Junior Member
Hey all

Drummerworld virgin here!

Looking for a bit of advice.

My band is increasingly bringing in loops and electronic beats into our songs, so I'm looking at investing in some drum monitors. When I use a standard monitor it has to be turned up so loud so I can hear it, I fear for my ears.

I'm looking at investing in some headphones but don't know what route to go down. I've tried playing with in ear headphones, although they tend to fall out when I play. I'm consequently looking at getting some over ear cans.

Don't know which ones to go for though and don't really want to be breaking the bank for them.

Anyone on here play with headphones and if so what?

I came across these:


Will these do the job or will they be too quiet when a distorted guitar kicks in?

All advice welcome!



What you need to think about is isolation, not volume. Often in-ear monitors will offer the isolation you need without having to pump the volume. These headphones are probably loud enough, but if you play with high volume all the time without wearing some form of ear protection, you will do yourself a misdemeanour. Vic Firth make isolating headphones that cut outside volume and provide playback - this will cure both problems.


Silver Member

I spent a lot of years on wedges. While other types of headphones work, turning them up is much the same as being blasted by wedges. There is no replacement for being isolated and having full control of the ambient volumes/mixes going to your most important drums, your ear drums.

I'm using Ultimate Ears on a Shure PSM-200 in-ear monitor transmixer setup. It's an investment that pays itself off through both how much you use them and how much you care about your own hearing (IMHO). I paid $170 for new Ultimate Ears Super Fi pro (dual-driver) and $375 for a slightly used PSM-200 with both the bodypack and transmixer included. A new PSM-200 system runs for like $600 new and a set of the same (or better, Triple Fi or custom) in-ears headphones can run $375 - over $1K.

I shopped for a while. The deals are out there though. Ebay, craigslist, even the classified ads on DW.

I'm a firm proponent that believes in hearing conservation. I spent way too much of my youth thinking it was never going to be an issue. A little bit of tinnitus (hearling loss & ringing) makes me wish I cared about it a long time ago.

My two cents says for you to make it a priority and don't scrimp on getting a quality in-ear setup that fits your budget. You ears will thank you for the rest of your life.


Archnemesis of Larryace
I would recommend the Bose noise-canceling headphones, but you don't want to break the bank. They work absolutely great!

You can get some earmuff-style headphones from Radio Shack for $30. They isolate pretty well (as well as my $100 AKG studio headphones...lesson learned), and they have some with a volume slider on the cord right before the cans, so you can attenuate the volume without having to reach for a stereo component or mixing board.

Even when using isolating headphones, you should wear some kind of hearing protection. The volume when using cans or in-ear monitors is deceivingly much louder than you think, and can easily cause hearing loss. Good luck!


The difference between the $30 Radioshack headphones and 'true' live monitoring headphones is in the details. Whilst it may appear that the cheaper ones are protecting your hearing, the truth is that the attenuation will not be enough to provide adequate protection in the long term. If I were gigging seriously and at loud volumes (I'm currently gigging as an acoustic guitarist, not a drummer, and only occasionally, so this does not apply to me) the investment in a quality pair of either ear plugs or moulded, isolating in-ear monitors is expensive, but absolutely worth it. A good set is a fair amount of money, but your hearing is priceless and it only seems to be priceless when you start to lose it.

You can buy a decent set of Shure In-Ear monitors for relatively little money, but the best sort are the expensive custom-fitted monitors. Do some digging around and see what you can find.


Silver Member
I have the Vic firth head phones which work well.

They cut the volume down to just the right amount, and my drums sound even better behind them, and they have the thing to plug into an iPod or CD player.

Whatever thats called.


I would also say a set of isolated headphones is the way to go. Or in-ear monitors if you can afford it.
I use Vater ear plugs though, works fine for me so far.