Best In Ear Monitors – A Short Buyer’s Guide

By John Stone

Best In Ear Monitors

If you are a musician who performs live, professionaly or as an amateur, you have most probably already been in a situation where you weren’t able to

One of the main factors which dictates the quality of delivered sound, but also the price of in ear monitors, is the number of drivers used in a design. A general rule is – the more, the better, the pricier.

If you’re looking for a best buy product which will deliver most value for the money, ATH-IM02 is a great choice.

Featuring two balanced armature drivers, excellent build quality and a bright, transparent sound, this model will deliver the goods and it won’t leave a huge dent in your wallet. Its strongest weapon is the beautiful-sounding midrange. An all-round product definitely worth checking out.

Westone UM Pro10 High Performance Single Driver Noise-Isolating In-Ear Monitors

Westone UM Pro10 High Performance In-Ear Monitors

With a 25 db range of ambient noise reduction, these monitors will keep your ears focused on the music and protected from unwanted sounds. In fact, the sound isolation is so great, they could even be used as a sleeping aid. How awesome is that?

They come in a neatly designed, up-and-over ergonomic package which lowers potential microphonics and ensures stability so you don’t have to worry about potential movement.

With a single balanced armature driver, these monitors deliver outstanding sound clarity regardless of what instrument you play. And if you’re a bit of a style buff – you can even choose between clear, red, blue and smoke color schemes.

MEE audio M6 PRO Universal-Fit Noise-Isolating Musician’s In-Ear Monitors with Detachable Cables

MEE audio M6 PRO Noise-Isolating Musicians In-Ear Monitors

There’s no need to worry if your budget is a bit on the slim side because M6 PRO delivers the goods for a fraction of the price that comes with boutique models.

This is a universal-fit model with seven pairs of eartips and it comes with detachable cables so you can pack them away neatly when they’re not in use.

It’s a versatile package featuring a universal volume control, mic and remote, enabling you to easily manipulate the media playback coming from any attached compatible source (phone, tablet). If you’re new to the world of in ear monitoring – this is the best in ear monitors system to start with.

Westone UM Pro30 High Performance Triple Driver Universal Fit Earphones

Westone UM Pro30

The big brother of UM Pro10, Pro30 is a game changer. Intended for professionals who know exactly what they want from their sound picture, this is one of the best custom in ear monitors on the market.

The triple driver system delivers a perfect mix of low, mid and high frequencies to ensure superb quality of sound without compromise, universal fit eartips for maximum comfort and built-to-last quality.

It has crisp highs with great presence, creamy and warm mids, rounded up with perfectly balanced lows. Thinking of taking a big step up with your sound? Look no further. Hand crafted in Colorado Springs, USA.

Audio-Technica ATH-IM70 Dual symphonic-driver In-ear Monitor headphones (Japan Import)

Audio-Technica ATH-IM70

The ATH-IM70 might impress you with its sleek design, but rest assured design is not the only thing people from Audio-Technica had in mind when they crafted this little beast.

A best-value product, powered by a dual symphonic driver, capable of delivering some serious bang for the buck.

Built like a tank, these headphones are meant to be used and abused and ask for more. They produce a very good, realistic soundstage sound with a bit of a prominence on the bass. Overall, a well rounded package, most definitely a worthy investment.



Driver Type

Frequency Response (Hz)



Audio Technica ATH-IM01 SonicPro Balanced In-Ear Monitor Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-IM02


20 – 15,000


Westone UM Pro10 High Performance In-Ear Monitors

Westone UM Pro10


20 – 16,000


MEE audio M6 PRO Noise-Isolating Musicians In-Ear Monitors

MEE audio M6 PRO


20 – 20,000


Westone UM Pro30

Westone UM Pro30


20 – 18,000


Audio-Technica ATH-IM70

Audio-Technica ATH-IM70


5 – 26,000



Having a good set of in ear monitors can be a life saver if you’re a touring musician. Gigging lots of clubs and having to play under less than ideal stages is of course nobody’s idea of a fun time, so it’s really important to make your life easier. Dealing with poorly lit stages and (sometimes) bad sound guys is one thing, but bad on stage sound – that’s a whole other level of bad. Especially if you’re doing it professionaly.

Investing in gear is almost as important as learning to play an instrument. It simply can’t go on without the other. Getting a solid set of in ear monitors, or at least noise cancelling earbuds, will drastically improve your sound picture and levels of enjoyment from a gig. Take some time and find the perfect in ear monitors for you, you’ll most certainly be happy you did when you realize the difference.

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