Online jam sessions and album collaborations are transforming the way we enjoy music. And, live concerts are as exciting as they have ever been.
But whether it is online or “in real life,” musicians need to hear themselves and every other member of the group. It’s nothing new, and usually, there are large monitors on the stage that provide the performers with the audio they need.
But there are also things called In-Ear Monitors, or IEMs. These are used in place of, or as well as traditional stage monitors. And they are often used by singers to give them a clear and accurate reproduction of how they sound to the audience.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at the Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers currently on the market and find the perfect option for you, starting with the…
Top 6 Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers of 2023
1 Audio Technica ATH-IM04 SonicPro Balanced In-Ear Monitor Headphones – Best Mid-range Frequency In-Ear Monitors for Singers
First, on the list, we have some great sounding IEMs from Audio Technica. This company is well-known for producing high-quality headphones for listening to music and studio work. So, it should come as no surprise they make IEMs that are just as good.
Sound and Performance
Right off the bat, we find quad-balanced armature drivers. What are balanced armatures, you ask? Essentially they are what we use to make hearing aids. They are tiny reeds balanced between two magnets. The vibration from the reeds to a diaphragm – typically aluminum – produces sound.
The distinct advantage of balanced armatures (BA) drivers is frequency isolation. This is because the BA can be tuned to precise frequencies. That’s why they are used in hearing aids. Of course, this also helps singers by isolating the frequency range to match with one associated with vocals.
The mids are neutral but well-accented. Therefore, instruments like strings will come through beautifully. The highs are muted, and the lows stay in the background with minimal volume, meaning these IEMs will serve singers well.
Along with the BA drivers, you get detachable cables that feature moldable wires. These allow you to wrap them around your ears for a more secure fit. It also helps keep them out of the way while on stage.
Additionally, these come with a carrying case, Small, Medium, and Large size silicone ear tips, plus a pair of Comply foam tips. However, there is only a pair of Medium size Comply foam ear tips included. High-quality IEMs made for singers, but that carry a sizeable price tag.
- Quad balanced armature drivers.
- Excellent stereo separation.
- Detachable cables.
- Moldable wires offer a nice secure fit.
- Requires a headphone amplifier for the best sound quality.
- Only one size of Comply foam ear tips.
- Some say BA drivers are too focused on the midrange frequencies.
- Rather pricey.
2 Sony IER-M9 in-Ear Monitor Headphones Black – Best On-stage Live Performance In-Ear Monitors for Singers
Sony knows a thing or two about listening devices. The company currently makes some of the best noise-isolating headphones on the market, so it should come as no shock that they also make some of the best in-ear monitors for singers as well.
These are the standard for high-performance, high-quality, and precise IEMs. They feature five unique, balanced armature drivers. These work with magnesium alloy diaphragm super tweeters to deliver an incredible sound.
The frequency response is wide at 5-40,000Hz. Therefore, you will get amazing details and stunning clarity. And the responsiveness works to accent subtle sounds and nuances.
The housing is adorable and magnesium alloy as well. The detachable cables use gold-plated terminals to ensure a stable and accurate connection. The cord is just a hair under four feet long and uses silver-coated oxygen-free copper for the construction.
Along with the sound quality and overall build, another standout feature with these IEMS are the various ear tips included. First, you get six different sizes of Triple Comfort ear tips. On top of that, you get seven different sizes of Hybrid Silicone ear tips. In other words, you should have no problem finding a secure and comfy fit for your on-stage performances.
Quality comes at a cost…
Of course, all of this goodness comes with a cost. And what a cost it is. If you are not at the highest levels of the music profession, these are not going to be worth all that cash. On the other hand, for those singers who are constantly performing (online, IRL, or otherwise), these are top class in-ear monitors for singers and musicians alike.
- Incredible sound detail and sensitivity.
- Five Balanced Armature Sony original drivers.
- Magnesium alloy diaphragm and housing.
- Frequency response of 5Hz-40,000Hz.
- L-shaped gold-plated plug.
- Multiple ear tips sizes for both Triple Comfort and Hybrid Silicone earbuds.
- Very expensive.
- Not for amateurs.
- A little heavy at 1lbs.
3 Moondrop S8 8BA IEM Bass HiFi in Ear Monitor Earphone – Best Premium In-Ear Monitors for Singers
Need some of the best HiFi in-ear monitors for singers? The Moondrop S8 8BA IEMs are highly impressive. But this kind of high quality comes at a substantial price point.
Superb sound performance
These Moondrop IEMS feature eight drivers. Yes, you read that correctly, eight drivers. There are two high-frequency drivers, two low-frequency drivers, and four midrange drivers. Combined with a triple crossover design, the sound is immense.
People rave about these high-fidelity in-ear monitors. Not only for their ability to deliver incredible sound while on stage, but for personal listening as well. In other words, if you want in-ear monitors that can replace your over-ear headphones, these are worth a closer look.
Hear it all
The frequency response is 20Hz-40,000Hz, which is massive. It allows these IEMs to deliver amazingly clear and detailed sound. Furthermore, the lower bass register gets some extra focus making them great for listening to music.
But, the high-end is not lost or overpowered. And, with four drivers, the mids come through with stunning clarity. The result is above-average imaging and the ability to deal with complex and congested music.
Along with an excellent soundstage, these IEMs offer an awesome build quality. They are handmade and crafted with care. They use litz wiring, which works to ensure longer durability and greater conductivity. This helps to create a HiFi sound reproduction.
Additionally, the housing is crafted from medical-grade UV acrylic. The housing is transparent, so you can see the craftsmanship that went into the drivers and wiring. Plus, UV acrylic is lightweight and strong. These weigh only one ounce and have a discrete profile. As a result, they provide you with a comfortable and secure fit.
Premium quality equals a premium price…
The cables are made of oxygen-free copper with a litz structure. These are detachable and pretty rugged as well. Overall, these IEMs live up to their premium price range.
- Eight drivers.
- Amazing soundstage, clarity, and accuracy.
- High-quality build and materials.
- Handmade construction.
- Broad frequency response.
- Comfortable, tough, and lightweight.
- A bit too expensive for most.
- Limited number and variety of ear tips.
4 MEE Audio M6 PRO Musician In-Ear Monitors – Best Budget In-Ear Monitors for Singers
Well, after the last two items on this list, it’s nice to find something that is far more affordable, especially for those who are making most of their music at home or online.
If you are like me, it’s a relief knowing you can get a great pair of IEMs that won’t require living on Ramen noodles for a month. Unless that’s your thing, in which case, chow down. But let’s see how these bargain in-ear monitors for singers stack up.
These are the second generation iteration of the MEE Audio M6 Pro in-ear monitors. Meaning both the sound and build received an upgrade. These feature a modular design and are sweat-resistant. Therefore, they are pretty durable and well-protected from damage that your perspiration might cause.
The cables are detachable and replaceable. Additionally, those cables include flexible over-the-ear memory wire that delivers a good amount of security and comfort. Plus, the memory wire allows you to easily find the ideal fit for you.
And for a little extra, there is a headset that comes with a built-in microphone. As a result, you can use these IEMs with your smartphone for taking and making calls.
Along with a good quality build, these IEMs offer great comfort and fit. The Comply T-Series memory foam ear tips are well-suited to ensuring comfort and good sound isolation.
Furthermore, you get six different sized sets of silicone ear tips. So, everyone should have no problem finding the proper fit. And, the silicone ear tips also deliver in the sound isolation department. Rounding it all is a handy protective carrying case and a 1/4-inch adapter.
It’s important to remember these are budget IEMS. So, we can’t expect the sound to be mind-blowing. That said, the sound quality is tailored to singers.
Specifically, the mid-range is heightened and given greater accuracy. Plus, the treble frequencies get a more natural and smooth response. Although, there is some noticeable gain on the low-end that could put some people off.
- Great value for the price.
- Sweat-resistant, flexible detachable cables.
- Quality construction.
- Accented mid-range response.
- Multiple silicone ear tips and Comply T-Series memory foam ear tips.
- Headset cable with built-in microphone.
- Slight gain on the low-end.
- Non-standard cable connectors.
- Lacking detail in the higher frequencies.
5 Shure SE215-K Professional Sound Isolating Earphones – Best Value for the Money In-Ear Monitors for Singers
If you need in-ear monitors that offer premium audio, sound isolation, reliability, and durability beyond compare, you can end your search. The Shure SE215 is an amazing set of IEMs built to endure rough and tough use while delivering fantastic sound quality.
A standard stage monitor in your ear?
These earphones are based on personal speaker monitor technology. Those are the stage monitors most are familiar with and a product Shure has perfected. These IEMs are lightweight and feature a discreet profile.
They very much resemble any of Shure’s earbuds for personal listening. As a result, there is little fatigue wearing these for a longer set or a few encores. However, without ear hooks, the over-the-ear wires could start to become irritating. And the limited ear tip size options makes fitting these a little harder for people with ears of unusual sizes.
On the other hand, these do a very good job of blocking out ambient and mechanical noises. Along with a comfortable cable sleeve, these IEMs block out up to 37dB of unwanted sounds. Allowing you to focus on the music at hand.
Build and Comfort
In the realm of comfort, you get the Fit Kit. It comes with flex and black foam tips in S, M, and L. I’m a little disappointed with the normal foam tips. But since these weigh 6oz and have a low profile, there’s no comfort lost. It’s just that foam ear tips tend to wear out the quickest. However, the flex ear tips do a good job of blocking out ambient noise.
Keeping with Shure’s reputation for durability are the cables. A reinforced design allows the cables to withstand the rigors of live performances. Also, the cables include gold-plated connectors and a lock-snap feature. This allows you to turn the cable 360-degrees without twisting or tangling the wires.
These IEMS feature a single high-definition dynamic driver. As a result, the low-end comes through clear and full, while not overpowering the other frequencies. This little extra bass also makes these great in-ear monitors for casual listening.
Another great aspect of these Shure IEMs is that they were tested by professional musicians. Therefore, you know you will get professional-grade sound reproduction ideally designed for musicians.
- Lightweight with a discrete profile.
- Durable and reliable.
- Dynamic High-definition driver.
- Excellent low-end presence for listening on your own.
- Bluetooth option available.
- Only includes flex and foam ear tips.
- Difficult fit for large or small ears.
- Can cause some fatigue after long periods of use.
6 Sennheiser IE 500 Pro In-Ear Audio Monitor – Best In-Ear Monitor for Guitarists and Singers
An interesting set of in-ear monitors for singers, but more specifically for guitarists. Therefore, if you are a singer/guitarist, these are the ideal IEMs for you.
Powered to perform
The first thing that will strike you about these IEMs is the high-resolution, distortion-free soundstage. This is possible thanks to the next generation dynamic drivers. Many of the IEMs on this list use balanced armature drivers to zero-in on a specific frequency.
Sennheiser opted for high performing dynamic drivers in combination with a 7mm diaphragm that covers the whole frequency range. As a result, you get amazingly detailed resolution along with a neutral sound. This gets help from the TrueResponse driver system that lowers acoustic stress via distortion-freeze reproduction.
The driver construction is specifically tailored to Guitarists and singers alike. The linear frequency response and high SPL ensure the best control even in extremely loud settings.
Additionally, even at high pressure levels, you’ll get a clear and accurate sound that won’t damage your ears. That’s because of the tri-duct ventilation and two-chamber absorber inside the rugged housing surrounding the driver.
While these IEMs offer an incredible soundstage, they also deliver in terms of comfort and fit. They are flexible, compact, ergonomic, lightweight, and rugged. A secure and comfortable fit is assured using either the silicone or memory foam ear tips that come in several sizes. Both of them will mold to your ear canal and stay in place even during heavy-duty performances.
Since these come from Sennheiser, you can be sure that they are extremely reliable. The detachable twisted cable is super-tough and is claimed to feature break-proof ducting. The cable also offers great durability and longevity thanks to its design and deep-set connections.
If you are in the market for some of the best road-ready in-ear monitors for singers, you have just found them.
- Quality construction.
- 7mm dynamic driver.
- Wide linear response range of 6-20,000Hz.
- High-resolution and distortion-free.
- Ergonomic, flexible, and comfortable.
- Rugged and durable detachable cables.
- High SPL of 126dB.
- Good ear protection.
- Ideal for guitarists.
- Sizeable price tag.
- Some singers don’t like the dynamic drivers for monitoring.
- Housing feels a little flimsy.
Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers Buying Guide
When looking for the best IEMs for singers, there are a few things to watch out for. Obviously, the first concern is budget. Some in-ear monitors will be outside your budget. But it’s important to remember the more you play, the more you will get.
That said, there are plenty of quality in-ear monitors for under $150. There are a few on this list, and they perform superbly. So, whatever your budget, you should have no problem finding the right IEMs for you.
This is the most important thing to look at. As a singer, you will need your in-ear monitors to deliver a clear and accurate sound. Luckily, this rundown features IEMs that have great sound reproduction capabilities.
Of course, those with a bigger price tag will deliver unrivaled sound quality. The Sony, Audio Technica, and Moondrop in-ear monitors all provide you with sound clarity and accuracy beyond what many ears can even handle.
For noisy, live performances, the otherworldly sound quality in those IEMs will serve you well. However, the Audio Technica in-ear monitors will work as high-performance earbuds when listening to music in your free time. Audiophiles should take note.
Comfort and Fit
For singers performing on stage, these are high priorities. If you are recording or editing music, you can always take a break, but not so for live shows.
If you are a performing singer, look for in-ear monitors that offer several different ear tips and even ear hooks. This will make it easier to find a pair that will fit you comfortably and securely while on stage.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to find in-ear monitors that use memory foam for the tips. This is because memory foam offers better comfort and tends to stay in place more securely. Also, look for in-ear monitors with good sweat resistance protection. You’ll be grateful you did.
Speaking of sweat resistance, the next major thing to look for when buying in-ear monitors is how tough they are. Right at the top for durability are the Shure and Sennheiser IEMs. Both are well-established makers of rugged audio equipment.
Looking for Great Monitoring Headphones or Earbuds?
We can help you with that. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Studio Headphones For Home Recording, the Best Headphones for Mixing and Mastering, the Best Sony Headphones, the Best Headphones for Music, and the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds that you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Skullcandy Earbuds, and the Best Bass Earbuds currently on the market.
What are the Best In-Ear Monitors for Singers?
So, there you have it. I tried to feature a broad selection of IEMs for singers that included some bargain ones, middle of the road ones, and some more luxurious professional grade ones. Any of the items on this list will provide any singer with quality sound monitoring.
However, in the end, I need to pick the best of the best. To do that, I had some conditions. First, they need to be comfortable. Second, they need to be durable and reliable. Third, they need a nice neutral soundstage with good mids for the vocals. And fourth, they must not cost an arm and a leg.
It was a hard decision, but in the end, I chose the…
We really liked the MEE Audio ones, but Shure’s long history of reliability, durability, and high-quality performance won the day. These are not only great IEMs for singers; they double as amazing earbuds for listening to music.
The 37dB noise isolation is incredible. Likewise, the build is rugged and ready for the wear and tear of live performances. Sure, there are only three ear tip sizes, but the quality construction and high-level performance coupled with an attractive price point make these the best of the best.
Until next time, let the music play.