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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Using in-ear monitors to...monitor

Anybody in sound land use in-ear monitors to monitor their audio when booming, etc.? I never see them in the field, but I use them. They're smaller, lighter, and give more isolation than your typical over-the-ear headphones. Of course, isolation can be a drawback at times. But I've found that when I need less isolation, I just pull them from my ears a bit.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:36 PM   #2
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I've got a pair of Shure (edit: not Sennheiser) E2s (in ear), as well as Sennheiser HD 280 Pro (over the ear, closed) headphones. Personally, I prefer the HD 280s. The main draw back with the E2s is that they have absolutely no low bass. There are frequencies that they simply cannot reproduce. The HD 280s, on the other hand, are quite flat.

The other problem with in ear phones is that they transmit body noises like breathing, swallowing and so on. Don't eat an apple while wearing them!

When I'm an airline passenger, I prefer the size and isolation of the E2s, but for all else, give me the HD 280s.

Here's a trick: if you want even more isolation, get some active sound cancellation headphones, turn them on without plugging them in, and put them over your in-ear phones.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:37 PM   #3
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I've tried several different pairs. Including very expensive Shure's. The in ear's are so much more compact and convienent it seems only natural to have them. At least for back up.

In Africa last month I did not have my old reliable sony standard 7506's for a hiking portion of my trip and not a second of audio went by without me wanting to hike back and get the over ear sony's. The in ear's were so bad I took them off and just watched the levels. For me, they were next to worthless.

I bet some amateurs use them in a pinch, but only amateurs and only in a pinch.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 02:21 AM   #4
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The Etymotic ER4P is my favorite headphone. I still own my Sony MDR-7506 pair, but they are usually handed to the camera man to plug into the snake on his end.

The ER4P's are extremely isolating, and sound at least as good as the Sony's. They're surprisingly rugged, too.

The bottom line is they're the single best move I ever made in monitoring field material. In a 24 knot wind on a recent shoot, I was able to cleanly, and with certainty, say that I got all of the wind out of the sound. It impressed the director when he went to post.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #5
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Eric makes a good point. There's a big difference between ear buds designed for general listening, even the good ones, and true in-ear monitors such as the Etymotics he mentions or Ultimate Ears that are designed to professional monitoring standards for stage performers, recordists, etc, especially when you get them custom-fitted to one's ears by an audiologist.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #6
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I have a pair of the ER-4s with custom ear molds, but I only use them for music monitoring. I find them a bit hard to take in and out on a constant basis like we do when filming. I also find the cord noise on them a bit obstructive for film.

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Old January 17th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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for headphones, the larger cans are my choice when it comes to monitoring sound for video work and mixing music. However for when I am scratching on the TT on stage, I tend to go with the smaller in ear buds, like the E2s or the E3s.

I recommend use whatever is comfortable and sounds best.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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Since I hammered in ear's so hard in the post above, I'd like to add that I've never tried the e2's or e3's. Only the Shure's which were more expensive than my sony's. I will probably try a pair now though.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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Another vote for Etymotic ER4's. I have a couple of pair and they're really quite good - or maybe that's an understatement. Of course, they aren't cheap.
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