Benefits of In-Ear Monitors for Live Performance

Achieving the perfect mix on stage can pose a challenge to even the most seasoned of performers. While a qualified live sound engineer can usually arrive at a sweet spot in the mix, they can be somewhat limited by the use of traditional stage monitors, or wedges. When performing in a group setting using traditional monitors – or when using instruments that produce high volumes – it can often prove difficult to pick out the individual instruments and nuances of the piece being performed. As a result, performers are left with a subpar or “good enough” mix.

In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) are worn by performers of all kinds, from vocalists to hard rock drummers, hobbyist blues guitarists to professional pop stars. The benefits of IEMs as a performance-enhancing tool are becoming more widely known and accepted, and as technology becomes more accessible many of us are wondering: is it time to abandon the wedge and make the leap to In-Ear Monitoring?

Musician J-Brab on stage wearing the Campfire Audio Equinox

From the point of view of the performer, IEMs provide numerous benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Feedback Elimination – Placing the monitor’s “speaker” in your ear allows you and your fellow on-stage performers to set your mics to a suitable volume without worry of pushing things to the limit and creating the dreaded feed back loop.
  • A Perfect Mix – The superior isolation of IEMs allows the wearer to experience a mix unacheivable using wedges. With limited or no ambient noise to worry about, you can acheive a more accurate representation of your performance, as it should be heard.
  • On Stage Mobility – Traditional monitors are only useful if you are standing in front of them. When using IEMs the wearer has the ability to move around the stage without loss of sound quality or volume, enhancing their performance and allowing for better audience engagement.
  • Protect Your Hearing – Wedges can require high volumes to be heard over the instruments being played on stage. Repeated use of speakers at high volume without the use of hearing protection can result in hearing damage, and even when using “earplugs” you’re often left with muffled, inaccurate sound quality. The use of IEMs reduces the risk of hearing damage by insulating the wearer from outside noise, while directing the sound to the ear at a safer volume
  • Pristine Sound Quality – Clarity of sound that traditional stage monitors are incapable of achieving. No distortion, no feedback, only the sounds you want to hear, as they should be heard.

While this list of benefits is by no means exhaustive, it is clear that using IEMs in place of traditional stage monitors will enhance your performance and give you the clarity of sound needed to feel confident in any live setting. Check out our product guides to help you determine which Campfire Audio IEM is the right fit for you.

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