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IEM Earbuds

SFW

Member
Messages
1,393
Hello all! My band is transitioning to an IEM system for live shows. This is a daunting new world for me... as I really haven't had any experience in it. I picked up a set of Shure SE215s, and a set of cheap six driver amazon special earbuds. I like how the Shure earbuds fit my ears, but they don't allow for a lot of headroom for volume. The cheap amazon ones sound better and have more headroom, but I don't care for their form factor. Shy of dropping $1k on a set of custom moulded earbuds, is there any particular earphones that you guys might recommend in the $600 and under price range? I'm sure that I will eventually get a set of custom ear moulds done, but at the moment, but wallet will not allow for the expenditure. Any advise on models is greatly appreciated!
 

jay42

Member
Messages
6,993
My advice is to live with the Chinese ones for a while. occasionally a new company comes on line with lower cost for custom, but you can't count on that. Do lots of research and eventually take the custom plunge. I think it's a lot to get used to sonically, so take your time. Hth

[edit] I have the KZ ZS5 with a better cable. It's good for now...the 20+ year old Aviom system is the fidelity culprit. I am happy with the black ball inserts. I see that some here prefer foam.
 
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VaThump

Member
Messages
48
non-custom IEMs can be absolutely gig-worthy if you find eartips that seal well in your ears. I went through a bunch of sets when getting event-band musicians from wedges to IEMs, from DIY customs to Ultimate Ears Triple-Fi, to assorted sub $100 Chinese multi-driver IEMs.

The modern multidrivers from KZ (Knowledge Zenith) have been a hit with bandmates who didn't want to spring for 64 Audio customs. I've done multiple gigs w/ their AS and ZS IEMs, as well as CCA CA10s.

On those gigs, I'm playing bass and standing near the drumkit. Even so, with Comply foam eartips, I had plenty of IEM depth and detail (and ~ 20 dB relief from the acoustic drums) to hear everyone. No problem hearing detailed bass and kick drum—which are often the trickiest for universal-fit IEMs.

FWIW, I also auditioned the Shure 215s and liked even the cheap KZ ZS5 a lot better.
 
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DCFanatic

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
312
I got a pair of Westone UMPRO 30 and I really enjoy them. A huge piece is making sure you have good foam tips to get a proper seal. Without a good seal I found all the bass was gone.
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,170
I'm a bit confused by the headroom comment, that seems like it would be more an issue with the headphone amp/pack? I used 215s for hundreds of gigs and didn't have any issue; I mainly used a Shure wireless/wired pack in wired mode (I play keys) before switching to a Behringer p2 in order to have stereo.

I bought some 3-driver customs from a local place here in FL and, on sale, they were about 300 bucks. That included the audiologist visit, that is an extra cost you have to figure. Honestly--I could have stuck with the 215s. It's not night and day different, and since my band plays pretty quietly the bleed actually wasn't a bad thing. One area I have issues with using the customs--when I sing (which is a lot) it can obscure the mix because of pressure I guess. I monitor at low-as-possible volumes (the reason I use IEMs in the first place) so that is maybe why.

Bear in mind you can try different tips for the earbuds.
 
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ewatkins

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
443
I have both the KZ AS10 and the TRN V90 Both are excellent choices... AS10 is closed back V90 are open back. Different strokes of course but I much prefer open back if I'm singing too.
 

Dickie Fredericks

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,750
I have the KZ's and the CCA's a few pairs of each because they are like $40 a pair. I like them both very much.
I too upgraded the cable on them which was like $10 each.
 

SFW

Member
Messages
1,393
I just wanted to say thank you to those that recommended the KZ AS10s. I picked up a set off Amazon, and used them at a show last night. They sounded absolutely great! My guitar sounded like my guitar- instead of an angry can a bees. So thanks!
 




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