Help me choose an in-ear system

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by mac7ry, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. mac7ry

    mac7ry Member

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    I am an amateur performer. I usually play at churches here and there. I would like to purchase an in-ear monitor system for myself. Since I play at different places I'd like for it to be wireless. I can't imagine a wired system would be very practical since I'd have to move it every time I play out somewhere. I could be wrong but...thats why I'm asking folks with experience.

    Now, since I am not a pro I have limited funds to throw at this little project. I know that you usually get what you pay for but I'd like to be able to find a system of quality for under $500 used. I might be dreaming, but i figured I'd ask. I am just looking for a single person. I have no need for the system to be expandable. I've heard that purchasing quality, molded ear buds can also make a huge difference. Please help with input with any of the aforementioned points.

    • Which system
    • Wired or Wireless?
    • Buy seperate, molded ear buds?

    Any and all helpful information is greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  2. Boleary2

    Boleary2 Supporting Member

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    hardwired is a bit of a hassle...hard to deal with if you move at all...even just standing...not comfy.

    hard to find much good in the sub $500 range...especially for the transmitter/receiver and earbuds. I would look for a used Sennheiser 300 series (make sure you do not buy anything in the 700 mhz range as it is now illegal to operate in that space because it is reserved for digital TV stations).

    For ears I would recommend Westone UM2 or Fidelity molds. Westone's are around $250-270 or so and the fidelity molds will run in the low to mid $300's after audiologist visit for molds.
     
  3. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I have a Sennhseiser G2 system - it was about $500 second hand and has served me well for a few years with zero issues and not a single dropout.

    Custom earphones do indeed make a huge difference, I have the 1964-T's and they sound great and are super comfortable. Around the $350 mark.
    So all up I have 850 in the system, and that's a cheap price to save my hearing.

    I've just got home from two rehearsals and two services, both around the 100 dB mark, and there's no ringing in my ears at all.
     
  4. bobwl

    bobwl Member

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    Check out Carvin for a good receiver ( http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/EM900 ) $350

    If you do go with something else, one thing make sure whatever you buy has the ability to do multiple frequencies, especially since you say your playing different places. The worst thing would be to go to a new place and find out that you cant' find a open frequency.

    Check out AlienEars if your looking at custom molded inears ( http://www.alienears.com/ ) as cheap as $160 for single driver
     
  5. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    My Sennheiser G3 had a lot of white noise issues that drove me nuts.
     
  6. mac7ry

    mac7ry Member

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    one of my buddies is telling me that his custom molds make all the difference. He suggested alienears (as BOBWL did). Next question, how big a difference is there in single, double, triple etc. drivers. I understand how they work...I'm just curious if its worth it. I generally play praise and worship (Hillsong style). With that comes drums, piano/synth, several guitars; both elec and acou, bass and sometimes fiddle (we're in the south, its hard to avoid) and usually half a dozen voices. Theres a lot going on to say the least.

    These are assumptions so please correct me if i'm wrong. My simple little mind leads me to believe that the more drivers the better. Im not a drummer or bass player so I'd assume i don't really need double bass drivers. Is a Triple driver enough? Is it too much? $355 seems pretty steep but if its worth the cash...i can sell some more stuff to get them.

    Next question if I do look at alienears and the triple driver http://www.alienears.com/products/189-afr3-trile-driver-full-rage-fixed-crd-mitr.aspx
    what are the benefits of the cables being able to be removed from the ear buds. That seems like there would be the possibility of a cord coming loose during a performance. I could be wrong or just not understand how they work.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  7. mac7ry

    mac7ry Member

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    Was that on all channels?
     
  8. bobwl

    bobwl Member

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    @Mac7ry: Personally I find that for most things Double Drivers are enough. If you don't care to have a whole ton of bass or drums you can actually get by with singles. I've never used a 4 or 5 driver in ear to tell you about those. Now of course the more drivers the more you can accentuate certain frequencies or instruments with out it just muddying everything up. For the price though I'd probably either go with the Singles or Triples.

    Now one thing that might help in church situations and that I've thought about looking into, is Alien Ears have these things called Ambient Tubes that are available for some of their in ears that allows outside noise in. They are supposed to have different size tubes that allow you to customize how much or how little you let in. If you like to hear the congregation when you lead worship this is a good way to do it without having a ambient mic setup. However they are only available on Singles or Duals.

    As with detachable cords it helps because if a cable goes bad it's easy to swap out instead of having to send them back to get fixed. I've also heard that some think they hang a bit better off the ear than the non detachable as well.
     
  9. MikeVB

    MikeVB Supporting Member

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    Yep. Didn't even have to be connected to anything or even have the transmitter on. If the bodypack was on and the plugs were in my ears it was white noise in my ears - even with the volume all the way down.
     
  10. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Are you going to be able to get the soundguy to giv you your own mix, at all of the places you play?

    W/o that, it might not be the greatest idea.
     
  11. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    Yes the Sennheiser stuff has a small amount if white noise. However the fidelity is better in my opinion than other IEM systems I've used.
     
  12. jimivaughnking

    jimivaughnking Member

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    I use an Audio Technica M2 system I bought used for #450. I started with M-Audio IE10 universal fit earbuds fro $99.00. This sounded and worked well for me except I have very small ear canals so I had trouble getting them to stay in all night. I eventually went with the Ultimate Ears 4 pros which are custom mold. The sound quality was similar but the fit and comfort were a great improvement. I can put them in and jump around and sweat all night and they don't move. That to me was worth the money. The rest of the band uses Shure PSM 200 systems with the stock earbuds that come with them and they have no complaints. We just bought a OSM 200 used for our new singer for $360 and then got her the Ultimate Ears 700 universal ear buds for $160 so the whole setup for just over $500.

    IF you can wear universal fits and they stay in, there are lots of good choices in the $100-$200 range. The Shure 200 is kinda the entry level standard for systems. I would shy away from Carvin as I have heard more problems than good things about their system. I bought the AT system because it is a stereo based system whereas the PSM 200 is mono. I ended up running mine mono so I didn't really gain anything but its nice to have that option. The Shure PSM600 would also allow mono/stereo operations.
     
  13. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    IMO, Unless you have a dedicated monitor sound guy, in-ears are more trouble than they're worth.
     
  14. mac7ry

    mac7ry Member

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    I end up playing with several folks that can "never hear themselves." So they get their signal turned up until no one else can hear anything but them. This is my solution. Everywhere I play...so far...has at least one extra pre-fade aux line for me. As for a dedicated monitor sound guy...more than likely I set it myself before we play, to get a base of sound and then adjust as needed as the show goes along. I cant imagine that with NO monitors anywhere near me and adjustable ambient noise ports (all open or all the way closed and/or anywhere in between) that there would be that much change needed. As it stands now we have a dozen people using two or three mixes. I think this can only help.

    Im seriously looking at Alienears dual drivers with adjustable ambient ports. As for a stereo system...I dont really have that much use for stereo monitors.
     
  15. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    Either there was interference, or the unit was defective. At my day job we have dozens, and have never had a problem.
     

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