Buyers' Guides

The best headphones for electronic drums

Looking for a quality pair of headphones for your electronic drums? Browse our top picks of on-ear and in-ear headphones and learn what makes a good choice for eDrums

Headphones are one of the best ways to hear your electronic drums when practising at home, as they help to muffle out the ambient sound if your sticks hit the drum pads and mean you can hear more of the mix. Here, we’ll look at the best headphones for electronic drums, and what factors to look at to help you choose the perfect pair.

Skip straight to our top 3 headphones:

  1. Audio Technika ATH-M50x
  2. Sennheiser HD280 Pro
  3. Status Audio CB-1

What makes a good pair of headphones for eDrums

There are three things to consider when looking for a pair of headphones for your electronic drums: full-range flat-response sound, a long cable with a 6.35mm (¼ inch) jack or adaptor, and a closed-back or open-back design. Let’s look at these points in more detail below.

What is full-range flat-response?

This phrase describes how the headphones sound. Firstly, full range refers to the ability to reproduce frequencies from around 20Hz to 20kHz, which is the range that the human ear can pick up. That’s important for eDrums, as the instruments on your kit cover everything from the low thud of the kick drum, to the shimmering highs of a crash cymbal.

Meanwhile, flat response refers to the EQ of the sound – or lack thereof. A flat response means no frequencies are artificially cut or boosted by the headphones, instead, they reproduce the sound as close as possible to how the module or VST drum library is outputting it.

That’s useful for eDrummers who like to customise and edit drum sounds. With a pair of headphones with full range and flat response, you won’t find yourself tuning your drum sound to suit your headphones. Instead, your drum preset will translate well to other speakers or headphones, which is beneficial if you’re recording your own tracks or drum covers.

Closed back vs Open back

There are two types of over-ear headphones to consider – closed back and open back – which describe how they’re designed. Open-backed headphones have a perforated outer shell, which means the sound from the headphones can leak out and outside sounds can leak in. When it comes to eDrumming, open-backed headphones aren’t as useful, as you’ll tend to hear the noise of your sticks hitting the pads more loudly.

Open-backed headphones, on the other hand, are great at hiding the sound from the outside world, providing around 10dB of noise isolation. That means the sound of your sticks hitting your pads is more muffled, helping you to hear more of your drum mix over the ambient noise.

A word about Active Noise Isolation (ANC): unfortunately, this technology doesn’t really work for isolating the ambient sound of your drums. ANC is best for constant sounds, such as the roar of aircraft engines, and doesn’t work with short or sudden noises like eDrum pads being struck.

Long cable length with 6.35mm jack or adaptor in the box

Finally, you need a way to connect your headphones to your drum module. Almost all drum modules use a 6.35mm (¼ inch) stereo jack, in common with most pro-audio equipment. When you buy a pair of headphones, make sure there is a cable or adaptor for this format.

Similarly, be sure to check the cable length – around 6 feet or 1.8 meters and above is best, but it also depends on how far away your drum module is from your drum stool. A long cable is essential as you’ll move a lot while you play, so any extra slack is essential.

If you already have a favourite pair of headphones hindered by a short cable, don’t worry, as you can always buy an extender. If your headphones have a 3.5mm (1/8inch) jack, then you’ll need a stereo 3.5mm female to 6.35mm male adaptor, which you can find at or

Note: if you choose to buy from any of the retailer links on this page, eDrumHub may earn a small commission that helps maintain the site, at no extra cost to you.

What are the best headphones for electronic drums?

Below you’ll find our top three over-ear headphone recommendations for eDrums. At the time of writing, all cost a maximum of $169/£125. It’s not really necessary to spend more than this amount since any benefit above this price is marginal for monitoring purposes. Each of the headphones below offer a flat sound, regularly appear in the top sales rankings, and are highly rated by a range of review sites.

Audio Technika ATH-M50x

The Audio Technika ATH-M50x headphones consistently score highly among critics and customers alike, and are one of the most popular closed-back headphones for music and studio use.

These headphones tick a lot of the right boxes for eDrummers. The set comes with three interchangeable cables: a choice of straight cables in 1.2m or 3m length, or a coiled cable that can expand from 1.2m to 3m. The 3m straight cable is ideal for eDrummers thanks to the generous amount of slack it gives. Each cable uses a 3.5mm connector, and a 6.35mm/1/4 inch jack adaptor is provided, meaning this will work with all drum modules.

The headphones weigh 286g / 10.1 ounces and feature large ear cups which help to make them comfortable to wear, along with a moderate clamping force of 1 lb helping to keep them in place. However, they’re not especially breathable, which makes them warm after playing for a while.

In terms of durability, the M50x feel well-built thanks to the sturdy plastic used, with the joints appearing to be the only potential weak points.

And when it comes to audio, the sound profile is reasonably flat, with a very slight emphasis on bass over treble. 

You can pick up the Audio Technika ATH-M50x headphones for $169 at the time of writing from or £125 from Alternatively, get your pair in a cool white finish from Guitar Center.

Sennheiser HD280 Pro

The Sennheiser HD280 Pro are a tried and tested design that’s been around since 2003, and is still a favourite monitoring headphone for professional use.

Unlike the Audio-Technika headphones, the HD280 Pro only comes with a single cable that’s hardwired in, which is coiled and can expand from 1.3m to 3m. This, therefore, may be better suited to set-ups where the drum module is close by, otherwise, a cable extender may be needed. But fortunately, a ¼ inch jack connector is provided so you can connect the headphones to your module.

These headphones come in at almost the same weight as the Audio Technika set at 284g or 10.05 ounces, however, they have a rather high clamping force of 1.61 lbs, meaning they may become uncomfortable over long sessions.

Where these headphones excel is their neutral, flat sound, great for drummers that want to record and mix their drums accurately.

Pick them up for $99 in the US or £79 in the UK.

Status Audio CB-1

The Status Audio CB-1 is our favourite budget option. Coming in at $79 in the US and £59 in the UK, these are one of the best pairs of cheap electronic drum headphones out there. For a budget headset, these have a very neutral sounding tone that’s suitable for a home recording set up on a tight budget.

They’re also a good pick for drummers who love to play long sessions, thanks to the comfortable and highly padded ear cups and headband. There’s a choice of two cables in the pack, one coiled and one straight at 2.7 meters – plenty long enough for use with your e-kit. And of course, a ¼ inch jack adaptor is included.

One weak point is the poor sound isolation, meaning you may hear more of your drum pads over the headphone mix. Though of course at such a low price, there has to be some compromise.

Other ways to hear your eDrums

Of course, not everyone wants to use headphones when playing their eDrums. Learn about if you need an amp to play electronic drums, if you can use a guitar amp for electronic drums, or if a bass amp works for eDrums in our guides.

Featured image by D Z

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By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

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