If you can’t hear yourself onstage, is there a sound?

From superior sound quality to less stage clutter, and increased musician mobility to reduced stage volume, the benefits of in-ears over traditional stage monitors are numerous. Here are 10 excellent options to consider.

ULTIMATE EARS

UE 7 Pro
Boasting a big and bold sound signature with additional midrange details, these handcrafted monitors are digitally modeled and 3-D printed for perfect fit, comfort, and strength.
$899 street
pro.ultimateears.com

JERRY HARVEY AUDIO

JH16v2 Pro
These IEMs have a 10-driver configuration to bring clarity to a very broad range of sounds, from the crash of a cymbal to full-volume bass with no distortion.
$1,499 street
jhaudio.com

STEALTH SONICS

U9
The company’s flagship 9-driver model is housed in resilient, acoustically optimized composite material, and covers a frequency range of 18 Hz to 40 kHz.
$1,099 street
stealthsonics.com

SENNHEISER

IE 500 PRO
This compact and ergonomic design is intended to sit securely and comfortably in every ear canal, and its 7 mm driver delivers a distortion factor of just .08 percent.
$599 street
sennheiser.com

AUDIO-TECHNICA

ATH-E70
Packaged with four sizes of silicone ear tips for a comfortable fit, the housings for these IEMs were designed to provide enhanced isolation while offering extended frequency response.
$399 street
audio-technica.com

SHURE

SE535
These IEMs have a detachable cable system that enables multiple connectivity options, and triple high-definition drivers in its sound-isolating design for spacious sound and rich bass.
$449 street
shure.com

ZILDJIAN

ZIEM1
Built with a dual dynamic driver for a smooth frequency response for all listening applications, these IEMs include two sizes of silicone ear tips for increased noise isolation.
$149 street
zildjian.com

FENDER

IEM TEN 3 Pro
A precision 3-D printed housing provides a custom-like fit for these IEMs, which have a 10 mm high-density dynamic driver and a total driver configuration of four.
$799 street
fender.com

WESTONE

UM PRO 50
The flagship model in Westone’s universal-fit line features five proprietary balanced-armature drivers with a 3-way passive crossover for impressive sonic detail.
$649 street
westone.com

64 AUDIO

A2e
These customizable IEMs are handbuilt using players’ uniquely shaped ear impressions, and feature the company’s apex technology for relieving ear-canal air pressure.
$499 street
64audio.com

Multiple modulation modes and malleable voices cement a venerable pedal’s classic status.

Huge range of mellow to immersive modulation sounds. Easy to use. Stereo output. Useful input gain control.

Can sound thin compared to many analog chorus and flange classics.

$149

TC Electronic SCF Gold
tcelectronic.com

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When you consider stompboxes that have achieved ubiquity and longevity, images of Tube Screamers, Big Muffs, or Boss’ DD series delays probably flash before your eyes. It’s less likely that TC Electronic’s Stereo Chorus Flanger comes to mind. But when you consider that its fundamental architecture has remained essentially unchanged since 1976 and that it has consistently satisfied persnickety tone hounds like Eric Johnson, it’s hard to not be dazzled by its staying power—or wonder what makes it such an indispensable staple for so many players.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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