What are in-ears and how do you use them?

With in-ear monitors, you can omit stage monitors by using earbuds to follow what is happening on stage. But what exactly are in-ear monitors and how can you use them?

in-ear monitors

What are in-ear monitors?
Simply put, in-ear monitors are devices used by musicians to listen to their music while playing it during a gig. The main advantage of using them is that they lower the volume on stage, allowing the performer to have a clean representation of what is happening on stage, regardless of his or her position.

Because in-ear monitors often have sound-isolating technology, the performer will have to rely almost 100% on what he or she hears through the earphones. This can take some getting used to because you can no longer clearly hear how your audience reacts, but this is easily solved with room microphones or by removing one earpiece.

In-ear monitors are very similar to headphones, but with a few key differences. Headphones usually have one driver for each ear, while in-ear monitors usually have multiple drivers. Another difference is the cable, with most in-ear monitors having separate connectors on both earphones. Headphones often have one cable connector or no removable cable connectors at all.

Using in-ear monitors
When in-ear monitors are connected to a wireless receiver on the performer, the package receives a mix from the transmitter, which is connected to a mixer. The mix can be set by the monitoring engineer or the performer.

Personal mixers are increasingly available at affordable prices. Each personal mixer receives direct channels, allowing the performer to create a mix for himself. Furthermore, in-ear monitors can also be used for mixing and general purpose listening.

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