Difference in IEM and BUDS

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Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Hylton Mowday »

Apologies if this is in the wrong topic.
I am curious with regard to IEM's. I have read a few articles in SOS about various IEM brands and in particular
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... monitoring

Are IEM only really used for stage setups? What is the difference in quality between some of these high end (Greater than) $1 000 units and normal earbuds?

MY exercise pair of headphones is a JAYBIRD X3 (Tried X4 prefer X3) and I love them. Sure we can be nitty about bass and top end and all that, but honestly if you're on stage or in the road and a massive truck (Or Low Bass B) resonates through your body, your earpiece is not going to take that out!!

I've never tried a IEM. Is the quality THAT much more superior to a normal wired pair of buds. (Higher quality of course,...Shure or Senheiser etc)

Should I buy a pair for ordinary listening anyway?

Thanks all
Hylton
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Re: Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

In short, most typical ear buds use a single balanced-armature driver to make noise, and are held in place by foam or silicon tips.

High-quality IEMs generally use much more sophisticated arrangements with multiple balanced-armatures in much the same way as high quality loudspeakers tend to have multiple drivers (bass, mid, tweeter etc). Also, they end to be held in placed more accurately, more securely, and with better seals by using custom ear molds.
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Re: Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Hylton Mowday »

Thanks Hugh,
So would you suggest an IEM over ear buds for day to day listening anyway too? My current studio headphones are Fostex T40’s and a pair of T50’s.

Would you say some IEM would be comparable to those?
Curious to know Jump in quality.
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Re: Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Hylton Mowday wrote:So would you suggest an IEM over ear buds for day to day listening anyway too?

No... but some people do!

Would you say some IEM would be comparable to those?

Some IEMs are stunningly good... but they are also stunningly expensive.

You'll find a range of articles and reviews here: https://www.soundonsound.com/search/all?terms=In-ear+Monitors
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Re: Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Dave Rowles »

Hylton Mowday wrote:What is the difference in quality between some of these high end (Greater than) $1 000 units and normal earbuds?

In a word - Accuracy. Whether or not that is worth the money is something only you can decide. I've done work on stages where the artists are all using £1000 plus models, and I've also worked where they're using the "generic" ones that come with the wireless systems.

For me It depends on how much faith you've got in what you're doing, or how much you rely on hearing things correctly to judge your sound. If you're responsible for complex tonal changes while performing then it's worth investing. They can also be a LOT more comfortable if you're wearing them for long periods of time if you get the custom fit right, and correctly fitted they should provide even more isolation from external sounds.

If you're the drummer, I'm not sure it makes that much difference, though the ambient noise reduction might be more beneficial

Should I buy a pair for ordinary listening anyway?

I use a pair of Shure SE425s for stage work, and occasional listening. I'd recommend the SE535s, which i wish I'd saved and and got instead, as I borrowed a pair (we switched the foam inserts out!) and they were significantly better, but there are loads out there!
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Re: Difference in IEM and BUDS

Post by Hylton Mowday »

Thanks everyone for your replies.
Lots to consider.
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Posts: 10 Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:00 am Location: Sydney Australia
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