What Are In-Ear Monitors?

In-ear monitors are a helpful piece of equipment for performers and music producers. They are very similar to earbuds and allow musicians to hear themselves play — or mixes of vocals and instrumentals — and to block out ambient noise. These monitors are a relatively new piece of technology and in more recent years have become more affordable. But what did musicians use before in-ear monitors?

In the past, musicians and music producers relied on speakers to do the same work as in-ear monitors do now. These speakers had a lot of limitations. On the stage, they would take up a lot of space and restrict your movements. In the studio, they didn't give the same level of clarity that in-ear monitors can provide.

If you're thinking of investing in a pair of in-ear monitors  or just want to learn more about them  read on.

How Do They Work?

In-ear monitors are a relatively simple piece of technology. They have three main components:

  • Transmitter: The transmitter picks up the signal and communicates it to the receiver. In-ear monitors can be wired or wireless, but wireless is much more common. Wireless monitors work by picking up a radio signal, which the transmitter is programmed to pick up.
  • Receiver: The transmitter picks up the radio frequency and communicates the message it picks up to the receiver. The receiver is about the size of a deck of cards and is usually worn as a belt pack.
  • Earpieces: The earpieces plug into the receiver and rest in the musician's or producer's ears.

Many types of in-ear monitors are custom-made. This gives the user a higher level of comfort and convenience because their monitors were made just for them. For instance, at Bananas, we are proud to offer Ultimate Ears, which are created custom for you from a free 3-D ear scanning.

How Are They Used?

In-ear monitors are used for two primary purposes: in the studio and during live performances.

If you're a musician recording a track or an entire album, in-ear monitors can play the other parts to help you stay in time. If you're on the other side of the glass, in-ear monitors can help you get higher-quality recordings and produce better music in general. In-ear monitors can also be helpful during the editing and mastering phases of music production. By having the record right in your ear with a clear, crisp sound, you can make any necessary changes to create a fantastic result.

Performers most commonly use in-ear monitors. When you use in-ear monitoring instead of stage monitoring — using speakers — you'll enjoy many different benefits. For one, you can move freely across the stage. You don't have any bulky speakers taking up your space, and you don't have to worry about not being able to hear as well if you stray too far from them.

Find Your In-Ear Monitors From Bananas at Large®

If you're looking for a high-quality set of in-ear monitors, look no further than Bananas at Large®. We carry the very best - Ultimate Ears. With Ultimate Ears you get 3D Digital Imaging impressions (vastly superior fit and positioning to “goop” molds), a $150 value, FREE with purchase. We sell monitors explicitly designed for distinct uses — we have in-ear monitors for singers, drummers, DJs, producers and more. Check out our inventory of in-ear monitors today.

Previous article Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
Next article How Many Watts Should My Electric Guitar Amp Be?