IEM choices overwhelmed

lefty2

Platinum Member
I think after this discussion I'm going to get the Shure 215 IEM there seems to be some happy users here that I'm pretty sure know what they are talking about. I appreciate everyone's responses, thank you.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
I don't even know what attenuate means.
Attenuate: Reduce the effect of something.

I have “swimmer’s ear” which means custom-molded IEM are not possible due to my ear canals’ deformation. The next choice (besides Ultra Phones) is something like the Shure SE215 to “block out” some of the room sound. My fear is that they don’t do a great job and the overall loudness with the non-custom-molded IEMs is not safe.

Using a computer (or smart phone or tablet), select the word, right-click -> Define (Macs use “Look Up”).

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lefty2

Platinum Member
Attenuate: Reduce the effect of something.

I have “swimmer’s ear” which means custom-molded IEM are not possible due to my ear canals’ deformation. The next choice (besides Ultra Phones) is something like the Shure SE215 to “block out” some of the room sound. My fear is that they don’t do a great job and the overall loudness with the non-custom-molded IEMs is not safe.

Using a computer (or smart phone or tablet), select the word, right-click -> Define (Macs use “Look Up”).

View attachment 112568
I've been using Industrial earbuds with the triple flanges for years. If you insert them properly they seal out almost all outside noise, totally safe. problem with those is that they don't have very good sound they're fine for listening to music at work as a welder in a noisy shop but on stage they don't sound very good.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I've been using the 215's for about 7 years and really like them. They attenuate similar to foam earplugs (if you use the foal tips), only they have a speaker tube going through them.
I recently go a pair of the KZ zs10 pros and they do have better sound due to having more drivers in them, but they don't seal as well as the 215's so they are my non-drumming ear buds. The sealing issue could be due to the foam comply tips, i don't know. I'm happy with the KZ's, as now I won't forget to bring my 215's home or back to the studio.
 

BGDurham

Well-known Member
I think after this discussion I'm going to get the Shure 215 IEM there seems to be some happy users here that I'm pretty sure know what they are talking about. I appreciate everyone's responses, thank you.
Sounds good. What amp you going with (if you intend to connect to an XLR, that is)? Personally I got a Behringer Powerplant P1 because it has an inline noise gate/attenuator that blocks sudden loud signals like feedback and various pops and such. I guess I wouldn't know if it works or not (unless my bandmates suddenly go do down clutching their ears in agony while I'm fine) but seems like a good idea. Have fun with them!
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
Sounds good. What amp you going with (if you intend to connect to an XLR, that is)? Personally I got a Behringer Powerplant P1 because it has an inline noise gate/attenuator that blocks sudden loud signals like feedback and various pops and such. I guess I wouldn't know if it works or not (unless my bandmates suddenly go do down clutching their ears in agony while I'm fine) but seems like a good idea. Have fun with them!
I'm not sure what my little amp is it's a 2 channel headphone amp I run my metronome through one channel and then I feed an XLR from the mixer to the amp and mix the band and the metronome
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
OK I agree my hearing is worth it.
Question: getting a mold of your ears, how does one go about doing this?
Question: And what happens if you spend $2k and you hate the sound of the IEM's?
1. An audiologist can make ear molds. They are then sent to the IEM manufacturer.
2. Tweak the EQ and pray. 😂

If you’re near Pittsburg, PA:

 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Not hear anywhere that would have a place that sells IEM.
#2. REally? I'm spending $2k on these things and that's the best answer?

You can, but you don’t have to spend that much. Under $1k, including the molds, will get you there.

I’ve owned off the shelf non-molded Shures, molded dual driver, and molded triple driver Ultimate Ears. The sound of the non-customs was actually pretty good, but the poor fit, and how the units moved around within the ear canal, prevented them from being gig-worthy. The sonic difference between the dual and triple drivers was there, but really subtle.

I always tell people to get that ambient feature with IEMs, because the most common complaint is that the wearer feels too “closed off” from the room and musicians. (You can always plug the vents with inserts if the gigs are getting up to arena-type volume.)

The mold, vents, and a dual driver design are all necessary for a pleasant IEM experience. And it ain’t cheap.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
I have a $50 pair of Shure's that I really like but they don't block out enough noise. :( So I guess I'm going to have to make the move to $$$ pair that do. :(
Before you shell out more than $250, you might wanna check out Ultraphones. I use them ‘cuz I have “surfer’s ear” (bony outgrowths in my ear canal due to surfing in cold weather/air). No audiologist will put the molding clay in my ears ‘cuz the ”bony outgrowths” are like thorns. They don’t want to risk giving me ear problems due to clay stuck on an ear canal thorn. And there’s a few hundred in each ear canal.

 

KEEF

Senior Member
Not hear anywhere that would have a place that sells IEM.
#2. REally? I'm spending $2k on these things and that's the best answer?
There is a line of diminishing returns on these imo. You are not going to get the benefit of having a 12 driver, super duper, all singing and dancing pair of iems if you're playing drums in a live band. Those are really for studio use through top of the line audio equipment.
Dual/triple drivers are more than enough for sound quality for live playing - the isolation is the more important factor.
I have Ultimate ears UE4's - they sound fantastic - and cost £500.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
I have Ultimate ears UE4's - they sound fantastic
What did the molds cost and how long did it take to get the molds?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
@cbphoto ultraphones only have 29db of sound isolation. I'm sure that's what my Shure's have, and the woodworking cans I use. This seems to be a 'universal' #/amount. Which I feel is not enough for me. :(
29dB of reduction is a lot. Most of the time, a 15 dB reduction will be plenty. Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, not linear.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I have a $50 pair of Shure's that I really like but they don't block out enough noise. :( So I guess I'm going to have to make the move to $$$ pair that do. :(
It could be that your ear canals are not getting a good seal from the earbuds, allowing too much noise to pass through. A custom mold won't have this issue.
What did the molds cost and how long did it take to get the molds?
My molds cost $75. 30 minute office appointment at an audiologist.
I started with 215's and when they eventually gave up I upgraded to 425's and didn't really notice a massive difference.
However I finally bit the bullet and got custom molded UE4's and the difference is night and day. Yes - they are expensive, but as Chris says - you can't put a price on your hearing and I have often stated they are the best money I've ever spent on anything to do with drumming.
UE's are great; I had the UE 7's (which were stolen along with some other gear), and now have the UE 11's. I've heard good things about JW. I've heard both good and bad about Westone.
 

Janet Tambour

Junior Member
There is a line of diminishing returns on these imo. You are not going to get the benefit of having a 12 driver, super duper, all singing and dancing pair of iems if you're playing drums in a live band. Those are really for studio use through top of the line audio equipment.
Dual/triple drivers are more than enough for sound quality for live playing - the isolation is the more important factor.
I have Ultimate ears UE4's - they sound fantastic - and cost £500.
I don't even see an option for UE4's. :(
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Not hear anywhere that would have a place that sells IEM.
#2. REally? I'm spending $2k on these things and that's the best answer?
Question: why are you spending $2k? My Ultimate Ears UE5’s cost me $450 including the fitting (UE came to my work and offered free fittings for all the stagehands). Of course, you can spend $2k+ on these things as they stuff more and more drivers into them, but I don’t think it’s necessary. They’re “monitors” - the idea is so you can hear everybody at a comfortable level so you don’t have to strain to listen or strain to hear. In a live band situation it’s never going to sound like listening to mastered music via headphones coming from a stereo. I just need to know if I’m singing in pitch with everybody else and to be able to hear a click while playing, so the under $500 dual driver model is fine. I don’t use them for recreational listening. My extra money went into the wireless system I use them with, because there are times when I’m moving around on stage.
 
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