Are you an upcoming musician, and you recently performed a show, and you could not hear yourself? It might have been very uninspiring and or even affected your performance. The best in-ear monitors are meant to not only improve your performance but also help you to enjoy your instrumental gig.
If you have not been able to hear yourself during a performance, you are in the right place to know some of the best in-ear monitors. In this article, we will share with you some of the best in-ear monitors under $200. The monitors we will share here are ideal for both guitar players and all kinds of musicians irrespective of the type of instrument you play.
But why an in-ear monitor? Well, if you have the best in-ear monitor during a live performance, you will enjoy the show as much as your listeners.
Some of the benefits that you will get from an in-ear monitor include the following:
- It will improve your general performance because you will hear yourself throughout the show.
- You can clearly hear your instrumentals anywhere on the stage.
- The noise isolation helps you to shut out the sound you don’t want to hear and hear only what you want to hear.
- You will get the full range of sound and frequency from your band and instruments while performing.
- You do not have to carry a heavy monitor around
- It will protect your ears because you can control the volume either of the instruments or your band.
Most importantly, in-ear monitors are comfortable to wear, and they are user-friendly. Also, it will give you the best sound quality. They come in all sizes and shapes, which provides you with a variety of options that will suit your playing needs.
There are hundreds of different kinds of IEM in the market, are all of them good? Not really. Choosing the right IEM will not only serve you well, but also it will ensure that you enjoy better quality music. Therefore, you need to know what to look for in the best IEM.
Qualities of a good in-ear monitor
There are a number of features that you should look for in an IEM. Put it at the back of your mind that the features of IEMs are different from the features of an ordinary headphone that you use for listening to music.
The following are some of the things that you should look for when buying an in-ear monitor:
1. Sound Quality
The very first thing to consider when buying an IEM is the quality of the sound that it will give you. An IEM with poor quality sound will ruin your live performance. But if you get the best IEM with high quality sound frequency, it will improve your general performance. Also, if you are playing an instrument, you will play it better.
2. Build Quality
A good pair of the in-ear monitor will have a good build. When they are built well, they will last longer and serve you better. Also, when the IEM is sturdy, it will be able to withstand the constant reuse during live performances and the mishandling that comes with music gigs.
It is probable that you will be wearing the IEM while practicing as well as during live performances. Also, you will likely be wearing it for a long time. For this reason, it is paramount that you get an IEM that fits well in your ear.
If you get a comfortably fitting IEM, you will not experience any discomfort while performing. Most likely, you will forget that you are wearing an IEM because you will not feel anything in your ear.
4. Bass Quality
Another thing to look for when buying an in-ear monitor is the bass response that they have. As much as the bass response might not affect your performance, but when you can hear all musical instruments, it gives you a better feel of the music being played.
As a musician, you know the impact that bass has while performing. Therefore, if you want to feel your performance, get a pair of IEM that has a good bass response.
5. Look and Design
Although this is not a very critical factor to consider how the IEM looks in your ear is a critical thing. A good in-ear monitor should be designed in such a way that it wraps around your ear and fits well. Such an in-ear will give you a sleek and neat look.
6. Type of Connection
There are two kinds of IEMs – wireless and wired. If you need to use the IEM while practicing and sitting on your desk, then go for a wired in-ear monitor. On the other hand, if you intend to use the IEM during a live performance, the wireless type in the best option.
Therefore, choose an in-ear monitor based on how you intend to use it.
7. Noise Cancellation
Another salient feature to look for in the best in-ear monitor under $200, is the noise cancellation ability. It will help to shut out unwanted sounds from reaching your ears while hearing only what you want to hear.
You will not be able to use an IEM if it does not fit well in your ear. Also, when it fits with snug in your ear, you will get a better sound quality. There are those IEM with silicone earbuds that adapt to any ear well. Besides that, if you are able to get custom made IEM that fits well in your ear, get them.
One of the salient features of IEMs is that you can easily carry them with you from one place to another. Also, they do not take much storage space. Besides that, they are very light so you will not feel any weight while carrying them. So, they can fit in a tiny pocket and you can go with them wherever you are going to perform.
Price is a determining factor when buying not only the IEMs but almost anything. The price of the IEM is primarily determined by the build quality and the sound quality. The brand of the earphones might also impact the price. But fortunately, in this post we have brought you pocket friendly IEMs for you to choose from.
Another factor to consider when buying an IEM is the brand. There are manufacturers that have curved their names as the best producers. You can search what other users are saying about the brand that you intend to purchase before you spend your hard earned money.
12. User Reviews
Another very critical factor to consider before buying any IEMs is the reviews. You can search for the earphone or look at the reviews on Amazon. While at Amazon, you can be able to see the rating of the IEM and the comments left by those that have used the product.
Besides that, if you want the best reviews, look for those with Video reviews. The video review gives you a better insight on how the IEM works. Before making the final decision, ensure that you have researched for as much information as you can about the brand of the IEM that you want to buy.
How to best use in-ear monitors:
“Best in-ear monitors under $200“
1. Shure SE215
Are you working on a budget but needs a set of IEM with the best sound quality? The Shure SE215 is what you need. They are not only comfortable but also have an excellent sound quality.
It is designed with a wedge so that they fit into the canal of your ear. The proper fit plays a significant role in noise isolation. However, the fit is very comfortable.
Besides that, they are designed with translucent plastic, which makes them appealing to the eye. They also come with a detachable cable that allows you to use it either in a wired or wireless state.
The detachable cable makes it easy to maintain and repair in case of any need. The cable is also made in such a way that it cradles around your ear, which ensures that it does not fall off during the performance.
However, the Shure SE215 lacks control features, so you must take it off to control the volume to your desired level.
Another outstanding feature of the Shure SE215 is the exceptional sound quality. You will enjoy the warm and neutral sound quality of the instrumentals and your band. The bass response is also good, which makes the whole music experience cool.
Shure SE215 comes with various sizes of ear tips, which allows you to find the tip that fits your ear. There is also the Bluetooth connection, which will enable you to connect if you are using the wireless mode.
When you buy the Shure SE215, you will get a storage case which helps you to store the IEM untangled and safe when not in use.
- Comes with a storage case
- Available in wired and wireless forms
- Exceptional sound quality
- Variety of ear tips available
- Fits with a snug
- The bass response is boomy
- Proper inserting into the ear requires practice
2. Mee Audio M6 Pro
The Mee Audio M6 Pro comes with an over the ear cable which you can wrap around your ear for stability. They fit with a snug, which ensures they cancel out any unwanted sound.
The cable of this IEM is detachable, which allows you to either use them as wired or wireless. They have a smoky translucent design, which makes them attractive to look at.
The Mee Audio M6 Pro uses standard drivers, which makes them ideal as in-ear monitors. They fit with a snug, which ensures that even if you make movements during the live performance, they will remain intact.
What’s more, the Mee Audio M6 Pro is sweat resistant. Therefore, even if you dance and sweat during a performance, they will not get damaged.
The sound quality of this set of the in-ear monitor is excellent. The bass response is also good, and there is no harshness. Generally speaking, the sound is well balanced for this IEM.
The Mee Audio M6 Pro is user-friendly. There are no advanced settings that you need to make when using this in-ear monitor.
- Passive noise isolation ability
- Fits with a snug
- The sound quality is excellent
- The build is average
- The treble sound is sharp
3. Fender FAx2
Are you a drummer, and you need the best in-ear monitor at a budget? Look no further than the Fender FAx2. They come with a wide array of features that make them among the best IEM in our list today.
The Fender FAx2 uses a rare-earth driver, which enhances the sound quality. There is only a single driver but works well to give you high quality audio.
When you are wearing the Fender FAx2, you will be able to hear every aspect you’re your instruments. The bass response is good, so you will be able to monitor even the low frequency of bass that is often drowned by other instruments.
In addition to that, the Fender FAx2 responds well to all sound frequencies. Whether the sounds are in the low, mid, or high frequencies, you will be able to hear all of them.
The earbuds of the Fender FAx2 have been specially designed to fit with a snug. They fit as if they were custom made. This allows it to cancel out any unwanted sounds while you enjoy only what you want to hear.
Also, the earbuds can fit into almost any ear size. Therefore, it will give you a humble time to use them because they fit well and comfortably.
Moreover, Fender FAx2 comes with a detachable cable. This gives you to freedom to use the IEM either in the wired or wireless state.
When you buy this in-ear monitor, you will get a carry case, which also doubles up as a storage case. A cleaning apparatus is also provided.
- High-quality audio
- Fits with a snug
- Comes with a carry case and cleaning apparatus
- Detachable cable
- Comes with variable ear tips
- Lacks noise isolation
- Bass response is poor
4. Audio Technica ATH-IM01
Are you looking for IEM that will fit in your ear with a snug and block all unwanted sounds? The Audio Technica ATH-IM01 will do precisely that for you.
They also have a high-quality sound, which is balanced by armature drivers. This set of the in-ear monitor will give you nothing but the pure sound quality, and you will be able to hear yourself while performing.
The Audio Technica ATH-IM01comes with a curved pipe that you can wrap around your ear. Apart from that, they fit well in your ear, thus sealing out any unwanted sound. Therefore, you will be able to monitor your instruments better.
There are external controls that allow you to adjust the volume to protect your ears. When the volume is well adjusted, you will avoid shouting on stage.
The cable of the Audio Technica ATH-IM01is detachable. The advantage with the detachable cable is that if they wear out, you can change them easily. Also, you have the freedom to use them in a wireless form.
Apart from that, even if you change the cable of the IEM, it will not affect the quality of the sound. The Audio Technica ATH-IM01 is lightweight and very comfortable so you can wear them for long without experiencing any discomfort.
What’s more, the Audio Technica ATH-IM01 has a reduced acoustic radiation resistance. This means that you will enjoy the instruments without any disturbing sounds.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Fits with a snug
- Good noise isolation
- Excellent sound quality
- Detachable cable
- Perfect for in-ear monitoring
- Reduced acoustic radiation resistance
- The bass response is not impressive
- The cable is rigid which makes it uncomfortable to wear for a long time
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5. Sennheiser IE 40 Pro
At its price range, the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro comes with superior comfort. The cable is detachable, which gives you the freedom to use this in-ear monitor either as a wireless or wired state.
However, the cable is rigid, so you cannot wear it for long during a live performance. But the cable is sturdy, which means it can last for a long time. Also, it transmits the signal well without any distortions.
The sound quality of the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is excellent. The drivers used in this IEM are of high-quality, so it does not have any dissonance when using it. Even when the volume is high, it does not experience any discrepancies.
The bass response of Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is excellent. This means this in-ear monitor can be worn on stage by any musician to monitor the instruments.
The maximum sound pressure level of Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is 115dB, which makes it suitable for use during live performance. At this level, it will not affect your ears.
Apart from that, the rated noise isolation of this in-ear monitor is 26 Db. At this sound range, you can comfortably wear it to monitor your instruments and hear yourself as you perform.
- Meant for live stage performance
- Audio reproduction is excellent
- Comes with a cleaning apparatus
- Detachable cable
- The noise isolation is wanting
6. SONY XBA-H3
Sony is a giant manufacturing company that has curned a name for itself for its high quality audio products. The SONY XBA-H3 come with a unique design which makes them stand out from the crowd. Also, their functioning is different as compared to other brand with the same price in the market today.
The technology used in the SONY XBA-H3 makes them unique. It comes with a 3-way hybrid driver setup. More specifically, they come with a big 16mm dynamic driver which helps in sound production. Therefore, you can expect the best bass response from the SONY XBA-H3.
Besides that, the SONY XBA-H3 comes with an overall sound frequency that ranges between 3Hz and 40kHz. The sensitivity of this IEMs is rated at 107 dB/mW.
Also, the impedence level of the drivers of SONY XBA-H3 is rated at 40 Ohms at 1kHz. These features ensure that you enjoy a smooth sound quality which is near natural.
As a matter of fact, if you are looking for a rich, clear and detailed audio quality, look no further than the SONY XBA-H3.
Another outstanding features of this IEMs is the detachable cable. This allows you to decide how you would like to used the earphones during performance.
They are also verycomfortable and you can wear them for a long time without experiencing any discomfort to your ears.
- Excellent sound quality
- Smooth high frequencies
- Detachable cable
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Uses 3-way dynamic drivers
- Gigantic bass response
- Noise isolation is wanting
Frequently Asked Questions
– What is the difference between IEM and Regular earphones?
In terms of the design, both the IEM and other regular earphones look alike. However, the IEM comes with more advanced technology which enables it to deliver better audio quality in a noisy environment.
The IEM are made with the noise isolation ability which helps to produce a more accurate sound. Besides that, the IEM are designed to be used under various musical environments. As such, there are IEM that are meant to be used for live outdoor performance, for studio use only, as well as general use among other uses.
Besides that, another distinguishing factor between the IEM and regular earphones is how they are worn. The regular earphones are worn when you want to listen to an audio privately while the IEM are worn most by musicians and music producers. Therefore, we can say that IEM are earphones but regular earphones are not IEMs.
– What technology is used in IEMs?
The most outstanding thing about the IEMs is the drivers used. Most of the IEMs are made using dynamic drivers. Apart from that, there are others that use all-frequency drivers and there are those more especially the high end ones that use separate drivers.
In a layman’s language, earphone drivers are like woofers and tweeters to a speaker. One outstanding thing about the dynamic drivers is that they are capable of delivering better bass. But the bass quality that you will get will depend of the manufacturer.
Another common kind of drivers used in IEMs is the balanced armature drivers. These type of drivers are smaller and a manufacturer can use many of them is a single IEM. They work by vibrating so that they produce sound.
But the bottom line about IEM drivers, the best are the dynamic drivers. Therefore, if you need IEMs that you can be able to hear the bass response well during a performance, go for IEMs with dynamic drivers.
As you can see from the list above, there are numerous best in-ear monitors under $200, you have to choose the one which fits best with you. Therefore, even if you are working on a budget, you can still get a decent set of IEM for your live performance.
There are many trusted brands in the market that you can select from and get the best in-ear monitor. However, ensure that you take into consideration the specs of the IEM that you buy so that you can get the ultimate monitoring experience. We hope that this article has been of help to choose the best IEM that suits your sound needs.