Good morning, and thanks for visiting Midnightdrummer.com today!
In the last 8 weeks, I was able to test and review 4 of the best in ear monitors for drummers.
Shure was so kind to lend me their most sought after iems for musicians, which I reviewed and tested for you.
Here they are:
The Shure SE215 is the most inexpensive in-ear monitor in this line-up and a very good entry-level product. These will protect your ears while playing drums and overall sound quality is decent.
For more information, please
Shure SE535 (Pro)
The Shure SE535 (pro) are triple-driver in-ears. This model is probably the most popular in-ear headphone for drummers and musicians worldwide.
Besides protecting your ears from too much noise, this product is capable of creating exactly the sound you need on stage.
The best in ear monitors for drummers
Before I go into more details with each of these fantastic Shure in-ear monitors, I'd like to let you know, that every product has its pros and cons.
I really enjoyed them all, and I can recommend every single one of them in its pertaining price segment.
Probably the greatest feature of each product which I present here, is the fact, that every single component can be replaced!
Yes, every single piece is interchangeable!
The earpieces itself, the cable, the ear tips and so on.
Additionally, you can also buy 3 different types of cables:
The ladder is a softer type of cable, which I personally prefer. It's easier to move your head when wearing these in-ears using that softer type of cable.
Another great thing is, that all Shure in-ears can be connected to the True Wireless Adapter Gen2, which I probably will talk about more in another blog post / review. Connecting your Shure in-ears to these adapters will create wireless Bluetooth headphones, which is really great!
In the resources box, you will find even more accessories for these Shure in-ears.
Protect your ears!
All following Shure in-ear monitors will protect your ears, while playing drums and making music! This only works, so long, you pick the best-fitting ear tip!
The only thing I cannot do is to make a decision for you.
Please read yourself, what each of these best in-ear monitors for drummers can do:
How to find the best earbuds for drumming?
I have been playing drums for almost 30 years now.
When performing live on stage, rehearsing with a band or practicing on my own, it all boils down to 2 tiny things:
Ear protection and a great listening experience!
Therefore, the most important features the best earbuds for drumming must deliver are:
What does that mean?
Great & accurate sound
On stage, you need to hear your fellow musicians.
As a drummer you are lost, if you don't hear the bass player properly. Your performance significantly depends on an accurate listening experience and a high quality sound of your colleagues' instruments.
I always want a bit of everything to listen to while playing on my drum set. So my in-ear monitors need to deal with a wide frequency range to make all instruments like bass (low), guitar (mid & hi), my drums and higher frequencies like female singers, trumpets and so on sound great.
That's not easy to accomplish in such a tiny device like an iem earphone.
So professional in-ear monitoring needs to be able to handle a wide frequency range from low to high and handle all frequencies evenly.
Don't mess around with your ears!
You need your hearing ability until the end of your life, and listening to noisy music again and again can lead to hearing loss & non-reversible damages. Here you can find examples of noise levels, including a drum set.
And that's why many musicians suffer from
A tinnitus can mean the end of musicianship.
Don't take the risk!
High-end in-ear monitors come with adequate noise isolation. Noise isolation means that you don't hear much (if anything) of what's going on outside.
That's really important because you only want to listen to what's important:
When practicing drums on your own or rehearsing with your band, you have to rely on great sound quality and a comfortable fit. Your in-ear monitor must not distract you from playing drums and listening to the music you are playing to.
A comfortable fit can be achieved by replaceable ear tips, which fit your ear canal. So a professional in-ear monitor comes with several ear tips to choose from and to ensure a secure fit. It should also allow picking between foam tips and silicone ear tips.
Interchangeable spare parts
A professional in-ear monitor system does not only convince in terms of sound quality, frequency response or design. Most importantly, all spare parts need to be replaceable to avoid total loss in case one component gets lost or damaged.
By the way; int this blog post, I share my
The more parts are replaceable, the better.
Of course, you want to change the ear tips now and then when cleaning doesn't work anymore.
When the in-ear monitor cable gets damaged, you need to replace it without having to buy a complete new in-ear monitor system. It's just too expensive! So a detachable cable is a must.
What makes good in-ear monitors for drummers?
The most important feature of any in-ear monitor for drummers is proper ear protection! Without that, any other feature doesn't make any sense at all.
In case the in-ears don't fit properly, sound isolation and ear protection aren't possible to achieve.
Thus, a great monitor sound can only be achieved if the the prior points are met.
All Shure in-ear monitors I reviewed meet these criteria, but you need to find the ideal ear tip for yourself for the best sound quality and ear protection.
My final thoughts on in-ear monitors for drummers
Everybody perceives sound subjectively.
That's why it's impossible to make an absolute recommendation in terms of buying the best in-ear monitors for drummers.
Some musicians like a more bass oriented sound with a warm range of frequencies. Others prefer a linear and neutral sound quality. That means that you will have to try different products until you find the top in-ear headphones for yourself.
I chose the Shure SE215, although I had the chance to compare it directly to the SE535 and the SE425 which cost nearly 3-4 times more than mine.
I like the SE535 a lot, but the sound is very neutral. My favorite songs felt strange to me when listening to them wearing the SE535.
Well, that's many years ago when I last tried this product, and I would love to make another attempt with a later version of the iem.
Can I Use the Shure SE215 as in-ear sport headphones?
I don't only use them when playing drums. I also wear them while running & meditation. As noise isolating earphones, they work pretty well for such purposes.
As I mentioned above, you can also get the Bluetooth version of the SE215, which you can find here. This will give you a more hands-free version, which should be better when doing sports.
So, what's your choice?
Which earphone is your favorite? Will you choose a wireless system or one with cable? Will you only use it while playing drum tracks or in other occasions too?
Please let me know in the comments.
Cheers and talk soon!
Here are some frequently asked questions about in-ears for drummers. If you can't find an answer to your question, please use the comment section at the end of this article.
There are several advantages for drummers who wear professional in-ear monitors:
On the one hand, high-end products protect the ears from too much noise while playing. They help avoid hearing loss and tinnitus. On the other hand, good in-ear monitors deliver the best sound possible while making music on stage, in the studio and while rehearsing. Listening to your fellow musicians is essential to deliver the best performance possible.
In-ear monitors for drummers are the ideal solution for playing drums on stage, in the studio and when rehearsing. They help achieve the best possible sound of your fellow musicians while making music. Using a mixer helps to split the signals a drummer needs to hear while playing. This way it's easy to create the optimal sound to create the best drumming performance possible.
Most drummers who are wearing earpieces, listen to their band, to instruments like the bass, to a click-track and even to their own drum set. The sound a drummer needs to listen to while playing can be very individual and a lot of testing can help to find the ideal mix for the best performance.