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As drummers, most of us have found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of not being able to hear ourselves or the people we’re playing with when performing live. This makes it really difficult to fully focus on our playing.
High-quality stage monitors can make a huge difference to your overall performance. They are great for helping you to keep a consistent tempo, lock in with the other musicians in your band, and focus more on your playing.
In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the best stage monitors for drummers. We’ll look at their features and specifications and review each monitor in detail so you can make an informed decision that suits your musical style.
- What are the Best Stage Monitors?
- In-Depth Stage Monitor Reviews
- Drummer Stage Monitors Buyer's Guide
- Things to Consider When Buying Stage Monitors for Drummers
- Key Aspects & Features of Stage Floor Monitors for Drummers
- Stage Monitors for Drummers FAQs
What are the Best Stage Monitors?
In-Depth Stage Monitor Reviews
With its roadworthy design and robust Class D internal power amp, this monitor provides adequate volume for rehearsing and performing live.
The 12″ coaxial speaker with a coincident HF driver offers a flat frequency response that’s perfect for projecting guitars, bass, and vocals onstage. Furthermore, the 55-degree monitor angle ensures a clear sound whether you’re close up or a few meters from the device.
The Electro-Voice PXM-12MP also has an array of features that make it great for drummers. This includes a 3-band EQ, space for five users presets, and an integrated pole mount for use with a stand.
Additionally, it has two Mic/Line combo XLR-1/4″ inputs, Stereo RCA connections, and a rugged steel grille that can withstand any accidental kicks or hits, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally flinging a stick at it when you’re drumming with power!
- Ideal for large venues
- Naturally points toward the drummer
- Balanced frequency response with no weak spots
- Quite heavy
With its excellent sound projection and well-rounded frequency response, this powered wedge monitor would make a great addition to any drummer’s setup.
The onboard Klark Teknik Class D power amp provides up to 1100 watts of output, and the coaxial 12″ LF/1″ HF drivers provide excellent sound projection across the stage, rehearsal space, or studio.
Additionally, the Turbosound TFX122M-AN monitor comes with lots of features that make it easy to customize your sound. For example, the DSP, also made by Klark Teknik, lets you easily adjust EQ, delay, and other features using PC remote control software or the onboard LCD screen.
The Ultranet digital audio networking makes it easy to integrate this monitor with other mixers and speakers in a larger setup, which may be beneficial if you regularly play with other groups of musicians.
- Suitable for vertical or horizontal placement
- Retains clarity at high volumes
- Doubles up as a PA speaker
- Not suitable for stand mounting
One of the main strengths of the Behringer Eurolive B205D monitor is its small size, which makes it ideal for crowded stages. However, this doesn’t impact its loudness, as the 150 watts of power ensures that you’ll hear the output over your drums and other instruments.
Another noteworthy aspect of this monitor is its 3-channel mixer. It has dual XLR/TRS combo inputs for mic or line-level signals and RCA inputs for audio devices like MP3 players – so you can easily connect multiple sound sources.
Moreover, the mixer’s built-in 3-band EQ gives you the flexibility to fine-tune your sound. For example, if you need more bass in your drum monitor, simply increase the low-end EQ settings.
Finally, the B205D can be mounted to a mic stand if you need to free up some space on the stage. This makes it especially convenient for drummers who frequently play in smaller venues or have limited space in the rehearsal room.
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Perfect for small stages and venues
- XLR and TRS inputs for mics and instruments
- Lacks the power of other stage monitors
The Electro-Voice ZLX12BT is a versatile loudspeaker that also doubles up as a drum stage monitor. With 1000 watts of power split between a two-way speaker system, it has no weak spots in its output.
Capable of producing low-end frequencies down to 50 Hz, the 12″ woofer ensures that you will hear plenty of bass guitar and kick in your monitor. Also, the 1.5″ titanium HF driver keeps vocals and instruments sounding pristine.
Depending on the logistics of the stage and venue, the ZLX12BT can be mounted onto a pole or used as a wedge monitor when placed horizontally on the floor.
This monitor also has a 3.5mm aux input to play music from your phone or laptop, which is great if you want to drum along to other songs or a click track when practicing or warming up.
- Has the power required for large venues
- Can be pole mounted or used on the floor
- Four presets for different settings
- Large and fairly heavy design
With its FIR-X tuning technology, the DBR10 Powered Speaker ensures high-quality sound projection with a smooth frequency response, so you can clearly hear all of the sounds in your drum monitor.
An interesting feature of this device is the D-Contour switch. By changing the settings, you can choose whether to use the device as a main speaker or floor monitor, affording you the flexibility to adjust your setup depending on where you’re playing.
The onboard mixer makes setup quick and simple and provides both direct output and mixed output options. Furthermore, you can add a subwoofer with its switchable highpass filter for an additional low-end response if you need more bass in your wedge onstage.
Yamaha has also provided comprehensive inputs for mixers, musical instruments, and other devices like smartphones or laptops. The amplifier and power supply design of the DBR10 also makes it a powerful speaker despite its compact size, so you shouldn’t have issues finding a place for it onstage.
Finally, with Yamaha’s iconic build quality, this monitor will withstand the demands of live performance, even if you’re touring and rehearsing extensively.
- Compact design with powerful output
- Flexible connectivity for extending your monitoring setup
- Can be used as a floor monitor or PA speaker
- Not suitable for larger venues
Drummer Stage Monitors Buyer's Guide
Drums are naturally one of the loudest acoustic instruments you can play, so it can be very difficult to hear other instruments, vocalists, or backing tracks onstage. That’s why it’s essential for drummers to use good stage monitors.
These monitors instantly help you hear other instruments better, and they also allow you to adjust the level of your own playing according to what works best in the mix. This improves all aspects of your drumming, from feel to timing to dynamics.
Stage monitors come with many different designs and features. Some are specifically for drummers, while others are multi-faceted and suitable for a variety of musicians and singers.
The cost of stage monitor speakers for drummers also varies dramatically. However, the price is not always indicative of quality.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go in-depth on the different types of stage monitors for drummers and the features to look out for before making a purchase. We’ll also provide key considerations when it comes to buying the right monitor for your individual needs as a drummer.
Things to Consider When Buying Stage Monitors for Drummers
Consider the dimensions
When you’re shopping for stage monitors, size is important. Drummers need something that won’t take up too much room on the stage but will still be loud enough for use in a large venue. Compact, lightweight options are best for drummers who want something easy to transport.
Think about power
Stage monitors need to be loud enough for the drummer to hear their own playing. Look for options that have plenty of power and headroom so you don’t have to worry about distortion when the volume is cranked up.
Consider sound quality
The sound quality of the stage monitor is just as important as its size and power. The onboard speakers, along with the driver, will determine how clear the audio is. Look for models with high-quality components and a balanced frequency response so that you can get the most out of your monitor.
Different stage monitors offer various input and output options. Look for models with balanced 1/4” TRS and XLR connections, as well as unbalanced RCA inputs and perhaps Bluetooth wireless connectivity. This will ensure you can hook up your monitor to a variety of devices
Key Aspects & Features of Stage Floor Monitors for Drummers
Different Types of Drum Monitors
As you’ve probably noticed from the options featured in this guide, stage monitors for drummers come in two varieties – floor monitors and mountable monitors. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between these two types to help you decide which is best for your needs.
Floor monitors are standalone units that sit directly on the stage or floor in front of the drummer. These offer the most freedom when it comes to positioning and is ideal for stages that have plenty of space.
They’re often angled slightly so that they can project sound directly toward the drummer. The main downside to floor monitors is that they can be a tripping hazard on crowded stages, particularly when the lights are dimmed during a performance.
These monitors are also commonly called “wedge monitors,” as they often have a wedge-like shape that is designed to create the perfect angle for the output to be heard by the drummer.
On the other hand, mounted monitors are designed to be mounted onto an existing stand, most commonly a pole. This allows them to be positioned in exactly the right spot without taking up any extra space onstage.
Some drummers may feel that having a monitor on a stand blocks their vision of the crowd or the other musicians, which may be distracting. However, there’s less chance of them getting in the way or causing a safety issue, providing they’re mounted correctly.
Hybrid drum monitors can be mounted to a stand or placed on the floor. These are great options for musicians who would like to use the monitor for several different purposes, potentially as a P.A speaker.
Investing in a monitor that can be used in several ways might be wise if you’re regularly playing in different venues or studio settings. After all, monitors can be useful when practicing and recording drums, not just for performing.
Power and Volume
The power of stage monitors is rated in watts. This indicates, in a very general way, how loud and powerful the speaker can be.
As drummers, we usually need louder monitors than other musicians on stage, so it’s important to consider the wattage of the monitor you choose.
Most powered stage monitors range from 700-1,100 watts, depending on their purpose and the manufacturer’s design.
If you’re playing in a loud metal band in large venues, you might need a monitor with 1,000 watts or higher. If you’re playing in smaller venues, in a quieter style such as jazz or folk, for example, 700-800 watts should be enough.
Although not always the case, usually higher-watt drum monitors will be bulkier and heavier. This is important to consider when deciding on a stage monitor, as you will need to transport them from gig to gig.
Frequency Response & EQ
The frequency response of a stage monitor is determined by the capabilities of the inbuilt speakers, the drivers, and additional features such as DSPs or EQs.
A flat response, which means you can hear an equal amount of sound at all frequencies, is usually desired in a drum monitor.
Knowing what frequency range your drum monitor output is likely to include will help you determine the ideal response for your needs. If you plan to have drums, guitars, bass, and vocals, you’ll want a monitor that can handle them all and still deliver a balanced sound.
EQ controls are commonly found on drum monitors to adjust the sound. A three-band EQ, which is the most likely you’ll come across, gives you the power to boost or reduce the prominence of specific frequencies and tailor the sound to your liking.
Stage Monitors for Drummers FAQs
Can Any Speaker be Used as a Drum Stage Monitor?
In theory, any speaker can be used as a drum stage monitor. However, it is important to note that while regular speakers may provide an enjoyable sound experience, they are not as accurate in reproducing the sound as studio monitors would be.
For this reason, if you’re looking for accuracy, invest in a dedicated drum stage monitor designed for that specific purpose.
Do Drummers Need a Stage Monitor?
Particularly when performing live, drummers need a stage monitor. Without one, it can be difficult for the drummer to hear themselves and their bandmates, leading to them playing too hard and losing out on important dynamics.
In more intimate settings, it may not be necessary to use a monitor, as the other instruments may be audible without the help of one. That said, a quality stage monitor can provide an extra layer of clarity and confidence for the drummer to ensure they stay in the pocket.