Do any of you use IEM's for playing at home?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by SigXer, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. SigXer

    SigXer Member

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    I'm looking for a truly silent practice solution and have been considering getting a set of IEM's. I'm drawn to IEM's for several reasons:
    • They look to be light weight and comfortable enough so I cold wear them for a few hours if I wanted. I have found that over the ear closed back headphones are bulky, heavy, and clamp my head enough to give me a headache if I wear them for more than an hour or so.
    • There are some models that are geared towards neutral frequency response which is attractive because then I could transition between my Adam A5X monitors and the IEM's with minimal tweaking. It seems that most over the ear closed back headphones have unnaturally hyped bass response and a very small sound stage.
    • They could be useful in a live setting if I end up in a group that goes the IEM route.
    I have a few questions:
    • Is going custom worth it? I'm willing to spend the money if it means having a more comfortable fit or better audio quality, but it is a big cost increase.
    • Is there a model or brand that you think is king of the hill? I've seen people recommend Westone, Sensaphonics, 64Audio, and Alclair. The max I'm willing to spend here is $1,300. My two biggest criteria are comfort and sonic neutrality.
    • I've read statements that more than 3 or 4 and you can't really tell the difference beyond that. Is that true in your experience?
    I'm aware that for live use I would need to get a transmitter and other outboard gear, but that's not a concern for right now as I would be strictly using these at home in a wired setting.
     
  2. mac jones

    mac jones Member

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    Yes.

    I use Shure SE535 and iBasso IT01, with Comply silicon mostly.

    The comfort, sound, and isolation are very good. I've pretty much switched to IEMs from full size a few years ago. Big improvement all around. Btw, I have very good full size headphones.

    I also sometimes use Shure SE846, which a very good, but are very picky with equipment.

    When people say that IEMs are revealing, this is a gross understatement. Weaknesses with equipment are revealed, literally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  3. SigXer

    SigXer Member

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    Okay, so what do you think of them?
     
  4. powermatt99

    powermatt99 Member

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    I've used both universals and customs. There is no way I would ever go back to universals, even the best universals.

    For playing at home, though, I'd rather use cans than IEMs. Not sure why, but I always grab my DT770s over my Alclairs at home.
     
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  5. Brandon7s

    Brandon7s Member

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    I have the iBasso IT01s and they are by far the best value in the IEM market that I've ever heard; seriously good sounding and very inexpensive compared to most IEMs that compete in it's class. If you don't want to drop a hundred bucks on IEMs just to see if you like them then I'd recommend the TIN Audio T2s.
     
  6. 65inside

    65inside Member

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    I just spent two hours playing with mine while my wife was sleeping upstairs and I didn't want to annoy her playing my amps.
    I have some cheap KZ E10s that I use to play live and I love them.
    You may find better solutions it terms of confort, cause these tend to get out of the ear rather easily, but they sound great.
     
  7. glanum3

    glanum3 Member

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    If you are going to spend the money: get ultimate ears. And (whatever ones you get) look into getting custom ear molds. I don’t know too much about this. Our singer has then. Think you have to go to audiologist to get it done correctly. I use the Westone 3 drivers and they sound great but I don’t have the molds. I have a harder time keeping in my ears on stage (sweat and movement). My ear canals get a little fatigued. The insert I use is a little too big but you need a good seal for bass resonance. Smaller ones for don’t give me that. I would avoid creating presets on IEMs unless you have the proper frequency balances or can compare to foh.
     
  8. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I dig my 64 Audio IEMs but they don't suit my needs for home playing:
    • I prefer open-backed cans in case the wife or kid needs me for something
    • Putting in IEMs isn't a huge effort but it's more than putting on headphones
    • I get more nervous leaving IEMs sitting on a desk than headphones
    None of that deals with the quality of sound but that's a lot like my modeler choices which is more about convenience than what sounds best. All the major options sound more than good enough so it's the non-sonic factors that really differentiate things for me.
     
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  9. SigXer

    SigXer Member

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    Unfortunately, the open backed headphone thing isn't doing the trick for me. My wife can still hear me playing and it is driving her crazy. I will be putting the IEM's back into a case or in a drawer because I have a cat that likes to chew through small cables.
     
  10. SigXer

    SigXer Member

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    What are the reasons that you recommend Ultimate Ears over other brands?
     
  11. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    IEMs are just good ear buds. I tried some the 64 Audio and didn't like any of them till they got really expensive.

    @dmock66 recommended the KZ AS10 and they are great. I'd start with them - at $60 they are simply great sounding. I stopped playing in the situation where I needed the IEMs and now I use them all the time at home. I like them better than most of my headphones.
     
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  12. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    I recently got a set of the KZ AS10 buds on Amazon Day for $45 and the Comply foam pieces for around $15. I also bought the Anleon S2 wireless system for $130.

    I used it all on a gig last month and they worked out great, but I've been using them a lot at home with a new baby.

    I have a pair of Sennheiser HD650's I really like, but its summer and way too hot for that. The AS10s sound harsh around 3k when compared to my 650's but otherwise pleasing. I bought a cheap EQ pedal to tame the harshness and found a new use for my old Pedal Power 2

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    Yeah - I really like the AS10s. I use them all the time. Get the COMPLY tips - excellent!
     
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  14. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Supporting Member

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  15. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    I actually bought a 5 driver Linsoul set off Amazon and I bought a CCA set off Amazon. The Linsoul came with one of the earpices no sound. So I sent em back. I tried the CCA set and they sound great and were like $45 bucks. The Linsouls were around the same price.

    I put the UE 3 drivers in and they were not any better. In fact they dont feel as good in the ear either.

    I have a second pair of CCA's coming and more heavy duty replacement cable.
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=CCA+C10&ref=nb_sb_noss

    My headphones are Grados. Love them.
     
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  16. weallplaysynth

    weallplaysynth Member

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    I've been using SE535s for about 7 years (home, studio, stage). They were the first IEM I tried and I'm completely used to them sonically (and not wanting for anything) right now so I haven't bothered investigating other / "better" phones and can't really provide perspective on that.

    What I can say is the ear seal is the most important part of the experience. Weak seal and any IEM will sound weak and poorly defined. Good fit and you'll hear the actual bass response/clarity of the phone. Many a poor soul has dismissed IEMs entirely because they didn't have them properly inserted.

    Custom tips make sense if you have an ear canal that doesn't lend itself to the standard tips. You can DIY custom inserts easy enough using moldable silicone (for earplugs) and a dremel, or you can get them done by an audiologist. Would probably give foam tips a shot unless you know your ears are a little wonky in which case go direct to the customs.
     
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  17. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I love my simple Shure SE215's live and at home. Soon I will be burning in a new IEM / mixing / direct guitar rig so I'll be sure to put many hours on them.
    I'm hoping that our standard rehearsals are basically all direct except for the drummer.
    The seal is great and I think it's a pleasurable listening experience, but there is fatigue of just having your ears closed up for many hours IMHO.
     
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  18. davidl13

    davidl13 Member

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    Future Sonics uses single driver dynamic driver.. a small speaker.. it is far more natural sounding than any multi driver setup I have heard... the armature drives were meant for hearing aids, not musical...

    Futuresonics makes a custom set or a less expensive universal model..

    They are the best, by far...they invented the IEM...

    https://futuresonics.com/
     
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  19. SigXer

    SigXer Member

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    I had wondered about crossovers causing oddities in the sonic signature of a speaker. Thanks for the information and recommendation.
     
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  20. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Member

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    I have custom molded westone ac20's and love them. Bass is not over hyped and I can wear them for hours with no fatigue. They were about 200 through my audiologist.
     
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