In-Ear Monitors for Musicians: A Beginners Guide

If you are a musician, then you have likely heard about in-ear monitors. Choosing an appropriate pair might seem daunting but we can help!


What are In-Ear Monitors?

If you are a musician, then you have likely heard about in-ear monitors. These devices, used by essentially all touring musicians, are really unmatched in terms of elevating your set-up both in rehearsals or on-stage. Choosing an appropriate pair might seem daunting at first especially with such variability in price-points. We hope this guide can help get you started on how to choose one, and let you in on a way to make lower-end models perform closer to high-end models.


Drivers are little speakers that are built into the monitors. They can be either balanced or dynamic. Balanced drivers provide better treble and sound quality but are limited in bandwidth. Dynamic drivers, on the other hand, give a bit more bandwidth, specifically better bass information, but have poorer sound quality. It’s best to invest in a set of monitors that incorporate both types of drivers, or a hybrid, for more complete bandwidth. These also provide better sound quality and less distortion.

Custom vs Non-Custom

In-ear monitors are available in universally-fit styles that come with earbuds similar to most store-bought earphones, or can be custom-made to fit only your ears. With custom monitors, an impression of your ear canal is taken by an audiologist which is sent off to a manufacturer that specialize in in-ear monitors. They are able to put all the electronics of the monitor into a device shaped exactly to your ear. Custom-made devices are superior in sound isolation and quality, but they come with a hefty price tag. Because of this, while many musicians understand the benefit, not many actually end up investing in a pair. This is unfortunate because not only does it make the listening experience much better for the musician, it also protects their ears from any long-term hearing damage.

There are plenty of affordable universally-fit options available at any music store, and most can be made into a custom product with the help of your friendly neighbourhood audiologist.

Affordable Custom Options

Luckily, with our help, you can make any universally-fit monitor into a custom product. We can do this by making a mold of your ear canal, just like we would for custom in-ear monitors. This mold is sent to one of our manufacturers, along with any universally fit in-ear monitor, who then create a tip at the end of the monitor that fits only your ear canal. This can really help maximize the quality and benefit from any monitor so you can make the most out of any device.

In-ear monitors are a really great investment if music is an important part of your life. And with the help of an audiologist, more affordable options can be maximized to give you an overall better experience. Reach out to us if you have any questions about this service or how to pick the best in-ear monitor that works for you.