What equipment is needed to listen to CDs through headphones and speakers simultaneously while playing acoustic drums?


Senior Member
See, that is good information to know. Thanks for sharing.

Our old Fisher receiver had the had the A/B speaker on and off buttons, as well as our current Yamaha receiver.
I haven't run any headphones through the Yamaha, and I couldn't recall if our old Fisher system handled the result of plugging in headphones and the A/B speaker switches in the same way.
You are welcome.


Right, and placing the mics correctly (plural-more than one) will be a big pain in the butt. Not to mention, mixing these separate mics into a useable mix depending on both the placement of said mics, and the acoustics of the room itself, opens up a whole other can of worms. Doing it correctly is truly a bit of a science to say the least.

Absolutely no problems asking questions, that's how we learn around here. I'm not experienced enough with DJ equipment to help much with that, but aren't the DJs usually cueing up the next song in their headphones through a mixer of some sort. An old friend of mine way back in the day was heavy into House music, and had gotten two turntables and a mixer as a HS graduation present from his parents. I messed around with them a little bit, but was in no way a mixmaster by any means. LOL!

Dave's suggestion of a Y-splitter cable might work depending on the inputs of whatever is driving the speakers.
That's a coincidence, I bought my son the same turntables, mixer setup for his graduation/birthday. All his friends said he had talent. But our house got robbed 2 days before his birthday and all our electronics were taken, it was a super bum deal. And, I didn't get to learn how it all worked 👎🏼


Platinum Member
Will both output at the same time, or will the headphone jack override the speaker output?
I guess it would depend on the receiver.
Back in the day, my stereo receiver would drive A and B speaker pairs, along with headphones, all at window rattling volume. Today's receivers seem limited by comparison.

To the OP, I've had best luck recently with earbuds plugged into a soundsource. I can hear the drums well enough, and the music doesn't have to be crazy loud.


Platinum Member
CD player, ear buds for audio and industrial ear defenders over the top. Mix the music in with the drums until you find your preferred volume and away you go. You can do the same with your phone.

I've been doing this for 20 years. It's cheap and it protects your hearing.

Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
Sad to say - decent quality closed headphones (for the music) and hear you drums via bleed, is definitely the way to go. Anything else is either a major hassle or damaging to your hearing, or annoying for anyone that lives nearby.
I have been doing this for 40+ years and it is fine. Play the music low volume enough to hear your drums. Hearing the drums at 75% quality/clarity is fine. Mic'ing drums is usually not going to sound better (unless you are a great audio engineer), using speakers is a non starter IMO.


Platinum Member
BTW, I hope your landlord is giving you a good rent discount for helping him out, and for apparently putting up with a lot of noise, too! Lol


Senior Member
As others posted, using (semi-)isolating headphones connected to the CD player and hearing the drums bleeding through can do the job - I did so in the past.

A step up with some more control would be something like the (temporarily) setup I have in my home office:

- an entry level Mackie Mix 8 mixer
- a cheap overhead mic (I used a set of Behringer C-2)
- Shure SE215 isolating earphones.
- an iPad for playing music (or CD player or whatever device)

The SE215 block sound pretty well so I can create a nice mix between drums and music.
Cost: around € / $300 - without iPad :)

BTW: first I tried 1 mic and an AKG bass drum mic but the bass is loud enough so I used 2 overheads (for stereo) instead.
The Zoom is not required, I use it for recordings.


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Active Member
My landlord has given me the task of getting him set up with cd player, speakers, and headphones listen to when he practices. His current cd player and speakers have bit the dust. A professional drummer friend of mine suggested the headphones used on one ear/behind one ear. I'm not a musician myself and not sure what I need to make this happen for him.

CD players are dirt cheap. Use a cell phone Tell him to subscribe to Spotify make a practice list and blue tooth headphones


Junior Member
Any small stereo system will do. But there’s a difference in how he wants to hear everything. I agree with the GK Ultraphones as headphones because those will block out all of the outside noise - so when he’s listening to music, he doesn’t have to crank it up so loud as to damage his hearing. But the trade off is that he won’t hear his drums as clearly (if he wants that). If he’s ok with the drums being fairly muffled when he plays, then any stereo (or playback device) will be fine with the Ultraphones.

If he wants to hear his drums, then he’d need a mixing board of some kind, so he can plug his music playback device into it, and a bass drum mic and overhead mic too. Then he can mix the three so everything sounds balanced, and with the Ultraphones he can keep that listening level down.

What does he want?
I just got a pair of Ultraphones on Friday. OP, I was concerned the isolation would be SOOOOO good that I would barely be able to hear the drums, but you will still hear the drums fine.

I plug my ultras into my iPad for Drumeo lessons or my Boss DB90 metronome and I can still hear the drums.


Platinum Member
I have been an audio guy just about as long as I have been a drummer. Here is what he will need.
1. headphones - I suggest getting them from a musical instrument store.
2. An amp or receiver that has speaker on/off on the unit or remote so that when headphones are plugged in the speakers will still play.
3. a disc player- DVD and Blu-ray players will also play CD's.

Good luck. Peace and goodwill.


Platinum Member
I have done the mics/monitoring/playback/mixing setup before but only because it was already set up and I know what I'm doing. Conclusion? Not worth it unless you're actually recording something. As others have said, a decent pair of closed-back headphones or if you're on a budget, ear defenders and standard earphones.