Best In-Ear Monitors
- CCA C12 in-Ear Monitor
- 1. CCA C12 in-Ear Monitor
- What You Will Receive
- 2. SIMGOT MT3 Hi-Res In-Ear Monitor Headphones
- What You Will Receive
- 3. 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
- What You Will Receive
- 4. Etymotic Research ER-4PT
- What You Will Receive
- 5. Sennheiser IE 40 Pro
- What You Will Receive
- 6. KZ ZSN HiFi Noise-Isolating in Ear Monitor
- What You Will Receive
- 7. MEE Audio M6 PRO Musicians’ In-Ear Monitors
- What You Will Receive
- 1. Shure P3TR112GR PSM300 Wireless Stereo Personal Monitor System
- 2. Sennheiser Pro Audio Sennheiser EW 100-CI1 Instrument Wireless System-A1
- 3. XTUGA RW2080 Whole Metal Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do In-Ear Monitor Systems work?
- Why Would You Need an In-Ear Monitor System?
- Wired or Wireless In-Ear Monitor System?
Some would argue that in-ear monitors are the professional version of what laypeople would refer to as “earbuds” or “earphones.” You’ll use them for music, so they are essentially the same thing. The best in-ear monitors, however, vary in terms of their construction, sound output, and quality. To improve your listening experience, these audio devices offer a variety of ear tips, 1/4″ adapters, and other accessories.
The top in-ear monitors currently on the market are listed in the guide that follows. For your convenience, we’ve also included a more thorough explanation of in-ear monitors and what to think about before purchasing a pair.
These options are available to both consumers who want a more premium sound for their favorite genres and musicians who are ready to perform live. We’ll also include some in-ear monitor systems designed specifically for musicians toward the end of the list and discuss the top in-ear monitors for singers. Whatever motivated you to research in-ear monitors, we’re confident you’ll come across one that piques your interest.
- Best In-Ear Monitor for Singers
- Best In-Ear Monitor for Drummers
- Best Budget In-Ear Monitors
- Best High-End In-Ear Monitors
- Best In-Ear Monitors for Musicians
The Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is our choice for the best in-ear monitor for singers. The result is an in-ear monitor with balanced sound, and detail, and is probably a winner among those looking for a bright signature with less bass. Sound leakage is minimal. The highs aren’t piercing, and the cymbal sounds clear and undisturbed.
The Simgot MT3 is our choice for in-ear monitors for drummers. The MT3 may be worth checking out if you enjoy dubstep, drum and bass, or any other type of electronic music. The V-shaped signature, bass-focused presence, and various color build options seem to target audio enthusiasts who are treble-sensitive or those looking for an upgrade from their standard earphones.
The newest dual-driver offering from KZ, the ZSN in-ear monitors, has a very appealing design. They have good build quality, excellent cables, and a pretty good sound. Despite the fact that KZ releases earphones frequently, at just over $20, these are a pair you won’t want to pass up if you’re on a tight budget.
We advise you to take a closer look at the 1MORE Quad Driver monitors if you’re looking for a premium pair of in-ear headphones. You will definitely get your money’s worth from the quad drivers in terms of durability, build quality, and sound quality. In essence, you are making a high-end investment in a high-end product; its performance is guaranteed. Simply put, they are excellent earphones.
The Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is the best in-ear monitor for musicians in general, just like it is for singers. The Sennheiser Pro will provide the instrument separation you need to hear yourself clearly, whether you’re a solo guitarist or play the keyboards in a larger band.
The Best In-Ear Monitors
1. CCA C12 in-Ear Monitor
Specs & Features
|Drivers:||1DD + 5BA|
|FR:||7 Hz – 40 kHz|
We have chosen the CCA C12 as “our choice for the best in-ear monitor” because it has a very sleek, contemporary appearance. These in-ear monitors in particular are a great all-arounder in terms of build, performance, and cost, so we’ve added them. The C12 is Clear Concept Audio’s most recent flagship hybrid model, featuring a roomy 6-driver setup.
One can anticipate some fantastic-sounding earphones across all frequencies with all those drivers. We’re confident that the C12 will more than satisfy audiophiles and offer a great option for IEMs for those looking to use them on stage.
The three-part shell of the CCA C12 is made up of an outer faceplate, an inner plastic shell, and a nozzle. The branded cover is constructed from a solid zinc alloy metal that has been wiredrawn, polished, and oxidized. The C12’s earphones come in the vibrant colors “dream blue” and “amber gold,” both of which are available.
When adjusting the earphones, you can anticipate a fairly deep insertion because the nozzle is metal and does not have a rake. When wearing earphones, those who plan to be active should opt for a deep insertion. If you decide to crowd surf, they’ll offer excellent stability and reduce the likelihood that the earphones will fall out.
When you open the C12’s box, you’ll also discover that Clear Concept Audio has included three sets of starline tips, plus one set that is already fastened to the IEM. These earphones are a little bigger than traditional IEMs, according to some users, but they’re still comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
You now have four options to choose from to find the ideal fit thanks to the different ear tip sizes.
The C12 is very attractive, but it begs the question of how durable they would be if they were to take a few falls. Thankfully, the light plastic shell and metal faceplate have been extremely well assembled. You are getting a reliable set of IEMs because there are no surface-level manufacturer flaws. They are simply a pair of earphones with a premium appearance for a much lower price.
It’s interesting to note that the brown KZ cables used in earlier models are still present in the CCA C12. Because of the splitter’s awkward placement and the lack of a proper chin slider, some users have had trouble using it. The hooded-bi-pin style connector can be easily replaced and there are a variety of options.
Additionally, the earphones do have a microphone, but if you want to save some money, a non-mic version is also offered. If you’re interested in the microphone version, CCA has stated that it will support standard high-definition mobile calls and allow you to communicate without handheld wires.
The CCA C12 has a very attractive appearance, but how does the sound quality compare? We’re happy to report that they once again provide excellent price-to-performance value. There is little to no distortion and the sound is well-balanced with good layering and separation. When listening to EDM or Hip-Hop tracks, you can expect a hard, punchy bass and deep weighted sounds.
Vocals are incredibly clean, the midrange is distinct, and instruments are made more prominent. The presentation of both male and female voices is good, with the latter performing better because the midbass bleed makes more room for female vocals and instruments.
The highs are well-balanced, detailed, and extended; they are not harsh or overly bright. When examining the treble, it remains constant from 2 kHz all the way up to 6 kHz before descending. This results in a presence region with some energy that doesn’t become overly exhausting. With respectable instrument separation and imaging, the soundstage is above average.
If your surroundings are noisy, you will be able to significantly reduce background noise thanks to the ear tips’ moderate sound isolation. The C12 is a pair of IEMs that can be used by almost anyone, are reasonably priced for the average consumer, and are prepared to provide professional-grade sound.
The CCA C12 should definitely be on your shopping list if you’re an audiophile looking to buy your first pair of IEMs or a musician sick of stage monitors.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x CCA C12 Earphones
- 3 x Pairs of Earbud tips (small, medium, and large)
- 1 x 2pin detachable cable
- 1 x User manual and warranty card
2. SIMGOT MT3 Hi-Res In-Ear Monitor Headphones
Specs & Features
|FR:||15 Hz – 40 kHz|
One of the most expert-looking in-ear monitor brands to come out of China is Simgot. According to the MT3 model, its use of cutting-edge high-magnetic circuit coil driver technology will enable it to “outperform conventional dynamic drivers.” The MT3 promises high-resolution detail and excellent clarity across a range of frequencies in addition to being marketed as a Hi-Res in-ear monitor.
Given that the MT3 is a well-known bass-heavy pair of in-ear monitors, we have designated it as our pick for the title of “best in-ear monitors for drummers.” Let’s take a look and see if the MT3 can live up to the hype with its colorful variants and an interesting sound signature in light of strong predecessors like the EN700.
We haven’t paid much attention to the packaging of the listed products up to this point, but the MT3 is noteworthy. It’s always nice to make a good first impression, and you can tell Simgot and Meeture took their time putting these earphones together.
The MT3 comes in a stylish white box along with a carrying pouch, braided cable, user manual, and a nice assortment of ear tips. The small instruction manual that Simgot included actually claims that each ear tip alters how you perceive music.
We’re not entirely sure if this applies to other brands or if it’s the beginning of better customization or ear tip tuning. Simgot claims that whereas small-bore ones are for bass enhancements, wide-bore ones have a balanced and brighter sound.
The MT3 build itself is primarily constructed from premium transparent plastic. The nozzles and faceplate of the earphones as well as the remaining components have a matte metal finish.
The MT3 is available in four colors: clear, green, pink, and black. All of these colors have a slight tint, and the inner design of the earphones is always apparent. The MT3 excels in terms of comfort and fit thanks to a good fit and a tight seal. Although the housings are a little larger than average, they lock into the ear canal with little effort, outperforming some smaller housing competitors.
You won’t have to worry about your earphones falling out when you move your head around because the interchangeable ear tips will ensure they stay in your ears.
As a result, the bendable wire also guarantees a secure fit over the ears, making these an excellent choice for jogging, running, or the gym. The MT3’s construction should be sturdy enough to withstand use by musicians or casual listeners on the go.
The MT3 comes with high-quality wiring; it is designated as “OFC X4” on the plastic Y-splitter. When you look closer, you’ll see that the copper has been divided into four cores, each of which has been braided and covered in a smooth plastic.
The construction quality is good, but the cable’s portion above the Y-splitter could be more tightly wound. White semi-matte plastic is also used to create the Y-splitter and 3.5 mm jack housing.
The 2-pin connectors have a silver metal ring around them to cap them off. The 2-pin connectors are raised above the shell, which may prevent them from working with some cables from third parties. Users shouldn’t have any problems with compatibility because the MT3 is compatible with Androids, mp3 players, tablets, and other devices that have a 3.5mm jack.
Since the MT3 is a true V-shaped IEM, you can anticipate a lot of bass. Although it may start to fade around 50 Hz, it still manages to produce a respectable amount of rumble. However, the earphones sound great in the mid-bass range and extend decently into the sub-bass. The midrange is also adept at handling a broad range of genres.
When listening to pop, rock, and electronic dance music, the MT3 performs superbly. Although complex tones and textures are more than the present, there is some midrange recession that affects fine detail and resonance. The treble expression is rather intriguing because it depends so heavily on the track’s mastering.
This means that while more neutral tuning keeps their relative emphasis about the same, traditional consumer mastering slightly moves the treble behind the mid-bass. All in-ear monitors have this effect, but the MT3 seems to have it more strongly. Treble extension is another area where the MT3 excels.
Even though it doesn’t quite reach the highest reaches of the upper treble, it manages well given the V-shaped sound signature. Furthermore, the earphones maintain their strength when playing songs that have been poorly mixed and have a lot of sibilances. The MT3 is supposedly resistant to sibilant tuning.
In conclusion, the MT3 has the impression of being a set of in-ear monitors created to dazzle the typical consumer. The V-shaped signature, bass-focused presence, and various color build options seem to target audio enthusiasts who are treble-sensitive or those looking for an upgrade from their standard earphones.
Our choice for the top in-ear monitors for drummers is the Simgot. The MT3 might be worth a look if you enjoy dubstep, drum, and bass, or any other type of electronic music.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x Simgot MT3 in-ear monitors
- 3 x balanced ear tips
- 3 x penetrating ear tips
- 1 x soft pouch carrying case
- 1 x braided detachable cable
3. 1MORE Quad Driver in-Ear Earphones
Specs & Features
|Drivers:||1DD + 3BA|
|FR:||20 Hz – 40 kHz|
Consumer expectations for products under $100 were raised by the 1MORE triple driver earphones. They provided excellent sound, a fashionable design, numerous accessories, and features that placed them in the category of “high-end” IEMs. The new quad driver earphones from 1MORE go even further and are expected to have the same impact on the market as their predecessor.
Can the new quad driver addition outperform the triple driver in terms of value for money? Check it out below.
In general, the packaging isn’t everything, but if you can tell the company went above and beyond to make it look opulent, you’re off to a good start. When the box is opened, the left side shows hand-drawn design notes and diagrams that give you an idea of what to expect. The quad driver earphones and other accessories are located on the right side.
A very nice leather travel case with red stitching and the company name pressed to the front has been added by 1MORE. Nine sets of ear tips are also included with the earphones. Most manufacturers frequently include two to three generic pairs of silicone ear tips, with the occasional pair of foam tips.
With 3 wide bore foam tips that are rubberized and 6 premium silicone tips with venting built right into the borehole, 1MORE truly offers a custom ear tip experience.
Given that they are a crucial component of how these earphones function, this design raises the question of how they would affect sound. We’ll talk more about that later; for now, let’s talk about the earphones’ design and construction.
There are some similarities between the 1MORE quad driver in-ear monitors and a jet engine. Despite having a sturdy design, the earphones are incredibly light and have an anodized metallic finish. The earphones’ side has been printed with the 1MORE logo, and red highlights have been added to the aluminum to give it a more expensive appearance.
The earphones have been angled at a 45-degree angle for comfort, which should ensure a snug fit and relieve any strain on your ears. The tight fit provides good stability as well, allowing for easy movement.
In order to highlight the organic coloring of the copper wires that are oxygen-free, 1MORE has made their cables translucent. Simple 3.5 mm connectors are used by these quad drivers to connect to devices. Along the right ear side of the cable, at about chin level, are a remote control and a microphone compartment.
A single multifunction button and two volume buttons make up the remote’s three buttons. Although these buttons work on both iOS and Android, you cannot go back to the previous track on Android.
On that note, Android users will still be able to use all the other features, including voice assistants like Siri or Google, volume control, music pause/play, and track skipping. Last but not least, the microphone’s quality is fairly typical. There is no static or interference, but users have noted that the caller may notice that your voice sounds a little “distant.”
Given the impressive specifications of the 1MORE quad driver earphones, you should anticipate excellent outcomes. Be aware of the necessity of an amplifier before deciding whether or not these earphones sound good. Despite being created for smartphones, some users claim that the DAC and amplifier combination offers a significant improvement in some genres of music.
The amplifier is by no means required; the music sounds great straight out of the box. This factor should only be taken into account if some tracks seem to be “missing” something.
The dedicated “diamond-like carbon driver” in the 1MORE quad driver earphones, which produces rich bass, produces incredible sound. When the mix calls for it, fans of rock and electronic dance music can anticipate fulness in all the right places.
Even more spectacular are the mid frequencies, which make vocals and musical instruments distinct and lively. Many headphones have the propensity to favor the bass and top end over the mid-range. Here, 1MORE has struck the ideal balance between the three, getting it just right.
The high frequencies, which are at the top end, are also very good. You’ll be able to hear smaller details you’ve never noticed before when earphones correctly top out their frequency range at 40 000 Hz. 1MORE undoubtedly produced some Hi-Fi sound as promised, using one dynamic driver for the lows and mids and three balanced armatures for the rest.
We were unsure whether the venting design of the ear tips would affect the experience in terms of sound isolation. The good news is that many users claim that earphones are still effective at obstructing outside noises. The 1MORE quad drivers can therefore be used wherever you want: at home, in the studio, or even while you’re traveling.
Would we say that these earphones are comparable to their triple-driver predecessors in terms of price and value? The answer is probably not, as those elevated an almost budget-priced product to a premium high-end one, making it among the best in-ear monitors at the time. However, in terms of durability, build quality, and sound output, the quad drivers will unquestionably be worth your money.
In essence, you are making a high-end investment in a high-end product; its performance is guaranteed. Simply put, they are excellent earphones.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x 1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Earphones
- 6 x silicone ear tips
- 3 x foam ear tips
- 1 x shirt clip
- 1 x leather travel case
- 1 x airplane adapter
- 1 x 1/4” adapter
4. Etymotic Research ER-4PT
Specs & Features
|FR:||20 Hz – 16 kHz|
In the audio industry, Etymotic Research has long been recognized as a leading brand. Edwin DeVilbiss and Mead Killion, who had previously manufactured and produced hearing aids and other related equipment, founded the company in 1983. Later on, they would produce some of the most well-known earphones in history while continuing to uphold their reputation for robust design construction and premium sound quality.
The best in-ear monitors in the series, the ER-4PT, ER-4S, and ER-4B, are available in three different variations as part of Etymotic’s flagship premium offerings, the ER-4 earphones. The ER-4 series is also the “first high-fidelity, noise-isolating in-ear earphones in the world,” according to Etymotic Research.
Let’s find out if the ER-4PT lives up to the high expectations placed on it by its long history and name, which is derived from Greek and means “true to the ear.”
The ER-4PT is first packaged inside a durable plastic case that has “ETYMOTIC” printed on the front. The ER-4PT earphones and a variety of accessories, including a Channel-Matching Compliance Graph for each ER-4PT earphone, are waiting for you when you open the case.
Fit and comfort are always important considerations, so IEMs that are of a high caliber should provide ear tips that are unusual. A traditional triple-flange tip, black foam tips, and exclusive glider tips have all been offered by Etymotic. Depending on ear size, the gliders appear to work well with smaller ears, while the triple flange tips, once you’ve gone through their tutorial, offer an excellent fit.
To ensure the best possible seal and fit, they essentially need to be twisted. We should mention seal’s excellent sound isolation abilities while we’re talking about them.
Once your preferred ear tip is in place, the ER-4PT may provide the best seal you have yet to experience; you won’t be able to hear anything. Wherever you are, they maintain breathability and stability while offering a comfortable fit.
The ER-4PT earphones themselves are a low-profile design housed in a cylinder-shaped plastic housing. High-performance balanced armature drivers are located inside, and they are shielded from ear wax and other debris buildup by replaceable filters.
The ER-4PT is made of plastic and is very lightweight, so if you drop them accidentally, they should survive one or two falls. We should also mention the ER-4PT to ER-4S converter cable as a final accessory.
In comparison to the ER-4S, the ER-4PT has a 13 dB higher output at low frequencies and a 10 dB higher output at higher frequencies. The ER-4S typically requires an amp to be powered effectively. Buyers are advised to use caution because the ER-4PT and ER-4S are typically sold for the same price.
The ER-4PT design quality has been made sure to permeate Etymotic’s earphones, including the cable. It has a sturdy construction, with a braided top half and reinforced plastic in the bottom half.
The 3.5 mm connector on the ER-4PT measures 5 feet in length. A shirt clip that can be used to lessen microphonic effects has also been added to the cable by Etymotic.
In terms of audio clarity and fidelity, the ER-4PT is a fantastic pair of earphones. Tracks may contain sounds you have never heard before, as well as flaws in the original recording. Although the bass is present and has a good impact, it occasionally lacks a certain fullness, like many single-balanced armature drivers in a plastic housing.
Moving on to the mids, they typically have a neutral sound, are spacious in the upper parts, and provide warm vocals for both men and women. The ER-4PT really distinguishes itself from many other brands when it comes to treble. Here, Etymotic doesn’t hesitate to establish the treble presence and does so without causing the highs to sound uncomfortable.
You’re in for a treat when it comes to instrument separation, whether you’re an audiophile or a musician. The ER-4PT may have the most advanced rendering engine to date, ensuring that different instruments are always displayed correctly regardless of how crowded the track may be.
Because of the emphasis on high-frequency notes, moderate soundstage, and excellent isolation, some users have even said the listening experience may be “slightly intense.” However, the included 1/4″ adapter can be used to validate this, and for some people, it adds some much-needed air to the earphones.
Even though the clarity and detail will be preserved, purists might prefer this option. In conclusion, the ER-4PT is a dependable, tried-and-true pair of earphones with an exceptional sound signature. Keep an eye on the ER-4P series if you’re looking for excellent in-ear monitors that provide crisp, clear, and analytical sound while also completely cutting out the outside world.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x ER-4PT Earphones
- 3 x custom ear tips
- 1 x filter removal tool and replacement filters
- 1 x Carrying case
- 1 x shirt clip
- 1 x Channel-Matching Compliance Graph
- 1 x 1/4” adapter
5. Sennheiser IE 40 Pro
Specs & Features
|FR:||20 Hz – 18 kHz|
Since the company’s founding more than 70 years ago, Sennheiser has been recognized for producing high-quality audio equipment. Even their premium offerings, like the HD 800 S headphones, were primarily intended for the consumer market.
With the IE 40 Pros, things are different; they’re a good option for musicians who are prepared to perform live or in the studio as well as listeners who prefer music with less bass. We actually recommend the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro as the top in-ear monitor for musicians.
When you first look at the IE 40 Pro, you’ll notice that they have a low profile but still have some style. They have an ear-hook design and are not your typical in-ear style. Sennheiser makes them in black and clear, both of which maintain the polished appearance Sennheiser is going for. The IE 40 Pros from Sennheiser, who has always been known for excellent build quality, do not disappoint.
Although they don’t have the same level of construction quality as the Shure SE215, they still seem sturdy and well-made. The ear-hook design supports the earphones in terms of stability. Even though they won’t fall out while you’re running, the constant head movement causes the earbuds to move around a little.
When considering these “Pro” earphones, breathability is always crucial; if you’re going to wear them while performing on stage or jogging, they shouldn’t trap heat in your ears.
The IE 40 Pros are good earphones for people who plan to be active during their listening sessions because they do a good job of keeping cool. Aside from having a good build and features, earphones should be comfortable to wear in your ears for extended periods of time. They will enter your ear canal fairly deeply to fit the IE 40 Pro.
You’ll have a good chance of finding the ideal fit because Sennheiser offers 3 tip sizes and 1 foam tip option. When adjusted correctly, the IE 40 Pro can feel surprisingly light, allowing you to concentrate on your music.
The cables that come with the IE 40 Pro should be understood by those considering buying it. Sennheiser chose a proprietary connector for the IEM similar to those found on the IE80s, despite the fact that the cable is detachable.
This decision was made in order to prepare it for stage use, and as a result, it has a cutting-edge internal cable duct. Though the cable can be upgraded, the parts are more difficult to find than anticipated.
The soundstage has always been a secret weapon for Sennheiser, and the IE 40 Pros are undoubtedly a success. We believe that these offer the widest soundstage available at this price point. The Y-axis is deep enough, and the X-axis is wide. The IE 40 Pros have a sound that is somewhere between bright and neutral, but they lean more bright.
Although these in-ear monitors aren’t as bass-focused as some others, the low frequencies still have enough depth. The bass is tightly under control and fades out without affecting the other frequencies. Most “professional” musicians may be looking for a design like this, with high-quality bass that is present when it’s needed but disappears when the time isn’t right.
Sennheiser has hit the sweet spot with the IE 40 Pro’s mids; they are neither forward nor recessed. Vocals are energetic, crystal clear, and crisp. In addition to being roomy and airy, upper mids almost always have flawless layering, which results in a silky-smooth neutral experience.
We called the IE 40 Pro a “bright” IEM, and the highs are where it really shines. They are undoubtedly larger, more prominent, and uncongested.
One of the best in-ear monitors for singers because there are no piercing highs and the cymbal sounds clear without distortion. The IE 40 Pro is ideal for indoor use, but when the volume isn’t turned up all the way, the sound does seem to intrude.
On the other hand, sound leakage is negligible, so you shouldn’t experience any issues while enjoying music next to a close friend or family member. The conclusion is that an in-ear monitor with well-balanced audio, detail, and probably a winner among those seeking a bright signature with less bass, is the best option.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x Sennheiser IE 40 Pro in-ear monitors
- 1 x foam tips
- 3 x silicone tip sizes
- 1 x soft pouch
- 1 x cleaning tool
- 1 x manual
6. KZ ZSN HiFi Noise-Isolating in Ear Monitor
Specs & Features
|Drivers:||1DD + 1BA|
|FR:||20 Hz – 40 kHz|
The most recent dual-driver product from KZ, the ZSN in-ear monitors, has a very appealing design. These earphones are our “best budget option” because of their excellent build quality, long cables, and pleasing sound.
Although KZ releases earphones frequently, you won’t want to miss out on this pair! These headphones are a great place to start for anyone entering the IEM market because they have detailed sound and bass that will rock your world.
The KZ ZSN is a really fashionable pair of earphones that would have you believe they are worth much more than their suggested retail price. The IEM is offered in silver, purple, cyan, and black, so it can be chosen by those who like to be a little daring or those who prefer to keep things tidy and straightforward.
Since KZ produces a variety of products, you may have noticed similarities between the transparent casing that allows you to see inside the earphones on the KZ AS10 and the KZ ZS10.
The faceplate has an aluminum alloy construction and a zigzag-like pattern. Additionally braided, the cable adds to the premium, high-quality feel. The ZSN buds do have a little more bulk than most in-ear monitors, but they are still designed to give you a comfortable, angled fit. These earphones are comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time without experiencing any discomfort.
The earphones fit naturally as if they were custom-molded to your ear thanks to their ergonomic shape and long nozzles. KZ has provided a variety of tip choices so you can select the one that will fit your needs the best for an airtight seal. Although the buds are bulkier than other models, breathability is also taken into consideration, so even though you shouldn’t notice a significant difference in temperature while wearing these.
Finally, the ear-hook design ensures that you won’t experience any problems while performing or moving around. You can be active without worrying about stability because they don’t move around at all inside your ears. Given that the buds are extremely dense, the ZSN should endure over the long term in terms of durability.
Although the included cable is very similar to the ones that came with the KZ S10 and KZ BA10, KZ has removed the memory wire and made it feel more flexible. The ear guides are placed above the translucent 2-pin connectors in the design. Sadly, the plastic Y-split is positioned too low, which might cause some tangling.
If you have the means, you can find something more suitable or purchase a Bluetooth adapter to make these earphones wireless, but KZ has made the cable detachable and replaceable. However, tangling is not fatal, and the braided finish is still very expensive. These additional cable choices are merely suggestions; the stock cables work just fine.
When looking for the best in-ear monitors on a tight budget, sound quality should be your top priority. Yes, build quality is important, but many people will choose superior sound over basic decorations and accessories. KZ has produced a pair of earphones with rich bass, warm mids, and bright highs that perform exceptionally well.
The KZ ZSN is proof that most KZ earphones deliver a very rich audio experience. The sub-bass is pleasantly deep and the mid-bass is just right without being overly boomy.
They are prepared to satisfy the needs of listeners who prefer intense bass right out of the box, but you can apply an EQ to bring out even more punch. Male vocals are not overly relaxed in the midrange, and female vocals come across as crisp and clear.
There might be a little mid-bass bleed, but there isn’t any excessive congestion. We would say that the ZSN midrange is nearly identical to the KZ ES4 when compared to another KZ product.
In both situations, the midrange can be adjusted with the aid of an EQ to produce a cleaner lower midrange and a smoother, harsher-free high mid response. In fact, the highs are bright and provide a lot of detail. There are occasionally some piercing highs, but this is to be expected with this kind of turning. On the other hand, the earphones are still in no way tiring.
Although KZ has provided extra pairs of ear tips for the perfect fit, if you turn the volume up all the way, some sound may leak to people nearby.
However, if you’re on stage, this shouldn’t be a problem because the sound isolation is also significantly better than average and you can turn up the volume to drown out your surroundings. Therefore, there is some conflict between sound leakage and isolation, but you can adjust it to fit your needs. Overall, you get excellent audio quality for a very affordable price.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x KZ ZSN In-ear Monitors
- 4 x pairs of silicone Starline tips
- 1 x detachable 0.75 mm 2-pin cable
- 1 x user guide and warranty
7. MEE Audio M6 PRO Musicians’ In-Ear Monitors
Specs & Features
|FR:||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
MEE Audio is no stranger to in-ear monitors of the highest caliber. Targeting musicians or those looking for higher-end earphones, the M6 Pro Generation 2 is now marketed as “professional monitor earphones.” The second generation promises a sound that is not only clearer but also less exhausting at the same time, with a smoother and more refined presentation than the original.
The MEE Audio M6 Pro Generation 2 takes a step up in seriousness and is willing to trade blows with companies like KZ who can produce multi-driver IEMs for a fraction of the price thanks to its new design and added accessories. The M6 pro will undoubtedly provide you with much more performance than you had anticipated, even though it may not be “musician” worthy for some.
The original M6 Pros were a top-selling IEM on Amazon because they were reasonably priced while maintaining a high level of build quality. You might wonder how the second generation has changed. A few modifications to the original design have made the second generation more durable than the first, which is expected and only for the better.
The innovative engraved metal faceplates of the second generation now allow for customization, which is very exciting because they might be the first universal in-ear monitors to do so.
Those who are concerned about finding spare parts will be relieved to learn that MEE Audio has included a variety of replacements upon unboxing should you require them. A stylish carry case has also been added to protect your IEMs while you’re on the go.
Damage tests revealed that the M6 Pros were unaffected by being dropped, thrown into a bag, or applied pressure. Although we don’t advise it, earphones have a good chance of withstanding a few falls if you’re on stage.
Regarding aesthetics, the earphones come in a variety of colors, including blue, black, red, and clear. Given that the earphones only come with one dynamic driver, the transparent color is an intriguing choice. The few exposed wires might not appear as impressive as MEE had hoped because they lack any circuitry to brag about.
The build is also fantastic because they are sweat-protective, so if you intend to exercise or are used to getting wet on stage, you won’t have any problems.
The M6 Pro surprised us by including six pairs of silicone ear tips and one pair of conforming memory foam tips when we first talked about accessories. For those wishing to lock in as much sound as possible, this creates the ideal seal. The M6 Pro Generation 2 performs far better than the original in terms of fit and comfort. You can definitely use these earphones to go to sleep.
The M6 Pro generation 2 comes with detachable cables, so you can easily replace the stock stereo cable with a stereo-to-mono cable if you want to switch to single-ear monitoring mode. A really thoughtful touch by MEE is the inclusion of a 1/4 adapter, which is infrequently provided with IEMs.
You can occasionally find them with more expensive models, so perhaps MEE decided to include them to maintain their ‘professional in-ear monitor’ strategy.
MEE did a fantastic job of enhancing the original M6 Pro. While keeping the price the same as its predecessor, they have improved and refined the sound. Vocals would sometimes sound a little harsh on the original M6 Pro, and distortion would sometimes appear as the frequency was changed. The overall quality of the sound is now better and clearer in the second generation.
The M6 Pro Gen 2 does not have multiple drivers, so the sound will not be as strong as it would be on higher-end in-ear monitors, it should be noted.
When listening to pop, jazz, or blues, the bass is deep and has a significant impact.
In contrast to many earphones in this price range, the mids are clear and there is no tangled mess. You could argue that their new “Pro” labeling marketing strategy is justified in some way as a result. The M6 Pro’s have been described by MEE as “noise-isolating” earphones, so it’s critical that their ear tips effectively block out ambient noise.
We’ve mentioned that MEE includes six pairs of ear tips, but since they work so well, we should really refer to them as earplugs. When you bring them to the gym, there is definitely “noise isolation,” as you won’t even notice the treadmill when you walk past it.
Users have stated that if you’re a musician, it performs rather well on stage and cancels out most of the unnecessary sound coming your way. In general, the drivers are much more sophisticated than your average earbud. Movement precision is greatly enhanced by the aluminum coil and ultra-thin diaphragm.
This indicates that the audio is delivered more effectively and fairly across the 20 to 20 000 Hz frequency range. The final word? Even though they aren’t high-end or prepared to perform for professional musicians, these in-ear monitors are still quite good.
What You Will Receive
- 1 x M6 Pro generation 2 in-ear monitors
- 1 x Stereo audio cable
- 1 x Stereo headset cable
- 1 x Carrying case
- 1 x Memory foam ear tips
- 6 x silicone ear tips
- 2 x shirt clips
- 1/4 “adapter
In-Ear Monitor Systems
Musicians and singers can listen to their music while performing on stage thanks to in-ear monitor systems. Previously, in order to hear themselves play during a concert, musicians had to rely on stage monitors. These speakers faced the band so that the crowd couldn’t hear them over the loudspeakers, but they also caused some problems.
Stage monitors caused a variety of problems, from cluttering the stage to damaging your ears at high volumes. Fortunately, the development of in-ear monitor systems has eliminated this concern for artists, and in-ear monitors (IEM) are quickly taking over the live music scene.
If you’re new to the world of in-ear monitors, don’t be shocked if you’ve unknowingly passed them by a lot of times. You guessed it—an IEM system is in use when you see those unusual-looking earbuds in artists’ ears and what appears to be a walkie-talkie fastened to their belt. If you want to learn more, we’ve included a helpful in-ear monitor system FAQ for you at the end of this article.
Earphones, a transmitter, and a receiver make up the majority of in-ear monitor systems. The audio from the performance is transmitted to the receiver by the transmitter; this audio is referred to as the monitor mix; the receiver is worn on the belt, connected to the earpiece, and has a volume control; and finally, the earphones employ noise cancellation to block out obtrusive sounds.
Thus, the final product is a monitor mix that sounds incredibly clear through earphones.
1. Shure P3TR112GR PSM300 Wireless Stereo Personal Monitor System
One of the most reputable audio brands in the world is Shure. An in-ear monitor system that includes everything you’ll need to start performing on stage has been assembled. The bundle contains:
P3R: an audio-capable wireless bodypack receiver. Both a mixing control and an easily adjustable volume control are available. The receiver operates continuously for approximately 6 hours on two AA batteries that are included. Its lightweight construction makes it simple to clip onto your belt and has a 3.5 mm output.
P3T: a half-rack, single-channel transmitter with a rack mount. The transmitter will wirelessly transmit a stereo or mono mix to the performers on stage. One-touch IR sync instantly establishes a connection between the transmitter and receiver over a distance of 90 meters or 300 feet. A detachable antenna, an external power source, balanced 1/4 TRS inputs, and an LCD menu with specific L/R audio output meters are additional features of the P3T.
SE12: Additionally, Shure has provided a set of headphones with robust sound isolation and deep bass. The earphones advertise a 37 dB noise reduction rating and a snug, comfortable fit.
Furthermore, Shure has provided us with an outline of just four simple steps to create a custom mix:
- Route audio signals from the stage to a mixer or PA system.
- Create an instrument mix and vocal mix, then route each to an input channel on the P3T transmitter.
- Monitor one or both mixers through the earphones connected to a P3R or P3RA bodypack receiver.
- Adjust the volume and MixMode knobs to create a personal mix.
2. Sennheiser Pro Audio Sennheiser EW 100-CI1 Instrument Wireless System-A1
The Sennheiser 100 series is a flexible wireless system with up to 42 MHz tuning bandwidth in a stable UHF range for musicians who want to speak, sing, or play instruments. One of the top in-ear monitors for singers is this one. The bundle contains:
A Receiver: which has a full metal chassis, is tough and is durable. A 42 MHz UHF tuning range with 1680 available frequencies is searched by its auto-scan. The end result is a channel for your audio transmission that is free from interference.
A System Transmitter:
using a Ci 1 cable to connect each instrument. With a fixed 30mW RF power output and a transmission range of up to 300 feet, the system is powered by two AA batteries and offers a runtime of up to 8 hours. The receivers are all connected to deliver a fast-multi-channel frequency setup, according to Sennheiser, and the device can operate up to 12 wireless channels simultaneously.
All kinds of live events, including those held in places of worship, musical performances, speeches, and presentations, can be broadcast using the wireless system.
You can also mix the EW 100-Ci1 with any G4; G3; G2; or G1 receivers or transmitters because it has been made backward-compatible.
3. XTUGA RW2080 Whole Metal Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
XTUGA is a company that creates a wide range of expertly crafted high-quality audio products. Particularly among their many product lines are mixing consoles, singing equipment suits, and in-ear monitor systems for artists. The 2-8 bodypack option of their RW2080 whole metal wireless in-ear monitor system comes with a transmitter. Let’s look at the things that are included:
RW2080 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System:
The wireless system was created by XTUGA to be used for stage performances and to replace conventional sound monitoring gear. The device will increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the dynamic range and use the most recent high-frequency transmission and dynamic audio technology to eliminate interference.
You will also have the choice to pre-set 40 frequencies within the 32 MHz bands. The end result is an in-ear monitor system with perfect original sound quality and sturdy metal construction.
RW2080 Bodypack Receiver:
The frequency range of the receiver is from 572 to 599 MHz. You can pre-set 40 channels individually as well as 4 groups. The receiver comes with two AA batteries and a 1/4″ connector for attaching a set of earphones. When the battery is low, you will be informed by its elegant display panel, which is operable up to 300 feet away.
The product also comes with a 3-year warranty from XTUGA.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do In-Ear Monitor Systems work?
Systems for in-ear monitors are very similar to pairing a smartphone with a Bluetooth speaker. Your smartphone serves as the transmitter, transmitting audio wirelessly to the receiver (ie the Bluetooth speaker). The in-ear monitor’s use of a mixer to amplify the audio before it reaches the earphones is the only distinction between the two.
A typical setup entails sending all of your instruments and microphones to the mixer, where you can then set up an output for each one so that the parts can be heard separately. The output will then come out of the mixer and be connected to your transmitter at that point. The audio will then be sent from the transmitter to your headphones, allowing you to hear the desired music.
Why Would You Need an In-Ear Monitor System?
We previously talked about the shortcomings of stage monitors. They could clog the stage, which was one of the issues brought up. You wouldn’t want to be one of those musicians who trips over a cable and ends up on YouTube for the incorrect reasons, would you? Walking past the range of your stage monitor is another issue with freedom of movement. As you run the risk of losing your place in the song or playing incorrect notes, this could be disastrous.
But stage monitors don’t have to spell the end of the world; as a musician, you’re used to switching up your aesthetic, so why shouldn’t your gear? You’ll finally have the freedom to move around the stage however you please with in-ear monitor systems. IEM systems are also portable and can fit in a suitcase, which means you would need to carry less gear if you were on tour. I’m so glad there’s more room on the bus for those special fans!
Better Sound Quality
The most important factor in audio equipment is sound quality. Stage monitors are only supposed to be heard by performers who are performing live, but as some musicians are aware, this isn’t always the case. Stage monitors may cause feedback and interfere with the other speakers in your setup, making your music sound weak and poorly produced.
By removing the feedback and keeping the music in your ears and away from the audience, IEM systems again address this issue. This ensures better sound quality and eliminates any possibility of changing the music you’ve worked so hard to create.
Protecting your Ears
Your ears are one of the most crucial things to safeguard as a musician. On stage, a ruptured eardrum might be an artist’s worst nightmare. That being said, performing at loud volumes of music on stage is inevitable for artists. In-ear monitors, therefore, present the most secure option for extending the lifespan of your hearing.
If you want to be picky about it, you can have some of the best custom in-ear monitors made to fit your ear canal. Not only do the noise-canceling and isolation features improve your ability to hear your own music, but they also shield you from nearby loudspeakers. Be careful, don’t rupture your eardrums, and keep your ears from ringing!
Wired or Wireless In-Ear Monitor System?
Depending on how you move on stage, you should decide between a wired and a wireless in-ear monitor system. The best in-ear monitors for singers will give freedom to performers who like to walk around without any restrictions, although the wireless option will undoubtedly be more expensive. The wired option might be ideal for other band members, like stationary drummers.
In-ear monitor systems that are wired do not require a belt pack because the earphones are connected to the mixer directly. Furthermore, there is no chance of audio degradation or interference, which can occasionally be found in wireless systems.