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Drummer IEM Question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Currently I use VicFirth Isolation Headphones for my ipod or monitor mix whenever I play. Unfortunately they change the sound a good bit and they restrict volume quite a bit to prevent you from destroying your ears. Also, I would much prefer something that isn't so bulky.


So I've been looking through the forums and trying to find people's suggestions for good IEMs for drummers. I've found quite a few options that I think would be good, but it's hard to make a choice. It's really hard to find comparisons of the different IEMs, especially in a way that caters to what I'm looking for. It seems that the best thing to do is make another thread asking an old question, what's your suggestion about what I should get?


As far as a budget goes, it's got to be under $200 and preferably closer to $100. Since I'm a drummer isolation is the first thing that I'm concerned about. My next priority is sound quality. I'm looking for the best and most professional quality sound that I can get for my money. Eventually I know I'll probably upgrade to custom molded IEMs, but for now I'm on a budget. Honestly everything else is important but nowhere near as important as isolation and sound quality. Fit is important, but I can always find an ear-piece that will fix and comfort issues.


I've found five different possible choices so far and I'm trying to narrow it down. If you have another suggestion that you think would be better than what I've picked, please let me know. These are just what I've been able to find so far that might do what I want at a price I like.


Etymotic HF5

Etymotic ER6i

Westone UM1

Monster Turbine 

Fischer Audio DBA-02


Thanks ahead of time for your help =)

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 



Is my post just too long? It seems like I see people with very poorly written and very short posts get answers almost immediately.

post #3 of 10

The Klipsch Custom 3 goes for $100 new. I think it will fulfill the isolation and sq requirements for you. The downside is the cable. It's prone to cable noise and tends to develop kinks from the cloth sheathing.

post #4 of 10

You might want to consider the HF5, especially if noise isolation and accurate sound are two of your requirements.  The HF5 will give you 35-42dB of noise isolation (depending on the eartips you select), 85% accuracy, and a 2-year warranty.   The Etymotic MC5 might be another option if you prefer something more budget conscious. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 


post #6 of 10

I'm not a drummer, but it seems reasonable to assume that aside from good isolation you want a good grip on mid bass?


Etymotic struggles a bit on this last point, and as much as I adore mine for casual listening in noisy environments, I can't really picture them as an ideal drummers IEM.


I'm sorry for not being more helpful, but my own experience with IEMs is a bit limited.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that exactly the kind of input I'm looking for. Does anyone know how the others that I've picked fare in mid bass?

post #8 of 10

Well...cross turbine off for one.


I recommend going with the etymotics, they're pretty accurate across the spectrum from my impressions.

Any one of them will suit you, but pick between the MC5 and HF5. Bass is not a problem; you won't need more because it's realistic.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I'm crossing the ER6i's off of the list. Through some more reading I've discovered that the HF5's are supposed to be in a completely different league from the ER6i's.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

So thanks to the help of some great feedback, I'm down to deciding between the HF5 and DBA-02. I was leaning towards the DBA-02 but every place is out of stock and I need my IEMs sooner than that. So I'm going to bite the bullet with the HF5s. Thanks to everyone who has given their 2 cents. I'll hopefully get a review up in a week or so once I get them and have a chance to put them through their paces.

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