The Best In Ear Monitors (Review & Comparison) Of 2020 – Our Top Picks Reviewed
When you’re serious about performing live, you’re going to want to make sure your sound levels are perfect. That’s why many performers – from singers to guitarists and drummers – use in ear monitors to make sure the live mix is always on point. But if you’re just getting started with live performance, what should you look for in a great pair of in ear monitors?
Our experts have put together reviews of The Best In Ear Monitors for 2020 along with a in depth buying guide to help you with your purchase.
The Products We Reviewed – Click to go
3 In Ear Monitors You Must See – Our Winning Picks
The Best In Ear Monitors and Earbuds Reviewed
1. SIMGOT EN700 Pro (#1 Top In Ear Monitors)
Weight: 10.4 ounces – Frequency Range: 15Hz-40kHz – Type: In-Ear – Noise-Canceling
SIMGOT, let’s take a look at some of their more premium monitors. Once again, the EN700 Pro buds should supply plenty of high-quality listening in private as well as on stage. The technology boasts a 10mm dynamic driver, and as a plastic-free earbud system, musicians may find the EN700 Pro to offer greater isolation of sound without any loss in comfort. Some people choose to avoid metal earbuds as they worry that they won’t be comfortable. However, this is very rarely the case!
Boasting 16 ohm impedance as well as up to 40kHz frequency response, many musicians could find these earbuds to be small yet mighty. However, it will also depend on what you choose to monitor through them. Even better, SIMGOT suggest the earbuds might help to enhance the play quality of your music at home, too. Pair these up with a receiver and transmitter and you could well notice the difference fairly quickly
- Impedance: 16Ω
- Headphone Sensitivity: 101dB
- Frequency Response Range: 15Hz-40kHz
- Power Rating: 10mW
- Distortion Level: <1% 101 dB
- Channel Balance: <1.5 dB (at 1000 Hz)
- Driver: Single Dynamic Driver
- Plug Type: 3.5mm Straight Plug
- Headphones category: HI-FI, Hi-Res, In-Ear Monitor
2. CCA C10 (#1 Best Value In Ear Monitors)
Weight: 3.2 ounces – Wireless: No – Wired for studio use – Type: In Ear
CCA’s C10 range of earbuds might appeal to any performer looking for durable, resilient buds that work well with a variety of soundscapes. It offers noise cancellation as standard – which is what you should expect – but some people may find the attention to bass here to be particularly interesting. While the monitors reportedly get rid of external noise and bustle, they also work hard to push up the bass and highlight vocal delivery. Therefore, singers might get a lot out of these buds.
What might also appeal to musicians is the zinc and resin manufacturing, built to resist regular use for years to come. They might even appeal to people who just want a solid, reliable pair of earbuds to listen to music on the go. This model is available with and without a built-in mic, which means you can also pick and mix what you want from the tech. Be aware that you may have to pay more for the model with a microphone installed.
- 10 Driver Hybrid EARBUDS
- Durable Zinc Alloy Shell+Resin
- Noise Cancelling
- Earphone adopts detachable design
- 0.75mm Gold Plated 2 Pin diameter low impedance braided wire
3. Audio-Technica ATH-E70 (#1 Premium Pick In Ear Monitors)
Weight: 6.6 ounces – Wireless: No – Designed housings provide maximum isolation
Audio-Technica is an audiophile lover’s brand. Their landmark in ear monitors are certainly no budget beasts and may offer plenty of flexibility and comfort to regular users. Marketing suggests that they are perfect for studio use, however, there is nothing to say that you couldn’t use them out on the stage, too. There’s a focus on isolation in design, too, which means you should get instant access to crisper sound without unnecessary feedback and background noise.
What’s also interesting about the ATH-E70 is that they are detachable. This is a level of flexibility that may appeal to most musicians looking for greater ease of movement. It’s an innovation that also seems fairly unique, meaning it may be worth looking into in greater detail. Jobbing musicians will also like the case that comes with the package.
- Three balanced armature drivers provide accurate and extended response across the entire frequency range
- Flexible memory cable loops over ears for a custom fit and long-wearing comfort
- Specially designed housing provides maximum isolation, allowing you to focus on the music
- Detachable cable offers exceptional durability and optimized audio performance
Perfect choice for stage & studio
4. Linsoul KZ ZS10 Pro
Weight: 3.1 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – 2 Pin Detachable Cable
If you’re looking around for reliable in ear monitor buds, it’s likely you will come across Linsoul as a popular brand. The KZ ZS10 range looks the part and comprises of several complex drivers for top performance. Therefore, if you are struggling to get crisp, clear sound through your monitors at present, it may be worth investing and upgrading to a Linsoul model. The build of the buds may also appeal to people looking for something a little more robust than the standard, particularly as they are built in stainless steel and resin.
The KZ ZS10 Pro earbuds work hard to deliver up to 40kHz in frequency and more, meaning if you are likely to really push your music on stage, these earbuds may work with you to deliver the best possible results. Your experience will vary. However, if you do need long-lasting, hardy earbuds that won’t bust after a few gigs, you might find these buds to be the best pick.
- Upgraded 4BA+1DD Hybrid Earphones&Magnetic Dynamic Unit
- Available with or without mic
- The faceplate is made of 304 stainless steel while the cavity is made from imported resin
- PCB Frequency Dividing Board
- Ergonomic Design & Noise Canceling
- Upgraded Cable
5. CCA CA4
Weight: 2.4 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes
CCA is a brand that specialises in ‘hybrid technology’. To you and me, that simply means it packs in more drivers and more tech into their buds than most. The CA4 Dual Driver monitors, much like the buds tested above, also arrive in mic and no mic varieties. If you are looking for something to enhance your mids as well as your bass, you may be interested to learn more about the innovations put to work in this device. For those musicians who are likely to twist and tangle their earbuds and monitors up to the point of breakage, these earbuds are surprisingly resilient, and might appeal to you from a durability perspective.
If you’re concerned about your earbuds standing out a mile, you could find these monitors to be a little more discreet than most. That’s no bad thing. Do also consider taking a look if you’re struggling for comfort, as you might find the ergonomic design worthy of the asking price.
- Superb Audio Quality and Extremely Durable
- Noise Isolation and Great Sound
- The Most Ergonpmic Design
- High Performance 2 pin 0.75 mm Detachable Cable
- One Year Protection Time
- Earphone sensitivity: 107dB/mW
- Frequency range: 20-40000Hz
- Plug interface : 3.5mm Gilded
- Plug Type: Line type
- Cable Length: 1.2m±3cm
6. Linsoul KZ AS10
Weight: 1.6 ounces – Noise cancelling: Yes – Specially Designed Low Frequency Driver
Linsoul’s KZ range is, again, coming up trumps. The KZ AS10 is a little different to the ZS10 in terms of the look, the flexibility and the driver technology involved. However, that shouldn’t make them any less worthy of purchase. Frequent performers might find the technology actually more than a little intriguing. The system here apparently puts five drivers per ear to work, supposedly allowing you to hear more detail in your music. Your experience will vary, but if you are looking for monitors that deliver more clarity and precision, you might find these ears a good choice.
If you struggle to balance various levels while performing, the KZ AS10 may help you to tweak and fine tune your experience. That’s because these buds don’t seem to offer too much bass, while giving you good all-around acoustics. Nothing should be too overpowering here, meaning if you struggle with highs and mids as much as bass, this might be a good choice.
- Specially Designed Low Frequency Driver 22955 for Enhanced bass
- 3D Printing Inner Acoustic Structure
- Detachable High Quality OCC 2 Pin Cable
- 5 Balanced Armatures Earbuds with Amounts of Details, Bass
- Detachable 2 pin OCC cable, and ergonomic design memorable ear hook, KZ AS10 outstands most earphones in the market with its practical design and long-lasting quality
- The detachable cable also offers fully upgradability. You can easily change it to your favorite choices of cables, more fun and more choices
7. SIMGOT MT3
Weight: 7.2 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – Design HiFi Earbuds for Smartphones and Audio Players
SIMGOT’s appealing MT3 earphones and in ear monitors look the part, but how do they perform? The technology built into the buds is based around simple magnetism. According to marketing, this means the detail in your audio should be easier to spot than ever before. If you struggle to isolate sound while performing, these earbuds might help you to close off outside noise and to emphasise bass. SIMGOT also emphasises that you can comfortably wear their earbuds no matter what you do, meaning they can also be used for private enjoyment.
Comfort is something that many people struggle with when it comes to finding reliable in ear monitors. Therefore, the design of SIMGOT’s MT3s might be worth investing in if you want to avoid severe aches and pains while listening.
- Outperforms conventional dynamic drivers using revolutionary 10mm high-magnetic circuit coil driver technology. Hear incredible high-resolution detail and clarity. Copper cores of high purity effectively reduce the distortion and the loss of signal transmission.
- The delicate cavity is sampled from huge large of ear canal data. It well fits the auricle, comfortable and free .Built with craftsmanship and equipped with three different sizes of ear hooks and tips to ensure a comfortable and secure fit even during work-outs for most people. Formable wire ensures secure placement over the ear.
- A silver-plated mixed detachable reinforced cable at the ear allows for easy replacement and customization. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of multiple kinds of detachable connectors, we design high-grade 6N single crystal copper and a 0.78mm 2 pin connector equipped with protection slot to prevent being broken and outstanding transmission of sound performance.
- A good seal is key to optimizing sound isolation and bass response as well as maximizing comfort during extended wear. They work with all Androids, tablets, mp3 players, and related devices with a standard 3.5 mm jack .
- Friendly Service – 30 days free return & replacement, 1 Years product friendly customer service
8. Yinyoo KBEAR KB10
Weight: 3.5 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise Cancelling: Yes – Studio Sound Quality
Yinyoo is a brand that seems to be picking up well online, and the KBEAR KB10 earbuds may appeal to professional musicians and private listeners alike. The design of these earbuds is built in resin and metal for extra robustness, as well as loss of clarity and isolation through plastic manufacture. Once again, many people seem to choose plastic over metal for comfort, when they may not need to. These earbuds are designed for maximum comfort as well as performance.
If you struggle with sound distortion on stage, these Yinyoo earbuds may help you even further. They are designed to help balance sound levels as well as isolate them. Of course, your experience may vary, but these monitors are consistently popular with performers and music fans alike.
- Driver unit: 5BA
- Impedance: 15Ω
- Sensitivity: 98dB/mW
- Frequency range: 20-40000Hz
- Control button: Yes
- Product weight:32g
- With microphone: Optional
- Connectors: 3.5mm
- Cable length: 1.25+0.03m
How We Choose The In Ear Monitors In Our List
We think it’s important to look for in ear monitors that offer innovative tech as well as plenty of comfort. You are going to wear these ear buds for long periods of time! Therefore, do always be ready to invest in a pair of in ear speakers which aren’t going to rub or irritate over long periods.
Most in ear monitor manufacturers will tell you that they offer leading technology and innovative driver design. This isn’t always the case, so we made sure to listen carefully to expert opinions other than our own, and to check out how each of the big hitters performed on stage as well as in the studio. The results, as you know, you’ll find above.
Tips For Choosing The Right In Ear Monitor
You should be fully aware of the main factors to look for before making a purchase decision. That is why we put together a buying guide to assist you with all the information you need to make the right decision.
What Do In Ear Monitors Do?
In ear monitors allow performers to hear their on-stage mix as it was intended. In ear monitors, much like earphones, fit comfortably just inside the user’s ears, allowing them to listen privately to music that is being produced. The difference here is, of course, that the music played through monitors is that which is coming from the stage.
All in ear monitors come in three main parts. The earphones themselves, a transmitter, and a receiver. The transmitter, funnily enough, transmits audio from the stage to the receiver. This is the monitor mix, which will then travel from the receiver to the earphones. A performer will wear a receiver on their person, generally through a belt piece.
Many people use in ear monitors to make sure they can hear themselves and their band. There is often a lot of noise and commotion going off on stage. Without in ear monitors, you could risk playing songs that simply do not deliver any magic in the final mix.
Why Use In Ear Monitors?
As mentioned, many musicians use in ear monitors for the simple fact that stages are extremely noisy. Not only is there feedback and movement from the rest of the band, but there’s also crowd noise to deal with – if you’re popular enough! You should also bear in mind that the acoustics of the venue you play in could throw you off, too. People use in ear monitors to get access to that crisp, unadulterated sound.
What’s more, many people war in ear monitors for the sake of protecting their hearing! As a musician, your hearing is naturally going to be paramount for your continuing career. Therefore, if you want to avoid blowing your eardrums out night after night, it makes sense to listen to the stage mix at levels you can comfortably manage.
Additionally, in ear monitors block noise by design. That’s why it’s important to look for good in ear monitor tech if you are serious about isolating the mix while you play. They are also extremely versatile and flexible, particularly as many people will use wireless earbuds for ultimate movement. Otherwise, wired monitors can look clunky, and can seriously slow you down.
Which Fit is Best?
Most musicians make a point of picking a brand and sticking to it for in ear monitors. However, many people will advise you that for the most comfort and the best playback, you should think about investing in custom moulds for your earpieces. This means you will likely need to see a hearing specialist or make an appointment with a clinic who can fit them to you directly.
However, this can result in you spending much more money in the bargain. If you wear traditional earphones normally and aren’t too worried about the comfort or the higher end of sound quality, you can always buy standard monitors. Many musicians do the same. That’s because it’s not only more affordable to do so, but that the brands who make ear monitors can generally be trusted to offer decent sound engineering.
In this guide, we will only be looking at branded, or general in ear monitors. Therefore, we encourage you to look closer into custom moulds if the idea appeals to you.
Do I Really Need In Ear Monitors?
Many people play music perfectly well without in ear monitors, however, it’s become commonplace for professionals to make the investment. If you value your own hearing, as well as the quality of the music you play, it’s arguable that you should make the purchase.
However, you should also think about investing in ear monitors if you care about the music you record, too. In ear monitors are perfect for practice and studio use. Essentially, to be able to hear the music you produce as others are likely to hear it, in ear monitors will be an invaluable resource.
They may help you if you have difficulty getting the sound stage set up and the mix balanced at the start of performances. You may also find them useful if, for example, you like to do a fair amount of tweaking and testing while practising. It’s safe to say that there are plenty of perfectionists out there! In ear monitors give you the chance to perfect your sound, and to tweak and tune while you play.
In this guide, we’ll look at the best brands offering in ear monitors, as well as those which offer the most innovative technology. Don’t always look for the most expensive markets for the best tech!
Why Do Singers Wear In Ear Monitors?
In ear monitors allow singers to hear their stage mixes clearly. It can be tricky for singers and vocalists to hear how they sound above a wide range of instruments and high bass. Therefore, in ear monitors help to deliver clear, flat sound directly to the performer.
Can In Ear Monitors Damage Your Ears?
It’s unlikely. In fact, in ear monitors exist to actually reduce damage to your ears. However, we are all sensitive in different ways, and you should tweak and adjust your listening levels and experience accordingly.
What Are the Best In Ear Monitor Brands?
The best brands for this type of technology can really vary, though any leading name in audio tech full stop is a good place to start. Audio-Technica is a name we like to trust, however, SIMGOT and CCA are developing large followings online.
What’s the Difference Between In Ear Monitors and Earphones?
In ear monitors are designed to deliver pure, unfiltered, noiseless sound. You can use in ear monitors as earbuds or earphones, however, they are perfect for making sure you hear the unadulterated mix from inside the studio or on stage. While you are performing, there is perhaps no greater asset.
Are In Ear Monitors New Technology?
Not at all. While wireless versions of the technology may have come on a long way in recent years, ear monitors have been around for decades. They first started getting mainstream attention in the 1980s, as music production and performance started getting more refined.
In ear monitors are a must if you really want to hear your music as your fans do. The best in ear monitors are those which deliver clarity and volume without losing any of the crucial levels. You should also look for comfort and driver technology, too. Don’t ever assume that all in ear monitors can do the same thing.