In-ear monitors — those small, inconspicuous-but-powerful devices that let musicians hear whatever mix of vocals or instrumentation they desire — have grown only more popular among artists, sound engineers, and audiophiles throughout the last decade. Learn how in-ear monitors, or IEMs, stack up against over-ear headphones and floor monitors.
In-Ear Monitors vs. Over-Ear Headphones
- Sound — Both in-ear monitors and over-ear headphones offer noise cancellation; facilitate sound isolation; and allow musicians to hear a customized mix of backup vocals, instrumentation, or other desired audio. Customized IEMs designed by a trained audiologist, however, provide a more effective seal against unwanted ambient noise for more accurate listening.
- Convenience — Portability matters, and both in-ear monitors and headphones offer it. But carting around a pair of bulky headphones versus a set of IEMs that could virtually fit in your back pocket? No contest. Customized IEMs are easily inserted, removed, and prove perfectly mobile with no fuss.
- Comfort — Though comfort can be quite subjective, it’s hard to argue against the snug, secure fit of an IEM tailored to the shape of your own individual ear. In addition, IEMs don’t interfere with hats, hairdos, etc., and they don’t lead to the sweating and sensation of heat that headphones can cause.
- Value — Dollar for dollar, customized in-ear monitors will likely cost less than high-end earphones. Plus, when crafted by Hearing Solution Centers, they’re backed by a warranty and come with a team of experts who can answer your questions, handle periodic maintenance, and take care of repairs.
In-Ear Monitors vs. Conventional Stage Monitors
- Sound — In-ear monitors offer greater sound consistency across venues than traditional floor versions, which are influenced by varying room acoustics. With high isolation from ambient sound because of their placement in the ear canal, IEMs are far less affected by room acoustics.
- Convenience — Musicians have limited freedom of movement when using floor monitors: They either have to stand directly in front of them or line up consecutive wedges across the stage. In-ear monitors with wireless FM transmitters, however, allow performers to freely move on or off the stage without sacrificing sound quality.
- Comfort — With in-ear monitors, musicians can say goodbye to the vocal fatigue that comes from dealing with wedges and their usual feedback. Rather than straining their vocal cords to hear themselves, singers can instead hear a custom audio mix through their IEMs at a volume that’s safe for their ears.
- Value — In-ear monitors not only cost less than floor monitors at point of purchase, but they also involve no transport costs from venue to venue. No bulky floor monitors means less freight and lower cartage costs.
Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of in-ear monitors or to schedule a fitting for your customized set. Our experienced audiologists — musicians and singers themselves — understand what it takes to ensure that you hear every note of every track.