A vector-sensor consisting of a monopole sensor collocated with orthogonally oriented dipole sensors is used for direction of arrival (DOA) estimation in the presence of an isotropic noise-field or internal device noise. A maximum likelihood (ML) DOA estimator is derived and subsequently shown to be a special case of DOA estimation by means of a search for the direction of maximum steered response power (SRP). The problem of SRP maximization with respect to a vector-sensor can be solved with a computationally inexpensive algorithm. The ML estimator achieves asymptotic efficiency and thus outperforms existing estimators with respect to the mean square angular error (MSAE) measure. The beampattern associated with the ML estimator is shown to be identical to that used by the minimum power distortionless response beamformer for the purpose of signal enhancement.