Best In Ear Monitor Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
Whether you’re getting ready for a stage performance or studio recording, and you need the best in ear monitors, you’ve come to the right place. The market is quite generous when it comes to such products, and finding the right one for your needs might require lots of time and browsing. We did the research for you, examined the features of various models, and reached the conclusion that the first unit worth considering is the MEE audio M6 PRO Complete Kit. The in-ear monitors were built for both stage performers and on-the-road musicians and, thus, come with a stylish yet durable design. The new model boasts features that ensure superior sound quality, including enhanced midrange accuracy, as well as a sound-isolating design that will further improve the quality of the sound delivered by reducing outside noise. What’s more, the IEMs ensure a comfortable fit for all ear shapes and are paired with various accessories. If this product is out of stock, a reliable alternative is the KZ AS10 5 Balanced Armature HiFi Headset.
Our Top Choice
Whether you want a pair of IEMs to listen to vocals or stage instrumentation, this model is worth taking into account. It features a stylish and comfortable design, as well as characteristics that ensure crisp details and full-range sounds. The pack includes the accessories needed to start using the product right away.
External sounds might not be reduced as much as desired, given the materials used.
Featuring a sweat-resistant design and detachable cables, these IEMs can be employed for different applications. They come with a variety of accessories, including a headset cable with microphone and remote.
If you’re interested in balanced sounds and crisp details, this model should not go unchecked as it comes with the needed drivers to take your audio experience one step further. The cable can be detached for easy replacement, upgrades, and maintenance. Plus, the product is available in various colors.
Despite the good sound quality delivered, the product might not be as durable as expected.
Versatile enough to cover various audio needs and be employed for different applications, these headphones stand out through the sound quality delivered. The detachable cable allows for easy replacement and upgrades.
Also To Consider
Boasting a stylish design and hybrid driver technology, this pair of IEMs delivers a balanced sound and is versatile enough to meet different audio needs. The product is built to deliver bass depth, midrange clarity, and pleasant highs. The noise-canceling specs will help you get the best out of your studio or stage sessions.
The sounds delivered might be a bit too bright for certain applications; consider this before buying.
Sleek yet sturdy, these IEM headphones are worth adding to your list of options if you want to enjoy balanced sounds across different music styles. The product is lightweight and durable and features a detachable cable.
10 Best In Ear Monitors (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Thankfully, the market does not run short when it comes to IEMs, but finding the best in ear monitor for your needs might thus prove to be a challenging task. To make it easier for you, we have compiled below a list of in ear monitor reviews. Check it out for more information on some of the most popular models in this line.
- 1. MEE audio M6 PRO Complete Kit
- 2. KZ AS10 5 Balanced Armature HiFi Headset
- 3. CCA C10 High-Performance Hybrid Tech IEMs
- 4. KZ ZSN HiFi Noise-Isolating IEM
- 5. BASN Professional IEM Headphones Pro ClearBrown
- 6. CCA C10 High-Resolution Earphones/Earbuds
- 7. DCMEKA Dual Drivers Noise-Isolating IEMs
- 8. SIMGOT EM2 High-Resolution Hybrid Driver
- 9. CCA C12 Hybrid Diver HiFi Stereo IEMs
- 10. BASN Bsinger 2nd Dual-Driver IEMs
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. MEE audio M6 PRO Complete Kit
Boasting a stylish and comfortable design, these in-ear monitors will help you listen to vocals, stage instrumentation, and music so that you can get ready for your next studio recording or live performance. These items were designed with sound quality in mind, and that’s the first advantage offered by this model.
To deliver such benefits, the IEMs come with noteworthy characteristics, such as an aluminum voice coil and an ultra-thin driver diaphragm for full-range sounds, clarity, and crisp details. To further boost the sound quality delivered, they have a sound-isolating design featuring memory foam ear tips that will reduce external noise.
Durability is ensured by the quality materials used. The in-ear monitors have a sweat-resistant design and detachable cables. Plus, the pack includes anything you need to start using them right away, such as a headset cable with a remote and microphone, six silicone ear tip sets, a stereo cable, and a ¼” adapter.
Built with superior sound quality, durability, and comfort in mind, these in-ear headphones are worth adding to your list of options.
Listening to vocals, stage instrumentation, or your favorite music is not only an enjoyable activity with these IEMs but also a comfortable one thanks to the personalized fit they ensure.
The product was designed to take your audio experience one level higher and thus ensures enhanced midrange accuracy, crisp details, sound clarity, as well as a more natural treble.
To further improve the sound delivered, the in-ear headphones come with Comply memory foam ear tips to reduce external noise.
The kit includes anything you need to use the product right away; you will thus get the IEMs, a stereo cable, a carrying case, a variety of ear tips, an adapter, as well as a headset cable with mic and remote.
The materials used for the in-ear monitors to filter out external sounds might not be that effective, so you still might hear outside noise.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
2. KZ AS10 5 Balanced Armature HiFi Headset
In-ear monitor headphones should be about sound quality, but also comfort, and that’s what you get with this product. The item was designed to level up your audio experience and, thus, comes packed with characteristics that ensure remarkable results.
Thanks to the driver system employed, you will get to enjoy a balanced sound, as well as crisp details and enhanced sound definition. You can use these IEMs if you need superior sound accuracy, whether we’re talking about bass, midrange, or high-frequency accuracy. The drivers featured make it possible for you to enjoy such advantages.
You will get warm mids, yet plenty of bass. The unit also provides a nice high-frequency extension. However, you won’t get too boosted highs. The item is also stylishly designed and has a detachable cable so that you can easily remove or replace it when needed. The in-ear monitor headphones are available in various colors.
Featuring a stylish design and equipped with specs that render it ideal for those of you interested in high sound quality, this product shouldn’t be ignored before you make your final decision.
Thanks to the driver system, you will get to enjoy plenty of bass, warm and full mids, as well as extended highs; therefore, you can employ them for a variety of music genres.
Given such features, the sound ensured by these in-ear monitor headphones is balanced and defined.
The cable is detachable, so, in case the cable breaks or you simply need to remove it for easy storage, you can do that effortlessly.
The headphones are available in various colors, including green, black, silver-black, and silver-blue, so you can choose the one you like best.
Even though the sound quality delivered is praiseworthy, the build quality might not be on par with that and, thus, the item might not be as durable as expected.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
3. CCA C10 High-Performance Hybrid Tech IEMs
If the things you have in mind when it comes to your next in-ear monitors include high sound quality, durability, and a stylish design, this product might be right up your alley. It was designed in such a way to help you enjoy all the benefits mentioned above, so it is worth trying.
The hybrid driver technology used makes it possible for you to enjoy enhanced details in midrange sounds, bass depth, as well as silky highs. Besides ensuring superior sound quality, this unit also stands out as far as its build quality is regarded. The quality materials employed for its construction render it durable enough to keep up with extended use as well as lightweight.
You might get a balanced sound, yet if the external noise is allowed to reach your ear, you might no longer enjoy your music like you would like to. That’s why the unit is packed with features that will reduce outside noise. The cable is detachable, and the unit is lightweight for enhanced portability.
Boasting a sleek yet sturdy design, this product is built in such a way to help you enjoy your favorite music flawlessly and do so for a long time.
The hybrid technology used is one of the things that make this model stand out as it will help you get a balanced sound regardless of the type of music you prefer to listen to.
You will get to enjoy nice detailed mids, bass depth, and high-frequency extension, which translates into a balanced and pure sound.
In case you want the item for your stage performances or practice sessions with your band, you can employ them without worrying that external noise might interfere since the product ensures outside noise reduction.
If you’re an audiophile, you might find these earbuds to be a bit too bright; however, that might not be an issue as it is a matter of preference.Buy from Amazon.com for ($40.99)
4. KZ ZSN HiFi Noise-Isolating IEM
Eye-catching looks, durability, and nice sound quality are the advantages we think of when it comes to this product, so, if that’s what you have in mind, this item is surely worth a try. The first thing that stands out is, of course, its visuals.
These in-ear headphones boast a stylish combination of metal and resin, a choice of materials and design that will add a fashionable touch to your musical gear while keeping up with extended use. The IEMs wouldn’t be complete without superior sound capabilities, and here is where this model scores some points as well.
The hybrid technology used to build this unit is what renders the sound delivered balanced and detailed. The dynamic unit and the balanced armature unit make it possible for you to enjoy impressive lows and rich yet delicate highs. The groove protection design will protect the pins of these earbuds from distortion and prolong their lifetime.
Thoughtfully designed and packed with nice features, this pair of in-ear headphones shouldn’t go unchecked before you make your final decision.
Due to the hybrid technology used, you can employ the product to listen to a variety of audio files, stage instrumentation, and vocals.
The sound delivered is balanced, and you should enjoy extended soundstage width and rich yet delicate highs.
The unit comes with a stylish and durable build that should cover your needs for a long time; it features a fashionable combination of metal and resin.
Durability is paired with a comfortable design that will enable you to use the product for hours without feeling any discomfort.
While the mids and highs are clean, the lows might not be powerful enough for certain applications.
The pack includes a manual, yet the instructions might not be that helpful as they are poorly translated into English.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.99)
5. BASN Professional IEM Headphones Pro ClearBrown
Whether you’re a singer or a drummer, this pair of in-ear monitors is worth taking into account, given the balanced sound they ensure and their comfortable design. Since the product is built with the latest monitoring technology, it can be employed for both studio and stage applications.
The Sound Back monitoring technology renders the item suitable for singers, speakers, and applications that involve audiences. Studio mixing engineers are likely to appreciate this pair of IEMs as the product delivers a balanced sound between lows, mids, and highs, and thus ensures detailed sounds.
What’s more, the ergonomic design will help you enjoy enhanced comfort even when you employ the IEMs for hours. To further ensure a personalized fit, the item comes with adjustable ear hooks. The material used for the hooks ensures durability, so you can bend them as often as needed. The MMCX connector is detachable, so you can easily remove or replace it.
Suitable for singers, musicians, and studio mixing engineers, this product is an option you might want to consider before you make your final decision.
The monitoring technologies featured render the IEMs ideal for a variety of applications ranging from speeches to studio mixing.
The balanced sound between lows, mids, and highs, and the clear details are the things that make them so versatile.
Pair the above-mentioned benefits with a comfortable design that will enable you to wear them for a long time without feeling any discomfort; plus, the ear hooks are adjustable.
The MMCX connector can be removed, and the product works with a variety of devices, including pro monitoring systems and performing devices.
The jack comes with protection sleeves to make sure you can use the cable for a long time.
Although the mids are detailed and clear, and the highs are controlled, the bass response might not be prominent.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)
6. CCA C10 High-Resolution Earphones/Earbuds
Built with quality materials and packed with hybrid drive technology, these IEMs are versatile and can be employed to interpret a rich variety of musical styles. Given its characteristics, you should enjoy subtle details of musical instrument and vocal interactions in high resolution.
The hybrid driver technology, including balanced armature drivers and magnetic dynamic drivers, will help you get superior sound quality whether we’re talking about high-frequency or low-frequency performance. The earphone cable is soft yet durable, and the plug works with many devices and various types of audio equipment.
To further improve your audio experience, the product is packed with noise-canceling capabilities that will reduce external noise so that you can focus on your mix or stage performance. The ergonomic design will make sure that wearing these IEMs for a long time won’t affect your comfort. The cable is detachable, and the item comes in various colors.
Designed to help you interpret various types of music, these IEMs feature hybrid driver technology that ensures notable results in both low and high frequencies.
To perform the way it does, the product has four balanced armature drivers and one magnetic dynamic driver in each earphone.
Thanks to the noise-canceling capabilities, you won’t be distracted by external noise, and you’ll thus be able to focus on the sounds that matter.
The cable is made from soft yet durable materials that should keep up with heavy use; what’s more, the cables are detachable so that you can remove and replace them whenever needed.
The item works with many devices, including phones and different types of audio equipment, and has an ergonomic design for enhanced comfort.
The sound delivered is clear and the product can be used for many applications, but the build quality might not be on par with the audio quality ensured.Buy from Amazon.com for ($40.99)
7. DCMEKA Dual Drivers Noise-Isolating IEMs
If what you want from your next pair of in-ear headphones is not only good sound quality but also durability and a comfortable fit, this model is worth a look. First of all, the product was designed to deliver superior sound quality and, thus, comes with a special armature and dynamic driver system that makes it possible for you to enjoy bass depth and treble clarity.
To up your audio experience even more, the earphones have noise-canceling capabilities so that you can hear what’s important and keep external noise at a minimum. Employing them even when you’re outdoors without damaging them shouldn’t be a problem as the IEMs feature a special coating that will protect them against sweat and rain.
The cables are detachable and can thus be easily removed or replaced. To enable you to listen to your favorite music for hours without your comfort being affected, the unit comes with an ergonomic design.
Listening to your favorite songs or practicing for your next live performance is easier with this pair of in-ear monitors as they were built to deliver superior sound quality.
By making use of a hybrid driver system, the product ensures bass depth, treble clarity, and good sound quality that should appeal to many users.
To enable you to use them both indoors and outdoors, the product boasts materials that protect it against sweat and rain, so you can use it even at the gym.
The ergonomic design ensures a comfortable and secure fit, whereas the standard ear tips included will help you enjoy superior comfort and reduce external noise.
The pack also includes a cable, ear tips, as well as a carrying case for easy and safe storage and transportation.
If you need a pair of IEMs for stage performances that include amplified instruments and drums, this pair might not be suitable as the driver output might not be loud enough to cover them.Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)
8. SIMGOT EM2 High-Resolution Hybrid Driver
Suitable for various applications, these in-ear headphones are packed with features that make them worthy of consideration. The hybrid driver system ensures sonic clarity and accuracy, as well as crisp details, whereas the noise-canceling design further adds to the sound quality you get. These capabilities will make the sound even clearer and louder.
Thanks to the dynamic driver that works as a subwoofer, you will also get to enjoy bass depth without losing sound details. The cable is made of silver-plated copper, which ensures excellent audio signal transmission, and is detachable. What’s more, the aux cable is compatible with many digital audio players and smartphones.
The over-the-ear design and ear hooks provide the user with a comfortable and secure fit. The pack includes three sets of silicone ear tips in different sizes so that you can easily find the ones that get you the most comfortable fit. You will also receive a carrying case for easy storage and transportation.
If you like to listen to your favorite music even when you’re outdoors or at the gym exercising, these in-ear headphones might be of interest as they were built to keep up with extended use.
Due to the hybrid driver system, you should enjoy high-quality sounds with crisp details and deep bass.
The cable is made of materials that ensure great audio signal transmission and reduce wire oxidation; what’s more, you can easily detach it when you want to store or replace it.
The over-the-ear design and the hooks will enable you to wear the headphones for hours without your comfort being affected.
The aux cable is compatible with various devices, and the pack also includes three sets of silicone ear tips in different sizes.
Even though the headphones have been designed to ensure a comfortable fit no matter your ear shape, they still might not be comfortable in some cases.Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.99)
9. CCA C12 Hybrid Diver HiFi Stereo IEMs
If you’re a musician or simply an audiophile on the lookout for a pair of IEMs, this model is an option that shouldn’t be ignored as it comes equipped with features that render it worthy of attention. The product boasts a hybrid system of balanced armature and dynamic drivers to make sure the sounds delivered are of superior quality.
Given its characteristics, the item can be employed for different music genres as you should enjoy all of them in noteworthy audio quality. The cable is detachable, which ensures ease of maintenance and replacement, and is compatible with a variety of devices.
The headphones stand out from an aesthetic point of view as well. They come with a polished metal cover that not only adds a nice visual touch, but that will also keep up with extended use. The ergonomic design ensures stable and comfortable wear. The in-ear headphones are available with or without a microphone.
Versatility is one of the first advantages provided by this pair of IEMs since it can be used for various music styles and applications.
To make sure you get high sound quality regardless of the music you want to listen to, the product features a hybrid driver system that will get you bright highs, enhanced lows, and clear intermediate frequencies.
Thanks to the detachable cable design, you can easily replace the cable when needed or remove it to store it with greater ease.
The earphones were ergonomically designed to ensure a comfortable fit, and the materials used are soft and pleasant to the touch.
The metal cover adds stylish visuals while enhancing the durability ensured by this product.
The pack also includes three sets of earbud tips in different sizes, a 2-pin detachable cable, as well as a user manual.
This model does not include a microphone, but the product is available in a version that does come with such an addition.Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)
10. BASN Bsinger 2nd Dual-Driver IEMs
Ideal for on-stage monitoring, this model is an upgraded version of the 1st generation of IEMs from this manufacturer and comes with an improved design both comfort and sound-wise. The new drivers thus ensure crisp details and enhanced bass across all ranges.
Given the fact that you won’t miss a beat or subtle nuances of the songs you listen to, the product can be employed for audio applications that require detailed and clear sounds. The cable can be detached and features a silver-plated OFC wire that ensures durability and adds to the overall performance of these in-ear monitors.
Moreover, the cable is around 52-inch long, which makes the unit great for stage performances. Thanks to the ergonomic design, the earphones should fit you comfortably and securely. You will also receive memory foam tips for a more comfortable fit and enhanced noise reduction. The ⅛-inch jack works with most audio devices and monitor systems.
These IEMs are worth considering if you engage in audio activities that call for crisp details yet solid bass across all ranges.
To make sure you get satisfying sound quality, the product is equipped with a driver system that renders it ideal for on-stage monitoring.
Everything included in this unit adds to the superior sound quality and durability delivered; for example, the cable features a silver-plated OFC wire that will not only keep up with extended use but will also contribute the way the audio signal is transmitted.
The sound-isolating technology used reduces external noises so that you can enjoy pure sounds whether you’re at home, in the studio, or on stage.
The ergonomic design and soft earpieces won’t just provide you with comfort, but will also optimize the noise-canceling benefits provided by creating a good seal.
Even if the product comes with extra ear tips for a comfortable fit, some of them might still be a bit too big.Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Whether you’re a musician or simply an audiophile interested in a superior audio experience, in-ear monitors are a piece of equipment you will likely want to try at some point. Professional sound engineers and on-stage performers almost can’t do without them, and IEM headphones have started to gain greater popularity thanks to the way they render sounds.
If your musical gear calls for the best in ear headphones, yet you don’t know where to start, here are a few key factors you need to consider before hitting the order button.
IEM types and drivers
While browsing the many in ear monitor options available for sale, you will see that they come with different specs regarding their drivers. This is also one of the most important characteristics to take into account before deciding on a product.
IEMs take micro-engineering to a whole new level and the drivers they use are proof of that. Drivers come in different types, each of them with its own advantages. If you’re interested in getting more bass, then a pair of dynamic driver IEMs is the one to go for.
However, if your applications call for an in ear monitor system that will get you not only a solid bass but also clear treble and midrange, then a pair of hybrid IEMs might be better suited as such models feature a dynamic driver for the bass, as well as balanced armatures for midrange and treble.
The market also offers models featuring planar magnetic drivers. Such items are appreciated for delivering detailed treble and spacious sounds. Similar to planar drivers, electrostatic drivers deliver enhanced treble details. If you’ve decided on a certain model, but you’re still not sure about it, you can also read an in ear monitor review to make sure you get the best IEM for your needs.
The way IEMs are designed counts a lot as well, given their purpose. A comfortable fit is mandatory if you don’t want to interrupt your performance, practice sessions, or studio mixing because of an uncomfortable design. The products in this line come with either a straight or over-ear design.
Choosing between them is a matter of preference, after all, yet over-ear models are more popular because they secure the in-ear monitors to your ears and hide the cable. Still, the applications you want to use them for will also help you choose between these configurations.
You will also see that IEMs, whether they’re cheap in ear monitors or more expensive models, come with either a universal or a custom fit. Those featuring a universal fit are usually paired with extra sets of foam, silicone, or rubber tips in different sizes to ensure a secure fit.
If your budget is limited and you’re thus looking for more affordable in ear monitors, universal-fit models are worth trying. Custom-fit IEMs are usually more expensive.
Cables and durability
Besides sound quality and fit, you should also keep an eye on the materials used for the product you want to buy, whether it’s a cheap in ear monitor model or a more expensive one. Cheaper models may not keep up with extended use, and, if you’re serious about music monitoring and mixing, you might want to invest in a more expensive unit that won’t fail to work anytime soon.
Check out the cable featured as well. A detachable one is ideal as it prolongs the product’s lifetime, prevents wear and tear, and allows for easy replacement and upgrades. There are many affordable in ear monitor headphones that come with detachable cables, so you might want to consider this characteristic as well.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why do singers use in ear monitors?
There are various reasons why singers use IEMs, but the most important one is the fact that these devices allow them to hear exactly what they want and reduce stage volume, or even eliminate it. Singers performing with a live band will hear a lot of noise if not using such in-ear monitors, which can significantly affect the singer’s performance.
With all that noise around, it is difficult for singers to hear themselves, and this can make them singer louder. By doing so for too long, their voice might get tired sooner. When using IEMs, singers can have the sound engineers put only their voice and, perhaps, an instrument in the ears. Singers can thus choose how much or little of an instrument they hear.
Besides sound quality, singers also use IEMs because they can reduce ear fatigue, a problem often encountered when wedges are employed. Plus, IEMs provide singers with greater hearing protection while they’re exposed to loudspeakers. What’s more, many in-ear monitors are wireless, so, they also provide users with greater mobility.
Q: How do you use in ear monitors?
Using IEMs is nothing complicated. Before getting to that part, though, you need to know what such a system consists of. There are three components needed, and they include a pair of earphones, a transmitter, and a receiver. There are variations as far as the IEM design is regarded, but they work the same.
For example, if you opt for a wireless model, you will wear a wireless receiver pack to which your earphones will be connected. This pack will receive a mix from the transmitter that will be connected to a mixer. You can set the mix yourself or let a monitoring engineer do that.
Personal mixers are now available at relatively affordable prices, and they have gained popularity among performers since they receive direct channels and allow them to create their own mix.
All the instruments and mics are sent into the mixer, and you can then assign an output to each of them from there. This will allow you to listen to them individually.
Q: Can you use in ear monitors to listen to music?
In-ear monitors can be employed for various applications, not just stage performances. They can thus be used for general purpose listening, and some of them have been designed even for use during fitness activities. So, yes, you can use them to listen to music.
Thankfully, there are many models you can choose from and, based on the driver systems featured, some of them work well across a variety of music styles. However, there might be some drawbacks when using IEMs to listen to music. Many units don’t deliver boosted bass, which thus makes them less suitable for music genres where bass depth counts a lot.
To know if they suit your needs, you need to try them out. Since in-ear monitors were designed to deliver accurate sounds and thus help sound editors know exactly what is recorded, the sound is neutral. Even so, they are often used to listen to music. Plus, they are built to be comfortable for long-term use.