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4 Common Misconceptions About In-Ear Monitors

4 Common Misconceptions About In-Ear Monitors

As technology becomes more accessible to musicians, it seems that people everywhere are abuzz with the possibilities that in-ear monitors present. IEMs are listening devices that musicians use on stage to hear a personalized mix of vocals and instrumentation. With IEMs’ popularity comes lots of misinformation and more than a few rumors. Read these four common misconceptions about in-ear monitors so that you can separate fact from fiction.

IEMs Will Fix Monitor Mixes Completely

Musicians who have had traditional monitor mixes let them down often feel that IEMs will fix all their problems. However, if the mix is poor from the start, IEMs may only compound the issue. A bad mix channeled directly into your ears is just a bad mix that blocks out other noise. You may end up with lots of onstage lip reading while you yell, “what?” again and again.

IEMs Are Always Better Than a Traditional Setup

Although IEMs are impressive, people are wrong to believe they’re always better than traditional web monitors. Like everything in the audio world, there are high-end IEMs and low-end ones. If you purchase low-end IEMs, you can’t expect an excellent frequency response, interference-free signals, or crystal-clear reproduction. An investment will make a difference.

Earbuds and IEMs Are the Same

One of the most common misconceptions about in-ear monitors is that they’re the same as earbuds. Musicians who buy headphone amplifiers hoping to create a DIY version of IEMs are sorely mistaken. Regular earbuds don’t have the same quality components as IEMs. With standard consumer earbuds, you may do damage to your hearing.

You Should Always Use IEMs Once You Have Them

If IEMs are a requirement for your set, you must coordinate everything ahead of time with your sound technician. Too often, musicians come to their 30-minute gig in a rush and demand that the sound person disconnects the house monitors and brings in their IEMs. If you do that, you’ll start on the wrong foot with the venue, and you probably won’t achieve the sound you want.

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