Which In-ear monitor is right for me?
The first thing to decide is what model of in ear monitor is right for you. Do you need lots of headroom for drums and bass? Do you need clarity and detail for mixing? We have lots of tools to help you out. Check out some recommendations on this page, or check out the monitor shop for info and descriptions of each model.
Stumped? Shoot us an email or give us a call.
The best way to select a custom in ear monitor is to look over the different models and select the one that fits your needs and budget. Here are some guidelines that might help:
If you are a guitar player, the Dual XBs bring out some of the low end of the instrument without sacrificing mids and highs. The Tour model is rugged and emphasizes the low end and mid-highs, great for cutting through on loud stages or in front of amplifiers. For players who want more balance and clarity, the RSM is an a good choice. And there is always the Spire, which is an impeccable guitar players stage monitor. Need more clarity and headroom with loads of low end and silky upper end, then go RevX, it handles anything you can throw at it. Lastly, the new ESM is the ultimate stage monitor and will give you the perfect blend of clarity, power, punch, and width.
If you are a musician that tours or plays large venues, look towards the Tour, RSM, Spire, RevX , or ESM models. The Tour emphasizes the low end with a boost in the mid-high end to bring out vocal and instrument articulation and clarity. They are built to withstand the rigors of the touring life. The RSMs are incredibly balanced and have great headroom and lower distortion. Loud stages and performers needing to hear the whole spectrum equally will love the RSM monitor. The Spire will inspire you with its dynamic feel and give you balance that won’t run out of low end. The RevX offers deep lows, crisp but not harsh highs and rich mids, with loads of power. Touring musicians looking for the best of the best monitoring solution will find the ESM gives you the perfect blend of clarity, power, and soundstage. There is a reason it’s being called the ultimate stage monitor.
If you are a keyboard player check out the Versa, Reference, and RSM models. Versa and Reference for the smaller stage and RSMs for the larger/louder stage. All three monitors will give you balanced tone across the whole keyboard and allow you to hear the band evenly as well. The Spire will give you wide range balance with plenty of headroom and a great feel. If clarity, detail, and stereo width is important to you, you will find no better monitor on the market for keys than the ESM.
Everyday and Critical Listening
If you are using your monitors for everyday or critical music listening, the Reference, RSM, Studio3, Studio4, Electro electrostatic, and ESM electrostatic are your monitors. The Reference is an uncolored and focused monitor with plenty of articulation across the spectrum. The RSM is similarly uncolored but has more headroom and lower distortion specs. The Studio4 is the pinnacle of balance with smooth lows and mids and an articulate upper end. While all three monitors are accurate, the Studio4 brings out more of the subtleties and nuances of recordings. If you like a bit more energy and contour, the Studio3 will give you balance with a slight bass and upper-mid boost for a fun listening experience. For the ultimate in depth, clarity and wow, the Electro cannot be beat. The ESM has the most detail, clarity, and soundstage of all our range and probably the most “fun”.
Video Games and Gaming
Gamers need to both feel the game and hear subtle nuance that helps them hear an enemy around the bend. We recommend the UV3 if you are looking for a universal fit. Really, almost any monitor in our line up would work well, except maybe the Reference and the CMVK. We’ll highlight the three monitors that are absolutely game changers. The Spire is a six driver model that you can crank up the low end on, letting you feel everything that is happening in the game. But you will also get great clarity up top to hear team mates and detail. The most powerful experience would be the RevX. It has power and articulation so you get the best of all multiverses, uh, worlds. The ESM electrostatic hybrid is truly next level (ugh, stop with the cliches), with detail and soundstage that is truly immersive.
Bass Player or Drummer
If you are a bass player or a drummer there are four monitors that are particularly well suited for you. The Dual XB model is a great all-purpose monitor with a bit of lift in the low end. Stepping up to the Tours will give you a solid low and articulate high end, with durability and great headroom. The CMVK is one of the best bass and drum tools, with a pronounced low end and plenty of power for those who like to “feel” their music. The RevX is a drummer and bassist powerhouse with loads of headroom and power with a clear and detailed upper end. The ESM is the top of the top, with unheard of clarity and detail, with plenty of headroom and thump.
Vocalists need a monitor that allows their vocals to jump out of the mix with great clarity. The DualXB dual driver in ear monitor is a great place to start. If you like a bit more in the low end or want to hear the kick and bass really well, the RSM is a great option. The Spire has a nice vocal range contour that lets your vocal shine through with clarity and articulation. Check out the ESM if you want the pinnacle in vocal clarity and incredible instrument separation.
Multi-Use, Multiple Instruments or
Studio and Stage Needs
If you need a custom in-ear monitor for multiple uses, that can get tricky. Our best recommendation is to have two pair, one for each application. But we know that is not always possible. In general, the RSM, Spire, RevX, and ESM are going to be the most versatile models that will work in multiple applications. You will likely need to compromise a bit on one of the applications. Typically we see people who will need a monitor for drums or bass as one application and studio mixing as the other. In this case, the RSM is great for the studio side and will work well for the stage side too. The Spire is fantastic for the stage and will work for studio with some learning. If you are playing multiple instruments on stage, the RevX will handle all stage needs with ease while the ESM is the epitome of clarity and power.
Front of House or Studio Mixing
If you are using your monitors for front of house or monitor or studio mixing, the Reference, RSM, Studio4 and Electro monitors are for you. The Reference is a fantastic monitor for churches and small clubs. It has a very even balance that gives you an accurate reproduction of your mix. The RSM model gives you the same accuracy with more power and less distortion, great for louder venues and hearing the subtleties of a studio mix. The Studio4 offers a bit more available low end with incredible detail and depth. The Electro electrostatic hybrid is perfection in a reference monitor. With clarity, depth and a wide soundstage, there is no more accurate monitor available today.
Podcasting and Video Editing
Generally, podcast and video editing is less demanding than a recording studio in terms of the number of tracks, phase issues, application of delay and reverb, etc. You want to hear when something is wrong, or humming, or those pesky zero crossings, but you don’t necessarily need to tell if two sources are our of phase. The Versa is a really great place to start if you are beginning or on a budget. If you want a bit more clarity and detail the Reference triple driver is a good fit. The RSM is a quad driver that is very versatile. You could use it both on stage and then in the podcast studio. The Studio3 is a great blend of accurate and fun. If you want to use these for listening as well, the Studio3 is ideal. Studio4? Yeah, you can definitely use that. It’s hyper-accurate so you will hear every breath, hum, and overhead light noise. It’s great for fixing imperfect recordings. And the Electro is, well, its just got everything you would need. Clarity, detail, accuracy without being clinical.