Why do Drummers Wear Headphones- Find Out More Headphone Uses

Musicians can’t do without their headphones, but it seems that drummers tend to forget about them. Many professionals and other singers have little understanding of the importance of using headphones in any concert or event. But headphones aren’t used for recording or listening to music only, but for various other reasons. 

Nowadays, many musicians, especially drummers, wear them during rehearsals, recording, and performances on stage. It might seem odd, but drummers can indeed put a better performance with headphones. This tells that headphones are indeed useful, and so others also need to know why they should get the best one right away. 

What do Earpieces do to the Drummers?

If you are a drummer, then you will need good hearing conditions and pay attention to the rest of the band. So, the sounds from the surroundings will be loud, but clear. By using earpieces during any performance, like a concert, the drummers can separate the background noise from the actual musical note. 

The earpiece will cancel out the high-frequency sound to help the drummers to listen to their drumming sounds. So, earpieces are needed for the metronome played by drummers. This is especially important for a beginner to be aware of the tempo and make their sounds flawless. 

Reasons drummers need headphones on stage

During Various Kinds of Performances

To Catch a Click Track necessary for Live Performances

Drummers need to keep track of the rhythm for making the music flawless with their beats. The headphones help them with a click track that will record sounds that click following the tempo of the music. This makes the drumming sync with the rest of the instruments and music. Drummers record some extra notes before they play in live performances, including special effects. Besides, headphones remove the click that becomes audible to the audience. 

To Listen to the Monitoring Mix

The headphones will help to hear the monitor mixes better than earphones. They will provide the mix so that the drummer can listen with clarity to the other band members. In addition, the headphones will remove the redundant noise so that the drummers can only hear the music and members. 

An Aid for Use in the Loudness of the Stage

Drummers can use headphones as alternatives to the loud noise on stage. They can use them to make up for the noisiness of the monitors and the amplifiers. Since the loudness is reduced, the drummers can hear properly the music to sync their drums. 

To Follow the Instructions and Directions on Stage

A stage is a place full of chaos and noise, and it gets hard to understand any words from the members. So, drummers can use headphones to make the noise muffled and communicate easily with others. The headphones will also allow instructions to be recorded before use during the program.

For Hearing a Backing Track

When the drummer practices they need to listen carefully to the track to match their beats. A headphone can help them to block the sound of the drum to track the actual musical notes. However, this only works for solo performances or live shows, and not for big concerts. 

To Arrange Improved Recording Sessions

Overall, the drummer wants to make the recording session clear and flawless. So, the headphones will help to catch other sounds apart from drumming beats. These will further prevent the speaker’s sound from causing problems with the recording session.

To Test the Audio used for Recording

The speakers will also help to test the audio that is played in the recording. The drummers can easily understand the audio monitoring to see how the music is played. So, they can check whether their sounds are working and whether they are using the correct notes and beats. They can then adjust their sounds accordingly. 

To Fix the Headphone Mix

The drummers can record the song using headphones. This is the headphone mix needed for playing the music accurately. They can hear that the song sounds good on the headphones. Is when a song is recorded using headphones. So, they need to mix and master the song to record it such that it comes out perfect in the performance. 

To Listen to the Other Musicians

While it’s only singing on stage, the members of the band or even the solo singer need to listen to the other musicians. Without good communication, they can’t have a great performance. This also allows them to sync the music with the sounds of the instruments. So, all members, including drummers need headphones to hear each other amongst the loudness, which will then be effectively reduced. 

For hearing to the Metronome for More Control 

Drummers need to keep good track of their beats and rhythm using the metronome. So, to match the note, they should use a headphone to hear clearly their music to adjust accordingly. This would also make the practice session easier and with more control.

To Improve their Drumming Skills

Since the drummers have better control and a more audible environment to sync and communicate, they can surely have more effective practice. This will allow them to have splendid performances on stage. To master their skills, they will find the headphones very beneficial. 

To Adjust the Tuning of Stage Volume

Even with everything perfectly set on stage for performance, things may not work well. The musicians may still need to fix instruments or make other adjustments. Mostly, this involves tuning or fixing the volume. By using the headphones, they can find the right loudness needed for a stage.

For Making the Tracking Easier in the Studio

As much as it is important for a flawless performance in front of a big audience, so is a studio performance or recording. So, many musicians, including drummers use headphones to track the correct tune for each note. Otherwise, the flaws become visible to the audience.

Health Purposes

To protect the ears

We know that loud noise can easily harm the ears and damage the eardrums. This could easily lead to hearing loss. However, headphones are used to cancel out the background noise, which can absorb the sound of around 20 decibels. By wearing headphones, the drummers can protect their ears from the drumming beats and continue to play for hours without any worry. But they will need the right type of headphones to block sounds effectively, otherwise, it gets hard to prevent ear damage. 

Maintaining Ear Health

When the drummers are protecting their ears using headphones during practice sessions or concerts, they are keeping their ears in good condition. Besides, good hearing is very important for any musician for a steady and successful career. Otherwise, hearing issues or ear conditions may basically mean the end of being a great musician, unfortunately.

It Helps to Keep the Ears Warm

Sometimes, it isn’t even for good performance or maintaining health. The environment might be different and the drummers will need protective covering to perform well. So for colder places, headphones will help them to keep warm and play their drums properly. However, without a snug fit, the headphones may become difficult to use in hotter climates as they will cause sweating. It is a good practice to remove the headphones from time to time during breaks. 

Parts played by Drummers 

Drummers are very important for a music band, as they bring out the rhythm and beats of the song. So, the music we hear has an addictive note and beat due to the drums. Drummers need to give their best to punctuate and make the songs sound great. For this, they need to receive carefully the tone and pitches of the other instruments and singers. By using any kind of earpiece, they can cancel out sounds to listen to the actual note. 

Why is Ear Health important for Drummers?

In fact, this is vital for everyone, but musicians are more prone to ear damage than others due to loud music exposure regularly. Besides, drummers are involved with the heavy beats of their drums, as well as the loud music. So, they need to protect their ears properly to prevent hearing loss. Loudness can easily damage the nerves and receptors inside the ears. A hearing loss would mean the end of their career. Other than this, exposure to loud music can lead to other health problems.

Types of Earpieces to Use

Over-Ear Headphones: For ear protection and warmth

Active Noise-Cancelation Headphone: For comfort, protection, and noise isolation

Headsets: Perfect for studio recording or live performances

Closed-Back Headphones: For active noise, isolation to hear others on stage

Open-Back Headphones: For clarity in music and reducing the loudness

Wireless Headphones: For comfort, clarity, and noise cancelation

Wired Headphones: For longer use 

Bluetooth Earbuds: Alternative to headphones for studio recording or solo performances

Difference between In-Ear vs Studio Headphones vs Regular Headphones

Features In-Ear HeadphonesStudio HeadphonesRegular Headphones
Visualization Not very accurate Accurate Less accurate 
Frequency rangeStandard Higher Limited 
Construction Average Sturdy Strong 
Audio quality Low Higher High 
Noise cancelationLow Greater Lower than Studio ones

Learn More

Things to Consider to Get the Right Headphones

  • Construction for sturdiness and lasting longer
  • Lightweight and comfortable for more prolonged use
  • Type of headphones suitable for the purpose
  • Convenient frequency range
  • Greater noise cancelation and audio quality


  1. What are drummers hearing in their headphones?

As mentioned, from the outside, the drummers need to listen to their members. But inside the headphones, they must keep track of the metronome. The headphones record the required click to adjust the tempo and match their beats. So, when they are playing the drums with their headphones on, they are listening to the click sound of the music.  

  1. What are the best Bluetooth earbuds for drummers?

Drummers can also use earbuds for noise isolation and hearing others while protecting their ears. While headphones are more effective in doing these, they aren’t very comfortable to wear for longer sessions. Besides, headphones can cause sweating and other discomforts if worn for long and regularly. So, for shorter periods of drumming, they can use earbuds for the same purpose. Some of the greatest brands include Sony, Beats Studio, OneOdio, Beyerdynamic, and so on.

  1. Do Drummers need Earplugs?

Apart from headphones, some drummers use earplugs. The purpose served by them is the same, that is to protect the ears from loud music. These are, however, cheaper than headphones, and are used by many professionals. To save your ears from damage, you can either choose earplugs or headphones.

  1. Do drummers wear headphones on stage?

It is now evident that drummers and other musicians wear headphones while performing on stage and for studio recording or solo performances. Live performances will allow them to play the drums flawlessly, and also protect their ears. Mostly, they might use in-ear headphones that will cancel background noise for better communication with the members and sync the music. 

  1.  How do musicians play their music while wearing headphones?

It is a wonder how musicians can keep their music flawless while playing amongst a big crowd where hearing anything becomes difficult. By wearing headphones, they can easily block out the background, and unnecessary loudness and focus clearly on perfecting their music. Musicians can hear a click sound and other musical cues pre-recorded on their headphones to keep track of the notes. This helps them to play the music and sync with others even though they are blocking their ears. 


All we can say is that headphones are an important part of musicians and music lovers equally. But mostly, they are highly beneficial for drummers, so they will need their cymbals and drums, along with the best headphones. For beginners, headphones will play a big role in perfecting their skills. Other than music, these items also help to maintain ear health to prevent hearing loss. So, tracking notes, communicating, listening, or recording will become more accessible and more effective with headphones. Learn more about the most suitable one for your purpose to get one right away. 

Vitaly Fedorov

Vitaly Fedorov is a seasoned audio technician and writer. After spending ten years in a studio team, I have decided to spread my knowledge to people in this domain. On this site, I work for headphone fixing or repair issues, that you’re thinking about fixing. Click on any article on my site and read the complete answer about that issue. I am excited to read your feedback.

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