Originally Posted by elanma
...Stop using the term Monitor for a headphone unless its designed as a monitor.
As part of my IEM guide, which is sticked on this forum:
Originally Posted by ClieOS
Is it a canalphone or an IEM?
Due to its great portability, high sound quality and noise blocking ability, specially tuned (and often custom molded) canalphones have been used on stage very early on by musicians and audio engineers alike. These canalphones are part of the In-Ear-Monitor-System (IEMS), which can be either wired or wireless. For the ease of naming, canalphones used in such system are referred as IEM. Later, as canalphone manufacturer began to make high quality canalphone available for the general consumer (iPod generation), the word ‘IEM’ becomes popular thus replacing ‘canalphone’ as how we refer to all canalphones. Technically speaking, only canalphones on an IEMS should be called an IEM. However, there is no hard definition on the word ‘IEM’ and it is easier for general consumer to use a simpler terminology. Sometime ‘IEM’ is also used only to refer to high quality canalphone...
Also, you are not really right about the 'flat response' part of the IEM. In an actual In Ear Monitor System used on stage, the sound on each channels are mixed according to the each musician's preference, and never really flat.
The first reason is, a 55yrs-old rock star will have different hearing range and response to Miley Cyrus (or any other person) due to different degree of accumulated hearing damage (occupation hazard, no doubt). To appear 'flat' in the musician ear, the sound actually needed to tuned to un-flat for compensation.
The second reason is, not every person on the performance (including the singer) listen to the same channel with the same mix. The real situation is, each musician (guitarist, drummer, singer, etc) get their own mix. Singer often has their own special mix cause they need to mix a bit of their own voice back to the channel to sound 'more natural' (compensation of the lack of bone conduction). Sometime singer also like to mix some of the crowd's noise back to channel so not to be too isolated. Drummer on the other hand often like to isolate most of the drum sound from their channel to better protect their hearing (since the sound already transmitted by their body). Also, the main instrument that set the tempo usually get mixed more heavily to all the channels.
Musicians do not need the extra high detail that all audiophile love because they will get drown by the noise anyway (even with the best IEM, noise reaching the musician's ears are still on the high 80dB or even higher, plus they are not there to listen to music). Instead comfort and good resolution (separation of notes) are more important. They also don't really need flat response as everything needed to be mixed according to what they need to listen so they can better perform their job.
The kind of monitor you are referring to are those belong to the recording studio, not the IEM used on stage. They serve two very different purposes.