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Worship Leader looking for some good (inexpensive) custom IEMs...

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 


Hi all, 

I know I am new to this forum, so please forgive my newbie-ness... 


Just a quick favor that I may ask of you.. I need help in making a decision on some custom in-ears... 


 I have a pretty good ear, I lead worship, heavy to acoustic rock emphasis... I have for many years used some Shure E2Cs... And they were always just OK, but I realize now that I am doing much more detailed work now and playing for a bigger group, the necessity to hear myself a little better onstage and blocking out all the stage noise (it is rediculous) has come to a head.  I need to be able to hear my guitar and vocal over the mix... but still want to feel the kick of the drum set to help me stay on tempo... 


The IEMs, from your generous info on this site has brought me to these choices... 


1. 1964 -Ts  

2. UM Aeros 

3. UE 4 Pros


These three all sit around the price range I am looking for.. I just had my ears impressioned and I sit here staring at the box on my desk as I type this... I am paralyzed because there is no way for me to try out customs because, well they are custom.. And if I buy a set and don't like them, the resale value drops considerably because they are custom... I only have one shot at this because of my limited funds... 


Preferences:  please don't laugh... \


I always felt the Shure E2Cs lacked the thump that I needed... I own a pair of Sennheiser 205s, and too I felt the low end really lacked... I took a chance on some Sony EX-B700s on eBay... luckily they were real and not fakes, and really right where I want to be sonically... I actually prefer the low end boost a ton... I just never realized what was missing until I bought the Sonys... 


Some concerns I have:

1. Upgradability- can I upgrade these customs at a cost that is reasonable (reshelling) down the road?

2. Durability- These need to last me a long time or my wife will disown me... she doesn't understand "spending $400 on a set of ear buds"

3. I need the thump from a basic Shure monitor belt pack... Will it have enough oomph to run the in-ears they way they need it?  


Ok, any opinions are helpful.... please please help me get past this paralysis... Thank you!




post #2 of 35

There are so very many options out there these days.  The Kozee X1 is at the lowest price point and will have some owners/reviews soon, and I will be getting the X3, so if the X1 and X3 are good, the X2, which is similarly priced, might be a good one.  The T has received some pretty good reviews, and the Livewires are also a good choice in that price range.  There are two other Chinese companies, Rooth, and Thousand Sound that seem to offer some good prices, but there are no reviews.  There are several other US manufacturers that have lower cost monitors as well, but again, are not familiar on here.  I know someone that is getting a lower end Westone, so a review will surface on that.  You can check here to see custom IEM manufacturers with pricing.


Another thing to think about is the shell material, as the poster of this thread talks about silicone vs. acrylic on stage.  Several of the manufacturers offer silicone shells.

post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for your response... yeah, I am definitely looking for acrylic.  The silicone is a little too soft and and durability is pretty important... 


But some excellent other options I didn't even think about... I am familiar with Livewires and Rooth, but not Thousand Sound... I will definitely look into those.. thanks... 


post #4 of 35

Silicone is actually more durable than acrylic, and provides more noise attenuation to boot. If you're actually going to use them on stage consider sensaphonics.


Also consider their universal stage monitor, which seems to be a good choice as well.

-"For musicians and engineers, the j-phonics is a no-brainer. I’d even feel comfortable recommending them above every other universal stage monitor for ease of use and internal engineering, and for bands on a budget, above customs because with Comply tips, there are next to no hassles with fit and isolation...you will find that there is NO better professional monitor on the market now."

Edited by JxK - 3/5/11 at 6:00pm
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ok, wow, I am really confused... I was always under the impression that a hard acrylic would be more durable than a rubbery silicone... doesn't make sense to me... but I have never had either.. I do believe the noise attenuation.  


but I am looking for specifically custom in-ear acrylics... appreciate your feedback though thanks... 



post #6 of 35

I'm also in a similar situation as yourself and decided to get the JH5Pro's. You should look into them, it's in the same price range, with a two year warranty (incase something happens, don't want your wife killing you!). Jerry Harvey (the founder of JHAudio) used to work for Ultimate Ears before starting his own company.

post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 

hmm... will look into the Jerry Harveys.. they look much higher priced for the amount of drivers you get... I did read some comparisons and it appears that the 1964s are a much better deal and the triples are compared more to the JH10s than the JH5s in sound... I wonder how they really hold up... But it appears the 1964s are better priced... 

post #8 of 35

I looked into the 1964s and man.. tough choice because the triple drivers are cheaper than the JH5 duals. Two things I always look into for a "it's too good to be true" product is the quality and customer service of the company producing them. If you find anything, let me know =)

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 

Ya, I will let you know... I am still on the fence, I had some great contact with guys from UM... wow Matt is a real cool guy..  but he was very honest with me stating that UM probably isn't going to fit my sound signature that I am looking for... (looking for heavier bass)... 


I had a few PMs from some great guys telling me about JH Audio... I looked into them, but the price of their dual monitors is more expensive than the triples from 1964... choices... wish there was a trade show or something where you could try on customs to see what works best... thank you all for your suggestions so far... keep them coming... thanks


post #10 of 35

You mentioned too much stage noise. Is your band relying on wedges? One of my church services recently moved to getting all bands to use IEMs--not even high end ones or customs (one guy sometimes just uses his Apple earbuds). As someone who's been both on stage and behind the mixer board, I can tell you that switching from wedges/stage monitors/throwbacks to in-ears makes a big difference.

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yeah, we are a newer church, but we are definitely heading towards bigger and more complicated bands and teams playing... Currently most of the bass players and Electric guitarists mic the amps, but still a ton of bleed over from their amps are killing me... also the drums are very heavy, and pretty much blowing my head out... (We just blew another snare this last Thursday)  We are rock focused and very loud... and unfortunately we are still relying on "the wedge" and hot spot monitors... and yes, this is my conclusion... it is time for everyone to go in-ear... we are looking at a large cash infusion for the sound budget this year, but I just can't wait, my hearing is definitely being destroyed in the process.... My Shure E2Cs are just not cutting it for me... Not enough detail... It is a single driver model and the sound attenuation just isn't enough either... even with both of them in... Its time for some customs... I just don't know which... for now I need to buy some with my tax return, so I am on a limited budget, looking at roughly $400... Its still gonna be some time until we can afford wireless monitor packs for everyone... We need to buy about 10 more... but its coming in a few months.... so until then, I need some customs... Thanks Eric... 


post #12 of 35

Ok. Well, see if there's any way for everyone to just use whatever earphones/headphones they already have in the meantime? I'm sure all y'all musicians want to take care of your hearing, and I'm doubly sure everyone has at least one pair of earphones. Try it out at the next practice, it might work out (and it won't cost you guys much, aside from whatever adaptors are necessary to convert the wedge signal to be usable by 3.5mm plugs. Probably XLR-to-3.5mm)

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

Oh, ya that wouldn't work, I don't think... unless there was some device to do that... I have only seen the wireless transmitters that connect to the board with a transmitter pack you fit on your belt... I guess they made wired ones too... I have never thought about plugging them into the same line as the wedges and hot spots... though there is an input on one of the hotspots for headphones... They are amped and from what little I know about sound, we would blow the snot out of our little ear buds... We all have sets of ear buds, just not enough of those transmitter packs.... or aviom systems... I have one transmitter pack, and for me, all I need is a better set of ear phones for detail and noise attenuation... some day it would be nice to build some amp closets too to cut down on the stage volume... I used to be at a church that used those... they were real nice... anyways, I digressed.. thanks for the tips Eric.  

post #14 of 35

Yeah my church just plugs into the points on the floor/wall where we'd normally feed the stage mons; no fancy transmitters or anything like that.

I'll ask the folks who help manage that particular service and get back to you on how they ensure no earphone drivers get blown.

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

hey thanks... I have had discussions with my sound techs many times in this area... but I would be glad to hear whatever you find out... thanks again.. 

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