Three decades of in-ear monitors

With hearing health never far from the thoughts of artists and crew alike and the technology within the in-ear monitor market continuing to grow to meet the increasing demand, some of the key market players discuss their innovations and share valuable advice for users.

When I started at TPi, I remember one of the first questions I would ask a monitor engineer was: ‘What are you using for the artist’s onstage sound?’ Back then, many productions opted for one of three options – wedges and side fills; in-ear monitors (IEMs); or, what was often the most popular option, a hybrid of the two. With the ever-growing sophistication of IEMs, not to mention a lot of guitarists and bassists opting for digital amp options, completely quiet stages – bar the drummer – have become the norm, with all on-stage sound being delivered through IEMs.

Words: Stew Hume

Photos: 64 Audio, Cosmic Ears, JH Audio and Sensaphonics