7 Best In-Ear Headphones & Earbuds For In-Ear Monitor Systems


We show you the 7 Best In-Ear Headphones & Earbuds for your in-ear monitor system that will also provide you amazing quality audio when listening to your mobile devices and MP3 players or mixing on the move

best in ear headphones for in ear monitors

Let’s face it, when we want high quality audio fed straight to our ears, whether when on stage busting out vocals or whilst listening to your music in glorious hi definition sound in near-perfect isolation, we can’t settle for anything less than professional level quality – otherwise there’s just no point! This is why you need the best in-ear headphones to suit your budget.

We’ve previously covered the Best In-Ear Monitor Systems for musicians, and each option already comes with a set of in-ear headphones, but if you want to upgrade your set up, or you already have a monitor system and you find yourself in need of a pair to go with it there’s a world to choose from out there. So we've narrowed down our favourite in-ear headphones and in-ear monitor earbuds that will help you get the sound you want on stage.

1. Ashdown Meters M-Ears In-Ear Headphones

Ashdown Meters M-Ears In-Ear Headphones

The Ashdown Meters M-Ears In-Ear Headphones are superb quality in-ear headphones designed for listening to audio in high quality and providing performers with reliable, clear sound when performing in a live situation.

These are easily some of the best in ear earphones for in ear monitors thanks to the fact they have a unique magnetic design and tangle free cable management which means that when they’re not in use, they wont tangle up on you and you can easily get them back in your ears when the song calls for it. When you let them drape around your neck, the headphones will automatically stick to each other so you can find them easily.

The 7mm acoustic driver provides a fantastic audio quality usually associated with in-ear headphones twice the price. This is especially useful in a live situation as you hear everything you’re supposed to.

In regards to casual listening, or use with smartphones and tablets, users will appreciate the fact the Ashdown Meters M-Ears In-Ear Headphones has microphone and volume controls built in, so you can make calls and change volume on the fly. If you want a set of cheap in ear earphones that don’t suck, these are a great option. These are top quality in ear headphones for the musician who needs to get these in and out of their ears quickly, with minimal fuss.

2. Fender CXA1 IE In-Ear Headphones

Fender CXA1 IE In-Ear Headphones

The Fender CXA1 IE In-Ear Headphones are another great option for those in need of high quality in-ear monitors that won’t break the bank. At just under £60, they’re extremely affordable, but still pack in a huge sound and clarity usually associated with far more expensive options. Best of they’re loaded with patent pending secure-fitting ear tips for a superior closed seal to your ear canals so you’re all set if you’re a touring musician and you struggle with hearing yourself onstage.

They’ve made our best in-ear headphones list due to the fact they are built with Fender designed custom 8.5mm titanium drivers, which provide you with the full bodied low end, punchy mids and sparkling highs you need for both onstage monitoring and listening to audio away from the stage. This makes them some of the best ion-ear headphones for drummers too, as the backing track or click you're using can be heard clearly due to the sound quality and high levels of isolation.

The over ear design keeps cables safely tucked back and the iOS and Android compatible remote control and microphone make them extremely handy for answering calls when you’re hooked up to your smartphone. These are a great all-rounder for the musician playing smaller gigs who wants a set of headphones they can use off stage too.

Available in:


3. V-MODA Forza Metallo In-Ear Headphones

V-MODA Forza Metallo In-Ear Headphones

The V-MODA Forza Metallo In-Ear Headphones make our best in-ear headphones list with ease thanks to the strong focus on both high-quality sound and sleek design. These award winning, luxury earphones support super-human frequencies beyond even 40kHz when listening to Hi-Res music as certified by the Japan Audio Society. This means you’ll hear everything in crystal clear high definition whether you’re performing live or listening to your favourite tracks at home or on the move via your smartphone or MP3 player. These are fantastic quality in-ear earphones that have multiple applications.

In the box you get four different sizes of BLISS 3.0 fittings, all of which have been designed to ensure a perfect fit with superb isolation. The inclusion of sport ear hooks ensures they stay put when you’re rocking out on stage, too.

They’re mechanically sealed so sweat and dirt won’t be a problem and they have been constructed using CNC forged aircraft grade aluminium so they’re tour ready!

A built-in microphone and buttons to skip tracks/change volume for use when you’re not performing is a handy addition and the V-MODA Immortal Life Program, which gets you 50% off a replacement of your earphones for a lifetime is extremely useful if you’re going to be using them a lot!

When it comes to mixing fashion, with award winning sound, the V-MODA Forza Metallo headphones are probably the best in-ear headphones in the game.

Available in:

Rose Gold

4. Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones

Shure SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones Clear

We’re now in the realms of professional level in-ear headphones and the best way to start is with the industry standard Shure SE215 in ears. These are consistently relied upon by professionals all over the world and are often featured in best in-ear headphones blogs and must-have lists due to their high-quality sound, fantastic isolation and Dynamic MicroDriver technology – a fantastic combination.

These are easily some of the best in ear earphones for professional performers, singers and those who value high definition sound as the meticulous sound isolating design blocks up to 37 dB of ambient noise, making it far easier to hear your mix in a live scenario.

The over ear construction keeps the cables out of your way and the Gold plated MMCX connector with lock snap mechanism ensures your cord won’t come out when you need it most. The Single Dynamic MicroDriver powers the sound signature of the SE215 ear phones which gives them their clear, detailed and powerful enhanced bass, so they make great ear-phones for on stage monitors as well as listening to audio away from the stage.

If you’re serious about your on-stage monitoring, these are one of the best options that won’t break the bank.

Shop all Shure Earphones here.

5. Audio Technica E50 In Ear Monitoring System

Audio Technica E50 In Ear Monitoring System

The Audio Technica ATH-E50 in-ear monitoring headphones are especially useful for singers as they provide excellent isolation on stage, so you can hear everything you’re supposed and nothing you’re not!

Thanks to the single balanced armature drivers and addition of the specially designed housing which provides maximum isolation, these are actually some of the best in-ear headphones for producers on the road. This means you can mix in high definition and enjoy great isolation whether you’re in the hotel room, on a train or in a busy area backstage. The flexible memory cable loops over your ears so you’re not fighting with them on stage and the long 1.6m cable length ensures the cable will fit snugly into your wireless system without too much fuss.

A frequency response of 20 - 18,000Hz and sensitivity of 107dB/mW makes them ideal in-ear monitors for keyboard players and line level instrumentalists such as DJs as they provide you with a wider frequency so bass parts really stand out and the high frequencies aren’t lost.

6. Shure SE535 Sound Isolating In Ear Headphones

Shure SE535 Sound Isolating In Ear Headphones

Next up we have two offerings from the Shure range of in-ear earphones designed for in-ear monitoring systems. Shure make arguably some of (if not THE) the best in-ear headphones on the market today, so of course we're going to feature a selection from their impressive catalogue. The Shure SE535 Sound Isolating In Ear Headphones feature a higher definition driver than the previous models we talked about and have a superior detailed sound, so you’re going to hear everything you need to.

As these offer a higher definition sound, have their own bass unit built-in and feature a triple definition driver they are widely used by DJs and keyboard players as they provide a balanced sound that really brings out the unique features of your music. You can hear the detail of the instrument thanks to 18 Hz – 19 kHz frequency range and enjoy a spacious sound that really brings your music to life in your ear buds.

Thanks to this high quality sound, they also make a great option for those who need to mix music on the fly. The addition of a volume control and airline adapter also makes them a great option for travelling musicians too – they’ll easily become part of your day to day life.

7. Shure SE846 Sound Isolating In-Ear Headphones

Shure SE846 Sound Isolating In-Ear Headphones - Clear

Finally, we have the ultimate industry standard option for touring musicians, session musicians and the ultimate professionals. The Shure SE846 Sound Isolating In-Ear Headphones are some of the best in-ear headphones in the industry, widely regarded as the go-to option for those who are serious about on-stage sound.

The key thing that sets these apart from all other Shure in-ear earphones, aside from the extended high-end clarity and low-end performance akin to that of a subwoofer without the loss of clarity is the fact you can adjust the frequency response for different sounds and sculpt the sound to your preferences. You can select between Balanced, Warm and Bright settings – ideal for on stage and mixing purposes.

With dedicated low, mid and high frequency distribution technology, all tracks and instruments within your mix will shine through. This is world class reference sound quality directly to your ears! When combined with the sound isolation of up to 37 dB, it’s like you’re in your own private vocal booth!
If you want the ultimate in-ear monitoring earphones, this is the best choice you could make when it hopes to choosing the best in-ear headphones that will last a lifetime and keep you're gig running smoothly.

Shop a full range of in-ear headphones and earbuds and wireless monitoring systems over at PMT Online today or call in to your local PMT store to speak to one of our PA experts about your needs.

best in ear earphones

Updated 2019-07-15

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