The Best In Ear Monitors for Musicians - Wireless

The Highest Rated In-Ear Monitor Systems

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Wireless In-Ear Monitoring systems have long been seen as a luxury item in the live music industry; with only top artists and big productions using them. These days, In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) are now offered in almost any price range. IEMs enable performers to more accurately hear a monitor mix regardless of their position on stage.

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.

Here we present you with the Best In-Ear Monitor Systems, based on updated research data up to March of 2021. 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

An audio engineer of nearly 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.

Single Receivers

Xvive U4

93
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$229
Xvive U4 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

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.

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

Pros

Musicians and vocalists appreciate the simplicity of the Xvive U4, describing it as a very practical solution for in-ear monitoring needs of most musicians. We've seen reports of it working well for guitarists, keyboardists, DJs and singers.

Cons

There are a few who wish that the built-in rechargeable batteries were user serviceable.

Overall

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

Shure PSM 300 (P3TR112GR)

94
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$699
Shure PSM300 P3TR112GR Wireless In-ear Monitor System

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

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.

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"

Pros

Even with the more affordable bodypack, the P3TR112GR set is noted by many users as a great affordable option for those that just need a good, long-lasting wireless unit.

Cons

This set shares the same concerns with battery life as its more expensive twin.

Overall

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.

Shure PSM 300 (P3TRA215CL)

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$799
Shure PSM 300 P3TRA215CL

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.

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'

Pros

The positive reviews for the PSM 300 (P3TRA215CL) were written by a variety of musicians, including lead vocalists, guitarists, drummers, keyboardists and more. One user aptly put it by saying that this monitor helps him zone in to the sounds that matter, which inspired him to play better and enjoy his performance more. From its clean sound, to its quick and convenient setup, the customer reviews for the PSM 300 (P3TRA215CL) are overwhelmingly positive.

Cons

There a few users who had issues with the ear buds. Battery drain was also raised a few times by some users who warn that when used for longer than two hours, you should have backup batteries ready.

Overall

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).

Sennheiser EW IEM G4

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1049

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Single-Receiver Wireless In Ear Monitor System.

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.

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.

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"

Pros

Sound quality gets a lot of thumbs up from owners, also commonly commended is its reliability. There are reports of it working well in various venues and applications, and many are happy with how easy it is to setup.

Cons

Most users are happy with the bundled earphones, but there are some who report getting better results after swapping them out.

Overall

If you're looking for a versatile IEM system with Sennheiser's brand of quality and reliability, then check out the EW IEM G4.

Shure PSM 900 (P9TRA425CL)

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1418
Shure PSM900 Wireless In-Ear Monitor System

There's no denying the popularity and reach of Shure, so it's not surprising to find them entrenched in this list, this time with the PSM900, a versatile wireless IEM with extended connectivity and bandwidth options.

This compact wireless system features Shure’s P9T transmitter with Group scan and Sync technology for convenient automatic configuration.

There’s also the CueMode that allows for monitoring up to 20 mixes, and MixMode for creating custom mix of two channels.

Another nifty feature is called “automatic gain control” which ensures signal reliability and clarity.

The included Shure P9RA receiver runs on a rechargeable battery.

Features:

  • Transmitter: P9T
  • Receiver: P9RA
  • Earphones: SE425CL
  • Frequency Range: G6 (470MHz - 506MHz), G7 (506MHz - 542MHz) bands available
  • Number of Frequencies: 20 per band
  • Transmitter Input: 2 x XLR/Combo
  • Transmitter Output: 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • Receiver Output: 1 x 1/8"
  • Receiver Power: Rechargeable
  • Earphone Type: Bud
  • Earphone Freq Response: 20Hz-19kHz
  • Earphone Cable Length: 64"

Pros

Most users point to its personal mix capabilities as its major strength, satisfying even the most fickle vocalists and musicians who prefer traditional wedge monitors. The unit's build and sound quality were also mentioned by reviewers, with one even praising the quality and reliability of the power inlets. One expert reviewer described it as amazingly easy to use, thanks to its automatic sync'ing, intuitive front panel controls and metering. All in all, the Shure PSM900 is highly recommended by almost all of its users.

A gig review from FOH in October 2010 said, "The performers who used the PSM 900 system all told us that the sound was the cleanest, purest sound they had experienced with IEMs".

Cons

There was one user who found the antennae to be a bit loose, while another wished that the price was a bit lower.

Overall

If you're looking for a reliable professional-level wireless in-ear monitor system that you can expand on, then check out the Shure PSM 900.

Twin Packs

Xvive Audio U4R2

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$339
Xvive Audio U4R2 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Dual-Receiver Wireless In Ear Monitor System.

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.

Features:

  • Transmitter: U4T
  • Receiver: 2 x 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

Pros

Users praise the Xvive U4R2 for ease of use and value. Some stating that they perform on par or even better than more expensive brands.

Cons

Similar to the standard U4, The batteries are built-in and not serviceable.

Overall

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.

Sennheiser EW IEM G4-TWIN

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

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

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.

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"

Pros

Most users are satisfied with its overall reliability, stating that they got more than their money's worth especially with this twin package. Sound quality is also often positively mentioned, along with ease of setup.

Cons

Like it's single receiver counterpart, there are a few who are not happy with the bundled earphones.

Overall

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.

Four Pack

Xvive Audio U4R4

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$569
Xvive Audio U4R4 Wireless In-Ear Monitoring System

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Four-Receiver Wireless In Ear Monitor System.

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.

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

Pros

Many reviewers see the U4R4 package as one of the best value wireless systems on the market today. With the basic U4 already having high marks for simplicity of operation, affordability and performance, many users who initially bought the U4 saw that the U4R4 package is an incredible value.

Cons

It shares the same cons as the other offerings in the U4 range. Namely the built-in battery would eventually need to be serviced or replaced.

Overall

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.

Things to Consider When Buying a Wireless In Ear Monitor System

  • The Importance of FCC 2020 Compliance

    Regulations from the FCC, effective as of 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 in ear monitor 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 places 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.

Best In Ear Monitors Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in 2016 and the latest edition was published on March 16, 2021.

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 1,200 rating sources, including the most recent reviews, ratings and expert recommendations up to March of 2021. 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

An audio engineer of nearly 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his 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

Alexander Briones: Supplemental writing.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com using a photograph of the Shure PSM 900.

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

Comments

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.