We all love a good set of earphones that provide us with a full 3D audio experience. Ones that make you feel like you’re at an actual concert! If you work in the music industry, you’ll need the kind of in-ear monitors that are both comfortable and offer a true frequency response which is necessary to properly hear and work on your music.
We’ve scoured the top brands to find the perfect IEM and found that there are numerous quality options out there. So how can you choose between them all? How can we judge which one is going to suit your needs?
Well, lucky for you, we’ve thoroughly researched each item down below and presented you with the best in-ear monitors out there on the market today.
Here are the best in-ear monitors (IEMs) 2020:
- Shure SE215
- MEE M6 Pro
- Sony WF-1000XM3
- KZ AS10
- 1More E1001
- BASN Bsinger BC100
- Status Audio IEM 2X
- FiiO FH5
- Simgot EM2
Shure SE215 is a high-end quality set of in-ear monitors that offer detailed and enhanced bass-boosted sound quality. This set of earphones includes sound isolating sleeves that obstruct background noises up to 37dB and a durable cable that ensures easy replacement.
Best of all, this set won’t irritate you constantly by falling out of your ears. It has a low profit-optimized shape of the headphones so they remain secure in your ear. The SE215’s also have gold-plated MMCX connectors which allow a complete circular rotation for an ideal fit.
They come with a small accessory bag which can be used to store your IEM easily without tangling its wire. There are also a spare set of bud included. The buds are in different sizes so as to suit all head sizes. How amazing is that?
If you’re looking for the kind of earphones that will give you a great audio experience, whether you need them for personal or professional use, the SE215 is a great choice. They have impressive sound isolating sleeves for any external sound cancellation thus helping you focus only on your work.
MEE M6 Pro
MEE M6 Pro Musician’s IEM are the second generation and much improved to provide you with a better audio experience than the original model. The result is audio that has a more precise midrange and an even, natural treble for constant, smooth performance.
These refined headphones have an upgraded build and sound quality and provide you with a super-immersive audio experience. Moreover, the cable attached to the earphones is detachable so if the wires are annoying you during work, feel free to pull the cable out and connect the IEM through Bluetooth.
Since a perfect fit is essential when you’re rocking on the stage or out jogging, the M6 come with seven different pairs of foam and silicone ear sleeves you can choose from to find your perfect fit.
These earphones are designed with feedback from lots of professional touring musicians which ensures that they are fit for use on the road and in the studio.
The M6 Pro in-ear monitors have a very detailed and enhanced audio output. Not only do they provide you with different ear tips you can choose from, but they also have a memory wire for better comfort.
They’re one of the best in-ear monitors for live performance, especially for the price. They have incredible sound isolation and an over-the-ear fit that won’t stop you from giving your full potential on stage.
Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are ‘truly’ wireless and the benefits that go with this are many. They have an outstanding ambient sound cancellation property and a built-in noise cancellation processor (QN1e). They function well with 24bit audio so definitely are one pair for the audiophiles out there.
The Sony WF-1000XM3’s have a battery life of 24 hours which means you don’t have to worry about them dying on you during a gig or a workout. Even if the power does run out, they come in a carrying case that also charges instantly.
Moreover, the design has simultaneous steady Bluetooth transmission in both right and left headphones so you won’t experience any audio lag between your ears.
Also available are lots of easy to use functions that you can access by downloading the relevant app either for Android or iOS.
There are also several modes like the smart listening mode which automatically switches to ‘ambient sound’ mode depending to your activity, while ‘quick attention’ mode and ‘wearing detection’ help with any hands-free calling. Furthermore, you only need to double-tap the earbud to listen to a call.
If you’re looking for wireless in-ear monitors that are easy to use and even easier to charge, Sony WF-1000XM3 is your perfect fit. They charge with the minimum of fuss. They’re small, portable, comfortable and durable headphones.
KZ AS10 in-ear monitors have built-in 5 driver setup in each ear. The drivers include a low, medium, mid to high and two high-frequency drivers all of which aim to provide you with the best sound quality possible.
They have a sound sensitivity of 105dB. The KZ AS10’s come with a detachable 2 pin cable which makes it exceptionally easy for you to replace it if the original stops working or if you want to switch to Bluetooth.
These IEMs are small in size and lightweight which is good news if you plan on using them for hours on end, although the earbuds included are not ideal for louder instruments such as drums.
KZ AS10 is one of the best value sets of in-ear monitors you can find on the market today. They provide you with a high-quality audio playtime that is ideal for pop music.
With the additional 5 armature setup, these headphones will provide you with a crystal clear audio that has all the details you might fail to hear in other IEMs.
1More E1001 in-ear monitors have 3 built-in drivers – two of them are balanced armatures and one is a dynamic driver. These drivers do justice to any type of audio you’re listening to and will provide you with an all-rounded amazing audio experience.
They give you flawless low and mid-range sound and exquisite treble. You can close your eyes while listening to your favorite songs and feel like you are at a real rock concert. The bass boost on this set is very pleasurable indeed.
Renowned sound engineer Luca Bernard, who is also an internationally acclaimed producer and mixer, helped to tune these headphones, so they provide you with the intended clarity and frequency required for professional and personal use.
These earbuds have been intricately designed with a slight angle so that they ensure you’ll have no problem fitting them snugly in your ear. 1More have also ensured that the earbuds are comfortable and not irritable to the ear. Earbuds come in 9 different sizes from which to choose from.
As well as high-quality audio, you can also control volume, song selection and various other features by installing the accompanying app from the play store to your phone. This is a handy bonus feature.
1More E1001 IEMs are ideal for anyone who wants to use them for daily use about the house and out walking. They’re inexpensive and provide a quality audio experience while canceling out a good deal of background noise too.
BASN Bsinger BC100
BASN Bsigner BC100 IEM is designed for universal use. They’re ideal for anyone, whether you’re a musician or an audiophile. The BC100’s provide a high-quality frequency response and a natural midrange which does not compromise on any depth and clarity of sound.
They’re powered by two drivers which are powerful enough to compete with the level of most external musical instruments. This is good news if you’re looking for a set of IEM’s for gigging purposes. They also come with a durable connector cable which has been tested and designed to both last long and give hi-fidelity output.
Furthermore, the BC100’s have a low-resistant copper wire that aids in better performance. The earbuds are built with a comfortable shell and soft silicone ear sleeves which block out any rustling and bustling of the outside world up to 25dB. The BC100’s have a broad frequency range of 20-20,000Hz.
We will recommend these headphones to anyone who plays one or several instruments. They really competitively priced and give all competitors a real run for their money. Dual drivers result in warmer and clearer low-frequency response thus providing you with a nice high-end audio output at a budget.
Status Audio IEM 2X
These Status Audio in-ear monitors have also been manufactured with 2 drivers – a balanced armature driver for clarity and a 9mm dynamic driver to give you the entire spectrum of frequencies.
They come with micro-buds which are constructed in a way to fit into most people’s ear comfortably. When it comes to sound isolation, they also do a good job of blocking out any unwanted external noise.
Attached to the connector cable is a remote microphone which has 3 buttons. These buttons can be used to control functions which are available on the accompanying app. This app is compatible with smartphones which are either Android or iOS, such as iPhones and iPads.
The housing of the IEM 2X is made from a machined aluminum casing which is lightweight and thus ensures that it should stay around for a long time.
These earphones are great if you want an inexpensive type that has crisp highs, impressive midrange, and decent bass. That said, these IEMs are not ideal for users who love lots of heavy bass.
These FiiO FH5’s come with a built-in Quad driver setup. This includes 3 Knowles balanced armatures and one dynamic driver that make sure that you are being provided with the best high-quality sonic experience.
They’re made from machined aluminum alloy body with a sophisticated and captivating design. They also include ‘S.TURBO’ technology and independent sound tubes.
The earbuds are designed for a comfortable and hassle-free fit. If you find that the pair of earbuds attached are not just right for you then you needn’t worry – FiiO have also included an additional 13 pairs of earbuds which you can choose from, all of which excel in noise cancellation.
The FiiO FH5’s also have MMCX silver-plated connectors made from copper wire which helps to provide overall clear, distortion-free audio quality.
These headphones are a nice selection for anyone whether you work in the music industry or just anyone who likes good, soulful audio output. The driver setup provides us with clear and natural highs, mids and lows, and so a pretty much all-rounded sound experience.
The noise canceling aspect does leave a little to be desired so perhaps they’re not ideal for drummers or musicians in extremely loud rock bands.
Simgot EM2 is easily one of the best studio IEMs there is on the market for the money. They have a built-in dynamic driver and a balanced diver that gives you the perfect frequency response you need to fully enjoy a song or work on a mix. The quality-made drivers also ensure splendid audio clarity and depth.
The connector cable on the EM2’s has been updated to SPC X4 which is a silver-plated detachable version and provides efficient top-notch transmission.
The cables are silver braided which should guarantee a long-lasting life for these IEMs. The cable uses ultra-low resistant, high strength and flexible wire that is twisted to further enhance its durability. Not only this, but it also reduces cable distortion.
Plus, these cables are compatible with all types of phones and audio-players. The earbuds provided do a good job in isolating out any external noises too.
These headphones are exceptional in providing clear and crisp audio. They have amazing instrumental separation and make for a pleasurable on-stage playing experience. Even experienced professional musicians will love the EM2’s.
In-Ear Monitor’s Buying Guide
We’re here to make buying IEMs easy for you. We’ve included in this buying guide everything you need to look out for while buying an in-ear monitor and all the questions you might have regarding IEMs. Read on!
What are In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)?
In-ear monitors are small devices that are fitted into an ear usually used to listen to music or any other type of audio. IEMs are used to listen to songs or to hear a mix of different vocals, instruments, and music for studio recording or live performances.
It gives a producer, a singer or a musician all of the details of a song while canceling external noises to let you solely focus on the audio.
Have you ever noticed the small black earpiece worn by morning-show hosts or news anchors? That’s an IEM which delivers any type of instruction, information or breaking news from a director/ producer to only the person wearing it.
What Features to Look for?
There are two basic types of drivers used in IEMs. A dynamic driver recreates the entire spectrum of frequencies of audio. They produced a heavy bass. Whereas armature drivers are tuned according to the frequency range required which helps the IEMs by giving you a better treble and overall detailed audio.
Pay attention to the amount of drivers in any set of in-ear monitors. Most cheap IEMs will have only one driver which has to provide all the sound from low end to high.
With multi-driver IEMs the load is carried. This means you can have a dedicated driver for the sub bass frequencies and dedicated drivers for mid and treble. Naturally this leads to a clearer and truer sound reproduction.
2. Noise Cancellation Property
You need the kind of IEM that will let you focus only on your voice or the music you have created or, if you are on stage, you’ll need ones that will cancel excess noise to help you sing or play your instrument better.
Noise cancelation means that you can driver the IEMs at a lower volume as you’re not competing with external sounds as much as usual. Your ears will thank you for this feature.
3. An Easy and Comfortable Fit
Perfectly fitted earbuds are essential for you to carefully judge a new song sample you are working on or if you are drumming away at a concert.
You need an IEM that not only blocks all the background noise but is comfortable, secure and fits into your ear. No one wants earbuds that keep falling off!
Check out all the different types of material that earbuds are made from so you can determine which is best for you.
4. Wired or Wireless?
IEMs come in various forms when it comes to connectivity. Some earbuds have wires connected while others that have detachable wires so you can use them wirelessly – or some are completely wireless!
This is a personal preference and depends on what you like the most. If cables seem like too much of a hassle there are a variety of wireless IEMs in the market, some of which are listed above.
Things to Keep in Mind While Buying an IEM
1. Sound Quality
Sure, the IEM you have your eyes on has all the qualities you wanted in it but you need to check its sound quality before making the final call.
Various IEMs have more than three drivers and still won’t provide you with an audio performance you are satisfied with. So, always check reviews to see if it has satisfactory sound output or not.
2. Your Budget
Choose a price range that is not too heavy on your pocket. This will narrow down the choices you have. There are a great many IEMs out there (like Status Audio IEM which we’ve reviewed above) that provide you with an audio output that has outstanding depth and clarity yet they’re still very affordable.
3. Universal Fit or Custom Fit?
Most of the IEMs are universal which means they’re designed in such a way that they will fit most ear types perfectly. Whereas, custom fits, as the name suggests, are made to fit into an individual’s ear easily and comfortably, without causing you even an ounce of problem.
We hope that you found this article useful and that now you have a much better grasp of the kind of in-ear monitor you need and, importantly, what features are deal-breakers for you.