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Shure in-ear monitor being used on stage

Shure In-Ear Monitors

Today we’re going to take a closer look at one of the many ways Shure can improve live stage performances: in-ear monitors. We’ll also compare the options available from Shure.

If you’re a musician, you know that one of the primary factors in a great live performance is having the ability to hear yourself. Now, I know that may seem a little self-centered and typical of your average front man, but far from being egocentric it actually does make quite a difference to the performance as a whole. Out front, being able to hear your performance brings three distinct advantages: balance, tone and vocal preservation. When you can hear yourself in the mix it allows you to blend better with the instruments and other vocals. It also better keeps you in key and prevents you from drifting flat or sharp. Lastly, for vocalists competing with the din of sounds from the stage, the better they can hear themselves the less they need to push their voices to fight over the sound.

In the past few decades, musicians have relied on two main sources to provide this monitoring: wedges and in-ear monitors. Wedges are basically speakers turned around and directed at the musicians and in-ears are earbuds fit into the musicians ear to provide their own mix of the stage sound directly to their ear. While both have their advantages and disadvantages (not to mention die-hard advocates of each), today we’re going to highlight in-ear monitors and talk specifically about some of the products that Shure has to offer. 

Benefit of In-Ear Monitors

The greatest benefit in-ear monitors provide is the ability of the performers to hear themselves clearly without the interference of stage noise. The sound is sent directly to their ears and not trying to push through the sound of instruments and reverb of the room to reach the performer. What’s more is you can more personalize the volume and mix according to your preferences. Invariably, the sound quality from IEMs is much better than what you would get from a wedge monitor. Also, by removing wedges you reduce the potential of feedback and free the stage of clutter providing more ease of movement without fear of straying out of range from the music.

In-ear monitors consist of a rack-mounted transmitter, a body pack receiver and a set of earphones. The transmitter transmits the sound waves wirelessly to the receiver which amplifies the sound and sends it to the earphones. The receivers can receive audio from only one transmitter but a transmitter can transmit sound to multiple body pack receivers. The transmitter is typically set next to a mixer which can be adjusted to send the audio feeds into the transmitters. 

In-Ear Monitor Operation Modes

Shure in-ear monitor systems have three different operational modes: stereo, mono and mix. In stereo, the sound engineer creates a stereo mix which is fed to the receiver and the performer is able to hear the left and right mixes in the respective earphones. With mono mode, the same mix can be heard in both the left and right earphone with no difference. Mix mode is incredibly versatile in that it gives the performer the ability to not only adjust the volume of the music but also some control over their own mix so they can adjust the relative levels of their sound to the rest of the band similar to a cross fader on a DJ mixer. All Shure earphones are sound isolating earphones which reduce background noise significantly resulting in a crystal clear mix. 

Shure In-Ear Monitoring Systems

When it comes to deciding on the right system, Shure has the solution to fit your needs. They feature three different in-ear monitoring systems that will fit any production. 

PSM300– A strong all-around monitoring system that is user friendly and great for small venues and productions.

  • Detailed, 24-bit digital wireless audio
  • Up to 15 channels
  • Up to 24MHz of tuning bandwidth
  • Easy-to-use pre-programmed groups and channels
  • Transmit stereo or mono mix
  • MixMode® delivers L/R levels independently to create a personal mix for each bodypack
  • P3T wireless transmitter is housed in a rugged, all-metal chassis
  • Transmits up to 300 feet without artifacts and dropouts
  • One-touch IR sync instantly links transmitter to bodypack receiver
  • Comes with a choice of the reliable P3R bodypack or the all-metal P3RA bodypack
  • Prices from $699

PSM900– Meets the needs of professional audio applications of all kinds, providing excellent audio quality and reliable RF performance. 

  • 20 compatible channels per frequency band
  • 36MHz to 40MHz tuning bandwidth (region dependent)
  • P9T half-rack wireless transmitter with balanced connection and front or back antenna mounts
  • Patented Audio Reference Companding offers natural and transparent sound
  • Precision front-end RF filtering significantly reduces RF interference
  • Exceptional transmitter linearity vastly reduces frequency intermodulation
  • Auto RF gain control prevents signal distortion due to RF overload 
  • CueMode allows monitoring of different stage mixes and storing of up to 20 separate channels on one bodypack for quick and easy reference
  • Front Panel RF mute switch for enabling or disabling RF transmission
  • Use Scan and Sync to scan the RF environment with the bodypack and assign the identified group and channel to your system over wireless IR link
  • MixMode® delivers L/R levels independently to create a personal mix for each bodypack
  • LCD menu with grouped menu items for easier user interface
  • Prices from $1,418

PSM1000- With a category-leading combination of the finest audio quality, robust RF performance, and touring-grade features, this is the choice of top-tier audio professionals for productions with zero room for error. 

  • Up to 39 channels in a single frequency band with the widest PSM tuning range, ultra-linear RF transmission, and fewer dropouts than any other system.
  • Up to 72 MHz Tuning Bandwidth (region dependent) 
  • P10T is a full-rack, dual-channel wireless transmitter housed in a touring-grade, all-metal chassis
  • P10R+ twin-antenna diversity bodypack receivers with advanced digital signal processing technology
  • CueMode allows monitoring of different stage mixes and storing of up to 20 separate channels on one bodypack for quick and easy reference
  • Networked control via Ethernet connection 
  • Fully networkable with Shure Wireless Workbench® software.
  • Internal power supply with IEC in/out ports
  • Patented Audio Reference Companding provides natural and transparent sound
  • Backwards compatibility with PSM® 900 receivers 
  • Prices from $5,105

I hope this overview helped you understand the remarkable benefits of in-ear monitor systems and how Shure can help you obtain the best production quality possible. If you have any questions or need help in choosing the right system for you, please give us a call. We’d be happy to assist you!

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