When you’re playing the loudest instrument in the band, hearing everyone else is always going to be a struggle. In addition, because your drums are so loud, you’re pretty much required to have some kind of ear protection to avoid damaging your eardrums during extended sets.
What you really need is a set of in-ear monitors (or IEMs for short) that can give you the best of both worlds; solid ear protection combined with the ability to hear the rest of the band without the ear-damaging side effects.
Fortunately, Westone, one of the world’s premier hearing and audio technology companies, makes an incredible set of IEMs that work exceptionally well for drummers, the Westone UM Pro 20s, that can give you everything you’re expecting in some of the best IEMs on the market today.
The Westone UM Pro20 for Drummers
Westone in ear monitors for drummers are designed for both comfort and protection. When you buy this set, you’re getting six different earbud caps in both silicone and foam, all designed to block out at least 25 db of ambient noise. Of course, the sound they block out is nothing compared to the sound they let in; with a dual armature driver system in each earbud, each covering one end of the sound spectrum, you can get impressive fidelity both on the high and low ends.
While these IEMs are also incredibly robust, they’re also incredibly easy to fix and maintain; you also get a hard carry case and a replaceable cord, so these IEM earbuds will last just as long as you want. As long as you’re able to avoid breaking the earbuds themselves, this IEM setup can last just as long as your music career.
When it comes to bands and IEMs, the opinion is pretty split; some bands really like the ability to hear everyone else, while others believe that they’re alienated from the audience while wearing IEMs. While both of these are valid points, they don’t really consider ear monitors for drummers.
As a drummer, you’re going to have a hard time hearing much of anything over your drum kit, so anything you can get into your ears is great. Even if you’re the only one in the band using an IEM setup, you’re probably one of the people who needs it the most; this way, everyone can follow along with you, and you can hear everybody following along.
Considering you’re going to need ear protection anyway for sets longer than seven minutes, you really owe it to yourself to get the extra ability to hear everything else that’s going on, and you really can do it on these Westone 20s.
In addition to a musician’s tool, you’re also getting an incredibly solid set of earbuds for any music you listen to. These buds are powerful, but also inconspicuous and easy to carry around; whether you’re using them as athletic earbuds or just for walking to and from places, you can have all the musician’s benefits without being weighed down or looking out of place.
Listening to your music with the same IEM earbuds that you play music with also makes it easy for you to gauge your sound against your favorite bands. By listening to them through the same setup on your Westone in ear monitor, you can be sure that you sound the same, and if you don’t, you know that the problem isn’t on your end.
While the price may seem steep for just a pair of earbuds, no matter the quality, you can rest assured knowing that you can use this single set to replace virtually every other earbud setup in your collection.
Conclusion? Worth It
The reviews for the Westone UM Pro 20s, like the others in Westone’s UM Pro line, are all solidly positive. Reviewers on Amazon really do agree with what Westone is saying; it’s a comfortable high-fidelity IEM that’s great for the price. It’s a quarter inch cable, so it works with pretty much anything that takes a standard headphone jack, it’s small enough to fold down into a pocket and inconspicuous enough that it doesn’t even look like anything when you’re on stage.
It gives you the protection you need as a drummer, and the ability to hear your band with dual driver clarity. Whether you’re just starting out with a set of IEMs or upgrading to a better set, you’re going to get a lot of solid performance from a solid company when you buy a set of Westone UM Pro 20s.