Many churches today are using in ear monitors for their worship musicians and in this article, I take a look at some really good iems available, from the cheapest and most affordable, to more high end units. Unlike the traditional stage speakers or floor monitors, in ear monitors come with a pair of earbuds used to muffle out any noises or sounds from anyone or anything surrounding the user. Musicians can have their own mix, and more able to fully concentrate on the sound of his or her instrument through their earpiece. This is especially important for live performance.
There are many types of personal in ear monitoring products in the market today. Not every piece of gear out there would, however, work well in a church setting. They come in different sizes, shapes and dimensions. The cost of a wireless iem system also depends on the make and the qualities. Below are some of the best in ear monitor systems for churches available today.
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My In Ear Monitor System Picks
- Tight Budget – Rocket Audio RW2080
- Top Quality – Shure PSM300
1. XTUGA Rocket Audio RW2080 with 4 Body Packs (* my budget pick)
The Rocket Audio RW2080 is another top quality wireless monitoring system that comes with 2 channels and 4 body packs. It is one fairly priced and one of the most popular wireless systems around. The things that make Rocket Audio iem system stand out are;
➢ A LCD display that clearly shows the working status of the monitor system
➢ Battery life indicator
➢Very easy in ear monitor setup
➢Frequency response 50Hz-15kHz
➢ Dimensions of 22.4×3.7×13 inches
➢ Has a built-in circuitry limiter that eliminates any distortions when it is under input levels that are excessive.
➢ Has a ¼ inch front panel stereo headphone jack
Users rated this monitor system highly. The majority of those that bought the item hailed it for its good quality work and flawless audio.
Some users said that they didn’t regret purchasing this unit and was among the best in ear monitors they had used. One of the most popular low cost in ear monitor systems around.
Experience the Rocket Audio RW2080 in-ear monitor system – the unparalleled choice for discerning musicians and audiophiles alike, meticulously designed to deliver crystal-clear sound, reliable wireless performance, and unmatched comfort, all in a compact package.
To check the latest price click here
2. Shure P3TRA215CL PSM300 Wireless IEM( * my top quality pick)
Over the years, Shure has been one of the big names in quality microphones and audio gear. The Shure custom in ear monitoring system is used widely by many of the top musicians and bands. Musicians like the Shure P3t PSM 300 in ear monitor system, because of its incredible noise and sound isolating earphones. You can choose from the entry level of the P3TRA215CL PSM-300 to the more advanced PSM 1000. However, this pro audio quality does come at a price and it is more expensive than many other similar products out there.
➢ The P3t in ear monitor system covers a transmission range of 90 metres and eliminates any unwanted sounds
➢ It easy to operate and set up ➢ One touch frequency scan
➢ Frequency response of 35Hz-15KHz
➢ High and low boost 2-band shelving EQ
➢ Detachable antenna
➢ ¼ inch TRS for balancing loop outputs and input
Overall most users were very happy with their purchase and some commented that they didn’t know how they managed before in ear monitors. Professional musicians also seem to really like this model and is certainly one of the top quality iems available.
Others comment on the sound quality, the build quality and also how comfortable the headphones are to wear and the Shure pedigree ensures it is among the best in ear monitors for vocalists and musicians available. Some users commented that they really liked the one-touch automatic frequency scan.
When you buy Shure, you know you are getting the best quality. They aren’t cheap, but I can recommend this in ear system very highly. If you’re a performer who demands top-notch audio monitoring on stage, the Shure P3T wireless in-ear monitor system delivers crystal-clear sound and reliable performance, making it a must-have for any serious musician.
Click here to check the price.
3. ANLEON S In-ear Monitor (great for tight budgets)
The Anleon S2 In Ear Monitor System is very popular with those who have purchased them and seems to be really great value for money. This is a wireless in ear monitoring system designed with 1 transmitter and 4 receivers. This means that 4 users can comfortably use one in-ear ANLEON system.
Specifications and features
➢ Designed for broadcasting and stage performances, it has a good frequency range with a 10 MHz bandwidth and comes with 6 frequencies to choose from.
➢ It has PLL and UHF frequency bands which gives it stability
➢ It gives a playtime of 20 hours and has good battery life
➢ A single transmitter can operate multiple sets of receivers
➢ It has an operating transmission range of close to 100 meters
Many users praised ANLEON in ear monitors and very few gave negative reviews.
A couple of people said that they had tried other makes but weren’t happy with them, but were very happy with the Anleon in ear monitors.
Others comment on the value for money. You get a lot of bang for your buck and is a quality system for the money.
This is another value for money device and among the best in ear monitors around.
Click here to check the latest price
4. XTUGA IEM unit with 6 Body Packs
XTUGA and Rocket Audio are basically the same company, but the difference is that this model comes with 6 receivers. The XTUGA RW2080 in ear monitor system is a wireless bodypack that comes with 2 channels. It is slightly more expensive than many of the other wireless systems. There is however a reason why XTUGA is more pricey. Below are the features and specifications that make it special and a worthy buy.
Spec & Features
➢ It comes in a metal case and is a UHF wireless system with a bandwidth of over 25MHz
➢ Comes with more than 100 pre-programmed frequencies which can have up to 10 receivers
➢ Has a built in circuitry limiter that eliminates distortion
➢ Has a 1U transmitter mounting which uses low power supply
➢ Automatic frequency scan
Most buyers gave this unit a big thumbs up and said it was very good and generally pleased with their purchase and is a great wireless in ear monitor for the price.
I personally think this system is great value for money and highly recommend it.
Click here to get the latest price
5. Audio-Technica Wireless In Ear Monitors
Audio-Technica has been one of the big players in professional audio for many years now and is probably better known for their vocal and instrument microphones and wireless microphones. However, they certainly know what they are doing when it comes to wireless iem systems too. The Audio Technica in ear monitor system is very popular with musicians and gets some great reviews. The unit is quite pricey, but not as expensive as the Shure system above. The things that make the A-T system special are;
➢ It’s a clean articulate and high fidelity sound quality
➢ Great frequency range and sound quality
➢ Multiple channel operation
➢ Comes with a line jack that connects to the microphone and click track
➢ Great build quality
Many customers mentioned that the earphones help a great deal to reduce ringing in the ears caused by loud stage volume.
Others had mentioned that even though this system is quite expensive, the sound quality is worth every penny and it’s probably one the best in ear monitors for musicians.
This in ear monitor system is high quality and comes with high recommendations from many people. Click here to check the price
If you are in the market for an in-ear monitor system for your church and want A1 music production, then do your research carefully and choose what is right for your needs and your price range. The above wireless monitors are all very good, generally affordable and all do a very great job in blocking out noise from other instruments and from the crowd, and give great comfort to the ears. These in ear monitors are all great for their price points and some of them have more advanced features for better comfort and great sound quality.
Please note: One little thing to watch out for is that some users didn’t seem to realise that with 1 transmitter and 4 receivers, they weren’t going to get 4 separate monitor mixes. A lot of people don’t realise that at the end of the day you aren’t going to get more monitor mixes than your sound desk can produce e.g. if your desk has 2 monitor outputs and you buy 2 receivers, then you will have 2 mixes. If you only have 1 receiver, you will only have 1 mix. Also if you have 4 monitor outputs on your desk, if you want 4 mixes, you are going to need x4 in-ear monitor transmitters.
Worship bands can now produce better quality music without any interruptions by using any of the above products, but what you decide upon will ultimately depend on your own needs and budget. The models we have selected in our view are among the best in ear monitors for bands available at the moment.
If you have found this article helpful, you may wish to check out the post I wrote about my 15 favourite bits of church audio gear Other notable systems are the Sennheiser EW Wireless In Ear Monitor G4 which is a good bit more expensive than the other models we have assessed in this article, but it is very high quality and if you have the budget. The Sennheiser is definitely worth considering if it’s within your price range. Click here to read more about it on Amazon. #ad
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are iems?
In ears allow singers and musicians to hear each other through mix that is sent from a sound console to small amplifiers, usually clipped onto clothing. Earbuds connected to the monitor system enable them to hear the monitor mix. Check out this other post to find out more about how in ear monitors work.
What is a click track?
A click track is part of a monitor mix that contains a drum beat or click sound, usually on the first beat of each bar. It plays in sync with backing tracks that are used to help a band sound bigger. The click track is heard by a musician through their iem earbuds. To find out more, you should read my post on how to use a click track with in ear monitors.
Do in ear headphones protect hearing?
Your ears can be damaged permanently with any prolonged exposure to loud music. Musicians on stage are particularly vulnerable to this risk. However, iem headphones block out sound from outside and allow the musician to hear only what is coming through the mixer. There are lots of different ear tips, so you should be able to find some to suit every band member for maximum isolation from ambient noise. So yes, they do to a certain extent protect hearing. Do you need an amp for in ear monitors? Follow link to find out more.
What is the difference between iems and headphones?
I think the way most people understand these two terms is that wireless monitors are literally “in ear”, in the same way, that earplugs fit into the ear canal, whereas headphones go over the ear. Some people refer to iems as in ear headphones. Both, however, can be used with personal monitoring.
Why do performers wear ear monitors?
Musicians and singers are more and more using in-ears, due to the many advantages they have over wedge monitors. They enable each performer to have their own personal mix right in the ear. Read more about why singers wear earpieces.
What do wireless iems cost?
This is not an easy question to answer because it really comes down to quality, the number of receivers, range etc I would recommend following my in ear monitor buyers guide above for that answer.
Do ear monitors cause hearing loss and are they safe?
If used properly, no they don’t cause hearing loss. In fact, they may well protect against hearing loss as they limit the sound pressure coming into the inner ear. However, it is important to have proper fitting ear tips.
Are IEMs for bass players the same as any other type?
Yes, bass players can use the same type as guitarists and other musicians and singers
Are personal monitors for a drummer any different?
Drummers can use universal in ear monitors, but one of the things to check is their noise-canceling ability. Custom in ear monitors are often better for drummers because they can give better noise cancellation.
What about iem rental?
This can be an option maybe for irregular large events. If you don’t have the cash to justify buying the best in ear monitors out there, then you could rent from your local dealer.