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In ear monitor recommendation

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jared Houseman, Jan 20, 2020.


  1. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    My band is looking at moving to in ears. I'm looking for a set of ear pieces around $200 but up to $300. In every product I've looked at, even high end monitors, there's always someone in the reviews complaining that they have no bass.What do you guys like?

    Tldr; What's a good pair of IEM for a bassist for $200-$300?

    Edit: Sorry for sticking this in the pick-ups forum, i didn't bother to check. Can a mod move this to live sound please
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For that price, get some KZ buds. Seriously, brand name buds in that price range will be horrible. In fact, get two pairs (one for backup). Then get some Comply brand foam tips to go with them. They will expand in your ears and seal pretty well.

    I own some $500 Westone buds, AND some KZ buds. The Westone buds are slightly better, but not a ton.

    Westone, Shure, and other brand name buds in the $300 range will be horrible. I used some two driver Shure buds a while back and they weren't as good as $29 Sony buds.

    KB Ear KB10 in Ear Monitor Headphone, 5 Drivers High Resolution Stage Monitor HiFi Earphone with Detachable 2 Pin Cable(No Microphone, Silver Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TQSHPGL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_BVzjEbTWSG5Z0
     
    richntiff, 707GK, DJ Bebop and 5 others like this.
  3. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    A bought a pair of the kz6 i believe a few years back to use as head phones and didn't like them but ill take a look at their new options. The pair i had had a large pointy metal enclosure that poked my ears and would't stay in and i found the treble extremely shrill and fatiguing.
     
  4. Steve88

    Steve88 Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    I've got a pair of the KZ ZS10, and I quite like them. They will do more bass than I can handle. I've also used the 2 driver version for a few months and they were fine also, but the 5 driver is clearer sounding.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I get it. They take some getting used to. With any buds I have used I find that putting them in your ears in front of a mirror the first few times helps me get them lined up. Then I get used to the way I hold them and line them up before putting them in.

    Again, any brand name buds under $500-$600 will be horrible (unless you can find them used). I think it would be worth it to try KZs again. But get the Comply tips. They will make all the difference in the world.
     
    steelin4u, DJ Bebop and RoketRdr like this.
  6. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    We're using a Behringer xr18 mixer so i can eq my mix. I'll try using a lpf and the pair i already have for a gig. if they work ok ill go ahead with the Kb10s
     
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Good idea! Get some Comply tips if you don't already have them.

    This is a variety pack. It will allow you to try different sizes. Once you lock in on a size, you simply reorder that size. It takes a while, but they wear out over time. The standard tips that come on KZ buds won't really isolate very well at all.

    Comply TrueGrip Pro Memory Foam Earphone Tips for True Wireless Earbuds - Secure Fit Tips with TechDefender (S/M/L, 3pr) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PY4PSBT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_z8AjEbX207SRD
     
    Johnny Crab likes this.
  8. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    Slight dissent here - I like my Westone UM Pro30's which are $400 every day at Sweetwater. They occasionally run sales on those.
     
    dab12ax7ef likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Money are Pro50s. They are better than my best pair of KZs, but not by much. I have forgotten my Westone buds before and used the KSs on a gig and about 5 minutes in didn't notice any difference in performance and isolation. The KZs are ever so slightly more mid range heavy. But our Midas X Air 18 allows me to fix that. Again, the difference is subtle.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. Biggbass

    Biggbass

    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Don't waste your money on low end buds. Get some buds with at least 3 drivers per ear. Cost wise, quality buds will run you approx $250 per driver for custom molds and
    a bit less for universal fit. The only issue I've ever had with universals is that they tend to slip from the ear canal and have to be re adjusted often during use. Custom molds stay in place, and the bass response is much better because they fit the ear perfectly and the sound holes are further into the ear canal, delivering better bass response.

    Chasing good ear buds can be a rabbit hole. Many start at the low end and buy cheap buds. Get good ones and you'll thank yourself over and over.
     
  11. I’ve got a pair of $1,000 custom molded in ears and a set of $60 KZ AS10 in ears. I have tried several $200-300 in-ears (shure, audio technica, and one other) and they weren’t nearly as good as my KZ AS10’s or $1K customs. Seriously, these cheap KZ’s have 5 (FIVE!) drivers and sound better than $300 name brand IEMs. AS10’s are pretty flat and even across the frequency range, but if you like a more “smiley face” eq with scooped mids then I’d get the KZ ZS10’s.

    A good fit and seal is required for getting a good sound with any bass response, so I also recommend getting the multi pack comply foam tips and finding the perfect size. (Could even be different sizes for each ear)
     
    DJ Bebop and DavC like this.
  12. My KZ AS10's arrived yesterday. To me, they are a bit heavy handed on the treble side when I start to crank them up a bit. Thats coming straight of of my computer though with no type of EQ in the path. A slight high end roll off on the EQ and they should great. Bass is clear and solid , and yes, the Comply foam tips will make a huge difference. For $60, they're pretty damn hard to beat.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    They will all be about the same. Until you get molds and spend some $, nothing is all that great
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  14. Jared Houseman

    Jared Houseman

    Jul 5, 2018
    I've seen some diy molded ear plugs stuff on Amazon that people have put on their ear buds. Has anyone tried that?
     
  15. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    The Physics of IEM's require a good seal for good low end - there's really no magic on that end of the spectrum to getting decent sound, except that seal. The trick is to not overwhelm the low end with too much sparkling high end, or (as some earbuds do) abnormally push the low end - too much bass can screw you up as fast as not enough. I have 4 driver and single driver earbuds - both of them have decent low end, and the single drivers (which cost about a tenth of the 4 driver ones) are 90% as good - I use them all the time for rehearsals, and they work fine.

    What you don't want is the consumer earbuds (like those you got with your phone) that don't really seal - you'll get a lot of leakage around them, so you'll be cranking things too loud, and still won't have decent low end.

    What you need to hear in your ears when doing gigs is a decent rendition of your tone, your pitch (so you can hear if you're playing the right note), and good timing cues. Your pitch perception doesn't come from the fundamental of the note - it's more in the overtones, which unfortunately compete with the other instruments. Your timing cues come from higher in the spectrum - the attack of the note is in the treble. To that end, the real thing you need in your ears is a good mix - too much of yourself, you'll play tentatively. Too little, and you won't hear what you're doing well enough to be confident. It's a Goldilocks thing - your mix has to be just right. Earbuds that are a little different sounding aren't that much of a hindrance, but a bad mix is.
     
    DJ Bebop and bfields like this.
  16. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    Montreal
    I have tried a few KZs and CCA chi-fi earbuds. To date the best are KZ ZS10, they are very good, very comfortable/compact and very affordable. I use them on gigs all the time. You do have to inverst in comply tips (or Newbee) though. The stock silicone tips dont isolate well enough.

    If you are equipping a band put the money you save on other equipment.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  17. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    Anybody compared the KB10s recommended above to the AS10, KS10 or ZS10?

    Wondering how these chi-fi buds stack up against each other.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  18. Sixgunn

    Sixgunn

    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    I got some KZ ZSX's which apparently are the latest rage in KZ land. Best $42.00 I've spent in a long time!
     
    DJ Bebop and two fingers like this.
  19. n1as

    n1as

    Mar 29, 2013
    The low-cost KZ's are a great bit of kit - IF (big if there) you can get them to fit. If they don't fit or won't stay in they are useless.

    In my case I could not get them to fit no matter what tips I tried.

    I bought some Alclair Dual XB customs and finally have an IEM solution that fits and gives consistent sound. They sound good but you won't confuse them for some high end audiophile solution. For bass guitar they work just fine. I hear what I need to and can do my job. They are pretty easy to insert & remove and most importantly fit the same every time.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  20. bfields

    bfields

    Apr 9, 2015
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I feel like what makes IEMs great is:

    - the way they fit tightly in your ear, so they stay secure and cut out the outside world,
    - the heavier-duty cables that route over your ear and down your back, which also help them stay secure and out of your way.

    The rest seems like details. I've never had trouble hearing everything clearly with my $90-ish Shure 215s, and the only reason I haven't tried something cheaper like the KZ's is that I haven't seen the triple-flanged silicone tips that I like for them (I've probably just overlooked something).

    I finally got some customs last month and they're great. Again the cheapest I could find (Westone ES10's), because it was the fit I cared about.

    Disclaimer: I'm no audiophile, and as a performer I'm just a 3-4-times-a-year-amateur--they get used on the bus (great for listening to music despite the engine noise...) more often than stage.
     

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