If you are a gigging musician, the chances are you’ve played a show where you haven’t been able to hear yourself. I have experienced this one too many times and when I’m not able to hear myself in a live situation my performance suffers and I find it highly uninspiring.
- The Need & Benefits of In-ear monitors
- What to look for when buying in-ear monitors?
- 1) Shure SE215 In Ear Monitors
- 2) Westone AM Pro 10 In-Ear Monitors
- 3) MEE Audio MX3 Pro
- 4) BASN Tripple Driver In-Ear Monitors
- 5) Shure SE315
- What’s The Verdict?
On The contrary, if you’ve played a gig and have been able to hear your guitar, then like me, you have probably found it to improve your performance and overall enjoyment of the gig you’re playing. Not being able to hear myself led me to search for the best solution.
I landed up finding that in-ear monitors were the answer to my problems. I’m sharing with you today a list of the best in ear monitors under $200 dollars for guitar players. However, these will suit any musician no matter what instrument you play
|Shure SE215||WESTONE AM 10||BASN Bmaster||MEE AUDIO MX3||Shure SE315|
|TOP CHOICE||MOST ERGONOMIC||BEST NEWCOMER||Tripple Drivers||DUAL DRIVERS|
**See below for full product reviews & more**
The Need & Benefits of In-ear monitors
The benefits of investing in a pair of in-ear monitors for live performances are one that is best experienced rather than described. Having said that it is important to outline the need and overall benefits of in-ear monitors.
- You can hear your instrument anywhere on the stage
- full range of frequency and sound from your instrument (and band) at all times
- Protect Your hearing by being able to control the overall volume of your instrument and/or band
- Sound isolation lets you cut out the sound you don’t want and add the sound you do.
- No need to lug around a heavy wedges/monitors anymore
- Improve your performance by being able to hear yourself at all times
What to look for when buying in-ear monitors?
There are a number of things to look for when buying in ear monitors. The in-ears we have featured in our list tick all the boxes when it comes to the criteria below.
We thought it was important to note that the criteria for in ear monitors differ a lot from that of headphones/in-ears that are being used for listening purposes only. We are featuring in ears for musicians that would like to monitor their instruments, hear themselves and their band, etc.
First and foremost, the quality of sound that the in-ear monitor should be of concern to anyone looking to buy in ears. Bad quality of sound can ruin your live experience.
On the other hand, a pair of in-ear monitors that have good sound quality can drastically improve your performance and guitar playing.
A good thing to look for when buying in-ear monitors is the bass response they produce. It is not made or break however, being able to hear the bass and low-end frequencies is better for an overall sound and gives you a better feel as a guitar player.
It sounds weird when put into words but the benefits of good bass response can be felt immediately.
Comfortability, Fit & Flexibility
You’ll be wearing in ears when practicing most likely as well as when playing a gig so for that reason it is important that the in-ear monitors fit your ears comfortably.
A comfortable set of in-ears that fits well can make you sometimes forget that you even have them in your ears.
This may not be an important aspect for some to consider but for other guitar players, the discreteness of the in-ears is essential. Good in-ears need to wrap around the ears and look neat and discreet.
A good set of in-ear monitors need to be built well. They do not only need to be built well but they need to be able to last and withstand the constant use and abuse that comes from gigs and live performances.
Now for the List of the best in ear monitors for guitar players under 200..
1) Shure SE215 In Ear Monitors
When it comes to in-ear monitors, Shure is undoubtedly the most popular brand worldwide. And, the SE215 model is no exception. In fact, they are one of the most popular in-ear monitors used by both professional and amateur musicians around the world. The SE215s are an excellent choice for gigging guitarists looking for a full range of sound with a slight emphasis on bass from their IEMs.
Features: One of the standout features of the SE215s is its sound quality. For under $200, it is hard to find a set of in-ear monitors that produces such a clear and natural sound. The enhanced bass and low-end response of these earphones make them a favorite among guitar players who need to hear their bass player and drummer clearly.
Comfort & Fit: In terms of comfort and fit, the SE215 comes with a range of different tips and nozzles. Thus, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your ears. The cable is detachable, and the ends are made from bendable wire. This means you can mold and fit them around your ears to get your own custom fit.
Sound Isolation: The SE215 buds also come with awesome sound Isolating technology. They can block up to 37 dB of noise. I was initially skeptical about noise isolation. Especially for the stage and playing live. However, I was quickly proven wrong. With the incredible isolation, you’re able to get the clearest and most organic sound coming from your IEMs. I like to add a little bit of reverb to my monitor mix just to give it a slight touch of extra depth.
Build Quality: I’ve owned this model of in-ears for 6 years now and they are still working and going strong. Granted, I have gone through two cables in that time.
But, you can easily get replacement cables on Amazon cheaply as these in-ears have detachable. With that said, These in-ears are made to last and withstand tough gigging conditions.
2) Westone AM Pro 10 In-Ear Monitors
I recently had the opportunity to try out the AM Pro 10 In-Ear Monitors from Westone. And I must say that I am thoroughly impressed. In my opinion, these are some of the most ergonomic and discreet in-ear monitors on the market for under $200, while still maintaining a high standard of sound quality and build for professional and gigging musicians.
Unique Feature: One of the standout features of the AM Pro 10 is their SLED Technology. What this technology does is combines passive ambient sound with the monitor mix. This unique feature allows you to feel part of the band and the crowd by providing just the right amount of isolation, without completely blocking out your surroundings. This is a game-changer for guitarists who want to be connected to their environment and fellow band members.
Frequency Response: Another important factor to consider when it comes to in-ear monitors is the frequency response. And, the AM Pro 10 delivers a clear and dynamic sound across all frequencies. I was impressed by the single balanced-armature driver that reproduces a dynamic soundstage with all the detail and clarity that guitar players have come to expect from a professional in-ear monitor.
Comfort and Fit: Lastly, when it comes to comfort and fit, the AM Pro 10 stands out as the most comfortable in-ear monitors for this price range. They have been ergonomically designed to withstand hours of use, and the silicone tips that come in five different sizes make them incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
3) MEE Audio MX3 Pro
The MEE MX3 PRO in-ear monitors deliver a detailed and clear sound. With a focus on midrange frequencies.
When it comes to drivers, they come with a triple-driver configuration. Also, they include a 10mm moving coil subwoofer and two balanced armatures. This hybrid driver setup allows for a much wider range of frequencies, resulting in a clear and crisp sound with the perfect amount of bass response.
The MX3s also come with optional customization features, including 3D-printed custom-fit ear tips and engraved metal faceplates.
In terms of design, they have been made with ergonomics in mind. As well as the flexible memory wire ear hooks that ensure a secure and comfortable fit. Thus, making these monitors perfect for extended sessions and sets. With sweat-resistant construction and detachable cables, the MX3 PRO is built to last, making them great value for the price.
I should point out that MEE Audio also makes a cheaper, but just as good version in the MX1 and MX2 models respectively.
4) BASN Tripple Driver In-Ear Monitors
These BASN in-ear monitors are worth considering for anyone seeking quality sound at an affordable price.
They offer dynamic drivers that enhance the lower bass frequencies. For guitar, this might not be something you would normally consider. However, what I like about the enhanced bass frequencies is that I can really feel the drums as well as the bass guitar in my monitor mix. This allows for a way more immersive experience. BASN has taken great care to refine these IEMs to its extremely high standards, over the course of 5
Features: Now, let’s talk about the features. The flexible over-the-ear memory wire is customizable to the shape of your ears. This means that the earbuds stay securely in place. This is a super important element for me due to the fact that I move around a lot when I am on stage. I’ve tried many in-ear monitors that move around which is an instant turn-off for me.
Drivers & Sound: With the BASN in-ears you get a triple driver in each bud. This delivers even better bass, midrange, and powerful highs. Something that I have yet to find in a pair at this price point is the 10mm large dynamic drivers made of beryllium
Cable and Jack: The updated woven cable is detachable, and the free copper low-impedance wire ensures the transmission of audio signals. They will easily attach to nearly all 3.5mm jacks, making them a versatile and adaptable choice.
Comfort & Isolation: One of the highlights is the amazing sound isolation. These earbuds can block up to 37 dB of noise, meaning you can fully immerse yourself in your guitar playing without being disturbed. Ergonomics were not ignored when designing these monitors with the earphone shell ensuring long-wearing comfort, even for extended periods of time feel like nothing at all.
And finally, the standard MMCX connector allows for a 360-degree swivel, resulting in a customized, comfortable and ergonomic fit.
5) Shure SE315
The Shure SE315’s are a model above the SE215 which I have featured as my best set of in-ear monitors at this price point. While they both share some similarities, there are in fact, several key differences between the two models.
Firstly, the SE215 pair come with a single driver. On the contrary, the SE315s come with a dual driver. What this means is that the SE315 has two drivers to handle the audio frequencies, whereas the SE215 only has one driver. This results in a slightly more accurate and detailed sound, particularly in the midrange and high frequencies.
Having said that, the 215 is often preferred over the 315 because it offers more bass response. However, the SE315 gives you a more balanced overall sound. I prefer the SE215 set for playing Live as I enjoy the extra bass response. However, for home use and for recording guitar, I like to use the SE315 set.
It is important for me to point out that, although I added these to the list, they are slightly more than 200. However, only by a small margin so I squeezed them onto this list.
What’s The Verdict?
This is a tough one to sum up. Because, I would gladly use any of these for all purposes including practice, stage, and recording. However, If I had to pick one I would still go with the Shure SE215s. Sure, other sets on this list have more features. But, with Shure, I know what I am getting.
That is because I have used them for such a long time. The Westone is undoubtedly one of the better options so you can’t go wrong with those. The same can be said about the rest of this list. It will all come down to what you find important in terms of features.
This includes elements to consider such as drivers, sound signature, frequency response as well as all the other aspects I have already covered. Seriously, I mean it when I say, you cannot go wrong with any of thew options I have used and reviewed in this article.
Hey, fellow guitar mate! I’m Justin, I have been a professional guitarist since 2012. I have traveled the world playing on different stages alongside some of the best indie bands, at some of the biggest music festivals in the world. As a result, I’ve played lots of different guitar gear. Instead of keeping that knowledge to myself, I have set up this site to share my honest reviews of various guitar gear. But most notably, my love for guitar picks.