Audio Gear

Best Monitor for Electronic Drums

If you are a drummer playing electronic drums, choosing the right monitor speakers is critical. This is especially so when you are playing in the public. However, picking the right one involves all relevant factors, including the price. I am going to select some of the best monitor for electronic drums cross different price points to suit folks with different budgets.  If you need more reviews, check out this post on the best electronic drum monitor and speaker.


Best monitor headphones for electronic drums

If you are playing in your room and just want to hear your sound more clearly, a drum monitor headphone is more than sufficient. Its cost is much lower and a full blow monitor amp and speaker combo.  After trying out a dozen of such headphones in the stores, I came to the conclusion that these 2 models are the best choices in this range.

alesis-drp100-drummer-headphone-reviewAlesis DRP100 drummer headphone review: The noise isolating component of this headphone is simply fantastic. You can hear the notes from the electronic drum so clearly that it is easy to hear your mistakes. It is so good that it can even isolate the sound of your sticks hitting the pads. Amazing thing is this model will cost you less than a Bose model.

The only downside is that the cord cannot be removed from the headphones. Also, it can be a bit heavy on the head if you wear it for long periods of time.

vic-firth-isolating-drummer-headphone-reviewVic Firth isolating drummer headphone review: The only comparable headphones I could find that matches the Alesis DRP100 is the Vic Firth noise isolating drummer headphone. In the past, the wiring had some issues and cause the headphones to not work at times. Vic Firth has since improved on this aspect and it is now working as all other headphones.

When wearing these, it cuts the noise level down such that your ears will not take a beating. If you have problem hearing yourself during the drum recording, buying this will save you a lot of pain.


Best monitor speaker for drummers

simmons-da200s-reviewIf you want to go beyond isolation headphones, you can consider these monitor speakers. In this category, there are many choices to choose from. I personally prefer the Simmons DA200S as it is one of the rare monitor speaker that is actually made specifically for electronic drums.

One thing that makes this drum monitor work so well is the use of different amps that caters to both high and low range. The cabinet houses 1 100W low frequency amp as well as 2 50W amp that is the mid and high end notes. With the 3 amps working in sync,it makes the sounds feel rich and has depth.

With such a rich sound, I thought $700 will be the right price but the fact that it can be had for $300+ blew my mind. It is simply a steal at this price range as I couldn’t find anything else that sound so good in the same price category.

Durability is also another strong point. I have this for years and it is still going strong, no matter how much I pushed it. Even for a small gig, it has sufficient power to impress the audience. If you are worried about the power, getting a few satellite speakers can help to widen the field of sound.

The only thing that can be considered a weakness is the size and weight of it. Make no mistake, the Simmons DA200s is a heavy drum studio monitor speaker. If you are traveling often with it. you might want to consider getting something to help you move the speaker more easily, like a trolley for example.

Simmons da200s vs da50

There is a cheaper DA50 model that is around $100 less. Initially, I was tempted by the lower price but after hearing it, there is no comparison. For $100 more, I rather go with the DA200s everytime as the sound is simply clearer and better. Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so as I notice a couple of reviewers on Amazon saying the same thing as well.


Best PA speaker for drummers

Finally, we get to the live gig portion. For a small room gig, the DA200s reviewed above will be sufficient. For something bigger, you will need the PA system. My recommendation is to think of a PA cabinet that houses a power house speaker like the QSC K10.

qsc-k10-reviewThe QSC K10 is not cheap but produces fantastic sound on a 1000W backbone. For live performance that is bigger than a small room, this is one of the monitor speakers to have.  Its 90 degree throw ensures that sound is evenly distributed across the room, even at a few feet around the speaker. Most other electronic drum speakers do not have this throw so not all folks will experience the same sound quality in a room.

A common comparison is made between Mackie SRM450 vs QCS K10. For loudness, I would both works fine. However, if you have sensitive ears, you will notice the K10 is a class by itself. On the 80 hZ frequency, the SRM450 has a hiss sound that is irraiting to me. The K10 doesn’t have this problem on any frequency. The bass is also much stable for the K10 while the SRM450 will experience some slight distortion now and then.

Besides the wonderful sound. the QSC K10 is incredibly light to carry around so it makes it perfect for live gigs.