Musicians are unique in the world of Audiology. On one hand we must be concerned with and provide musicians with hearing protection. On the other hand, fidelity of music played must be kept intact in order for the musician to be successful.
There are two types of hearing protection for musicians (non-electronic and electronic).
The non-electronic filters (produced by Etymotic Research) are housed in custom made earmolds. Musicians Earplugs are designed to reproduce the natural response of the open ear canal. Music heard through the ER series of earplugs has the same quality as the original, only slightly quieter which makes listening to loud music safer. The result is that speech and music remain clear. The fidelity of music is kept intact, which is priority #1.
Four levels of filters are available in the non-electronic music molds: ER9, ER15, ER15SP, and ER25. The number corresponds with the amount of sound attenuation provided. The ER15SP attenuator is designed for those individuals on the receiving end of music versus the musician themselves.
Non-Electronic Hearing Protection
High Fidelity Hearing Protection – Replicates the ear’s natural response; Timbre and subtleties are maintained; Flat attenuation of 9, 15 and 25 dB (See below selection)
Provides 9 dB flat sound reduction through the mid range, with the same high-frequency attenuation as the ER-15
The first Musicians Earplug; the standard from which all other ER attenuators were designed. Provides uniform 15 dB sound reduction across frequencies.
Provides 25 dB of relatively flat attenuation across frequencies.
Electronic Hearing Protection
Still a leader in innovation of the products available
Etymotic Research began the “hearing protection” movement for musicians. Certainly well known by Audiologists, Etymotic Research is making a name for itself among musicians who see the non-custom products in music stores daily.
Non-custom products include the ER series 9, 15, 20, and 25 series of non-electronic musician hearing protection filters to be housed within custom made earmolds for affordable hearing protection for all musicians.
Etymotic Research also has amazing in ear monitors – not custom made for your ears – that’s where Sound Hearing Clinic will make the molds for your Etymotic monitors!
Etymotic now produces the ER4 Series of in ear monitor earphones which include the ER4B, ER4S, ER4P and ER4PT.
The mc5 is an inexpensive custom earphone.
The 6i Isolator are custom earphones which are also inexpensive but are micro sized and considered “Best in Class”.
The hf5 earphones are considered “Best in Class” under $200.
Etymotic Research selection of headsets (controls available on the cable) consist of the mc3, hf3, hf2, ETYCom and etyBLU2.
Built itself from the ground up catering to the needs of musicians
The production of in ear monitors (IEMs) is what Sensaphonics does and does well. They typically produce their IEM’s in a soft material for comfort.
Products consist of the 3D Active Ambient custom earphones (adds ambient noise to the mix and is supplied with a body worn mixer!!, single or dual driver). These are meant for personal listening systems.
The 2 Max earphones utilize dual drivers and are meant for use with wireless systems.
The ProPhonic 2X-S custom Hi-Fidelity earphones (dual drivers – don’t let the term Earphones mislead you, these are beautiful custom made products) are meant for professionals.
Sensaphonics offers IEM accessories for your sound engineer as well.
Racing enthusiasts should check out the e-Racer 500 custom racing earphones.
Good technology at a good price
Shure is well known in the industry. The products Shure offers are not custom made but your Audiologist at Sound Hearing Clinic will be more than happy to provide you with custom made molds to attach to your Shure in-ear-monitor system.
We often see musicians who have purchased Shure earphones which are non-custom in ear monitors but find the generic foam or the vinyl bulb attachments uncomfortable. Custom molds can be easily and quickly made for use with the Shure products.
The latest series of Shure products consists of the SE series.
The SE series of non-custom Shure products is the same as the SCL series but designed to be sold to the consumer directly online. This series consists of the SE110, 210, SE310, SE420, SE530. The micro speaker systems are the SE115, SE315, SE425, and SE535.
Shure products can be purchased from Tom Lee Music or Long & McQuade music stores in Vancouver.
Shure also has a series of professional headphones available – primarily for DJ use. These include SRH840 Pro Monitoring headphones, SRH750 DJ, SRH440 Studio, and SRH 240 Professional Quality headphones.
Helping you hear better
Starkey is a hearing instrument manufacturer that has been around for years and years. They are a great company that really understands and knows how to make comfortable fitting molds.
Starkey has delved into the custom in ear monitor market with it’s Tunz custom monitors. These can be single or dual drivers and are ideal for use with MP3 personal listening systems. The Tunz in ear headphones (custom noise isolating earbuds) are also available.
Starkey also manufactures custom made earmolds Tunz custom earmolds for use with the Etymotic musician hearing protection filters ER9, 15 or 25.
Built itself on providing custom hearing protection for musicians
Like Sensaphonics, custom hearing protection is what they do and all that they do! Custom in ear monitors (IEMs) consist of:
UE11 Pro – 4 speaker monitors
Universal (non custom fit monitors include):
UE18 Pro – 6 speaker monitors
UE – 3 speaker system
UE TripleFi 10 – noise isolating 3 speaker system
Your sound engineer will love this site (so many choices …)!
UE 700 – 2 speaker system
UE 600 – balanced driver system
Long time leader of custom earmolds and hearing protection
Westone offers the Elite Series of in ear monitors for use by amateur and professional musicians.
The Westone Series of custom earphones are meant for personal listening.
The The Elite Series is made up of the ES1, ES2, ES3, ES3X and ES5 are in ear monitors that utilize single to triple drivers – note the ES3’s (triple drivers) are meant specifically for those musicians who do vocals as well as guitarists (there is a significant mid-frequency “bump” in the frequency response of the ES3’s. The ES1 are single driver monitors offered at an affordable price. The ES2 monitors utilize dual drivers with great low frequency response, “smooth mids and articulate highs. Our most popular and versatile custom monitor, the ES3 monitors utilize three drivers and are great for performing guitarists and vocalists due to a “bump” in the mid frequency range. The Westone AC2 Acrylic in ear monitors are an option for the budget minded professional.
The Westone Series is made up of Westone 1 Truefit, 2 Truefit, 3 Truefit and 3LE Truefit.
The Universal Series (not custom made for your ear) of earphones are the UM1, UM2, UM2 with removable cable, UM3X and UM3X with removable cable.
The UM56 (custom made earmold) attaches to the UM1’s or UM2’s or any of the Shure system products. These products tend to be less expensive than the Elite series.