The Best In Ear Monitors for Musicians - Wireless

The Highest Rated In Ear Monitor Systems

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One of the best ways to improve your live performances is with proper monitoring. For many people, hearing themselves or other performers helps them keep track of the music better.

Sometimes however, the demand to be heard results in excessively loud stage volumes. This is where Wireless In-Ear Monitoring systems come in. IEMs enable performers to more accurately hear a monitor mix regardless of their position on stage.

No longer a luxury item, these wireless systems can now be found in almost any price range.

IEMs also make it possible to do away with conventional stage monitors, dramatically reducing stage volume for easier sound management. This gives mix engineers more headroom to tweak the Front of House mix.

In this February 2022 edition, we present you with the Best In-Ear Monitor Systems. The selections are divided into three categories: single receiver, twin pack and four pack. We have also included a section with information about Things To Consider when choosing your in-ear monitor system.

The Best In Wireless In Ear Monitor Systems

Author & Contributors

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

I've been an audio engineer for 20 years specializing in rock and metal recordings, and also I play guitar and produce original music for my band and other content creators.

Single Receivers

Xvive U4

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$229
Xvive U4 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

Cons

  • Built in battery is not user serviceable

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Built in rechargeable batteries
  • Good battery life - will last for an entire gig without recharging

Xvive provides compact and affordable in-ear monitoring that does not come with an actual earpiece, so you can use your preferred headphones or earphones.

It is designed to be easy to use, operating on the 2.4Ghz frequency, with a range of over 90 feet with clear line of sight, making it more than enough for most small venues.

This system runs a rechargeable battery that can last up to 5 hours.

The thing that sets the Xvive system apart from the others is the transmitter's extremely small size. At first this might not seem like much of a big deal, but when you're jumping around on stage it feels like it's more secure and there's less size to get in the way of your guitar (I'm also a guitarist).

Having rechargeable batteries built in is also a plus for me because constantly having to buy disposable batteries really starts to add up if you play a lot of gigs. The only complaint I have is that the batteries aren't user serviceable, and as you probably know from your mobile phone, eventually the battery life will degrade and in a couple of years you will need to get it replaced.

Other than that, the XVive U4 is a good affordable investment for those who want to test the waters of in-ear monitoring.

Features

  • Transmitter: U4T
  • Receiver: U4R
  • Earphones: None
  • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
  • Transmitter Input: 1 x XLR
  • Transmitter Output: None
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: Rechargeable Lithium-ion

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar Interactive Jonathan Graham 95/100
YouTube Aaron Short Music 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Shure PSM 300 (P3TR112GR)

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$749
Shure PSM300 P3TR112GR Wireless In-ear Monitor System

Cons

  • Transmitter batteries only last reliably for a bit over 2 hours

Pros

  • One touch frequency scan makes set up easy
  •  

The P3TR112GR version of the PSM 300 set offers a different bodypack than its upmarket twin, the P3TRA215CL.

This doesn't mean that sound quality and signal fidelity is sacrificed with the lower price.

The set still features one touch frequency scan and IR sync. This is a time saving feature and if you're band is using multiple units, then setting them to separate frequencies is a breeze.

It uses 2 AA batteries in the transmitter which start to run down after a couple of hours, so if you play multiple sets each gig then you'll want to have spare batteries ready to go. And if you play a lot of gigs you'll save quite a bit of cash if you invest in rechargeable batteries.

If you're looking for a wireless IEM set from a reliable brand for just the right budget, the Shure PSM300 P3TR112GR is a great pick.

Features

  • Transmitter: P3T
  • Receiver: P3R
  • Earphones: SE112
  • Frequency Range: G20 (488MHz-512MHz), H20 (518MHz-541MHz), J13 (566MHz-590MHz) bands available
  • Number of Frequencies: 15
  • Transmitter Input: 2 x 1/4"
  • Transmitter Output: 2 x 1/4" (loop out)
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: 2 x AA Batteries
  • Earphone Freq Response: 25Hz-17kHz
  • Earphone Cable Length: 50"

Shure PSM 300 (P3TRA215CL)

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 400+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$849
Shure PSM 300 P3TRA215CL Wireless In Ear Monitor System

Cons

  • Transmitter batteries only last reliably for a little over 2 hours

Pros

  • Quick and easy to setup
  • The bodypack has mixing controls

Shure built their reputation on the quality and reliability of their products, and this same principle is at work in the PSM 300.

This IEM system comes packed with features that make it easy to setup, including its one touch frequency scan and IR sync, which automatically finds and assigns a clean wireless channel for the system to use.

The bodypack also features mixing control so you can set or adjust your monitor mix and levels the way you want to in real time.

Battery drain is also an issue with this model so if you perform for more than 2 hours of performance time at a gig, you should have backup batteries ready.

If you're looking for a wireless IEM system with Shure's brand of reliability without going above one grand, then get the Shure PSM 300 (P3TRA215CL).

Features

  • Transmitter: P3T
  • Receiver: P3RA
  • Earphones: 2 x IE 4
  • Frequency Range: 488MHz-512MHz
  • Number of Frequencies: 15
  • Transmitter Input: 2 x TRS
  • Transmitter Output: 2 x TRS
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: 2 x AA Batteries
  • Earphone Freq Response: 40Hz-20kHz
  • Earphone Cable Length: 4.6'

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Equipboard davesolus 80/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Sennheiser EW IEM G4

98
GEARANK

98 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1049
Sennheiser EW IEM G4 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Wireless In Ear Monitor System.

Cons

  • No complaints

Pros

  • Very good range
  • Suitable for venues prone to interference

Sennheiser is a familiar brand in professional music circles, rightfully so because they continue to receive acclaim for the quality of their products. They enter this list with the Sennheiser EW IEM G4, a versatile In-Ear Monitor system with multiple channel operation and a wide range of frequency selection.

It is designed to work within as many venues and situations as possible, with its wide frequency selection (1,680), up to 61 channels, and up to 42MHz of bandwidth.

You can also adjust RF output power from 10 to 30 to 50 mW for a transmission range of up to 330 feet.

Both the good range and frequency options can be very important if you play shows in places that tend to have a lot of radio interference, casinos are often an example of this with their multiple stages and performance areas.

To simplify setup, it features automatic frequency scan and adaptive diversity. It also has a nifty lock function so you don't accidentally change your settings.

If you play in large venues or ones prone to interference, then this is the wireless system to get.

Features

  • Transmitter: SR IEM G4
  • Receiver: EK IEM G3
  • Earphones: 2 x IE 4
  • Frequency Range: Up to 42MHz
  • Number of Frequencies: 1680
  • Transmitter Input: 2 x XLR/1/4" Combo
  • Transmitter Output: 2 x 1/4" (loop out), 1 x RJ-45 (ethernet)
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: 2 x AA Batteries
  • Earphone Cable Length: 55"

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Chris Mutch-Jones 98/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Twin Packs

Xvive Audio U4R2

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$339
Xvive Audio U4R2 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

Cons

  • Built in battery is not user serviceable

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Built in rechargeable batteries
  • Good battery life - will last for an entire gig without recharging

The Xvive Audio U4R2 shares the same receiver as the standard U4 but comes with 2 receivers.

Like the U4, it operates on the 2.4Ghz frequency, with a range of over 90 feet within line of sight, and a rechargeable battery with up to 5 hours of operation on full charge.

Adding to the U4 with 2 bodybacks, the Xvive U4R2 still reaps all the Pros of the U4 wireless series despite its built-in batteries.

Features

  • Transmitter: U4T
  • Receiver: 2 x U4R
  • Earphones: None
  • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
  • Transmitter Input: 1 x XLR
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: Rechargeable Lithium-ion

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar Interactive Jonathan Graham 95/100
YouTube Aaron Short Music 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Sennheiser EW IEM G4-TWIN

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1349
Sennheiser EW IEM G4-TWIN Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

Cons

  • No complaints

Pros

  • Very good range
  • Suitable for venues prone to interference

This sports the same features as the single version, only this one has two receivers bundled.

As such you get the same benefits like wide frequency selection (1,680), and multiple channel operation, and make better use of the said features with two receivers already included in the package.

Other features include automatic frequency scan and adaptive diversity which make setting up the twin pack easier.

With Sennheiser's reputation for quality, this is a good value package to get if you're looking for a two receiver In-Ear Monitoring system, particularly in venues prone to radio interference.

Features

  • Transmitter: SR IEM G4
  • Receiver: 2 x EK IEM G3
  • Earphones: 2 x IE 4
  • Frequency Range: Up to 42MHz
  • Number of Frequencies: 1680
  • Transmitter Input: 2 x XLR/1/4" Combo
  • Transmitter Output: 2 x 1/4" (loop out), 1 x RJ-45 (ethernet)
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: 2 x AA Batteries
  • Earphone Cable Length: 55"

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Florin G 93/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Four Pack

Xvive Audio U4R4

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$569
Xvive Audio U4R4 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

Cons

  • Built in battery is not user serviceable

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Built in rechargeable batteries
  • Good battery life - will last for an entire gig without recharging

The Xvive Audio U4R4 is similar to the Xvive U4 but it comes with 4 receivers.

Similar the single unit U4, the operation frequency is 2.4Ghz and a range of 90 feet within line of sight.

The U4R4 has rechargeable batteries with up to 5 hours of operation time.

For the best value in 4-pack wireless IEM sets, the Xvive Audio U4R4 stands alone at the top with its high ratings because of its great value to performance ratio.

Features

  • Transmitter: U4T
  • Receiver: U4R
  • Earphones: None
  • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
  • Number of Frequencies: NA
  • Transmitter Input: 1 x XLR
  • Transmitter Output: None
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: Rechargeable Lithium-ion
  • Earphone Freq Response: NA
  • Earphone Cable Length: NA

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Guitar Interactive Jonathan Graham 95/100
YouTube expert island 97/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Things to Consider When Buying a Wireless In Ear Monitor System

The Importance of FCC 2020 Compliance

FCC regulations that came into effect on July 13, 2020 mean some older wireless systems are longer able to be legally used in the United States. The frequencies that you can no longer use are 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz. All of the wireless systems that we have recommended allow you to operate outside those frequencies and are compliant with the regulations. For more information read this FCC consumer guide. The regulations that apply to wireless microphones also apply to wireless in ear monitors.

Multi-Channel Mixing

This allows performers to personalize their own monitoring experience, and make necessary adjustments in real-time, while still giving the sound engineer control when needed. The end result of using this feature properly is hearing yourself better, which when set right, can dramatically improve your playing and performance.

Frequency Range

This specification details the range of frequencies that the wireless system can operate in. With careful planning, you can use this information to maximize the number of IEM systems that you can simultaneously use on stage, by buying those that can work together. Since these systems operate using unlicensed frequency bands, they can be prone to interference, so the more the range of operation, the easier it is to switch to clean frequencies as you move from venue to venue. Note that some of these wireless systems have alternate versions that operate using different frequency bands. While most wireless systems have built-in automatic scan and sync features, there may be times when you'll have to take control and set frequencies yourself. This is particularly true where multiple stages or venues are close to each other as often found in venues like casinos.

Frequency Response

This specification indicates the frequencies that the earpiece can reproduce. The lower the starting range, the more bass frequencies it can produce, while the top range dictates the high frequencies it can handle. Musicians that need to hear more lows, like bassists and drummers will want to look at those with good low frequency response. Some people even end up replacing the earpiece just to hear the lows better.

Earbuds

The earbuds play a very critical role, not only do they play the sound directly to your ear canal, they also have to block out ambient sound and at the same time hold the earpiece assembly in place. Earbuds that are bundled with readily available IEMs are generic, which means that they may or may not perfectly fit your ear, thankfully there are those that offer different sized buds, in case the default one doesn't fit well. To get the most out of your IEM system, you can go for "custom molded" earbuds that are meant to perfectly fit your ear, the caveat is that these personalized ear buds can be expensive.

Receiver Battery

Most IEM receivers are powered by two AA batteries, and since these batteries are widely available, they are the easiest to replace. Still, the cost of having to replace these batteries can add up when the receiver is used on a regular basis. Some manufacturers have opted for built-in rechargeable batteries, which can be cost-effective in the long run. One crucial thing to consider when opting for units with built-in batteries is that some of them will not be readily replaceable. Some units require you to send them to the manufacturer or service center to replace. Doing it yourself will most likely void any warranty the unit has.

Best In Ear Monitors Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the current edition was published on February 8, 2022.

We started off by looking at the best rated FCC compliant in-ear monitors that are widely available in the US. We then gathered and analyzed over 2,600 rating sources, including the most recent reviews, ratings and expert recommendations up to February of 2022. All these data were then fed to the Gearank Algorithm which gave us the rating scores out of 100 that you see above. These scores reflect relative market sentiment about each system, and we used the scores to select the best in ear wireless systems in three different categories: Single Receiver, Twin Packs and Four Packs. For more information about our methods please read How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

I've been an audio engineer for 20 years specializing in rock and metal recordings, and also I play guitar and produce original music for my band and other content creators.

Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Alexander Briones: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com using photographs of the Xvive U4. Shure PSM 300 and Sennheiser EW IEM G4.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

Thanks for the review

Thanks for the review everyone - super helpful. Few questions.

It looks like you removed the lower end Galaxy 4-pack system in 2021 but curious what you think of their higher end models?

What are some of the key differentiators between the AS-950-4 band pack and the comparably priced Xvive 4-pack? Thinking stereo optionality with Galaxy line is nice, and although the provided earphones are probably garbage, the package would be helpful for setting up a band with limited funds.

With the Xvive operating at 2.4GHz, does that mean it is not subject to RFI? Or less likely? Not super familiar with the frequency ranges and potential interference issues..

We didn't originally publish

We didn't originally publish our rating for the AS-950-4 because its preliminary rating fell below our threshold for being added to the shortlist - I've published it now and you can see its rating in this list of 4 pack systems.

I'll let Raphael respond to the other parts of your post.

Hello Cooper,

Hello Cooper,

Regarding the AS-950-4 vs the Xvive 4-pack, The Galaxy Audio pack has a rackmount receiver while the Xvive has a more compact form factor for both the transmitters and the receivers. This is the main factor people gravitate towards the Xvive and their sentiments are reflected on its higher Gearank Rating.

As for your RFI question, the short answer is yes because devices operating with that chipset do not use FM Modulation like UHF units.

If anything, at this range, Wi-Fi interference is more likely. Fortunately, many wireless audio products operating at this range (mainly the best ones) have been calibrated not to conflict with Wi-Fi routers.

Hope that answers your questions!

-Raphael

I know this is different but:

I know this is different but: Have you looked at any of the systems that work with an iPhone that let you mix your own blend? Examples would be PreSonus Q Mix or the X32 rack by Midas? This is still relatively new tech but wondering if it is worth the look? The idea is that each person is responsible for their own mix and can dial in as much or as little of what they want to hear.

What do you think of LD

What do you think of LD Systems MEI, LD MEI 1000 wireless or, Shure PSM 200 SE 112. We use wireless mics and wedges. Over the last year I started getting ringing in my ears so I'm looking for something that will protect my ears better playing out and that doesn't have any static noise and will give me the sound so I can sound better myself. I can't spend more than $400. Thanks

There aren't a lot of good

There aren't a lot of good systems in the sub $400 price range, but I'll try to help.

Probably your best option would be the Carvin Audio EM900 which is currently on special for $379 - read our EM900 meta review here.

The LD Systems MEI 1000 hasn't been rated by us so I can't help you with that one, but we did rate the Shure PSM 200 but it's no longer widely available in the USA however here is its rating.

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your advice. I realize $400 isn't much for quality. I may go up to $700. Will the Carvin Audio and the Shure both be for the new rules of 2020?

The current Carvin Audio

The current Carvin Audio EM900 and all current Shure systems are compliant with the new FCC rules, however I can't guarantee that a second hand Shure PSM 200 system will be.

Make sure any system you buy does not use the frequency bands 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz if you want to be able to use them when the new rules come into effect.

I am a non believer in the

I am a non believer in the need for an in ear monitoring system with bands on the local level. First, I am old school. 61 years old, and have always performed with traditional wedges. I tried ear buds when they firs came out. Ours were ("hardwired"), and came with zero fidelity, and loads of discomfort. Up to , and including a dreadful inner ear infection for all members. Now, after decades of honing my craft, I am playing in a very high profile local act that requires me using the buds again. I have been loaned a set of SURE 846 ear pieces , and a PSM 900 until such time as I can afford my own.
My problem is , while the overall fidelity of the buds have improved over the years , I still find them sorrowfully lacking.
I can't seem to dial in my stage mix when playing live. I am well past the introductory period to become acclimated with the buds as they fit and feel, so suggesting the issue is with our set up introduces another annoying problem as we are using the recommended high end, high cost products.Our history would indicate there is no possible solution as two players have re-invested in their ear buds to the tune of some $6000 each ! The molded custom plugs were bought, used twice, and discarded to the dead gear box and accounts for yet another $1550.
Understand we have won every award for music in our city for the last 5 years. The crowds are enormous. We hire full sound and lights with the same guys running it for every show. In other words, this old man has got a real cushy gig that pays very well, is high profile, and where I don't have to touch a single piece of gear coming or going !
I have to make this ear bud thing work. If anyone has a sure fix ritual we can perform , PLEASE mail me back with a link.

I've been a Shure PSM600 user

I've been a Shure PSM600 user for over 15 years, and now I'm forced to move on thanks to FCC regulations. All companies reviewed here, with the exception of Carvin, are offering trade-in rebates for systems operating in the 600mhz range, FYI.

I am looking for a wireless

I am looking for a wireless microphone system that includes in ear too.
What I need to buy?

I have also been looking for

I have also been looking for a single wireless unit that combines both in-ear monitors and a headset mic. Unfortunately I haven't found any yet, or ones with a handheld mic, so at the current time it looks like you have to get them separately which means wearing two bodypacks - not ideal.

I'll post back here if I find a better solution.

Have you heard any pros or

Have you heard any pros or cons on the Galaxy Audio TX and RX system? The price is certainly attractive and the specs are good. Thanks for any input.

Galaxy Audio is often

Galaxy Audio is often overlooked but an great company with quality audio and customer service second to none. I love that they field their service calls at their home base in central Kansas USA! Shoot just call them if you have any IEM questions they are helpful and not at all pushy.

I'm curious about this, you

I'm curious about this, you give Galaxy a very positive review here but don't put them in your list, why's that? You really didn't answer the original question. Thanks.

Hi Scott,

Hi Scott,

You seem to be addressing "Chris (not verified)" as though he works here at Gearank.com - he doesn't work here but I do.

Just for the record, to date we have not published reviews of any Galaxy Audio wireless IEM systems on this site.

To answer the original question, I'm not aware of Galaxy Audio having any wireless IEM's with the designation "TX" or "RX". To the best of my knowledge their wireless IEMs come with the designation "AS".

Only one of their wireless IEMs had high enough ratings to make it onto our short-list for this guide and it didn't rate highly enough for us to recommend it - it was the AS-1100.

my thoughts exactly. the only

my thoughts exactly. the only 100% pure digital IEM system on the market and fantastic in its' design and delivery. everything about it reaks of quality and not only does it outperform the Sennheiser g3 or new g4 IEM (which are great in their own right) it can be had at almost 1/2 the cost. there is NOTHING out there like it. Here's a fantastically detailed review by a real musician. he is right on every point. http://northmar.com/mipro-mi-909-review-best-in-ear-wireless-for-musicians/

We examined the top seller

We examined the Wireless IEM lists of all the major music gear retailers in the USA and the Mipro brand wasn't on any of those lists. Mipro did win a TEC award a couple of years ago for one of their wireless IEM systems but they didn't qualify for this guide because they're not widely available.

I use the Mipro 909 system

I use the Mipro 909 system personally, and have the Sennheiser systems at work. I prefer the Mipro, hands down. I agree, not as commonly available, but with the internet, that’s not a problem these days. It’s not hard to find a vender willing to sell you one if you look.

I don't recall seeing

I don't recall seeing anything specific about Ultimate Ears Pro, and I'm not sure what Alexander Briones saw during our research, but I can tell you they didn't make it onto our short-list.

Edifying and helpful article

Edifying and helpful article Alexander Briones and Gearank, thanks. I am sold on IEMS as a vocalist after experiencing horrible sound and technical difficulties at well-known venues. Floor monitors are a thing of the past and a crapshoot for most singers. I have also spoken with other pros and this is the way to go.

I got my eye/ears on Sennheiser EW 300 based on your article.