If you've stumbled upon this site, you're probably thinking about in-ear monitors but you aren't sure where to start. Because let's face it, there's a lot of misinformation floating around out there on the Net and it's hard to separate marketing claims from facts.

So here's the honest truth from an industry insider. All in-ear monitors, regardless of the manufacturer, will provide the same basic functions. In theory, they all provide roughly -26 dB of ambient noise protection and they all provide a decent alternative to using floor wedges. Sure, there are differences between each company but at the end of the day, here's how this industry really works.

It's about who you know. It's about the relationships that you have in place. It's about the deals that you can work out. And then it's about the sound. In that order! So with that, if you like what you see on this site and want to move forward with transitioning onto in-ears, drop me a line and I'll get you what you need with the right deal to boot.

Is there an easy way to make a DIY in-ear rig for…

Great question. And YES! There now is a very simple solution. You can build a road-worthy setup for around $800. All in. For the whole band. Including snakes, splitters, and cables. Everything! (Well, everything except for the in-ears themselves.) The secret sauce here is JamHub. They have “re-envisioned” the mixing board and by doing so,(…)

Can I use in-ears for studio work?

While in-ear monitors were originally developed for live onstage performances, there have been some significant evolutions in the last few years. It is now quite common to see recording engineers using in-ears for mixing and mastering. Keeping an accurate point of reference is absolutely critical and by replacing bulky studio monitors with portable in-ear monitors,(…)

I’m a music lover and I want great headphones for…

This is a great question. Thank you for asking. Anyone can use and benefit from custom in-ear monitors. They are not just for stage use — although that is their primary design function. And if you think about it for a second, if your favorite musician is trusting these onstage while performing, chances are that(…)

I’m wondering if I have the right monitor mix. Do you have any sample mixes?

I understand exactly what you are asking but there’s no real answer to this question. There’s no such thing as “The Ideal Mix.” The mix that will work best for you is the mix that allows you to perform your absolute best. It’s the one that feels best for you. And it can—and often does—change(…)

As a singer, are there any special tricks that I should know about?

I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been waiting to talk about mic techniques. But before we go there, we need to talk about free space and what happens when you sing without using in-ears. Free space is the environment between your ears and a speaker. And lots of strange things happen in this space. There(…)

THE HISTORY OF IN-EAR MONITORS

What’s the history of In-Ear Monitors? Thanks, Just Curious   Hey there Mr. Curious — great question. But to really answer that, we have to go back in time to discuss the history of traditional wedge monitors. But at the heart of it all is a very interesting story about technology and music. So think(…)

IN-EARS AND AUDIOLOGISTS

Hey there In-Ear Guy — I don’t get it. Why do I have to visit an audiologist? E.R. Wax Say there — That’s a very good question and I’m glad you brought it up. In-ear monitors are custom fit to your ears and your ears only. They are not off-the-shelf products so before we can(…)

HOW TO USE IN-EARS FOR DRUMMERS

Hey there — I’m a drummer and we play a lot of small clubs. I want to use in-ears but I’m not sure about it all. The nightly set-ups vary from club to club and I often find the mics lacking and my sound not as big as I’d like it to be. Here’s what(…)

CAN ONE PERSON BE ON EARS IF EVERYONE ELSE IS ON WEDGES?

Dear In-Ear Guy, I want to transition over to in-ears but my band isn’t ready. Can one person be on ears while everyone else is on wedges? Only The Lonely   Hello there — You my friend are a pioneer. A trail blazer. A trend setter. And yes, you can use in-ears by yourself. It(…)

LONGER CABLES?

Say – I know that the cables are either 48” or 64” but I need something just a bit longer. And I don’t want to degrade the sound. Any suggestions? The Extra Inch Hey there – Great question. I totally hear you. You spent a lot on your in-ear monitors and you don’t want to(…)

SWEAT HAPPENS!

Dear In-Ear Guy — Are my monitors waterproof? What about sweat? Thanks, Hot Up Here   Hey there Schweddy — you’d be amazed at how many times I’m asked if you can swim with your custom in-ear monitors. NO. You can not. These are electronic devices with very expensive high-end equipment inside of them. Please(…)

FLATTENING EQ?

Say there — I’m not sure we were getting the right sound out of our set-up. Would you recommend compressing the monitor mix and what do you think about flattening the EQ? Wanting More Hello there and thank you for this great question, You bring up a really interesting point. I don’t think it will(…)

CAN WE USE IN-EARS IN SMALLER VENUES?

We’ve been talking about using in-ears but the clubs that we play in don’t have dedicated monitoring consoles. The stage monitors are run from the front of house. Do we need to wait until we play larger venues or can we start using in-ear monitors now? Ready for a Change Hey there — This is(…)

ADDING EQ & COMPRESSION

We’re ready to take our in-ear setup to the next level and we know that the next step is adding EQ’s and compressors into the signal chain. What makes and models do you recommend? Mr. More Hey there — and thank you for this wonderful question. It’s true that you can run an in-ear setup(…)

TRICKS WITH COLOR

Say, the whole band will be getting custom Ultimate Ears. But I don’t want to accidentally grab the drummer’s IEM’s and mistakenly try to put them into my own ears. Any suggestions? Noel Coodies Hey there — That’s a great question. Clubs are always dark and all in-ears really look alike anyways. But the odds(…)

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

We want Ultimate Ears but other companies sell cheaper models. What’s really the difference? Comparative Shopping Say there — In-ears are a substantial purchase and we want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. After all, money doesn’t just grow on trees. So here is what it all boils down(…)

USING AN IPOD FOR CLICK

I was thinking about loading my click tracks onto an iPod and plugging that into the mixer. Will that work? Click & Support Say there — we’ve talked about how to best configure a in-ear system for click and support tracks a few times before but this question is actually quite different. This is more(…)

RUNNING 5 G3′s WITH AN AC3 COMBINER

Say there — I’m looking into eventually running 5 wireless IEM mixes, all in one zone on stages no bigger than a major festival. I’m leaning towards using the Sennheiser EW300 G3’s. I’ve been in touch with a few other engineer friends and I was told to check out the AC3 combiner to then use(…)

WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER CONSIDER CUSTOM FIT TIPS

Why should I buy a custom IEM when I can just add a custom fit tip to the universal in-ears that I’m currently using? I’m so glad that you brought this up. This is something I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile now. There is a lot of misinformation about custom fit tips and(…)

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