In Ear Monitors
Starting from £216
In ear monitors (IEMs) are used by musicians who play live on stage, as well as audio engineers and audiophiles who require high fidelity sound production. Their main purpose is to allow professionals to hear an accurate mix of instrumentation occurring on a stage, and offer protection from the loud sound levels often present at live music venues. By enabling this effective “monitoring” of sound a singer can perform in key, a guitarist can play in time and a sound engineer can ensure everything on stage sounds harmonious and balanced.
First brought to market in the 1980s, in-ear monitors offer a range of benefits over traditional speakers that face performers (known as monitor speakers or wedges). These include:
A better quality of sound direct to your ears. Because performers can each have a personalized mix sent to their monitors, the days of each musician turning up their monitor speakers to hear themselves (leading to a cacophony of noise) are gone.
Your ears are protected. Most custom made in-ear monitors seal the ear effectively, acting as a default ear plug and providing sound isolation of anywhere between 20-35db depending on the design and fit. Customs do a far better job at this, particularly ones made out of silicone.
Minimal feedback. This is mainly a problem when tradition monitor speakers are cranked up, leading to a loud, often high pitched feedback sound. If everyone on stage is using IEMs, the ability of the sound engineer to control feedback is much greater as there are no speakers pointed at guitar amps and mics.
Less vocal exertion. Most singers tend to strain and sing louder if they can’t hear themselves, a common problem with loud and conflicting monitor speakers blaring at the stage. With in-ear monitors the sound engineer can feed through to the vocalist a mix with their microphone more prominent than the rest of the band.
Control. Although the sound engineer determines the mix, you have control over the volume that ultimately meets your ear drums. Some body packs also have a basic EQ function and limiter.
Mobility. It’s doesn’t matter if you stay on stage or backflip into the crowd, you’ll still get a reliable and accurate mix wherever you go.
Talk to a specialist...
At Durham Hearing Specialists we work with a number of different manufacturers to supply our clients with the very best custom monitors on the market, including Starkey, Minerva, 64 Audio, ACS and more. The monitor that’s right for you may not always be the most expensive, but may be determined by the size of your ear canal, the instrument or listening environment you need them for, the material that’s going to suit your ear and number of drivers you’ll benefit from. Our Audiologists have an in-depth knowledge of the ear and how monitors work, we can offer friendly and impartial advice on what solution will work best for you.
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