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How do in ear monitors work?

How do in ear monitors work?

In-ear monitors are devices usually used by musicians, singers and sound engineers. Here’s what you need to know about them.

What are in-ear monitors?

In-ear monitors are used by people in the live music industry to listen to their own music while playing and recording and to reduce outside noise. The monitors often use sound isolation technology, so the performer will rely almost entirely on what they can hear through the earbuds. They also provide the performer with a clear representation of what's happening on stage, regardless of where they are positioned.

In-ear monitors are most commonly found in a wireless format to help with mobility, but they can also be wired. Wireless in-ear monitors work the opposite way as a wireless microphone; the mixer takes the same feed that would be sent to the stage monitors and plugs it into the wireless monitor transmitter. This sends the signal to the wireless receiver belt pack that your headphones connect to.

The technology of in-ear monitors

Though very similar, there are some key differences between in-ear monitors and headphones. Headphones typically have a single central speaker driver for each ear, but monitors usually have at least three drivers. They are inserted into the ear, so those drivers must be compact and configured to accurately reproduce low-end frequencies.

Unlike more traditional monitors, multiple small drivers (speakers) are required for IEMs to produce their sound. Consumer models contain three to five of these drivers, while professional drivers can have up to eight per earbud. The cable is also different as most IEMs have separate connections for both earphones, while headphones have a single cable connection to the left side (or no removable connections at all).

Can in-ear monitors be bad for your hearing?

If the audio is played too loud on the monitors, it can damage hearing. The key is to have the sound at a safe level, and the sound isolation stops ambient noise from disturbing you so that the levels never need to be turned up too high during a performance.

What are the alternatives for singers to in-ear monitors?

If a musician does not use in-ear monitors, they typically use stage monitors. These fold-back speakers sit on the ground in front of the band, playing the audio back towards them. This works, but the sound heard is not always as clear, and the noise levels can damage the hearing of all the performers.

Buy custom in-ear monitors in Melbourne

Choose earLAB to supply your custom in-ear monitors and enjoy a better sound quality when performing while protecting your hearing. Shop the range of in-ear monitors online and get custom fitted at our Richmond or Footscray clinic today!