Live music or recording studio, there is no way other than in ear monitor to personal monitoring. When the music is on and you are live on the stage, you do not want to embarrass yourself with mistakes. Every beat of the instrument is important to listen to. And listening to yourself will help you improve or give confidence. So it is high time you get one. Let’s learn everything you ever wanted to know about the best in ear monitor.
What is an in ear monitor?
In ear monitors are known as IEM in short. It looks just like the earbuds common people use, but with professional quality. But it gives a wide variety of facilities to its users. Foremost it eliminates the volume of the stage, which helps to create a clear mix at small venues.
Second, in ear monitor directly delivers music to your ears. You hear everything which you would never hear in high stage volume settings. Traditional speakers don’t let you listen with all noises.
Third, the ear monitor locks music to your ears by acoustic isolation. It also blocks outside noises from coming in, which traditional earbuds do. It also allows to hear the music from any part of the stage, so interaction with the listeners will be easier from now on.
Who needs in ear monitor?
The easy answer is everyone who is a music enthusiast wants to create music should get their hands on an in ear monitor. Even if you make music in your room, listen to that canceling natural sound. That will make your mistakes show up in your ear. And you will be on your way to be a professional musician.
In ear monitors are for everyone from amateur to professional who performs on stage with other musicians. Professional musicians will hear others and themselves better and that will help them keep at a pace.
Buying factors of the best in ear monitor
Types of in ear monitor
There are two types of configurations for in ear monitor. One is straight, and the other is over-ear. One of these sticks with cable and hangs straight down. The other works by wrapping over the back of ear. Both work the same. It’s just a matter of comfort. Some people are uncomfortable to wear over earbuds. And it is a tough job to find a straight in ear monitor is of high quality.
If you want an opinion on just one type, then definitely over-ear configuration is the one. All performers prefer it for its performance. It’s secured in your ears, and the cable is not visible. Professional grade over-ear monitor will make you forget its discomfort.
Types of drivers used for In ear monitors
Knowing all these different drivers will help you decide which one you prefer. And you will choose in ear monitor that matches your preference.
Woofers and tweeters used in speakers are tiny dynamic drivers. In a dynamic driver, it connects tiny diaphragm to wire around the magnet. The advantage of the dynamic driver is more bass. Those who do not prefer more bass will not prefer these.
Balanced Armatures and hybrids
Balanced armatures are so small that dozens of these drivers can be fitted into an IEM. We can use multiple of these for a single frequency. But these drivers make a less punchy bass response.
Detailed treble and spacious sound are what planar magnetic known for. Only high-end IEM use this planar magnitude. Using ultra-thin Mylar diaphragm with a wire coil, it makes planar magnetic.
Only the diaphragm makes the difference between planar magnetic and electrostatic. The electrostatic driver has a layer of conductive material that carries bias voltage. Its two magnetic plates carry an audio signal to you. For detailed sound and spacious feel choose this one.
Types of ear tips
Now your question will be which ear monitor has better tips? It is a hard question to answer as it also depends on preference. There are ear tips made of foam and silicone. Go for the one that makes you feel comfortable as all these work the same good job in noise cancellation.
Good suction helps the earbuds to stay in place. It will make you an active performer and the audience will enjoy you more. Silicone earbuds are good with suction but little less isolating than the foam ones.
Foam earbuds are better for its denser quality and more sound isolating power. But it puts little pressure and is not great with sweat. So the choice is yours. But you can play around to see which works better for you. Because some ear tips come with both foam and silicone ear tips.
Are removable cables worth trying?
In ear monitor that comes with removable cable is expensive. But it can be worth all your pennies. Sometimes when the cable goes bad, get rid of it when the ear tips are all right. That’s heartbreaking. And it’s the perfect reason to switch to removable cables. You need not think about long or short cable, just a removable cable to make it Bluetooth whenever you want.
Universal fit or custom molded, which one is better?
It all depends on your needs. Some people feel comfortable with the universal free one. Its hassle-free and the same for everyone. If you do not have a perfectionist mind, it will work fine.
Custom molded will work comfortably on you. Acoustic isolation works far better when the fit is better. It will isolate your hearing from any other noises. If you have a bigger budget, go for the custom-molded for a better experience.
It is overwhelming when you have so many options around you of an in-ear monitor. Take your time to look around. Understand your preferences and then buy one. Once you get one, your journey of creating music will be more dynamic.