Sometime around the end of 2016, my band decided to switch to IEMs during our tours and gigs. At the onset, we need to deal with the usual issues in the use of IEMs. But those issues were long rectified, and now, we feel confident with the use of IEMs. Moreover, the IEMs have enabled us to have a consistent monitoring system and have enhanced freedom of movement and performance on stage.
The in-ear monitors have been here for a short time. It was only introduced in the late 80s and had become affordable less than two decades ago. Nevertheless, IEMs have already revolutionized live acts and the touring industry. Many live shows have already switched to its use. At present, IEMs have almost become indispensable due to the different advantages they afford their users.
Best IEM Systems for Your Whole Band
Many bands have found the IEM system helpful, though some of them don’t enjoy IEMs. We don’t know why they don’t enjoy IEMs, yet, we know that IEM systems afford many advantages. Nevertheless, if your band is making the switch to IEMs, it will help to check out the following most recommended IEMs in the market today:
Last update on 2021-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Sennheiser Pro Audio
If your band is looking for the high-end IEMs in the market today, you should consider the Sennheiser EW IEM G4-TWIN. This IEM system is a wireless IEM system that comes with two bodypack receivers. It comes with a reliable transmitter that fits perfectly on a desk.
You can also mount it on a rack. Yet, whatever way you mount it, it will always come very handy and portable. It is also well-built, allowing you to tag it along when you are on the road sans worrying whether it will break or have some issues.
The IEM G4-TWIN affords you a flexible IEM system that operates on more than sixty-one radio frequency channels. It also comes with 1,680 selectable frequencies. Moreover, it provides clear reception and comes with an infrared interface for quicker syncing between its receiver packs.
Its transmitter comes with a screen. Besides, it also comes with a user-friendly menu for quick configuration and setup. The transmitter also comes with a multi-level limiter along with switchable Hi Boost.
The good thing about this IEM system is that you can scan or search for available frequencies on its transmitter, allowing you a quick pairing between receiver and transmitter. Its transmission range is up to 100 meters or 300 feet. It also features eight hours of battery life, giving you enough time for your gigs and shows.
2) Galaxy Audio AS-1100-4
The Galaxy Audio AS-1100-4 comes with an amazing punch. Its transmitter features stereo XLR/1/4″ inputs, LCD, and headphone output. Moreover, its LCD shows its input level and channel. Its receiver also comes with an LCD with battery level, channel, and RF/AF indicator.
It is a perfect entry-level IEM system. It also lets your band easily transition to the use of an IEM system. It features four receivers and a transmitter.
Your band can quickly go wireless in your gig. It lets you send a stereo mix to four individuals. Moreover, you can buy extra transmitters to expand this IEM system.
3) Galaxy Audio AS-950-4
If you want an affordable but excellent in-ear monitor solution, you should check out the Galaxy Audio AS-950-4. This IEM system is perfect for entry-level users, and it provides quality sound. Its receiver comes with a 50mW x 2 output along with RF and stereo indicator.
Its transmitter also comes with an L/R level display channel LCD with an up and down selection option. Moreover, it comes with stereo XLR/1/4″ inputs along with headphone output and volume control. It also comes with 16 UHF frequencies (selectable).
The Galaxy Audio AS-950-4 features earbuds with titanium drivers and extended bass response. It also showcases aluminum and alloy construction with standard all WPMmodels which makes it durable.
4) Xvive U4R4 Wireless in-Ear Monitoring System
If you are looking for an excellent IEM system for your team or band, you should check out the Xvive U4R4 Wireless in-Ear Monitoring System. It is a 2.4GHz wireless IEM system that provides uncompressed wireless signal transmission. It also offers a smooth frequency response.
The Xvive U4R4 is capable of simultaneously broadcasting on six channels with no interference. Moreover, it offers up to 107dB signal-noise ratio for clear and detailed audio. Its frequency response is from 20Hz to 20 kHz, with a dynamic range of 107 dB.
This system is also convenient to use and run in a rechargeable Lithium battery with 7 hours of battery life. It also comes with a power cable for ensuring incredible performance for your band. Moreover, it comes with built-in limiter circuitry that eliminates distortion.
It is also easy to operate. You must only plug it in and turn on its power. Then, long-press its channel button key to let the transmitter and receiver have the same frequency.
5) Audio2000’S AWM630BU Wireless in-Ear Monitor System
The Audio2000’S AWM630BU is a wireless system that you can mount on the rack. It is a UHF in-ear monitoring system, and it is featured with 100 pre-programmed selectable frequencies. Moreover, it comes with one wireless transmitter and 6 wireless receivers. It also offers two balanced outputs, a 1/4″ stereo monitoring output jack on its wireless transmitter.
It comes with a configuration that includes a built-in limiter circuitry for doing away with distortion when there are excessive input levels. It also comes with a mono and stereo mode options for different applications.
The AWM630BU system comes with two rack-mount ears for mounting the transmitter to the standard 19-inch rack. You can join two AWX6308U wireless transmitters with the short rack mount ears to have 12 wireless receivers using the joining kit that comes with it.
It also comes with a rigid PVC carrying case for easy storage and portability. This IEM system provides excellent sound and offers good gain. You will not experience any fade or drop out.
6) Xtuga RW2080 In-ear Monitor System
The Xtuga RW2080 is an excellent choice if your band is looking for an affordable IEM system. This IEM system is perfect for stage performance or sound broadcast. Moreover, it is a good option if you want to replace your complex traditional sound monitoring system. It makes use of the recent high-frequency transmission and offers a dynamic audio signal processing technology.
The Xtuga RW2080 has an improved signal-to-noise ratio with its dynamic range. It does offer one of the best anti-interference systems to enable you to manifest the original sound perfectly. With this system, you can preset 40 frequencies that let you engage in arbitrary switching. It also offers a steady receiving signal using its advanced circuit design.
It is a whole metal UHF IEM system that is wireless. It comes with a low-battery LCD indicator on its receiver and 2 balanced combo audio outputs and inputs on both the transmitter and receiver.
It features more than a hundred pre-programmed frequencies, and its frequencies range from 572 MHz to 599 MHz. It also features a built-in limiter circuitry in the system to prevent any distortion, even with excessive input levels. Plus, it features a 1/4″ (front panel) stereo monitoring phone jack.
7) VocoPro In-Ear Audio Monitor System
If you want an IEM system that allows for two separate digital frequencies for sending out dual mono or stereo signal to every stereo bodypack receiver, you should go for the VocoPro In-Ear Audio Monitor System. It features one-touch sync that enables its users a simple setup.
Its low or high transmission mode can accommodate different venue sizes. Its transmitter’s XLR-1/4″ combo inputs can accept both unbalanced and balanced line-level signals. Moreover, its bodypack comes with a 3.5mm TRS mind headphone jack along with a micro-USB charging port. This feature of the VocoPro provides users with a real stereo experience.
With its 24-bit digital signals, you are assured of receiving crisp highs and thumping lows, giving you the best possible sound range for your money. The item digital now comes in 4, 12, and 5 packs, ideal for practicing, performing and producing. You can get the best sound for your money with Vocopro.
The VocoPro In-Ear Audio Monitor System comes with a rugged and rechargeable full metal body-pack receiver that works well with most types of headphones. It also comes with a built-in lithium-ion battery. Moreover, it operates at the frequency range of 900MHz, which free it from DTV frequencies and Wi-Fi interference.
8) Audio2000’S AWM6306U In-Ear Audio Monitor System
The Audio2000’S AWM6306U is a UHF wireless IEM system with frequency-agile over a 25 MHz bandwidth with over 100 pre-programmed frequencies at hand. It comes with built-in limiter circuitry that does away with distortion under too much input levels. Moreover, it comes with a 1/4″ (front panel) stereo monitoring (headphone) jack. It also offers a mono and stereo mode, giving its users a dual option.
The Audio2000’S AWM6306U has an LCD and comes with a low-battery indicator on its receiver. It features two balanced audio inputs and outputs on the transmitter. Besides, it comes with a microcontroller (CPU) controlled along with its 13-15VDC power supply.
Other Top-rated IEM Systems for Band
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing an IEM System for Band
You can make the switch to an in-ear monitor system for your band for several reasons. First, loud wedge monitors usually create audio issues that may not be advantageous to your band’s sound. Some of these issues include sound heard by the audience, increased feedback, difficulty controlling house mix, and other concomitant problems. Nevertheless, before you switch to IEM system, it will help to know the following essential factors to consider when choosing an IEM system for your band:
IEM Mix Monitoring
You may be surprised when you switch to IEM and find that it requires time when sound-checking. Of course, everything becomes a breeze for you if you have a dedicated monitor engineer because he/she can engage in discrete mixes for each band member.
Since most club bands do not have someone who could make discrete mixes, you need to be innovative when creating monitor mixes. One tested approach is to create an aux and send it to the IEM transmitter for each musician. Another approach is to equip yourself with a digital mixer that incorporates audio networking.
You can connect this digital mixer to the main mixer, either using a hub or directly. The latter option is a viable option that lets you have complete control. Yet, you need to spend much on this hardware and effort in making this setup possible. This setup, however, makes your bandmates responsible for their mixes.
The good thing about IEMs is that they mix in stereo. Nevertheless, the cheaper IEM systems will work in mono. If your mixing console does not come with many stereo aux sends, mono signals from the IEMs would be viable. You’ll have no problem like this if you buy IEM systems like Audio Technica, Shure, or Sennheiser because these systems come with various modes of operation like mono, stereo, or 2-channel mix mode.
Wired vs. Wireless IEM System
Given a choice between wireless and wired IEM systems, many musicians would surely wish for a wireless IEM system because of the many advantages it affords. As mentioned above, it is more convenient compared to wired systems. Nevertheless, the wireless setup is more expensive than the wired system. But it also allows for more freedom on the stage as you perform with your bands sans the wires.
However, if you are a drummer, you would prefer to wear wired IEMs because of the usual static that comes with your position. So, it makes sense if you would like to go for no-risk audio output or interference. On the other hand, singers, keyboard players, and guitarists would benefit from opting for wireless IEMs.
With myriads of in-ear monitor systems in the market, it will help if you carefully consider the features they offer. The needed features you should look for in an IEM system include adjustable input level, onboard EQ, battery monitoring (belt-pack and transmitter), and audio output jack limiter. It will also help if you look for something with belt pack volume control and a mute switch. It should also have a built-in networking system that would let you expand your system in the future.
Possible Challenges When Using IEM System for the First Time
Transitioning to the use of the IEM system will pose some challenges to your band. If it is the first time your band will be using it, you might feel surprised at the onset, but soon after, you’ll get used to the changes concomitant with the use of IEMs. Here are some challenges that each of your band members may face when using IEMs for the first time:
Using IEM System May Be A Bit Disorienting At First
If you are used to relying heavily on wedge monitors for your cues, then you might get confused and disoriented at first when you shift to IEMs. IEMs are lodged securely on your ear canal. Thus, it blocks most of the outside sounds and noises.
So, if you are used to performing while hearing the cacophony of sounds onstage, you might be in for an initial shock. When you use IEMs, everything will be a bit silent saved for the stereo sound feed from the transmitter. You can get the hang of it, however, afterward.
You Will Find Yourself Suddenly Isolated
In the traditional way of performing, you sometimes do things that you can no longer do when using IEMs. For example, you can no longer lean sideward to your bassist to ask which key you will be playing on your next song.
With the IEMs on your ear, you are isolated, and you can’t just talk to your bandmate, considering their ears are also plugged with IEMs. Of course, you can speak to your mic, yet, the whole audience will hear what you would say.
You Won’t Be Hearing Much Ambient Noise
Once you use IEMs, you will notice that you can no longer hear the stage’s ambient noise. You can’t even hear the shouting of your audience. To mitigate such a feeling of isolation, the sound engineer lets an open mic on the stage to capture a bit of ambient noise. Then, he routes its audio signals to the PA speakers to let your bandmates hear some ambient sound.
In doing so, your bandmates will not feel claustrophobic or isolated. Moreover, you can settle for ported IEMs that allow a little ambient noise to get into your ears for a more natural audio experience.
Learning how to perform using the IEM system will require a bit of getting used to it. You may quickly get the hang of it or end up taking longer to get used to it. When it comes to types of IEMs, you can settle for a wireless system or a wired one.
Wireless IEMs, of course, are more expensive than the wired ones and allow you greater mobility on stage. Yet, if you will use the IEMs for worship, I think you won’t be needing to move around much while you perform. So the wired ones would be good enough when you are singing worship songs.