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In Ear Monitors - not expensive

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kirkdickinson, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I play at our church about once a month on the main stage. They have an Aviom system and musicians are expected to provide there own in-ear. I have used my over the ear headphones because the only in-ear I have is for my i-pod.

    I usually play with monitors and the in-ear experience is a little disconcerting and I struggle to "feel" the drum/bass interaction that seems so easy with wedges.

    I know there is a "sticky" here about IEM and I have been slogging through it.

    My question is this... For now, what in ear monitors can I pick up that will be acceptable and not too pricey?

    Some of they guys that play every week have ones that cost $350 or more, but I can't justify that with the infrequency of my playing in that situation.

    Would there be any consumer earphones that would do a decent job? Dr. Dre? Can't hurt to ask right?


  2. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    I've been using the Shure SE215's for about a year now, and they work very well. Sound good and haven't given me any trouble whatsoever. They run about $100 and are carried at Guitar Center.

    Funny thing is, I forgot to grab them once for a gig, and ended up buying a cheap pair of earbuds from Target for less than $20. Worked fine. Sound quality wasn't the greatest, but I got through the gig with flying colors.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
  4. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Alien Ears are out of my budget.
  5. If you are not moving around on stage, you don't need a wireless system. If you're sitting down and plugging into the Avion near you, any sound isolation headphones will do. They can be over-the-ear, on-the-ear, or in-the-ear. Prices for a decent wired solution can be less than $100.

    I used the Vic Firth stereo isolation headphones ($65)in a similar situation. They worked fine.
  6. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I use Westone UM2's...they are not the custom fit IEM but a general fit and they fit great and sound fantastic. UM1s are cheaper but I haven't tried them so I can't comment on the difference in sound. Our system is similar to the Aviom - we have individual 16 track monitor mixes for each player adjustable by each via an iPhone app.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have a very inexpensive and really nice sounding wired IEM system for church.

    Yamaha Ear Pieces - $80


    Rolls Personal Monitor Amp - $50


    I bought a headphone extension cord for $8.

    I use a Boss TU-2 that powers the Rolls. I taped the headphone extension cord to a guitar cord. That cord goes to the Tuner/Rolls/DI on the floor.

    Monitor Out -->Rolls-->Earphones

    I am using a cheap DI at church. I plan to get a nice DI (Radial JDI probably) soon. This system works great and sounds great. Yeah, it isn't a wireless system with $350+ ear buds, but if you don't move around a lot, it's a great (and inexpensive) IEM solution.
  8. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Dr.Dre headphones are a product of marketing only. They sound dreadful and way overpriced. If you are running vocals only you might be able to get away with some off-the-shelf buds. But running bass through them will be a waste of time. There's no free lunch. Save up and get some good buds. Then you can buy a crap transmitter in CL if you really want to save dough.
  9. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I don't move around much, so wired is fine. I ordered some Shure SE215's to try. I know they aren't that expensive. If I don't like them for the IEM, I can still used them with the iPod.

    Should be here by this weekend when I need to use them. Will take the over the ear headphones too in case these are a failure.

    Seems like I remember seeing somewhere a fanny pack that could be jacked into the monitor system that rumbled and helped reinforce the low frequencies that the IEM can't seem to get. That might be nice to have.

    What I miss most about using the IEM is the rumble through my body that tells me I am in sync with the drummer.
  10. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    May have to try that Rolls Personal amp for the other band I am in. I keep looking at it.
  11. I'm using 215s; they work fine. Pretty good isolation and pretty good sound. They're not great, but work well enough for bass. I'm interested to hear how they work for you.
  12. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    We use 535's at church with Avioms. Definitely out of your price range but they sound great. I personally have 215 limited editions which actually sound very nice. Have slightly extended bass range.
  13. kevbethphx


    Dec 10, 2012
    Mesa, AZ
    I use my Bose IE and they worked very well and were very clear. You can get them and many retail stores like Target and Best Buy.
  14. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I know the OP ordered some already but I figured I'd make a suggestion in case someone else comes looking. Check out the Radius Atomic Bass headphones, they are like $30 and work pretty good for drums and bass IEMing. They are almost a bit too bass heavy actually. I wouldn't use them for mixing at all, but they work good for monitoring at least.
  15. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've been extremely pleased with the performance of my GK Ultraphones They're not inexpensive, but they sound good, and provide 29 dB of isolation. I've used mine for recording, and when running live sound. Every time a loan them to a drummer, they want to take 'em home:

  16. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Is this thing on!? Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Based on the trouble most of my bandmates have had with their custom-molded IEM's, as well as the trouble we've all had with their AE-branded wireless systems, I'd have to disagree.

    I had to modify every one of the wireless packs we bought from them after a month or two. The prongs that the batteries make contact with compressed enough that the batteries would simply not make contact on both ends, and the packs wouldn't power up. I had to remove the prongs (because trying to bend them back to normal made them break) and replace them with springs, which was no easy task. We're busy enough that sending them back to get replaced wasn't really an option, plus they'd probably just send us new packs that would have the same problem eventually.

    The guys in the band who use the custom molded IEM's have always had problems with the cables going bad or the monitors just not working. I and the keyboard player both use Shure's, and have had no problems at all.
  17. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Two of our band members use the Rolls...they like it. And it's inexpensive.
  18. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

  19. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Well, the cheap solution didn't cut it with the Roscoe - low B kind of farted out my cheaper IEM's. Went with Westone Dual Driver UM-2's instead. Very nice. $272.

    Also went with a Radial JDI. All worth it.