headphones that will start irritating your ears after some hours or even minutes of wearing them, the best in ear monitor system should be comfortable in your ears even after wearing them for extended periods of time on stage or the studio. They come with several earbud tips with varying sizes for the drummer to pick the best fit.
Why do professional drummers prefer in-ear monitors? Simple, it’s because they are designed to stay in place, unlike some types of regular earphones that keep falling out of place. Remember though, the size of the tip may determine how well the stick in your ear. Also, go for monitors that are designed to withstand sweat during those peak moments at performances or practice when your body can’t help but try to cool itself down by sweating.
Last but not least, the best earpieces for drummers come with a protective case as well as spare ear buds or ear bud tips made from silicon to make them universal for all ear sizes.
Now that we know these crucial factors to consider, let’s cut the chase and jump right into the 5 best in ear monitors for drums; shall we?
1. Westone UM Pro20
If you’re out shopping for a high-quality professional pair of IEMs, the Weston UM Pro20 might just be the in-ear monitors for you. It comes with a professional unique design that is considered ideal by most drumming professionals, especially for stage performances.
The Westone UM Pro20 produces a quality sound with a powerful consistent bass that has an impressive girth and fullness. Its powerful tone gives out quite an impressive output when hitting the kick drums as well as the low toms. You won’t hear any unnecessary boom. It also produces a balance mid that is well audible to give a sound that blends well with a wide variety of soundtracks. It is specifically a winner when it comes to attack and resonance, precisely when the drum setup is expertly done.
This IEM is a capable product for those looking for distinct depth and clarity as well as high and bright sounds at the same time. Even at the highest of pitches, this product will still maintain a high-quality sound that is clear to your ear. They are also lightweight and sturdy at the same time and come with a braided EPIC cable that is reinforced with quality material for ultimate strength and durability.
Yes, its price that tends to be a bit overboard compared to the alternatives on this list; but the quality and performance of the Westone UM Pro20 justify the high price tag. The brand, Weston, is also one of the most experienced in the industry, which further gives drummers a bit of confidence when purchasing this IEM.
- Quality, distinct sound
- Unique design
- Sturdy and durable
- Highly experienced brand
2. Audio-Technica ATH-IM70
Next on, we have the Audio-Technica ATH-IM70, which is also one of the best IEMs that drummers appreciate on the market currently. One unique thing about this in-ear monitor is that it comes with a number of IEM earbud tips for you to choose the ideal fit. These are available in three main options; large, medium, and small.
In addition to providing a secure fit, this product is also preferred by drummers due to its highly effective noise isolation capability. Especially the bass and treble, this IEM is great when it comes to clarity and accurateness of the sound it produces.
The ATH-IM70 from Audio-Technica also has an over-ear design, which is ideal for those who’d rather not dip stuff in their ears. The lightweight IEM fits securely with reduced vibrations and a high degree of comfort. However, some consumers find it a bit inconvenient that it doesn’t have a variety of color options to choose from. It gives a strong, deep bass and a smooth treble with some bit of flair for the excitement. It also features built-in dual symphonic drivers that are responsible for the accurate, clear sound with no distortions even at high bass volumes regardless of the soundtracks being played.
Compared to other options such as the UM Pro20 from Weston, it is less expensive and quite a performer. The Audio-Technica ATH-IM70 is an affordable product that any drummer will appreciate, beginner to expert.
- Great sound clarity
- Awesome noise isolation
- Fairly inexpensive
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Over-ear design available
- Limited color options
3. Westone UM Pro10
You can look at this one as a successor of previous models such as the Westone UM Pro 20. This is your ideal IEM if you’re fond of listening to heavy bass music tracks like trap and hip-hop. Being a single driver IEM, the UM Pro10 gives out superb clarity for high-pitched sounds which come out wide and bright. Its mid-range performance is also quite excellent, crisp, and highly audible. However, the bass output tends to be a little bit sloppy on certain genres of music, like country and pop for instance.
As for comfort, drummers find it quite impressive, especially since it provides a secure fit you can wear it for hours without even noticing. Jokes aside, it is the kind of in-ear monitor that you’ll forget to take off of your ears after long hours of practice. The UM Pro10’s design is also uniquely sturdy and quite durable, thanks to the high-quality material it is constructed from. The cable features a double helix design, which makes it quite indestructible by unnecessary knotting. It is also one of the most affordable in-ear monitors for drums you can find on the market.
These Weston earbuds are no doubt one of the best and most affordable around despite the slight issue with bass performance. Most in ear monitor reviews from consumers reveal so too.
- Quality highs and midrange sounds
- Quite affordable
- Offers great comfort and secure fit
- Bass performance not impressive for some genres
4. Shure SE215 – CL
Very few products for ear drummers will compare to the Shure SE215 – CL in terms of comfort, performance, and sound quality. Just like the Audio-Technica IEMs, the Shure SE215-CL comes with various sizes of tips for the drummer to pick one that fits securely. The earbud nozzles are comfortable on your ear even when used for extended periods of time. This product also comes with a detachable cable that you can put away when it’s not needed. Also, there is an over-ear alternative (connects to the cable) that ensures the cables won’t get in your way when striking the drums.
Being a well-known brand, Shure is no doubt one of the best producers of quality audio equipment with international recognition. These in ear monitors for drummers will stand the test of time even when on frequent use, thanks to the high-quality material they are made from. Wireless Bluetooth options are also available.
Thanks to the noise isolation technology and acoustic seal, sound from outside won’t interfere with your drumming experience. The IEMs come in 3 main color choices. The bass is rich, the trebles are clear. Regardless of the kind of music you’re monitoring or listening to, the Shure SE215 – CL is for sure an in ear monitor that comes with many impressive perks.
Its affordability, great sound, durability, and overall high quality make these Shure in ear monitors, the SE215 – CL one of the best in ear monitors available.
- Low profile design looks professional
- Won’t damage your ear
- Has detachable cable
- Wireless options available
- Various color options available
- Can be difficult to wear due to ear tip seal
5. MEE Audio M6 Pro
In case you’re looking for some of the best cheap in ear monitors, your search might as well have ended here. The MEE Audio M6 Pro not only beats the above alternatives for the money, it is also a lighter model that features detachable earbuds. You don’t have to deal with the mess and inconvenience that is brought about by cables. It also comes with extra tips that are made from silicone and foam for ultimate comfort.
If you look at most in ear monitor reviews by consumers of the MEE Audio M6 Pro, you will notice that the IEM is highly rated for great performance. It features the noise isolating technology, just like the other drumming ear monitors above. It produces great sound, both at deep and high-pitched ranges. This in ear monitor that comes with a sweat-proof seal is one of the best sellers online, considering that you get it at half the price of alternatives such as Audio-Technica.
Drummers will surely appreciate this IEM not only for its impressive performance but also for great sound quality, durability, and it’s amazing affordability, given that you can get it at under $50 online.
- Awesome sound
- Comfortable to wear
- Noise isolation and sweat-proof
- Provides custom fit
- A slight issue with durability according to some drumming headphones reviews