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in ear monitor vs speaker monitor Headphone Amps
Old 17th May 2018
  #1
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in ear monitor vs speaker monitor

Looking into getting something to monitor my music live and am confused about what would be better to get.. WIRELESS in ear monitors or speaker floor monitors?

My reasoning for leaning towards the in ear monitor is because i want a click track playing and am afraid the audience will be able to hear the click.

Is this something to worry about?

And what is better in general? any specific recommendations?
Old 18th May 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtletree View Post
Looking into getting something to monitor my music live and am confused about what would be better to get.. WIRELESS in ear monitors or speaker floor monitors?

My reasoning for leaning towards the in ear monitor is because i want a click track playing and am afraid the audience will be able to hear the click.

Is this something to worry about?

And what is better in general? any specific recommendations?
pls do NOT put click in a wedge! i'd either use additional earbuds with just the click in it or drop the wedges altogether: keeping the stage quite and the sightline clean is mostly usefull and there are no more issues with feedback.

three things to consider though: wireless adds latency, it's still (way too) expensive and using inears can make you feel somewhat disconnected - the cure is to use wired inears (that you can easily drive off any headphone amp so you could probably try this without buying additional equipment) and an ambi mic that lets you hear the audience.
Old 18th May 2018
  #3
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In ears are nice, but can be expensive.

for wireless:
The transmitter/receiver costs $500ish - the in-ear monitors can cost anywhere from $100 - $400 and beyond. You have to pay for an ear mold..... And all that for 1 person.

You might try going wired first - to see if you like it (some people don't like in - ears at all - it can be weird b/c you're kind of detached from the audience). Just get a set of earphones or earbuds and connect directly to the mixer. See what you think.

A click in a wedges seems like a not-so-hot idea to me.

re: latency
I never had a problem with latency with using in-ears - I love em.
Old 18th May 2018
  #4
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If you're using a click it really shouldn't be in the floor monitors, though I guess for larger stages that could be manageable. I'd look at some kind of IEM solution.

The latter does not need to be expensive to be functional. I've seen youngsters using cheap ear buds and old line mixers with headphone amps, to create monitoring solutions that allow them to hear clicks for Ableton tracks being mixed in with live instruments.

Obviously a bespoke personal monitoring product with good IEMs is best in the long term, but not necessarily cheap for some folks. If you could try gigging with a more basic version, it would let you see if the benefits of a professional solution are worth it for the future.

Using wired or wireless is really a separate issue. My experience is that hard wired systems are simpler and easier, wherever practical. Latency should not be a problem with a decent system, unless you are using something not oriented towards IEM monitoring (eg cheap Bluetooth).
Old 18th May 2018
  #5
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtletree View Post
Looking into getting something to monitor my music live and am confused about what would be better to get.. WIRELESS in ear monitors or speaker floor monitors?
Solo? Group? Run your own sound? Venue size? Concert? Club? Background?
Old 18th May 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Solo? Group? Run your own sound? Venue size? Concert? Club? Background?
Oh yeah, good point

Whether the OP is a solo act or part of an ensemble, is especially pertinent in terms of the rather vague question. Also if running your own sound, it will be easier to experiment.

It's hard to offer specific advice without knowing the full context!
Old 19th May 2018
  #7
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I would also go with wired in-ears, but if you don't feel comfortable you can always use both, the in-ears for the click and a stage monitor for the rest.
Old 19th May 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
pls do NOT put click in a wedge! i'd either use additional earbuds with just the click in it or drop the wedges altogether: keeping the stage quite and the sightline clean is mostly usefull and there are no more issues with feedback.

three things to consider though: wireless adds latency, it's still (way too) expensive and using inears can make you feel somewhat disconnected - the cure is to use wired inears (that you can easily drive off any headphone amp so you could probably try this without buying additional equipment) and an ambi mic that lets you hear the audience.
Analog wireless transmitters does not add latency! Or to be pedantic it adds the same amount of latency than any analog hardware, which is on the order of <0.01ms and can be considered negligible for human hearing.

Here is a nice explanation about it from the shure forums
Old 19th May 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiestudies View Post
Analog wireless transmitters does not add latency! Or to be pedantic it adds the same amount of latency than any analog hardware, which is on the order of <0.01ms and can be considered negligible for human hearing.

Here is a nice explanation about it from the shure forums
To be pedantic, the subject and verb must agree. "transmitters does not" should read "transmitters do not". Additionally (and extremely pedantic), your link is for wireless microphones while the subject here is wireless IEM's. Both wireless, but as long as pedantry has been introduced into the topic, I'm going for it.

While there may be only an acceptable amount of latency inherent in the wireless system, it is the total latency of the system/routing which figures in the bottom line. This would include any latency added in A/D and D/A conversion as well as any processor induced latency. Whether it is acceptable or not comes down to the end user.
Old 19th May 2018
  #10
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Generally speaking using a click track in live performance is a bad idea with the exception of a drummer, or primary rhythm instrument, having it available with IEMs if needed. I have available both wired in ear & Over the ear as well as KV2 EX10 wedges. I am most comfortable with the wedge when working with my rig however over the ear head phones are a close second and preferred when making a guest appearance with sound reinforcement that is not optimized for the music we play. There are advantages and disadvantages with any type of monitoring you will choose and, dependent upon the type of music and your listening skill, no on stage monitoring can work very well in some situations.
Hugh
Old 20th May 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyChris View Post
In ears are nice, but can be expensive.

for wireless:
The transmitter/receiver costs $500ish - the in-ear monitors can cost anywhere from $100 - $400 and beyond. You have to pay for an ear mold..... And all that for 1 person.

You might try going wired first - to see if you like it (some people don't like in - ears at all - it can be weird b/c you're kind of detached from the audience). Just get a set of earphones or earbuds and connect directly to the mixer. See what you think.

A click in a wedges seems like a not-so-hot idea to me.

re: latency
I never had a problem with latency with using in-ears - I love em.
Meh, wedges aren't any cheaper.
A top of the line IEM system costs less than $3000.
"Industry standard" wedges (D&B, L-Acoustics, Meyer Sound) cost considerably more when you factor in the cost of the amplifiers.

With IEMs, getting a good monitor mix is somewhat more important. If you want stereo monitor mixes (which you probably do), you'll need twice as much aux sends on the console. OTOH a bad monitor mix won't interfere with the FOH sound at all.

Anyway if you need a click, in-ears are your only option.
Old 20th May 2018
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
To be pedantic, the subject and verb must agree. "transmitters does not" should read "transmitters do not". Additionally (and extremely pedantic), your link is for wireless microphones while the subject here is wireless IEM's. Both wireless, but as long as pedantry has been introduced into the topic, I'm going for it.

While there may be only an acceptable amount of latency inherent in the wireless system, it is the total latency of the system/routing which figures in the bottom line. This would include any latency added in A/D and D/A conversion as well as any processor induced latency. Whether it is acceptable or not comes down to the end user.
Hey thanks for the grammar lesson, I appreciate every chance I get to improve my english.

I know the article speaks about the other way around, but what I wrote still holds, and an analog system will not add latency. Of course that doesn't apply for a digital system.
Old 20th May 2018
  #13
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Using a metronome with a light is also an option, I've worked with bands that use this option...less expensive and less complicated than an IEM system and will not affect the audio or visual on stage. Not saying the OP should go this route, just debunking the idea that the click must be audible.

I've never heard of any serious wireless IEM system with latency issues and the fact that so many people use systems of various quality and cost without any latency related problems makes this a non issue.
Old 20th May 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 

One might note that floor wedges add maybe 10ms or so of purely acoustic latency when compared with in ear monitors. It's certainly possible that a digital system would still be able to do better than that, for a net improvement.
Old 20th May 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
One might note that floor wedges add maybe 10ms or so of purely acoustic latency when compared with in ear monitors. It's certainly possible that a digital system would still be able to do better than that, for a net improvement.
... if the listener is 3 meters from the wedge...
Old 20th May 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
... if the listener is 3 meters from the wedge...
Of course.

Standing up, my ears cannot be very much closer than two meters from a wedge sitting on the floor. Three meters from speaker to ears doesn't seem like an unrealistic number at all to me. Maybe I'm missing something.
Old 20th May 2018
  #17
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Nearly all wireless IEM systems are analog, probably because of the latency issue with digital.
Old 20th May 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
Of course.

Standing up, my ears cannot be very much closer than two meters from a wedge sitting on the floor. Three meters from speaker to ears doesn't seem like an unrealistic number at all to me. Maybe I'm missing something.
Turning things down? Getting your stage volume under control?
Old 21st May 2018
  #19
Gear Nut
 

I am of course all for having reasonable stage volumes; goodness knows I've fought against that aplenty, and I have nowhere near the experience of many here. IEMs are wonderful things for the guy doing the mixing; there's no argument there in the least.

Call it 7ms if you wish, or maybe even 5ms if one is tripping over the monitor speaker. The overall point still stands, that it's very reasonable that a digital system could have no more latency in total than a floor wedge system, and quite possibly less.
Old 21st May 2018
  #20
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There is a much more important point to be considered when pondering monitor latency. The overall stage sound field will include a healthy dose of "FOH bloom" that is necessarily low end dominate: if the wedges are HP synchronized to deliver the mids and highs missing in the FOH bloom and are placed a similar distance away from performers as the back of FOH enclosures latency and feedback becomes a diminishing issue. When a volume war between the rear bloom of FOH, hot back lines and floor wedges begins IEMs quickly become the best alternative: this certainly does not mean they are a panacea for all situations.
Hugh
Old 21st May 2018
  #21
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Has anyone here ever had a problem with latency when using IEMs or heard of anyone complain about this?
Old 21st May 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
The overall point still stands, that it's very reasonable that a digital system could have no more latency in total than a floor wedge system, and quite possibly less.
You need to let go of this idea you have that wireless IEM systems are digital. They are ANALOG, for the most part. There is maybe one brand that claims to be digital. All the others, including Sennheiser and Shure are not.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue439 View Post
You need to let go of this idea you have that wireless IEM systems are digital. They are ANALOG, for the most part. There is maybe one brand that claims to be digital. All the others, including Sennheiser and Shure are not.
I did not mean to imply that they were commonly digital, though I can see how what I wrote might be interpreted that way...only that it shouldn't be a concern if they were from the point of view of latency, which had been mentioned as a question in passing. In retrospect, I perhaps should have posted nothing! (I would not be surprised, though, if digital systems do become more prevalent over the next several years, given their potential for greater resistance to interference, the potential for excellent audio fidelity, and the increasing digitalization of wireless microphone systems.)

I think I need to work some on writing more clearly. Things are too often clear to me--when I know what I'm intending to say--but end up more or less muddled to everyone else.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #24
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Test post. 1#2#3#
Old 30th May 2018
  #25
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Just wanted to add that if you do choose the IEM road, you dont have to spend $100 - $400 on IEM's because you can get KZ's for about $50 (KZ ZS6) with 2 armature drivers and 2 dynamic balance drivers. If you want alot better sound with those you can get foam tips for about $4. Also if $50 is hurting your budget you can spend $14 and get KZ ZS3's and foam tips for about $4 with a really nice sound. Honestly KZ has a nice and superb sound from others.
Old 11th June 2018
  #26
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RawDepth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Has anyone here ever had a problem with latency when using IEMs or heard of anyone complain about this?
No. Consider this...

The MiPro MI-909 is fully digital and has roughly 5ms of latency. However, you really only notice latency if similar sound is coming from a second source at either an earlier time or a later time causing an echo. Even on small stages, drums and guitar amps are generally 5 feet or more away from your ears. Thus their ambient sound is also delayed by a few ms.

Moreover, I believe that most people would have a lot of trouble detecting a mere 5 ms of latency in the midst of a blaring live music event. As others have said...it's a nonissue and should not be a deal breaker. Stop nitpicking the minor details.
Old 13th June 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Has anyone here ever had a problem with latency when using IEMs or heard of anyone complain about this?
unfortunately, i do:

several musicians from a percussion ensemble + plus band that i get to mix every other year complained about a 'time lag' coming from the equipment beeing used, so i had to switch from m7cl/akg wireless inears to pm3500/headphones(/wired in ears).

i don't remember what akg inears, but i do remember that akg was very unspecific in the manual: although it was an analog wireless system (as most any other system), afaik they converted signal to apply some dsp functions, hence the latency.

the combination of latency and some very time sensitive percussion player was a bad match.

and i once had a lead singer who insisted on (and paid for!) using all analog gear for his mix - although with this guy i suspect that his preference reflected more of a psychological aspect than a technical reason...
Old 24th June 2018
  #28
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Its been a few years since I was playing out, but I was using IEM and I would do it again if I start playing out again. A lot of the guys I played with didn't want IEM because they had "tried" it before and it was a lousy experience for them. They had lousy experiences due to lousy in-ear models, lousy IEM mixing, etc. They just thought it would be an easy solution and its not easy to get setup properly.

My custom molded in ears were close to $1k with good bass response and good sound isolation. Then I also had to get the wireless setup, I don't remember how much I paid for that for mid tier solution. And dealing with the mix was not the complicated because my band didn't want to be bothered with IEM, so they just gave me a mono monitor feed that normally would go to a wedge and I plugged it into my rack and mixed in some more of "me", as well as an extra ambient mic and fed all that to my ears in stereo, which means I needed my own little mixer in the rack to handle all that.

Some considerations:
  1. As others have said, you want stereo because if you have good isolating In-ears, you will sound a lot less like you're inside a sealed chamber if the monitor mix is stereoized in some way.
  2. Similar to the above, having one or even two ambient mics on stage that pick up the whole band and the audience too and feed that into the IEM mix.
  3. Do not go for the solution of having one ear out to hear the stage, because you will crank up the one that is your ear in order to hear it and actually do more damage to your ears. You want IEM's with very good isolation that force you to adjust the mix to hear what's going on (that's the hard part). Using some ambient mics will definitely feed plenty of stage sound into your ears. I had one, which was mono and I heard absolutely everything, but lost a bit of sense of direction is all.
Old 28th July 2018
  #29
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Thread Starter
the psm 300 works like a charm for two people (2 separate mixes)
Old 29th July 2018
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtletree View Post
Looking into getting something to monitor my music live and am confused about what would be better to get.. WIRELESS in ear monitors or speaker floor monitors?

My reasoning for leaning towards the in ear monitor is because i want a click track playing and am afraid the audience will be able to hear the click.

Is this something to worry about?

And what is better in general? any specific recommendations?
It is a commonly asked question.
  1. I agree with others, keep the click in the IEM's not floor wedges. It is bound to bleed out into microphones and into the audience from wedges.
  2. First work with wired IEM's. You can get a Behringer head phone amp for $150 new: Behringer HA8000 V2 8-Ch Headphone Mixing/Distribution Amplifier | Sweetwater
  3. Only the very worst IEM's have any latency you need to worry about
  4. Many people who have never used IEM's hate them and will refuse to use them.
  5. A good ear bud is the Shure SE215. Anything less than this will disappoint. More is good, but not necessarily night-and-day better.

Try the cheep wired solution first. While you COULD simply send every member the same signal, it is much better if each band member has their own mix. What mixer are you using?
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