The 5 Best In-Ear Monitor for Drummers

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best in-ear monitor for drummers is, then I’d recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-E70 Professional In-Ear Studio Monitor as the best one.

Why bother putting up with wedge monitors when you can switch to in-ear monitors for drummers, which are more convenient for everyone to use? Trust me when I say that while investing in sound gears is important, investing in in-ear monitors will help drummers better play for your church. 

Here are the Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers we will be reviewing: 

What are In-Ear Monitors for Drummers?

In-ear Monitors, or IEMs, are professional-grade versions of earbuds or earphones. Other musicians, not only drummers, use them. IEMs are popular with church musicians since they perform several acoustic challenges. 

Are they safe?

IEMs are protective devices only when used at safe levels. IEMs feature ear protection for drummers who want to reduce hearing high volumes in a loud stage environment. 

Are they worth it?

IEMs are definitely worth your investment. They have several advantages for live performers and one of which is that they deliver monitor mixes directly to a drummer’s ears. You will know more about this as you continue reading this guide. 

Difference between In-Ear Monitors and Headphones

Headphones are speakers mounted to a headband with a soft seal around or on the outer ear to block outside noises. On the other hand, In-Ear Monitors are inserted into the ear canal. This results in a pristine and isolated sound. 

Are they better than headphones?

IEMs are certainly better than headphones because they are much more useful for musicians in the long run. They provide maximum comfort, but IEMs are also known to produce a more detailed sound than headphones.

What kind of In-Ear Monitors do professional drummers use?

Quite frankly, professional drummers have different tastes and needs for In-Ear Monitors. They prefer the ones that provide excellent sound quality, hearing protection, and comfortability. After all, they have only one pair of ears.

How do In-Ear Monitors for Drummers Work? 

In-Ear Monitors have two connected earphones. So instead of having floor wedges, IEMs have small built-in drivers that can fit into a drummer’s ear canal. Wireless IEMs contains two devices, which are the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is near the mixer while the performer carries the receiver. 

Different Types of In-Ear Monitors for Drummers

Wired vs. Wireless IEMs

Wireless IEMs allow musicians to move around while performing freely. You can go anywhere around the stage while having your monitor mix still intact. However, their convenience may cost two to four times the price of the Wired IEMs. 

The Wired IEMs are much more affordable, but their downside is their wires. These wires can cause issues in interference and reception. But they can already work for drummers since they don’t move around while performing.

Universal vs. Custom-made IEMs

Universal IEMs fit comfortably on most and any ear canals. They come in various ear tips to make sure you have the most comfortable and secure fit. They are more affordable than the custom ones. Also, this kind of IEM is easier to sell if you want to upgrade in the future. 

Custom-made IEMs are for drummers who prefer a better fit and better sound isolation. They can cancel outside noises because they fit perfectly in a musician’s ear shape. 

Straight vs. Over-ear IEMs

Straight IEMs are the ones with cables that hang straight down when you stick in. While Over-ear IEMs are the ones hooked around the ear and are adjustable to mold the ear shape. That is why its cables are securely hidden, making them harder to spot. Both are for the same purpose, but it is up to the musician’s comfortability preference. 

Benefits of In-Ear Monitors for Drummers

Clearer Sound Mix

In-Ear Monitors allow drummers only to hear their mix and reduced noise pollution. It is also expected that the audio feed will be more precise since drummers can listen to every beat. Also, because of IEMs, mistakes and precision problems are detected faster as they are easily heard. 

Ear Protection and Comfort

Excellent hearing protection for the drummers is one of the advantages of In-Ear Monitors because of the sound insulation it offers. Especially for drummers who are prone to extremely high sound pressure levels that can cause permanent hearing damage. Maximum comfort can also be achieved by having the IEM custom-made. 

Absence of Feedback

With In-Ear Monitors, feedback is easier to avoid. The unwanted interaction between the speakers and microphones can be easily controlled, making no room for onstage blastings and bleedings. By this, your technical team will have better control of the audience mix. 

Portability

IEMs are designed to be handy, whether you have a permanent or temporary band set up. This is especially important in a worship band’s clean and professional-looking stage. In-Ear Monitor is a wise investment to improve sound quality rather than to purchase other gears with bulky speaker cables.

Stage Mobility

IEMs provide a comfortable space in a musician’s performance where they can feel like everything sounds good. It is like using headphones where the sound goes wherever you go. Whereas, without IEM, they will hear a sound quality that is not consistently good. 

Factors to Consider in Choosing In-Ear Monitor for Drummers

Cables and Connectors

Does your In-Ear Monitor come with removable cables? Because if the old cable goes wrong or you want an upgrade, you can easily remove it and change it. Also, modern removable cables use MMCX connectors, which are interchangeable.

Integrated Mic and Remote Controls

This is also an essential factor, especially if you prefer wireless IEMs. Having integrated mics does not mean you have to mic every drum. You won’t need top-of-the-line quality mics, just additional microphones and mixer channels placed on every sound source. 

In-Ear Tips

Eartips are usually a choice of silicone or foam. They both do a great job blocking out noise and isolating sound while staying in place. However, it’s all a matter of the taste and comfortability of the drummer. 

Positioning, Fit, and Comfort

This factor depends mainly on the fit you have chosen for your IEM. Do you need a Universal fit or a Custom-made one? Both of these sound equally great, but it depends mainly on the price you are willing to spend.

Sound Quality and Isolation

High-quality IEMs will create a full and rich sound that can give you a more personal control at your preferred level. At the same time, it will reduce or eliminate noise from other musicians on your church stage.

Drivers

How many drivers are enough for an IEM to sound great? There is a theory that IEMs with more drivers are always the best. However, single-driver models result in only a limited frequency range. The point of this factor is that while drivers double or triple up, the best IEM for your drummer is the one that has the best audio tuning that fits your church music.

Design and Durability

The design of an IEM depends on the type of IEM you will choose. Also, the durability of the product depends on the brand manufacturer. It is better to go for a well-known brand IEM.

Audio-Technica ATH-E70 Professional In-Ear Studio Monitor

The Audio-Technica ATH-E70 Professional In-Ear Studio Monitor features a specially designed housing that produces excellent sound isolation while allowing you to have a long-wearing, comfortable fit because of its flexible memory loop. Also, it has triple-balanced armature drivers that will give you an accurate and extended response through all the frequency range. 

Its Comply foam ear tips will provide you with better sound isolation that will give you a complete and well-balanced sound, as well as everything you want to hear as a drummer. Furthermore, Audio-Technica is well-known for producing premium quality audio equipment. For over 50 years, they have been the leading innovator in transducer technology.

Pros:

  • It has a detachable 1.6m cable with A2DC connectors at the headphones
  • Features three balanced armature drivers for accurate and extended response
  • With flexible memory cable loops for a custom fit
  • Includes a carrying case and silicone ear tips
  • Comes with comply foam ear tips and a 6.3mm (1/4″) plug-on adapter 

Cons:

  • The earpieces may be slightly bulky for you

Shure SE215-CL Professional Sound Isolating Earphones

The SE215 offers a single, high-definition driver that produces a very detailed sound with enhanced bass. They are made to be lightweight because of their adjustable nozzle that is designed to rest comfortably in a drummer’s ear. Also, this IEM offers a top-notch sound-isolating design that blocks up to 37dB of outside noise. 

Moreover, the Shure SE215 presents a gold-plated MMCX connector that allows a 360-degree rotation for a comfortable fit because of its lock-snap mechanism. The wireless version of this IEM is also available. Also, did you know that Shure has been very much known since 1925? They are famous for producing great microphones and audio electronics. 

Pros:

  • This product is also available in the colors Black and Blue
  • Includes a soft-zip compact carrying case
  • Lightweight, low-profile shape with optimized nozzle angle
  • It consists of three sizes (S, M, L) of black foam sleeves
  • The cord is detachable from the IEMs. 

Cons:

  • Its cord is super long
  • One earbud may stop working in a few days, so this may not last long 

MEE Audio M6 PRO Musicians’ In-Ear Monitors

MEE has designed the 2nd generation M6 Pro with durable modular construction and superb sound with an over-the-ear fit for the stage. This upgraded version of the past M6 Pro offers a more accurate midrange and smoother, more natural treble. They are also engineered to be sweat-resistant with detachable and replaceable cables. 

This IEM includes flexible memory wire ear hooks and Comply T-Series memory foam tips. These Comply ear tips help in reducing external noise, enabling safer listening volumes. M6Pro features MEE audio’s first-ever custom-engraved faceplates that are available for pre-order. 

Pros:

  • It comes with both a stereo and a mic cable that are interchangeable
  • It includes a protective carrying case and ¼” adapter
  • 2nd-generation M6 Pro feature upgraded sound
  • It features accurate midrange and smoother, more natural treble
  • All-day comfort with a secure over-the-ear fit
  • Includes memory foam ear tips and 6 sets of silicone ear tips
  • It has a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • The product may not last long
  • There may be too much cable noise

Westone UM Pro10 Single Driver In-Ear Monitors

The main feature of the UM Pro 10 is its single balanced-armature driver that creates a dynamic soundstage with all the clear and pristine sound that performers expect from a high-quality In-Ear Monitor. Its silicone and comfort foam ear-tips provide comfort fit and superior noise cancellation. 

Westone used high-strength, high-flex, ultra-low resistance tensile wire to manufacture its professional-quality MMCX Audio Twisted Cable. This audio twisted cable helps in reducing cable noise while keeping it lightweight, flexible, and comfortable. So you know it is perfect for on-stage church performances. 

Pros:

  • Incredibly comfortable and can be worn for hours
  • Features a proprietary, single balanced-armature driver
  • The most compact, low profile, ergonomic design in the world
  • Features a twisted MMCX audio cable to help reduce cable noise and keep the cable light-weight, flexible, and comfortable
  • It includes 5-pair Patented STAR Silicone Eartips
  • Impact-resistant monitor vault
  • Includes a cleaning tool

Cons:

  • There may be distortion at high volume 
  • The IEM is very fragile 

Etymotic Research ER4SR Studio Reference In-Ear Earphones

Etymotic is known for designing products that will enhance the listening experience of those who are into music. That is why the ER4SR is guaranteed to deliver increased accuracy with greater sensitivity in the sound it produces. It has a sleek and laser-etched aluminum body to a replaceable and detachable cable. 

This IEM has special filters that smoothen its frequency response while preventing earwax from entering. These filters are visible when you remove the ear tip, and they should be changed when sound quality decreases. Inside the box, you will also see a Performance Certificate that proves its top-notch quality. 

Pros:

  • It includes assorted ear tips and a 1/4″ stereo phone adapter
  • Features a sleek, anodized, laser-etched aluminum body 
  • Includes braided, reinforced 5ft detachable MMCX cables
  • Features precision machined metal bodies with anodized finish
  • Has filter removal tool and replacement filters
  • Has shirt clip and carrying case
  • Very great in noise reduction

Cons:

  • The quality becomes weak for any sound below 100Hz
  • Over time, one or both of the speaker drivers become distorted and slowly reduces good sound output

Conclusion

For a drummer to stand as the heart and rhythm of a band, they’ll need to personally hear the worship music they are playing while on the church stage. In-ear monitors are a must for any drummer as drummers are the ones responsible for the band tempo. When playing gigs, in-ear monitors are vital for the drummer to hear himself as well as the band. It will give them a clear sound of everything that is going on as well as protect their ears from all the loud noise. 

So to conclude everything you’ve read in this guide, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-E70 Professional In-Ear Studio Monitor as the best one. In the E-Series, Audio-Technica ATH-E70 is the flagship in-ear monitor model. It offers high-resolution audio and an accurate sound stage. It was designed to be detailed and accurate in providing a precise balance of the mix. If you demand an In-Ear Monitor for Drummers intended to work the best, this one’s definitely for you. 

Alex Shute
AUTHOR
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.