Do you often get disturbed by loud music or unwanted crowd noise when performing on stage? Well, wearing In-Ear monitors can be of great help to you and your entire musical performance. In-ear monitors help music performers to draw away any unwanted noise and distractions from loud drums, guitars, and the audience. An In-ear monitoring device is a system that includes a transmitter that is used to project sound to a set-off earphones worn by a user.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Wearing In-Ear Monitors
- Factors To Consider When Buying In-Ear Monitors For Singing
- In-Ear Monitor Reviews
- Best Wireless In-Ear Monitors With Bodypack and Receiver Systems
Benefits of Wearing In-Ear Monitors
- Helps to Builds confidence and can be more superior to stage monitors.
- In-ear Bands can be coordinated where each band member can have his/her own mix.
- While In-ear bands are designed to fit on a user’s ear perfectly, they help to block unwanted noise and, reducing the user from exposure to ambient and damaging sounds.
- They help to reduce the time for sound checks.
- They are very compatible and can be easily transferred.
- In-ear bands provide consistent sound regardless of where the user stands on stage.
- While hearing loss caused by exposure to loud music is not reversible, wearing in-ear bands can help to reduce noise through their powerful noise reduction properties.
- In-ear bands offer personal listening experience when not on stage by providing noise isolation.
Factors To Consider When Buying In-Ear Monitors For Singing
In-ear devices can be inserted into an artist t ear using the ear-canal, most of them work by isolating the canal from receiving unwanted noise, and there are so many factors that enable their effectiveness of noise reduction. Custom-made IEMs are one of the best isolators, and they vary depending on shell type, shell fill, and anatomy. Some several IEMs make use of ear-tips to block unwanted noise between the earphone and the ear canal. Nowadays there are so many models of In-ear monitors being developed; each model comes with different ear tips that provide various levels of sound isolation.
2) Form Factor
When we look at the form factor, most low-cost in-ears uses a cable down wear style that is so old fashion and outdated, plus it doesn’t provide enough support. Advanced In-ear monitors are typically designed to be used by pro users and usually, come with an over-the-ear design that provides more comfort and helps to keep the cable away.
3) Sound Quality
When it comes to sound quality, some brands of in-ear monitors offer better sound quality than others; this is due to factors such as manufacturer, technology used and quality of the ear bands. In-ear monitors use (ADSR) to deliver the quality of sound to the user. ADSR is so accurate and produces several notes that are as a result of harmonics and room reflections. Wearing in-ear bands is very helpful, especially when performing at live events where the sound of musical instruments and devices such as guitars, drums, and piano suppress that of the singer. Accurate ADSR recreates stereo imaging and proportions that helps one to create a precise musical performance. Some of the in-ear monitors that have been found to be highly priced usually contribute to better on-stage performance while singing and this makes them the best in-ear monitors for singers.
4) Sound Signature
Sound patterns are quite different in all instruments. If you want to have a great performance on stage, you should get an in-ear monitor that neutralizes all instrument sounds to make a quality output sound that is clear and more precise.
When it comes to suitability and comfort, wireless in-ear monitors are great since they allow the user to have total freedom of moving around the stage without any interference. Wireless monitors offer better features than wired in-ear monitors and it considerably good to buy wireless monitors instead of wired. However, besides portability and comfort, wired ear monitors are also great and can be used by drummers and guitarist since they don’t often move around the stage. The only downside of wearing wireless monitors is that you have to deal with interferences issues and reception stability. Furthermore, wireless in-ear monitors cost more than wired monitors.
6) Driver types
There are two types of drivers used in-ear monitors; balanced armatures (Bas) and Dynamic drivers.
1. Balanced Armatures
These drivers are mainly designed to help singers with some sort of hearing aid but sometimes they are used together with in-ear monitors due to their high level of resolution and efficiency. When it comes to in-ear monitor drivers, there are several drivers that one can use to enhance or maximize the effectiveness of in-ear devices but all drivers are different, and they provide different sonic characters.
2. Dynamic Drivers
These drivers are one of the most commonly used by professionals and are highly regarded as one of the best drivers due to their miniaturized properties that help to recreate the entire frequency spectrum.
Nowadays, hybrid designs are incorporating both balanced armature and dynamic drivers to improve the effectiveness of in-ear monitors.
For most earphones and headphones, one of the most crucial parts is the cable. Wired earphones have a common failure of cable detachment and usually, don’t last for long. Detachable earphones allow one to disengage the cable with the earphones, minimizing risks and damages. Since in-ear bands are normally placed inside the ear canal, ear wax and sweat can cause a lot of damage over time. Regular cleaning, Proper care and using a soft hearing aid dryer can substantially extend the durability of the In-ear device.
In-ear monitors manufacturers use different specifications to make their products unique and best in the market. Furthermore, they are no standardized testing & reporting measures for every manufacturer. If you don’t have enough technique knowledge on how in-ear monitors work, you can easily get confused by the overcrowded market of in-ear monitors, and end up making the wrong choice. Having vast knowledge and testing different in-ear bands will help you to select the best in-ear monitor to use in a live performance.
Should I Use Headphone As A Wired In-Ear Monitor?
Wired In-ear monitors are one of the cheapest IEMs. If you want to wear headphones, be ready to buy a Headphone amp. Some people use headphones that come with their own inbuilt amps, the disadvantage of having these types of headphones is that if you are performing as a band, everyone will have to his/her own separate mixer and that would complicate the setup. Something else that you should consider when selecting headphones is the need for a limiter. Headphones that don’t have limiters can damage the user ears when there is an accidental audio spike or feedback.
In-Ear Monitor Reviews
MEE audio M6 PRO Universal-Fit Noise-Isolating Musician’s In-Ear Monitors with Detachable Cables
The M6 Pro in-ear monitors are perfect for off stage use, gym and on the street. They provide great sound with crystal clarity plus a tuned deep bass. The headset cable features a remote, volume control that can be used with tablets and smartphones, also a protective carrying case, 6 sets of silicone ear tips and an awesome mic for recording sounds.
Best Wireless In-Ear Monitors With Bodypack and Receiver Systems
In-ear wireless monitors use almost the same exact system used by wireless microphone system. The only main big difference is that IEMs use the central unit as the transmitter. One of the greatest advantages of having wireless monitors over wired is the freedom of movement. With a wireless IEMs, one can have better monitoring and full control on a stage. Some of the high-end in-ear monitoring systems enable wearers to set their own mix preferences to balance their instrument sound / singing voices with the overall band sound.
1) Shure P2TR215CL-H2 PSM 200 Hybrid In-ear Monitor & Bodypack System
The Shure in-ear monitor is one of the best systems that one can have; it’s comprised of a full body pack with a built-in limiter and amp that support both wired and wireless with input level control and frequency selection features.
You can use the P2TR215CL Hybrid Bodypack Receiver for both wired or wireless in-ear monitor applications. In fact, it’s the first ever bodypack receiver in the recording industry that works for wired and wireless in-ear monitors.
2) Galaxy AS-900-K1 In Ear Monitor System (K1 – 630.2MHz Frequency)
The AS-900-K1 has a better signal and good IEMs than most competing monitors. I personally like the fact that I can easily switch stereo/mono and that I have some individual level control on every channel. The AS-900-K1 IEM features audio output control, on/off switch, RF/low battery indicator and an earphone jack.
If you are looking for a reliable and well-performing wireless IEM, consider having the AS-900-K1 in-ear monitoring system that provides an excellent performance and stiff monitoring on stage.