For musicians, nothing beats the roar, emotion, clapping, or finger-snapping excitement of an audience moved by a live performance. Being able to accurately hear band members — including singers and instrumentalists — is an important part of delivering a remarkable experience each and every time.

Enter in-ear monitors (quite possibly a musician’s best friend), which have time and again proved their value on the performance stage. Learn what they do, why they’re worth it, and how to choose one that’s right for you.

What In-Ear Monitors Do

In-ear monitors, or IEMs, are the drivers placed in musicians’ ears to better hear the band and singers around them. These devices help isolate sounds, reduce external noise, and ultimately facilitate consistent performances.

The business end of IEMs — they can be clear or colored per the musician’s preference — sits within the ear and is connected by wire or paired wirelessly to the stage box.

In-ear monitors are best when professionally customized to the musician’s unique ear shape and hearing needs, helping ensure a comfortable, snug fit and a better overall audio experience.

Noncustomized IEMs can lead to potential problems:

  • Poor in-ear fit, resulting in potential dislodgement during head bobbing or other physical movement on stage.
  • Poor seal, resulting in loss of bass sound. Nonmusicians might not discern various bass differences — also called “difference limens” — but musicians can, and thus need the strongest seal in their ear canals.
  • Reduced sound clarity and consistency, which could lead to flatness on stage or inability to pick up important sounds from other instruments. Those milliseconds or seconds of lost signal can mean the difference between a great performance and one the band would love to forget.

Why Musicians Need Them

Like champion football teams, great bands are not only well-practiced but are able to roll with spontaneous changes on stage. Keeping those changes seamless for the audience is paramount, and that requires hearing what’s played or sung.

Customized in-ear monitors allow musicians to hear what they want — no matter the sound diffusions or other challenges from the speakers facing them on stage.

One band that secured IEMs for all five of its members discovered that people enjoyed their sound more. They were told their voices sounded better than ever and that their performances were a more pleasant experience for the audience. With IEMs, the band members could clearly hear each other — no muddied sound.

How to Select In-Ear Monitors

Choosing IEMs starts with a professional who not only understands how they work but who can also tailor them to each musician’s unique needs. From the number of drivers in the device and the shape of the customized shell to the faceplate design and more, IEMs involve several factors that an experienced professional can best tackle.

At Hearing Solution Centers, the number one spot in Tulsa for in-ear monitors, our audiologists are musicians and singers. We understand what it takes to create customized IEMs to ensure performers hear every single note of every song.

Contact us today to learn more about custom in-ear monitors or to schedule a fitting. Our experts will answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and develop the best solution for your unique needs.