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Best earplugs for drummers can save your hearing capacity
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Best earplugs for drummers can save your hearing capacity


Keno Hellmann


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Good morning, and thanks for visiting today!

This time I would like to talk about the best earplugs for drummers – which of course – should be the very first item on your wishlist, before starting to play drums!

Any of these products will help protect your ears! Please use them from the 1st day!


Because drums are pretty loud and playing them without proper ear protection can cause severe and even irreversible & permanent damage like tinnitus or loss of your hearing capacities.

That would be bad!

The good news is, that there are plenty of great earplugs for drummers which don't cost much and are efficiently protecting your most precious sense from loud noises and decreasing the decibel levels of any source.

Sounds interesting?

Here are the contents:

Why drummers should MUST wear earplugs

In the following noise examples comparison table, you will see why drummers should MUST WEAR earplugs or any other ear protection while playing.

HINT: The drum set appears in the “danger (red) zone”:


Noise source

Decibel level





Faint – Safe listening for any time period


Quiet office / library



Large office



Lawn mower


Moderate – Safe listening for any time period







Very loud – Earplugs are recommended to avoid pain and damage to hearing capacity.






Electric drill




Power saw


Extremely loud – Hearing protection is required to avoid hearing loss and pain.


Jet plane




Ambulance siren


Painful steady noise – Not safe for any period of time


Drum set




Aircraft carrier deck








Jet take-off


Painful impulse noise – Not safe for any period of time

Table: Examples of noise levels including drum set

What earplugs do drummers use?

The majority of earplugs, which drummers use, simply decreases the loudness of a drum set while wearing them in the ear canals. Nonetheless, there are more sophisticated products which come with interchangeable filters. These kinds of drummer earplugs allow a more individual noise reduction by using different filter types.
In addition, there are also professional solutions like so-called in-ear monitors, which are mostly combined with an in-ear monitoring system. 

These are earplugs many drummers use

Different types of earplugs drummers use

The best earplugs for drummers

There are plenty of earplugs available, and finding the perfect fit for your individual purposes can be difficult.

Thus, finding the best earplugs for yourself, you have to rely on fellow musicians and their recommendations concerning ear protection.

Here are earplugs for musicians, which you probably heard of before: 

Alpine Musicsafe Pro Ear Plugs

99% Overall

The Alpine MusicSafe Pro (available here) are very popular earplugs for musicians.

I would even make the bold statement, that almost every musician knows these earplugs and will probably have tried them out during his or hers career.

The Alpine MusicSafe Pro comes with 3 interchangeable filter pairs which allow different frequencies being filtered out.

These for musicians optimized acoustic filters have the biggest impact at 500 Hz and reduce loud noises between 10 dB (white filter), 17 dB (silver filter) and 21 dB (gold filter).

A soft case helps to keep the ear plugs and filters in a safe and clean place.

For me personally, the wearing comfort & protection level is very good. I even forget about them after a while, which can be good and bad too. 🙂

Product contents:

  • 3x Alpine MusicSafe Pro earplugs
  • 3 Filters
  • Lace / neck cord
  • Cleaning kit

Yes, there are other products available which are even cheaper than the Alpine MusicSafe Pro earplugs for professional drummers. Still, this product is well established in the music industry due to its efficacy, for its ability to maintain your hearing capacity and for its good sound quality.
The included filters allow switching different sound profiles easily so that your individual preferences can be met.   

How do I protect my ears while drumming?

There are several ways to protect your ears while playing drums or listening to loud music. The cheapest but still a very effective product are simple earplugs like Oropax. These are available in almost any supermarket, and one can buy them in bulk for less than $10,-.
Another very effective way to protect your ears while drumming are earmuffs, which you wear over your ears to protect your hearing capacity.
A more sophisticated and more expensive product for ear protection are customized earplugs which perfectly fit your ear canals.

The best ear protection for drummers

If you haven't found a solution for yourself yet, here's more for you to consider when choosing your ear protection:

Oropax earplugs

Oropax are simple but very effective foam earplugs for drumming and other noisy activities.

These don't cost much, and you can buy them nearly everywhere – here for example too.

Many have used such earplugs in hotels or in airplanes.

The foam ear plug easily adapts to any ear canal and noise decreases immediately.

3M Optime earmuffs

Yes, I love these earmuffs by 3M.

I always use them when practicing drums in my own rehearsal room. And I own several of them.

These are available in different sizes and protection grades.

The great thing about such earmuffs is, that you can still wear your in-ears underneath them. This combination allows a great sound / protection when playing to your favorite music or to a metronome.

The one, which I would recommend, is just one button-click away! 🙂

Vic Firth ear plugs for drummers

Typically, Vic Firth is known for the best drumsticks available on the market.

What most drummers don't know is, that they came up with their own quality earplugs – available here – in 2013 which are created to serve a drummer's needs the best.

These earplugs come with a neck strap and damping protection is approximately 12 dB, which is sufficient to protect your ears.

Shure SE215 in ears for drummers

If you want more than a simple pair of earplugs, you should consider one of the best in-ear monitors for drummers for the money – available here

The Shure SE215 combines sound protection up to 37 dB and great sound quality for in-ear monitoring.

Of course, this product is more expensive than the previous products, but it's absolutely worth the money!

Here you can find an in depth Shure SE215-CL review (from a drummer's perspective) for more information.

Custom-made ear plugs for drummers

My custom-made ear plugs for drummers

Custom-made earplugs for drumming

The most sophisticated ear protection for the professional musician are custom-made ear plugs!

This type of individually matched ear protection for drummers takes some time until you will hold it in your hands / ears.

First, you will need to make an impression of your ears / canals, which will then be used to manufacture your individual ear plug.

The great thing about this type of earplugs is not only that it fits your ears perfectly; you can also decide which filters to use. There are several available from 6 dB until 25 dB for the best hearing protection possible – also for sound engineers.

Which ear protection for drumming is the best for me?

Many people ask me the following question time and time again:

Do drummers wear earplugs?

Yes, drummers do wear earplugs to protect their ears to avoid the loss of their hearing capacity and an irreversible tinnitus, which can end any musician's career.

And as you can see, there are quite a few options to protect your ears while playing drums. Most of these will do a great job for your ears too, but you will have to try them out for yourself. 

There's not one solution which works great for everybody! 

I know a lot of people who really don't like pushing such ear plugs into their ear canals. I understand that, although I don't have any problems wearing them even for hours.

If you don't like wearing earplugs like the ones I mentioned in this article, you shouldn't invest too much money in custom-made ones.

I own a pair of such expensive ones, and I even paid a lot more than those I linked to.

In my opinion, the sound doesn't become better, nor does it protect my ears better.

But again:
Try them out for yourself and start with the low-priced products!

Should drummers wear ear protection?

Yes, drummers should wear ear protection because playing on a modern drum set including cymbals can generate high noise levels up to 120 dB, which is nearly as loud as a jet fighter.

Which drummer ear protection headphones are recommendable?

There are a few headphones for drummers to consider, which do also protect your ears while playing drums to your favorite music:

Vic Firth SIH 2 isolation headphones 

Vic Firth must be mentioned again, because they created a sound isolation headphone – especially for drummers, which you can buy here

According to Vic Firth, this headphone has a background noises reduction of 25 dB. That's sufficient to protect your ears and still be able to listen to your drum kit. 

3M earmuffs + in ear headphones

The cheapest way to create your “custom-made” drummer headphone – including ear protection – is a combination of 3M earmuffs like these and a conventional in-ear headphone like this one.

I know, this might sound a bit weird, but this is a great way to get the result you want – good sound quality included.

What is the best ear protection for young drummers?

My students, in particular the young drummers, love the earmuffs, I mentioned in this article. 
They fit any head size, and even the smallest drummers can use them to protect their ears perfectly.
Another great thing about these earmuffs is, that they don't cost a fortune, and they last very long. 

Earmuffs are the best ear protection for young drummers

Earmuffs ear protection

Maybe you wonder now why these are better than earplugs.


Well, many people don't like wearing earplugs at all and there aren't any products for children out there, which make it absolutely comfortable for the youngsters to wear them. 

Earmuffs don't penetrate the ear canals, which many drummers – in particular children – prefer.  

Which ear protection do you prefer? 

I hope that you found this blog post about the best earplugs for drummers useful!

What kind of ear protection do you use while playing drums or at a loud concert?

Are you used to wearing earplugs like the ones I mentioned above? 

Have you ever tried custom earplugs, or do you wear earmuffs or even in-ear monitors?

Please let me know in the comments.

Enjoy drumming and talk soon!

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