Arguably, the most important aspect of being comfortable onstage is hearing each instrument clearly. For some, a well-adjusted wedge could do the trick, but the post-gig annoyance of ringing ears could cause long-term hearing problems. The UE7s are Ultimate Ears' solution. They’re aimed at guitarists who need to protect their ears and hear bandmates who might be hard to distinguish in a loud, muddy stage mix.

Each set of UE7s is custom-molded (thanks to a quick visit to a local audiologist). They’re immensely comfortable, even after a four-hour gig. Once the mix was dialed in, the UE7s offered impressive bass response, thanks to a 2-channel setup and built-in crossover.

I doubt any IEM can perfectly replicate a guitar's tone, but I found the UE7's midrange and high-end impressively robust and accurate—perfect for where the guitar sits in the band mix. Admittedly, the price tag may be steep for weekend warriors, but for pro players needing tour-ready IEMs, the UE7s might be the best sub-1K solution out there.

Ratings

Pros:
Comfortable. Plenty of bass and midrange response.

Cons:
Pricy.

Street:
$850

Company
ultimateears.com

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