On Saturday night, I played my first gig with in-ears, and I thought this review might help those that are considering it. Background My band is a typical cover band, playing classic rock, country, and pop in bars/clubs/festivals. We have a sound guy who uses a Behringer XR18 Mixer. Because of this, I was able to download an app that lets me adjust my own monitor mix from my ipad (more on this later). We mic everything…always. I am the co-lead singer, singing about 40% of the leads, and adding harmonies often. I also am the rhythm guitar player, and my preferred amp is a Quilter OD200 head. My interest in in-ears stemmed from my frustration with not hearing my vocals clearly, which often led to vocal strain by the end of the night. In addition, with a fairly loud drummer, my ears would be ringing more than 12hrs after a gig was over. In-Ear Setup I went with a cost effective setup (less than $150), as I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. 1. Rolls PM50s Headphone Amp 2. Shure SE215 headphones 3. 25’ Headphone extender cable Note: The other singer used a less expensive setup (less than $75), which included the Behringer Powerplay P1 and MEE Audio M6 headphones. She was pleased with the performance of her gear. Pros to wearing In-Ears 1. I was able to hear the band more clearly than I ever have before. For lack of a better term, I found myself really locked into the music. 2. I had way less vocal strain, and no ringing in my ears. 3. Our harmonies were really solid, as I could hear each vocalist clearly. 4. I found the earbuds to be comfortable, even after wearing them for 4hrs. 5. I didn’t have to even carry a guitar cabinet in. I went direct with my Quilter OD200. My load in/out was one trip. Cons to wearing in In-Ears 1. Singing with in-ears is definitely different. Your voice doesn’t sound quite the same. I’m not sure if this is just how it is, or if I have to learn to adjust how I sing. Having said that, people in the crowd said I sounded the same…so… 2. For sure you don’t feel as enveloped by the band’s sound(which could be good or bad). 3. I definitely felt a bit disconnected from the audience. 4. It was more difficult to communicate with my bandmates. If you just follow a setlist, it likely wouldn’t make a difference, but due to an ebbing/flowing crowd, we made a bunch of song changes mid-stream and it was a little difficult to do it without being really overt. 5. Setting my mix was a work in progress. The sound guy tried to give me a good mix to work from, but it was really muddy from the start. After he pulled the Bass Drum and Bass guitar entirely out of my mix, the muddiness went away (he also probably had too much volume going into my headphone amp to begin with). Once I started using the app to adjust my mix myself, it worked much better. 6. I’m not sure how much the rest of my bandmates could hear my guitar. I was totally at the mercy of the sound guy, since he was managing the monitor mix for each of their wedges. My bass player said he couldn’t hear me a couple of times. In the future, I’ll probably soundcheck my guitar with headphones off first, so I can make sure its loud enough through everyone else’s wedges. 7. Being “wired” rather than “wireless” was ok, as I just wrapped the headphone extender around my guitar cable, which made it like I was only attached by one cord. However, I usually use a wireless guitar setup, so with this I felt more tethered than normal. Not a major issue, but sort of a con to the inexpensive route I chose. Verdict I am going to stick with the in-ears, as they just overall worked better for me than floor monitors. Though there are some cons that I really need to sort out, namely how to stay connected to the crowd and my bandmates, the pros of being able to hear myself and the band more clearly definitely outweigh anything else for me. My next decision is whether to stick with the wired setup, or splurge for a wireless one(like the Shure PSM300 series). Certainly the freedom would be a plus, and I imagine the sound quality would be a little better too. Note: If you are doing the wired route, I had to do a bunch of rigging to get the Rolls to be stereo. If I stick with the “wired” approach, I will probably switch to the Behringer, which is stereo.