A musician is a combination of hundreds of hours of practice and hundreds of bucks invested in buying the equipment and accessories necessary for the room full of people to applaud your talent!
If you are a musician, you have an occupational hazard involving your ears. In the previous century, gadgets like wedge monitors were used to monitor the sound the musicians played for the audience.
Professional musicians in accordance to the hearing protection norms, use in-ear monitors or (IEM) and in-ear isolation earbuds which not only allows them to hear the music they are making but also filters the noise from the power amplifier systems.
And they are one of the things you definitely cannot miss out on as a drummer.
Why do you need an in-ear monitor as a drummer?
Here are a few reasons.
- Helps you listen to all the beats easily
- Enables you to be in sync
- Helps you practice as much as you want
- It does not take much time to set up
- Is comfortable and will fit you well
All you need is the best in-ear monitors for drummers, and you’re on stage experience could be among the best too, helping you get the best of what you’ve to offer. The problem though is that as a musician, your needs for an in-ear monitor will differ from a lay user.
For one, you do need good quality headphones, but they should help you experience music in its true form. Additionally, they also need to be right in noise cancellation, and we will look at these few things below.
5 Steps to Help You Buy the Best In-Ear Monitors for Drummers
The right set of earbuds should help you synthesize your music, adjust the frequencies as per your requirement and buffer all external noises.
You should look into the following aspects before you zero in on your right set of earbuds.
Comfort and Fit:
If you are a performer, you are likely to be wearing the earbuds for several hours Specific in earbuds have a design that can cause pain in the ears due to the shape and wiring of the bud. A pillow-like feeling is not the necessity, but you should always try one on before you buy.
Some manufacturers have Custom Fit IEMs where the earbud is designed to fit that particular artist. They are high end in the category, likely to dig a hole if you are a beginner with not much of sponsors.
The Universal Fit is available over-the-shelf. They are less customized, designed in accordance to a consensus ear-shape. They cost less on the pocket and fit the bill of your needs. They come with adjustable cables and wires, so you need not worry!
Make sure your IEMs are non-fatiguing. The last thing you’d want would be to wear out during your performance.
Isolation and Sound Signature:
The IEM manufacturers have the ergonomic need to accessorize the earbuds with tips. Tips are the tiny silicon or rubber cushions responsible for moving the air in the auditory canal to produce the sound. The seal between the ear and the tips have to be exact to prevent any leakage that can lead to a pressure drop of music and hence affect the bass of the sound.
Tips made of silicon are superior to that of rubber or foam both in performance as well as comfort. The thickness of the tips determines the efficiency of sound isolation and sound signature.
Greater Thickness leads to better sound isolation at the cost of amplifying the bass.
Foam ear tips are expensive but less durable than their silicon counterpart. Their tremendous level of sound isolation is one of the primary reasons for selecting them. Foam tips also confer the shape of the ear.
Choose the correct driver type:
There are mainly two kinds of drivers: dynamic and balanced armature (BA) drivers. Dynamics drivers a standard on because they are cost-effective to manufacture. These drivers are like tiny versions of regular loudspeakers. They have a diaphragm, a moving coil and a magnet that reproduces the sound.
BA drivers are efficient. They deliver high-frequency performance in exchange for its more significant cost.
You’ll find some costly IEMs use a combination of BA and Dynamic drivers that produce both detailed highs and deep low frequencies.
Get Your Specifications Right:
The technical jargons at the back of your packet convey a lot of information if you read it right. You must take care to match your In-Ear-Monitor with your PMP. Depending on that you should decide if you need a headphone amplifier. The impedance ranges between 15-30 ohms, which does not require any additional amplification.
When impedance is high, maximum volume will be limited, that is there will be a strain on your PMP. On the Contrary, a low-impedance IEM will be louder with the considerable strain on the amp.
One should consider sensitivity, frequency response and type of magnets used.
Is it worth your Money??
This is the very last consideration where you have to reflect upon the more practical aspects of whether you can afford the IEM you are looking at right away or if you should venture into more cost-effective options.
Since these gadgets are pretty expensive, it’s best to do a little investment survey before taking the final plunge.
Funding your right fit
Instead of going through the “hottest IEMs of the year” and “Best IEM” within your budget reviews on the market, you should consider the above parameters before purchasing your right pair of earbuds. The right type, configurations, prices, additional features that you might require should be determined before you zero in on the earbuds to buy.
The shape and sizes of the sleeves, detachable cables, over-the-ear cable configuration, light-weightiness, portability or an included carrying case.
Once you have bought them, don’t forget to experiment! Keep changing the tips and fine-tuning the sound signature to your liking!