First post here, so greets to you all!!
I am looking to buy a pair of IEMs for both on-stage monitoring and entertainment.
I'm used to full-sized headphones (not very good ones) and studio monitors (decent ones), which are easy on the ear and give me a decent picture with good instrument separation. Live sound is always fluctuating so I don't base my assessment on it.
Today I tried IEMs (Shure SE215) for the first time, and my preconceived notions were absolutely SHATTERED. I am reading everywhere how "warm" and pleasant these earphones are, but my experience has not been farther from that. To my ears, the SE215 sounded:
- with pronounced upper mids: present, but too edgy for prolonged comfortable listening/monitoring
- bass was there, but certainly pulled back compared to the mids (please note that I don't like bassy speakers)
- little instrument separation with all the mid-range sort of converging into a point
- not too bright to be sibilant, but definitely brighter than warmer
As pro equipment, I was expecting IEMs to be both clear and easy on the ear. I'd say the SE215 were clear and present, but certainly not easy and well-defined.
I don't want to jump to conclusions, but:
1. Can IEMs (with their size and limitations) even imitate real-world acoustics to create an enveloping sound?
2. Are they only supposed to emphasize instruments that are frequently monitored (e.g. vocals) or should they give you a great overall picture like studio monitors?
3. All in all, are balanced, warm and well-separating IEMs even a worthwhile goal?