The best in-ear monitors for drummers are the Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro.
It’s easy to hear a wrong note, but a drumbeat that sounds slightly off is harder to detect. Plus, hearing yourself as a drummer when the rest of the band blares is a nightmare!
In-ear drum monitors need to have a crisp sound and adequate ambient sound reduction to counter this. They’ll give you feedback in real-time and let you listen to your drumming with ease.
For this, the current best in-ear monitors for drummers are:
- Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro
- Shure SE215-CL
- CCA C10
- MEE audio M6 PRO
- Audio-Technica ATH-E70
- Westone UM Pro30
- Westone UM Pro10
Reviews of the Top 8 In-Ear Monitors for Drummers
Best Earbuds For Drummers
Kinboofi’s ear monitors provide high-quality performance alongside an excellent budget price, forcing them to the top of our list as the current best in-ear monitors for drummers.
They’re lightweight, wired, and come with three pairs of ear tips, so you have some extras if yours break. You could also purchase additional ear tips in different sizes to ensure the best fit for any drummer.
Also, these monitors are highly customizable in every regard for a drummer. For instance, there are three color options so you can match your monitors to your aesthetic.
On top of this, the wire detaches, making transportation easy—coil up the wire and secure the in-ear segments in a case. However, customers report that the cable tangled easily, so be careful. The other main complaint is their lack of insulation, so you may end up with a headache from the loud drumming.
In terms of performance, these in-ear monitors are highly sensitive with a fantastic frequency range, letting you hear all the highs and lows. There’s only one dynamic driver per earphone, but there are two balanced armatures in each ear, rounding out the sound for superior monitoring.
Another excellent part of the monitoring is the bass. Previous models had lower-quality bass sounds, and customers find the improvements fantastic. There’s no sound leak with the bass or any other sounds, as the monitors have excellent sound isolation.
However, some customers say this sound quality only lasts nine months. After that, the in-ear monitors start to crackle.
Best Bluetooth In-Ear Monitors
If you’re still looking for cheap in-ear monitors for drummers but don’t like the top pick, perhaps this one will suit you better. To boot, they have Bluetooth connectivity, so are optimal for freedom of movement when drumming.
Shure models were developed alongside professional musicians, and this is one of the brand’s more cost-effective models. Its development alongside pros ensures this is tried and tested by people like you, the consumer, and not by non-expert testers.
The musicians who developed it were players of all musical genres, too, so you can be sure it’s made for any musical preference you may have.
Ultimately, the reason this Shure model costs so much less than the brand’s other models is the drivers. There’s only a single dynamic driver, but it’s top-quality. Customers praise the intense bass, coining it as impressive for the modest drivers.
You’re well-protected against that powerful bass, though, as the monitors block out up to 37 decibels of sound. This is fantastic for small, medium and moderately large venues.
The foam sleeves come in three sizes, which is a decent selection but not the best. Finding the best fit will ensure maximum insulation as well as superior comfort. However, glasses-wearers found it difficult to get a comfortable fit.
Another downside is the sound isolation. While the quality is fantastic, the isolation needs some work according to customers, as external noise is too audible for their liking.
If you’re looking for in-ear buds with lots of drivers, this is one to consider. There are five hybrid drivers in each ear, for a vast array of sound.
However, they’re not the most high-quality drivers on the market based on the price. If you’re looking for top-notch drives, consider a pricier model with fewer drivers in each monitor, like the Audio-Technica ATH-E70.
Despite that, these in-ear monitors are far from low quality. The sound is undistorted and balanced, with a wide, beyond-human-hearing frequency range of 7–40,000 Hertz. You can concentrate on every frequency as the silicone tips sit comfortably in your ears, blocking out background noise and isolating your sound.
Also, the tips are detachable, so you can change out the sizes if you require. Unfortunately, the monitors don’t come with a size selection, so you’ll need to purchase those separately. The ones supplied aren’t the best for smaller ears, according to customers.
For customers whose tips do fit, they find them extremely comfortable and compare the feel to AirPods. They also compare the sound quality to AirPods, saying there’s just enough bass, but it doesn’t overpower the sound’s highs and lows.
Like AirPods, these can be Bluetooth-powered for your comfort and convenience. However, unlike AirPods, there’s also a wired option if you prefer that type of connection.
With and without the wiring, customers find these in-ear monitors heavy, becoming a problem when you want to move around. Customers suggest you use them for stationary use only, so these aren’t the earphones for drummers who like to flail or need to move around mid-gig.
These MEE audio monitors are built to last. They’re sweat-resistant, reliable and feature detachable and replaceable cables. This extends the lifespan of the headphones, providing excellent value.
The headphones produce incredible, deep and rich bass sounds without a problem. This is at the sacrifice of the higher tones, as customers describe the treble frequencies as coming across mellow. This isn’t great for cymbals or the snare drum.
Perhaps these headphones are best for a lover of heavy metal and mellow rock. All booming bass, very little snappy snare or smashing cymbals.
Speaking of that thundering, you’re well-protected with these monitors. While they isolate your sound well, they also insulate against the pounding of exterior volume. The tips are thick and dense, with six sets of silicone and one set of foam ear tips, pitching them up there as the best custom in-ear monitors for drummers. The sets are all different sizes, so you can select which one is most comfortable for you.
The wires are also comfortable, designed to fit over the backs of your ears and remember the shape for next time. When you’re finished with them, put the wired monitors, tips and the included 0.25-inch headphone jack adapter into the included carry case.
You get a complete set with these headphones; all the gear, and a way to store it—although some of that gear isn’t as high-quality as the rest, according to customers.
Despite the apparent comfort, some customers found the silicone ear tips don’t stay in very well. The foam tips stayed in much better for them.
Best for Studio Use
If you’re looking for monitors that work well in the studio, this Audio-Technica option does the job. Customers have described it as ideal for lengthy studio sessions due to its comfort and excellent fit in the ear canal.
The monitors feature a short cable, which isn’t great for moving around the studio, but it’s detachable if you wish to use the earphones without it. When using them with the cable, it molds to your ear shape, providing a custom fit with no cable loosely hanging by your head, which can be annoying and get in the way.
When in, you’ll find decent insulation, as the foam and silicone ear tip options keep your eardrums safe from high volumes. The monitors come with a carrying case for you to store these tips in.
As for the sound coming through the tips, users describe it as accurate, with fantastic frequency range—though the range is tighter than some other in-ear monitors on this list. Still, this wine range comes from the three balanced armature drivers in each ear, which are top-of-the-line, according to customers.
Also, the drivers provide a highly balanced sound with rich sound for treble, bass and mid-tones. It doesn’t emphasize either side of the range—users state it’s a neutral tone, lacking distortion when used at a comfortable volume. The sound is highly isolated, too, letting you concentrate on it and drink in the beats.
However, users found that the bass becomes too punchy and slightly distorted if you turn the volume up too high. They expected better for the price, complaining the headphones are too expensive than the Shure SE215-CL, which don’t feature the volume-based distortion and are more cost-effective.
Best for Professionals
Westone made the monitors for seasoned, pro players. Professional players adore these monitors for the “perfect” fit, with ear tips in an array of sizes.
There are a whopping 20 ear tips to choose from, 10 for both silicone and foam. Once in, users found they could keep them on for hours without fatigue or an inkling of pain.
Besides the comfort, the sound quality is nearly unbeatable. Users found no sound quality issues or distortion, regardless of how high they cranked the volume. Plus, the in-ear monitors are highly sensitive and deliver a wide frequency range with precise sound reproduction.
Despite the precise reproduction, the monitors may suffer some with bass sounds. While one of the three BA drivers is made to recreate bass frequencies, dynamic drivers better recreate those sounds.
You may feel the top-notch sound isolation with adequate insulation from harsh sounds makes up for the bass region’s failures. Users found they got no headaches from these monitors, and they enjoyed how the band sounded when listening to individual instruments through them. The monitors are great for more than just drums if you’re a multi-instrumentalist.
Despite its excellent sound quality, some users found the cable decreased the sound quality. They needed to replace the cable to fix this issue.
If you liked the Westone in-ear monitors above, but you’re an amateur wanting to spend a little less, no worries. This is a similar model, for around a third of the price but just as much value.
The markdown comes at the sacrifice of two drivers per ear, but the single drivers are as high quality. Despite the solitary driver, users find the sound crisp, clean and sharp. The monitors also encompass a deep, rich bass sound that only the best in-ear monitors can replicate.
Users also found the highs particularly clear, noting it as a standout feature, fantastic for heavy snare and cymbal use. Another standout is the high-quality insulation, marking these in-ear monitors as excellent for loud rock and metal genres.
The fit is also pro-quality, with many buyers stating they’re comfortable and well-made. There are various ear tip sizes, which help with noise isolation. However, some users found the earpieces uncomfortably heavy at 1 pound.
Their bulk adds some durability to the build, but if you have smaller ears, then these aren’t for you—consider the Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro for the sound, fair price and average-sized construction, instead.
Unfortunately, customers found some distortion at higher volumes. The cord’s quality was another common complaint, with users finding it flimsy and expected more for the price. Others didn’t mind the cord, placing all the value on the pro-quality sound.
What to Look For with In-Ear Monitors As a Drummer
Before you go off and grab your favorite from the above-reviewed options, work your way through this guide to ensure you’re choosing the right one for your needs.
Sound Isolation and Quality
As a drummer, you carry the song’s beat, so it’s vital you can hear that beat to ensure you’re getting it right. Therefore, you need in-ear monitors that block out other sounds, isolate yours and give you high-quality feedback.
To get the right feedback level, you want in-ear monitors for drummers to feature a vast frequency range.
The human hearing range is 20–20,000 Hertz, but as you age, this can decrease somewhat, with 15,000–17,000 Hertz as the upper limit.
Many of the in-ear monitors above relay frequencies below and above each end of the limit, so you’ll have no problems there.
Pay particular attention to how well the bass comes through the in-ear monitors, too. Drums are deep, bass-heavy instruments, and it would be a shame to have an inaccurate relay.
Well-fitting silicone or foam coverings on the ear tips are vital. They block up your ears almost like earplugs and keep all that undesirable, overdone noise out of your ears.
Most of the products above insulate well; however, users seem to have had the best results with the Shure SE215-CL.
Fit and Comfort
You’ll be wearing these in-ear monitors for hours at a time through rehearsals and performance. If they start to hurt, it can distract you and weaken your playing.
It’s difficult to gauge how comfortable in-ear monitors are before you try them. This is where we focus on customer feedback the most, examine the in-ear monitors visually, and look for several size options.
Removable ear tips are also an asset, so you can replace them as and when needed for ultimate customization and longevity.
You can get wired or wireless in-ear monitors, or both—some come with detachable models.
With wired headphones, you’ll never have to worry about charging or the battery running out.
But, the downside here is dealing with wires when drumming. They can be irritating and ruin the performance if you snag one.
You also have to wear a bodypack with these in-ear monitors, which connects to a mixer. This is uncomfortable and complex, but is it worth it?
Since you have a direct connection, you have a more consistent sound and performance, which is fantastic. You want to keep your sound the same quality the entire time.
However, if the wires are short, your freedom of movement is severely restricted. Do you flail when you drum, or do you have to get up to do a quick keyboard solo for one of your songs? If not, then the restriction shouldn’t be too much of a con.
Wireless in-ear monitors are, on the other hand, fantastic for freedom of movement. If you’re more than a drummer or you like to flail, these are the in-ear monitors you want.
Now, wireless headphones don’t have bad sound quality by any means. It may be slightly less consistent and clear than wired in-ear monitors, though—but if you’ve never experienced wired sound, you won’t notice anything untoward.
There are no fully wireless options in the reviews above, but many of them have detachable cables if you wish to change them out or go between wired and wireless.
In-ear monitors contain 1 to 8 drivers in each ear. Contrary to what you might expect, though, price has nothing to do with how many drivers the monitors have. You might find in-ear monitors with two incredible drivers. These will cost more than a set of mediocre-quality in-ear monitors with more drivers.
If you see a high-priced model with lots of drivers, that one will likely give you the best sound quality. As you can’t disassemble the in-ear monitors and see what makes the drivers high quality, price is a reliable indicator.
More drivers mean less of a load on each, letting the individual drivers concentrate on perfecting their delivery. The more drivers you have, the narrower the frequency range per driver, too—so you’ll get richer, higher-quality sounds.
If you want the best but are on a budget, consider in-ear monitors with three or four BA drivers, like the Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro. This model provides a dedicated driver for lows, mids and highs, ensuring you have a rich mix of sound with equal detail provided from each range.
However, the Kinboofi also has a dynamic driver that produces all the monitor’s frequencies, strengthening and rounding out the overall sound.
In the products above, you’ll find both balanced armature (BA) and dynamic drivers.
Dynamic drivers are the most common, inexpensive and have fantastic sound quality, especially for bass resonance. On the other hand, they distort sound at higher volumes.
BA drivers are pricier and more adjustable, so these are what you’ll find in multi-driver monitors. The adjustments come via setting the drivers so they only reproduce specific frequencies. However, they fail at producing bass sounds.
You’ll also find BA drivers used with dynamic drivers so the latter can produce the bass. These drivers work best when paired together, but more BA drivers than dynamic ones are better. BA drivers recreate sound in more detail, giving them superior quality.
Unfortunately, most of the products above with BA drivers don’t pair them with a dynamic driver for bass quality. Thankfully the top product, the Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro, is the exception.
The One to Beat: Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers
For us, the best in-ear monitors for drummers are the Kinboofi KZ ZS10 Pro. Unpronounceable, unreadable name? Absolutely. But unforgettable sound quality? You bet!
With high-quality sound at a highly affordable price, you can’t beat these in-ear monitors for drummers. While they’re not premium and not the most professional drummer monitors available, they’re an excellent starting point for both beginners and more experienced drummers.
The Kinboofi KZ monitors also have the best driver combination of all the options above, including the monitors made for professional drummers. You can’t beat that!