If hearing yourself over the crowd and other instruments is driving you mad, it’s time to invest in a quality in-ear monitoring system (IEM). The best IEMs for singers provides clarity of sound with minimum feedback or background noise, while also ensuring a comfortable fit so you can focus on your singing and not your ears. Trust me that finding good sound quality paired with comfort should be a top priority when looking for an IEM, otherwise your performance suffers. I prefer the Sennheiser EW 300 IEMs because they blend comfort with functionality, but there are many solid choices out there.
Sennheiser blends comfort and function for the best sound in an in-ear monitor. The ear monitors come with various pads that help you ensure the best fit – which is vital when wearing the monitors for a long stage performance. The bass, sometimes a problem with IEM systems, comes in clear and background noise is kept at a minimum. You can actually hear yourself clearly without straining your voice. Although this is one of the pricier systems on the market, it’s well worth the cost if you want to deliver your best performance without worrying about your IEM.
Shure has done it again, delivering the best sound and high quality wrapped up in one package. The SE530 IEMs provide optimum sound isolation, which is vital for onstage performance. The IEMs feature Triple TruAcoustic MicroSpeakers, which produce clarity that beats out most competitors. The main thing that puts these in second place instead of first is the wire construction. The SE530s feature stiff wiring, as opposed to the more flexible silicone wires usually seen. Although durable and rugged, these do get in the way when singing on stage. Although comfortable, the SE530s do not have the range of pads available compared to other IEMs and do take some getting used to.
If price matters, then the Westone W2 IEMs may be your best option. Although low on price, the Westones still deliver quality sound and onstage versatility. The IEMs feature two balanced armature drivers in each earpiece to deliver optimum bass and treble. Although the earpieces come with 10 different tips to help you achieve maximum comfort, the shape of the IEMs can make them difficult to put on and keep on without some practice. The construction quality is also lower than the Sennheiser and Shure models, but this is to be expected with the lower cost. Regardless, the vocal quality still ranks up there with the best which is what really matters when you are singing live.