Why and When: Wireless In-Ear Monitoring Benefits & Uses

Written 2013-01-03 by Herman_Digi
Blake Shelton Uses Sennheiser at the 2012 CMAs
Blake Shelton performs at 2012 CMA with his Sennheiser SKM 5200 transmitter, coupled with a Senn-heiser MD 5235 dynamic capsule.

Jason Kelly of Sennheiser presented Tips and Tricks for System Design and Installation for IEM. You can view the archived webinar in its entirety at the Learning Center.

For this post, we wanted to focus on the benefits of wireless in-ear monitoring and some of the applications you may or may not have considered when designing:


  • Lower stage volume means less risk of feedback (The more going on stage/the higher the risk for feedback.)
  • Less fatigue on ears of performers without floor monitors
  • Vocalists won’t find the need to strain their voice with stage volumes
  • Smaller footprint means a cleaner look onstage especially important for smaller venues
  • Many vocalists report they sing more accurately because they can hear better.
  • The sound is better for the audience. Traditional floor wedges onstage also create noise that can be picked up on microphones.
  • Performers can hear themselves perfectly no matter where they go.
  • In-ear systems are portable vs. bulky heavy wedges

Where to use it?

  • Live stage performances:  The most common use and first thought for wireless monitoring.  The portability of wireless monitoring is a definite plus with bands and shows that change venues.  A big advantage for live shows is that the performers and stage crew can monitor instructions from the director discretely.  Feedback from wedges can be a particular problem for classical musicians.
  • Rehearsal:  Sometimes the ideal rehearsal space just isn’t available.  In-ear monitoring creates the perfect sound anywhere allowing performers more time for practice and less vocal strain before the event.
  • Recording Studio: Greater comfort versus traditional headphones and individual control of volume levels.
  • Broadcast Environments: Reporters often have to deal with outside noises and in-ear monitoring can help in the studio or outside.  Stage Managers can also manage event cues and other communications with camera operators and talent.

It’s easy to see that In-Ear Wireless Monitoring has many advantages over traditional floor wedges in all types of situations.  With a little planning, it can create a greater experience from the crew to the audience.  Be sure to check out the full webinar where Jason explains what to consider when designing and installing monitoring systems.

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