The Best In-ear Monitors In 2021
Once you’ve spent several hours in the studio and put together a list of songs you’re proud of, the next step is to test the songs in a live arena. To put on a good show, you should be able to hear the music you’re playing on stage. The process of hearing this music is known as monitoring. There are great options to choose from, including in ear monitor amplifiers, also known as IEMs or stage monitors.
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Traditionally, musicians had to rely on stage monitors so they can hear what they are playing during the show. These speakers were not only wedge-shaped but also faced towards the bands so the audience won’t hear them over other speakers. However, these wedges used to come with a lot of problems such as cluttering up the stage and damaging your ears with their volume levels. Since you don’t have to worry about any of these issues with in-ear monitor amplifiers, they are increasingly becoming the norm in the live music industry. If you are shopping for the best in-ear monitors, click here to read our in-depth reviews.
What are in ear monitors?
Simply put IEMs or Shure in ear monitors refer to the devices used by musicians to listen to their music during a performance on stage. When you see a musician on stage wearing a pair of special looking ear buds, and what resembles walkie talkie belt then you are probably seeing in ear monitor system in action. Basically, custom in ear monitors consists of three main components namely the receiver, transmitter, and pair of earphones.
The transmitter is always fitted on the sides and is used to send the audio of the playing music to the receiver. This audio is known as the monitor mix. The receiver, on the other hand, is worn as the belt pack and is where the earpiece is fit,ted into. The belt pack also comes with a volume button so you can easily get the music at the level that you want. Through the use of noise cancellation, the earphones can be used to block out any unwanted background sounds that you may not want to receive. The monitor mix can also be heard through the earphones in a very clear manner.
Benefits of the best ear monitors
• Protect your ears. If you expose your ears to prolonged very high sound pressure, you are likely to damage your ears. While some performances have chosen to wear ear plugs to shield their ears even the best performing ear plugs can lead to change of frequency of response. Bluetooth in ear monitors not only provide the kind of protection that’s equal to the earplugs but also the additional benefit of tiny speakers fitted in the ear plugs.
• Reduced vocal strain. The ability to hear clearly will also significantly reduce vocal strain that for the singers. In order to compensate for monitor systems that do not offer adequate vocal reinforcement, many singers usually force themselves to sing with a lot of power that is not healthy. Anyone who earns a living through music understands that once you lose your voice you automatically lose your livelihood. Since every precaution should be taken to protect the molded in ear monitors are the main ingredients that will help musicians to continue to sing for several years to come.
• Stereo monitoring. This is perhaps one of the main advantages of wireless in ear monitor system. The best custom in ear monitors UK will give you the ability to listen to stereo more clearly and accurately. This will also allow for lower overall levels of listening.
• No interference with the audience. The benefits of custom in ear monitors UK usually extends beyond those enjoyed by the performer. One of the main side effects of wedges is that there is likely to be a spill from the stage to the audience area. Thankfully, with the best in ear monitors UK, this spill will not be there hence there will not be any interference with the audience.
• Portability. This is also another important consideration for musicians who travel a lot while performing. If you consider the average monitor systems that includes between 3 or 4 monitor wedges which are around 20 kilograms each and power amplifiers which are 25 kilograms each. You’ll realize that it will be extremely cumbersome to move with these from one point to another. On the contrary a complete wireless in ear monitor system will not only fit inside briefcase but also improves the overall appearance while on stage.
• Mobility on stage. As compared to monitor wedges that have spot on stage where everything sounds pretty good, using in ear monitors for drummers will allow you to move from one point to another with a lot of ease. Also, there consistent nature will translate from one venue to another without any problem. If you have the same band with the same members the monitor systems will not only remain unchanged but the mix will also sound the same every night.
• You have personal control of your mix. This is perhaps the most practical benefit of in ear monitors for singers. This is because they will give you the ability to have direct control over what you are hearing so you can make any broad adjustments if need be. If everything in the mix should be louder you can raise the overall volume directly from the belt pack with a lot of ease.
How in ear monitors work
In ear monitors for musicians or IEMs work using wireless technology through radio frequencies just much in the same way a radio stereo works. An audio signal is usually sent to fro the sound desk to the transmitter and then. Next, the transmitter sends the signal wirelessly through the antenna in the belt pack receiver that artists wear. The belt pack which is fitted with its own antennas then picks up and changes this radio signal back to the studio.
There are set of earphones plug on the belt pack that allows the performer to listen and adjust the volume of the mix if need be. This is why once in a while you’ll see singers on TV reach behind them to adjust the volume throughout the performance. For stationery performances such as keyboardists and drummers wireless connectivity may not be so important hence they usually opt for wired in ear monitoring. Although these work, in the same manner, they do not have the wireless aspect. They are also considerably cheaper and less difficult to work with especially if you are performing in a troubled radio environment.
In ear monitor styles
When it comes to IEMs or best in ear monitors there are two major styles that you can choose from namely the custom-molded and generic fit. In most instances, the choice that one makes largely depends on the budget. For instance, if you are short of cash you probably would like to go with a generic fit. Normally, designed as one size that fits all the earpieces, general fit ear monitors come with a variety of different tips from basic shape to something that closely fit well inside your ear canal.
However, if you are operating on a bigger budget then you may consider going for custom molded ear monitors. To do this, you’ll have to first visit an audiologist and have mold designed for your ear canal. The mold will then be used to design the ear piece that’s made specifically for your ears. Once you are done, you’ll wait for the actual ear peace to be manufactured so it can be sent to you. Even then it may still be necessary to make some adjustments to ensure that they fit your ears well.
Since the ultimate ears in ear monitors or moulded in ear monitors are specifically made for your ears you’ll get an air tight seal that will make them more comfortable and help you to cancel as much outside noise as possible. Although this professional in ear monitors can set you back by thousands of dollars nowadays, you can find less expensive options in the market.
Wired or wireless
If you want to enjoy the using in ear monitors for guitarists, it’s advisable to spend a little extra so you can get wireless best in ear monitor system for the money. The ability to move freely while performing is not only convenient for you but will also be appealing. It’s, therefore, important to make this initial, investment so you can enjoy this. However, for players such as keyboardists and drummers who like to stay on the same spot, spending any extra money to get wireless DJ in ear monitors will not be worth it after all. With wired systems, there is no belt pack thus making the ear phones to be wired directly to the mixer. This will, therefore, help to sort out any problems with potential interference and compromised the studio.
The best practices for using in era monitors well
• Wear them well. Before anything else, you need to take your time and earn how to wear your Westone in ear monitors around the ears and insert them well so they can stay properly I your ears. If you fail to do this you’ll not hear well.
• Allow yourself enough time so you can get used. Wear them around the house as often as you can and use them with your Android or phone so that over time you can realize that using them becomes easy.
• Before rehearsal, you need to take a few minutes to set up the mix well. During the sound check, you need to take time to set up your mix properly. If you are faced with challenges ask as many questions as possible until you are sure that everything is perfect. If you don’t take the time to set them properly then you’ll be struggling with poor sound throughout the performance.
• Start with the low volume and work your way up. Since your ears are very sensitive take your time to take good care of them. It’s important that you start with low volume and slowly work up until you are able to hear clear sound.
• Only put what you require in your monitor box. Sine you’ll have complete control of your personal mix you need to determine what you really need and then put only what you need.
• Never use only one of your ears. It’s important for everyone to know that using only one ear for extended periods of time can be a bit risky. Although your brain will tell you to turn up the volume you may end up damaging the ear.
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Top tips for buying the best in ear monitors
• The number of drivers. Just like full-size speakers, having more drivers in best custom in ear monitors means that you’ll be getting better sound. This is because each speaker will be handling narrower frequency range hence. So, generally speaking, multi-driver models will sound much better than that single driver models.
• Audio specs. Generally, there are four different specs in-ear monitors. These include frequency response, the amount of isolation, impedance, and sensitivity. So, before choosing the best Bose in ear monitors you need to consider the kind of audio specs that it will come with.
• Universal fit or custom moulded. Also depending on your budget, you need to consider whether you’ll buy custom molded or universally fit.
• Your personal preference. It’s also important to consider your personal preference more than anything else. This is because you can’t buy something that you are sure you don’t like. If you want to enjoy using your budget in ear monitors for long it’s very important to buy something that you like.
• Budget. Before anything else, it’s also very important to choose Behringer in ear monitor system that you can afford. You should not go for something so expensive that you regret buying it altogether.
Well, when it comes to shopping for the best in ear monitors for drummers or best in ear monitors for singers it’s really important to invest in good pieces especially if you want to enjoy the best listening experience. The most important thing to consider is how good your Sennheiser in ear monitor will sound and how comfortable they are to your ears. If you are shopping for the best in ear monitors, it’s a handy tip to keep any that you’ve found inside the shopping basket so you can review later.