Rock Stars hear the difference.
Here’s the deal: an in ear monitor (IEM) and the conventional hearing aid or noise reduction device are simply not the same things. It’s the different between a 1980’s Toyota and a Tesla Roadster.
Music industry professionals have been wearing them for years and much of the innovation in IEMs are as a result of these same people. Rock stars hear the difference. It’s this industry that pushes the fold with earphones, not gaming. In this article we’re going to talk about a few popular IEMs and why just about all serious musicians or music engineers should pause and consider investing in their own pair.
Personal Customization through JHAudio
Whether you’re a solo classical guitarist, in a country band or a roadie that deals with the roaring crowds of big name concerts every week, you design your own IEM. Okay, great…but what does that even mean?
• Your Speakers: JHAudio has their own proprietary precision-balanced armatures (molds) but you can choose whether to go with 4 drivers per ear, or less. And, each one is finely tuned with lows, mids and highs in perfect balance to suit your needs.
• Custom Quality: You set frequency response, the input sensitivity, impedance, etc. And, if all this is beyond you the JHAudio team can make the decisions for you based on your particular lifestyle.
• Accessories: You can get artsy here and add colors or graphics. Want to hook into your SmartPhone? Need a shirt clip for performances? The list goes on and on.
They look so futuristic and sleek! Like highly evolved head phones. Let’s take a look at another innovative company that works with some of the biggest names in music.
The Mighty Westone
Heard of Peter Frampton? He’s a Grammy winner, one of the hardest workers in the music business and doesn’t leave home without ’em! They’ve got a number of extensive lines but perhaps one of their most elite is the hand-crafted UM Pro 50. For musicians by musicians so they get top of the line playback as well as monitoring. Here’s just four of the specs:
1. Driver: 5 balanced armature drivers with passive 3-way crossover.
2. Impedance: 45 ohms @ 1 kHz
3. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
4. Sensitivity: 115 dB SPL @ 1Mw
For those that don’t know what any of that means, they’re basically the most incredible molded earphones ever. Slightly different in design and comfort, but epic nonetheless. We’re talking about the most crisp, clear sound you’ve ever heard; unlike any other type of headphone forgiving the huge ones you see DJ’s wearing occasionally (the rest of the time they have to wear them around their necks).
Now we’re into some seriously professional audiologist-inspired ear monitors. They make each set by hand for every customer. Their latest is the mg6pro 13mm Ear Monitors. On their website they pretty much put it best: “…multi-driver & crossover free; delivering full range audio w/ natural hi-end sparkle, warm mids and a low-end frequency response no two, three, four or more way balanced armature earpiece can touch!”
My goodness! The next step is going to be a permanent cyborg-like internal IEM that’s biologically hardwired into your hearing canal…and at about that same time a few SpaceX rockets should be showing up on Mars to set up greenhouses. Whew! There’s more to come. I’m a total nerd for this stuff. If you are too, be sure to subscribe to the SGH – Sound Advice blog from the sidebar menu.