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A new IEM System thread: AKG vs Sennheiser vs. Audio Technica

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by boden, Nov 2, 2013.

Which IEM system do I prefer?

Poll closed Nov 7, 2013.
  1. AKG IVM 4500

    0 vote(s)
  2. Audio Technica M3M

    3 vote(s)
  3. Sennheiser ew300

    5 vote(s)
  4. Other options...

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Hi people!

    I am thinking about buying a IEM system.

    And I am comparing Audio Technica M3M, Sennheiser ew300 and AKG IVM4500.

    I have found some opinions about ew300, but no many about the others.

    Any experiences?

    Checking sites, I can get the M3M for about 500-580, the AKG for 730-750, but with the ew300 maybe for 850 (The official price of the AKG is the same as the ew300, but I haven't found anyone who offers such a good discount for the ew300 as for the AKG).

    Any opinions about the three?

    Is it worth the money difference?


  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I strongly recommend the Carvin system (as long as you buy aftermarket in-ear buds). I've used the Sennheiser and Shure top drawer systems, and don't think they've got anything on the Carvins. (really)
  3. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    I'd say the M3 system. Very good system and you'd get to spend more on buds. I use the m2 system and just freaking love it
  4. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    M3 user here. Works well but the stock earbuds suck a big one.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Very happy M2 user here....
  6. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Check northernsound.net for prices.

    I am not affiliated with the company.
  7. I'm Senneheiser all the way, if for no other reason than that it's much easier than the other choices given to find in rental houses and venue stock when needed. So finding parts on the road isn't so much of a crap shoot. Aside from that they're everything a good IEM system should be, particularly with the G3 Series and somewhat of a standard. Shure would also fall well into this category. I've used the M3 and been satisfied with the sound but in a business where availability and redundancy are a must, I went with more of a known quantity.
  8. I like that the Sennheiser has an adjustable limiter in the belt pack.
  9. Is that the EM900 system?

    They're quite a bit cheaper than the sennies. If they're as good as you say I might want to look into them.
  10. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    Pretty sure my m2 has that as well.
  11. While the M2 has a limiter, that is defeatable, it is not "adjustable" in that it cannot be set to different levels. This isn't a huge deal, and having a limiter is much better than not, but it just means you have to find headphones with the right impedance. The limiter setting may be too low or too high for certain headphones.

    Again, the fact that it has one in the first place is the most important part, but it's nice when it's adjustable.
  12. Stangconv


    Mar 3, 2013
    Just looked. Yup you're right.

    Also have a shure pm-200 unit... Don't like that its 9v operation
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    Yes. Carvin only makes one IEM setup. I am very satisfied with mine.
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Sennheiser system is excellent. I have one that has served me well. May be getting a Shure deal so it may be for sale very soon. Pm me if interested

  15. I'd like to say, whatever system you buy, aftermarket ear buds are an absolute essential. Honestly, I'd recommend starting your trek down the IEM path by first pricing out the best/most suitable buds first. After this, start looking at IEMs.

    That said, I have only ever used my Senny ew300. I have found them fantastic on all fronts. If I were to need a new transmitter unit, I would look into other units, but likely buy the ew300s once more. Again, I really couldn't tell you if they're price-effective or better than any other set, I just know that mine have been phenomenal and would recommend them if you have the money.

    I use mine with some Tunz Trio-b custom IEMs. I hate to reiterate this, but many people try great transmitters with bad IEMs, and this ruins the whole experience. For example, I personally think you're better off spending $1,000 on good buds and $100 on a transmitter, than you are the other way around.
  16. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Can you please share some experience on the sonic quality of Carvin vs. the Senn & Shure transmission units?

    I'm also very interested in your take on the Carvin's limiter. Is it adjustable? Have you had any instances where it "saved" you from sudden volume spikes? I think the M3 has an adjustable limiter - 3 settings I believe. Carvin's manual is unclear about whether there are user adjustable level settings for the limiter.

    In the 1990s I had an LB-70, which was OK. Had four Carvin bass cabs that were so-so. Had 2 Carvin PA mains and they were pretty good. Had two Carvin amps and a very bad experience quality-wise with one. So overall I don't have a strong positive view on Carvin, but I am willing to be persuaded if they've upped their game in the electronics arena - esp. since the price is comparatively low.

    I'd be using this with custom IEMs from 1964 Ears so that part is covered. Thanks.
  17. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Commercial User

    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    As much Sennheiser or Shure as you can afford.
  18. Pretty sure my next system will be a MIPRO 808TR
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Quality vs. quality, I think the Carvin sounds every bit as good as the Senn and Shure. Surprisingly so. As I said, I've used both top line systems from the other companies, and and ridiculously happy with the Carvins. The limiter is non-adjustable. I have had it save my ears, and haven't really felt like I was missing anything without adjustment capabilities.

    I had (have) an LB76, and my opinions on their instruments is quite different than that of the IEM system. While their guitars are ok, I find them great "for the price" if that makes sense.
  20. No one argues that good earbuds are as important as the IEM system. I have buyed Shure 525s, and I'll ask later for a custom fit or reshell them. (I am still not so sure if it really makes sense to reshell them, or if with custom made ear tips is as good as reshelling them)

    In Argentina everything is complicated due to not so many available options (prices... For ex. customs are 50% of the price+shipping), and then not having technical support of many companies available.

    Regarding IEM systems I have found this: http://churchtecharts.org/home/2010/7/5/wireless-iem-shootout-pt-1.html

    But no information about AKG :-(

    I am not so sure, but maybe I'll go for the AT M3M, which I think I can get for about 500. The reciever will be not so small, but well... For not heavy use, could be a good option.

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