Nov 25, 2018

Best (Budget) IEMs For Live Performances?

I play guitar for my local church and we've been using In Ear Monitors lately. We have a communal set of Shure IEM's (Not sure what the model is but, they're pretty good) and I want to get my own mainly for hygiene purposes. My budget is about $100 but, would be willing to go a bit higher if they're REALLY nice IEMs Something that's really good at isolating specific insturments like piano and clear vocals. What would you recommend?
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As you're playing in your local parish, you're probably not worried about hearing loss from standing in front of a blaring amp stack. If you may some time do that (even occasionally for fun) you'd be well advised to look into how well your new IEMs isolate from outside noise as well. The best isolation I've found in a universal fit IEM are Etymotics I've had a few pairs of their less expensive and TOTL monitors over the years and though they were always very good they could be a little fatiguing during long listening sessions due to their almost clinical sound. For me they tended to have a forward upper midrange and more sizzle in the treble and less bass emphasis than many other comparable IEMs. They were very sensitive to bad recordings. But I found that I heard things revealed like soft vocal chorusing and instrumentation in familiar recordings that I never heard with others. The new mid-range model the ER3XR ( available for the next 17 hours with a $35 discount at $145 here on Massdrop) possesses all the best of the older models and adds real bass impact that's not overdone and smooths off the rougher edges. They still isolate like a pair of earplugs especially with the triple flange tips. Of course they sound close to their TOTL sibling, the ER4XR. They are very revealing and yet have sweetened the upper mid and highs. They excel with well recorded vocals and acoustic instruments. I've listened with them for many hours to many different genres of music and felt no fatigue. And they're easier to drive than past models also. Build quality is top notch with a very good cable. They're simply very hard to beat at this price point. One more thing, they can even be made into custom fit IEMs at participating acoustician's shops for a separate fee.
Take a look at the Mee M6 Pro. They are over ear fit IEMs designed for musicians, and pretty good sounding in their price range ($50)
I like the 1More Triple Drivers, which are $100. They're a little on the bassy side and don't necessarily have the lowest distortion but they really served me well until the washer decided that I should stick with over-ear headphones.