Best In-ear Monitors in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 5, 2018
If you enjoy listening to music everywhere, you know how important sound isolation is, and the best earphones that fit for this purpose are, without a doubt, in-ear monitors which most avid music fans and musicians use during their live performances. Here's our top 5 of the best in-ear monitors! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
IMPEDANCE
SENSITIVITY
PACKAGE
EXTRAS
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Thanks to the perfect sound insulation, the headphones block out 90% of external noise. A crucial feature for musicians.

CONS

The quality of the included case leaves a lot to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

The Shure SE215-CL model will provide detailed sound with soft, deep and enhanced bass, no matter what music style you prefer. The headphones have a replaceable wire, which makes them extremely durable. So, if you want the headphones that will stand the test of time, get these!

detailed parameters
FREQUENCY RESPONSE

22 Hz - 17 kHz

IMPEDANCE

17 Ω

SENSITIVITY

107dB

PACKAGE

Soft-Zip case, Black foam sleeves (S/M/L), Soft flex sleeves (S/M/L)

EXTRAS

Isolation is up to 37 dB, Detachable cable is 1.62 m long

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The earphones produce powerful low-frequency sounds due to the dual dynamic driver. Also, it makes the mids and trebles more balanced.

CONS

The sensitivity is rather low compared to similar models.

OUR VERDICT

The Audio Technica E40 in-ear monitors with L-shaped plug bring to users crystal-clear, detailed sound. Equipped with dual dynamic drivers, they will deliver discernible vocals and forward mids. Excellent choice for singers.

detailed parameters
FREQUENCY RESPONSE

20 Hz - 20 kHz

IMPEDANCE

12 Ω

SENSITIVITY

107dB

PACKAGE

Carrying case, Silicone eartips (XS/S/M/L), 6.3 mm (1/4") adapter

EXTRAS

Detachable cable is 1.6 m long,  A2DC connectors

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The ear tips adjustable 15 degrees make it easy to adapt these headphones so that you could wear them comfortably as long as you desire, experiencing no kind of discomfort. 

CONS

The control unit is a little fiddly.

OUR VERDICT

These are stylish black-and-red headphones with balanced, deep sound and enhanced bass. The natural tone of the mid-range and a high sensitivity to the equalizer meet the requirements of even the most sophisticated music lovers. The best price/quality ratio!

detailed parameters
FREQUENCY RESPONSE

15 Hz - 22 kHz

IMPEDANCE

18 Ω

SENSITIVITY

118dB

PACKAGE

Ear-adapter set (XS/S/M/L), Premium carrying case

EXTRAS

Cable is 1.3 m long, Microphone sensitivity is 44 dB V/Pa

WARRANTY

2 years

PROS

Featuring IPX5 protection rate, these headphones can be safely used in any weather conditions without deterioration of the sound quality. 

CONS

The cable is susceptible to dirt.

OUR VERDICT

The headphones have an impressive design and boast clear, solid and decently-detailed vocals, while the bass is still prominent and tight. These monitor headphones ensure that every piano note and bass strum sound clear and crisp, which makes them a worthy purchase for musicians.

detailed parameters
FREQUENCY RESPONSE

20 Hz - 20 kHz

IMPEDANCE

16 Ω

SENSITIVITY

100 ± 3dB (1mW at 1KHZ)

PACKAGE

Protective carrying case, Spare cable, Comply foam eartips, Silicone eartips (6 pairs), Shirt clips (2), ¼" adapter

EXTRAS

Detachable cable is 1.3 m long, IPX5

WARRANTY

1 year manufacturer's warranty and a lifetime replacement program

PROS

Inline microphone and volume controller allow you to quickly and comfortably switch between listening to music and answering calls.

CONS

The package includes only two pairs of ear tips.

OUR VERDICT

The Avantree headphones with a microphone will please you with their crystal-clear mid-range sound. Due to their ergonomic design and sweat-resistance feature, they fit not only music fans but also athletes and people leading an active lifestyle.

detailed parameters
FREQUENCY RESPONSE

20 Hz - 20 kHz

IMPEDANCE

16Ω ± 15%

SENSITIVITY

94 ± 3dB

PACKAGE

Carry case, Spare ear tips (2 pairs)

EXTRAS

Sweat-resistant, Cable is 1.2 m long

WARRANTY

1 year

Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones

Amazing Audio Quality

Shure Inc. is an American corporation specializing in the production of sound equipment. The company manufactures professional and household microphones, headphones, radio microphone systems, conference equipment, cartridge heads, mixing consoles and digital audio processing devices.

Shure is well-known for its amazing devices and is already an expert in the field of audio equipment. The sound isolating earphones SE215 is the latest modification of the classic SE210 model. They have an updated design with detachable cables. The Shure SE215-CL earphones are a bit pricey but they have many advantages over cheap models, such as detachable cables, amazing sound quality, and enhanced bass.

The Shure SE215 comes bundled with six pairs of black foam and soft flex ear tips. The earphones boast the excellent sound isolation, thus, they will come in handy during noisy trips, easily blocking children's scream and loud speech. The Shure SE215 earphones use single dynamic drivers that deliver the clear sound of amazing quality and accuracy. The earphones create an immersive sound experience, and it's hard to believe that the music is crammed into your ears through a 1mm aperture.

Review of Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones

Hi-end Earphones

The Shure SE215 has enhanced bass sound, yet other frequencies also sound amazing. The bass is deep and well-detailed, which is a rare feature for dynamic earphones. You won't feel like you need lower frequencies, but middle frequencies might seem a bit unnatural. The treble sounds are slightly smoothened.

The earphones are famous for their durability: they do not have any weak point, and the replaceable wire makes them almost unbreakable.

The Shure SE215 is a dynamic vacuum headset that has a very nice sound. It's a real pleasure to listen to vocal parts with balanced low, treble, and middle frequencies. Also, the SE215 headset creates a wonderful sound background. The isolation abilities of these earphones are so great that you will be able not only to "mute" sounds of the loud street but also hear new sounds in your favourite musical compositions. By the way, if you perform on the stage, the Shure SE215 can become an excellent alternative to special stage headphones. This pair of in-ear monitors is a great purchase for real music lovers who are ready to pay a reasonable price for an excellent quality.

Shure SE215-CL Sound Isolating Earphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Audio-Technica ATH-E40

Japanese Quality

Audio-Technica Corporation is a Japanese company that produces top audio equipment. It was founded in 1962 in Tokyo. In the early years of its existence, Audio-Technica was known as the manufacturer of pickups for music players, but today the company creates headphones, microphones, wireless systems, mixers, and other electronic devices for home and professional use.

The E-series earphones include three models: ATH-E40, ATH-E50 and ATH-E70. The reviewed ATH-E40 earphones fully meet the needs of professional musicians and DJs and provide excellent sound insulation due to their special design. Also, the manufacturer stresses that these earphones are compatible with M2 and M3 wireless in-ear monitor systems. Another important feature of these earphones is that they use a removable 160-cm cable with A2DC (Audio Designed Detachable Coaxial) connectors which are known for their high durability.

The housing of the earphones is made of black and clear plastic. You can see the company logo and internal earphone's motherboard through a small transparent part on the top. Despite the fact that the motherboard doesn't look different from many other models, this design decision adds a nice touch to the overall look of the earphones. We would like to note that the Audio Technica E40 earphones are not equipped with a microphone, as they are designed primarily for professional use.

Review of Audio-Technica ATH-E40

Professional and Durable

The ATH-E40 model is fitted with dual phase push-pull drivers and has a very clear, crisp sound. The earphones have an amazingly expanded sound range. The bass is tight and well-balanced, which is especially great for listening Hip-hop, EDM, and techno. These earphones are quite loud, so you should always watch the volume level before putting them on.

Still, the ATH-E40 is not a bassy earphone. The bass here is on the fatter side, yet it's not flabby. Talking about the treble, we would like to mention that the lower treble is very detailed. As for the mids, they make vocal parts sound amazing. You can hear everything clearly. All in all, if you need earphones that sound well over the entire frequency range, then the Audio-Technica ATH-E40 is a good option.

Audio-Technica ATH-E40 in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

Premium Earphones

Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG is the German manufacturer of the music equipment. The company was founded in 1945 by Fritz Sennheiser and originally called "Labor W". Today, this company produces radio systems, headphones, microphones, multimedia headsets, gaming headsets, aeronautical equipment, and equipment for people with hearing problems.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM headphone series has become famous for its revolutionary combination of first-class sound, stylish design, and premium materials. These headphones are ergonomically designed with drivers of the new Sennheiser technology. Thanks to this novelty, the MOMENTUM earphones provide powerful bass, detailed vocal, and a wide soundstage. The true quality of the MOMENTUM In-Ear monitor is provided not only by the superb Sennheiser sound but also by the abundance of the small details, like rigorously designed motherload or multifunctional 3-button remote control with an integrated microphone (available for both Apple and Android).

A black and red elliptical cable (used to minimize the headphones knotting) is attached to the glossy red housing. Due to an ergonomic body with a 15° tilt and a set of soft tips of four different sizes, you can simply forget that the MOMENTUM In-Ear is in your ears. Sennheiser engineers have done their best to combine durable materials with their fantastic technologies to achieve the high-quality sound in such a compact body. That is why the acoustic components of the MOMENTUM In-Ear monitor model do not contain any plastic. They are made of stainless steel with high-precision technologies.

Review of Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 In-Ear Monitors

Well-Designed and Convenient

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 In-Ear headphones are made with a closed-type acoustic design. Due to this design, the headphones have passive noise isolation, meaning that they won't disturb people around you. Headphones with noise isolation are good both for home and office use. They are also safer for your ears because the noise isolation function makes it possible for you to listen to your favourite music or audiobooks at an average or quiet volume. But remember that headphones with noise isolation like these are dangerous to use on the street with active traffic!

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 In-Ear monitor sensitivity is 120.63 dB / V SPL (voltage) and 103.65 dB / mW SPL (power). The sensitivity to voltage reflects the relative "loudness" of the headphones - the higher the value is, the louder the headphones are. The sensitivity to power reflects the efficiency of the headphones, and accordingly, the higher this value is, the less energy headphones need.

To sum up, we just want to say that these headphones are featured with new drivers, their noise isolation feature is great and the sound they produce is top-notch.

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 In-Ear Monitors in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MEE audio M6 Pro

For Audio Enthusiasts

MEEAudio developers know how to find interesting solutions and produce reasonably-priced headphones that will meet the requirements even of the pickiest customers. M6 Pro headphones are just like that. They are extremely durable and affordable!

Despite their low price, MEEAudio earphones are very stylish and come in a very unusual packaging. M6 Pro earphones are bundled with a protective carrying case, spare cable, foam ear tips, silicone ear tips (6 pairs), shirt clips (2), and ¼” adapter. The housing of the model is made as compact as possible with the use of robust plastic. Thanks to small housing, the headphones easily fit into ears and provide good sound insulation (especially if used with special ear tips). M6 Pro is so comfortable that you can wear this pair of headphones for a long time (even for a whole day). The wires are replaceable, which is a smart solution since the cables are always the weakest part of any earphones.

We would like to note that the manufacturer has equipped the earphones with a non-standard connector. However, you can easily purchase the special MEEAudio wire for them (it's available at a very affordable price).

Review of MEE audio M6 Pro In-Ear Monitors

Affordable and Efficient

The bass sound is perhaps the most flawless part of this model. For this price category, it can be considered excellent - it's deep and abundant. The mid-range is completely neutral. Good micro-contrast and good detailing bring a listener a lot of joy. However, remember that these headphones are completely dependable on the record quality and sound equipment. Transmitting "true" sound is exactly what this model is designed for. Treble quality is average, but still, these headphones will allow you to hear all the overtones of sound.

The M6 Pro headphones are compatible with almost any sound equipment (including the simplest ones). It is a very popular model, which is in demand not only among musicians but also among casual listeners. Of course, the treble (high-frequency range) of the M6Pro does not suit everyone, but it fits those who love the detailed sound.

MEE audio M6 Pro In-Ear Monitors in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Avantree Dual Driver

High Definition

Avantree company has deservedly gained its high popularity on the modern technology market. This manufacturer is famous not only for its Bluetooth adapters, headsets, car kits and speakers but also for its earphones. Avantree headphones boast high quality, durability and affordable price. There are plenty of models available for sale but we would like to talk about the best model in its class - the Avantree Dual Driver High Definition In-Ear Monitor headphones with a microphone and volume controller.

These dual-driver headphones are completely new Avantree model which was designed for those who appreciate quality sound, convenience, and durability. This model is good not for musicians but also for athletes and those leading an active lifestyle. So, if you are looking for earphones for morning jogging around your neighbourhood or you need earphones for working out in a gym, this model is exactly what you need. The patented sweat-resistant design is great for any sportsman, as it increases the durability and ensures a longer lifespan for the earphones even if you sweat a lot. And special secure ear hook provides a locked-in fit, so now there is no reason to worry that your earphones might fall out even during vigorous workouts.

Review of Avantree Dual Driver In-Ear Monitors

Reasonable Price

Do you want to answer calls hands-free? If so, the Avantree earphones can do the trick. The built-in metal microphone enables you to talk hands-free and eliminates exterior noise. The noise isolation is impressive and it allows you not only to enjoy music but also answer the incoming calls with crystal-clear sound. You can easily control your phone calls and music with a touch of a button. The earphones are compatible with almost any gadget. There are no restrictions - you can use it with iPhone, iPod, iPad, any Android smartphone, MP3 player, tablet and any other device with 3.5mm audio jack. This model is equipped with two dynamic drivers (one is for bass, and the other is for ultra-clear mid-tones and treble). Classic music, rock music, pop music sounds equally well. Dual driver design offers you clear sound experience. The deep and enhanced bass will impress even a sophisticated expert.

Pretty often people are ready to pay a lot of money just for the brand name or nice look, but there is no reason to kid yourself. These in-ear monitor headphones are a great alternative to more expensive models!

Avantree Dual Driver In-Ear Monitors in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Are In-Ear Monitors?

In-ear monitors are special vacuum earphones with professional-grade specifications. The design of these devices allows placing them in your ears with excellent sound isolation. Hence, they are mainly used in personal sound monitoring during live performances or studio recording sessions. Using these earbuds, you will be able to hear clearly when it's time to start playing (or singing), and thanks to this, you will have an opportunity to record the tracks at the first go-off that will save you a lot of time, effort, and even money!

You should be in a good mood to engage in sports activities and wireless earbuds will help you. Check out our review of the best wireless earbuds and gain even more pleasure from sports! If you are not a musician, you will probably take interest in our top of the best MP3 players, since good earphones need a decent output device. The vocalists may find our top 5 of the best USB microphones really useful.

What Features to Compare

Performance Specifications

The first thing to consider while choosing a personal sound monitor device is, of course, its specs. They will determine the quality and clarity of sound along with noise attenuation. The frequency response is one of the most important parameters as it affects the playback, making the track sound brighter and more natural. You should choose earphones according to the music you are going to listen or play. The lower band limit of 20 Hz - 40 Hz is optimal for the music with lots of low frequencies and if you are searching for vox monitors, 10.2 Hz - 20.4 kHz will suit you perfectly. Of course, there exist one-box solutions but does overpaying make sense?

Extra Features

Some in-ear monitors can be used as an ordinary telephone headset assembly. Since nearly any device has a 3.5 mm slot, the applicability of earbuds is extremely wide. The long demountable cable won't cause any discomfort and will save you a lot of money in case you tear it, so you won't have to buy new earphones just because your cable is out of order.

Design

In-ear monitors usually have a design that differs from ordinary earphones due to special needs of the core audience. Most monitors have a well-thought-out shape that allows them to snugly fit in your ears. Some earbuds have changeable color inserts, others have a unique design that follows the shape of your ear pavilion. You will always be able to find a stylish gadget!

FAQ:

Q: What is the best monitor earphones model for casual music listening?
A: There is no right answer. "The best model" is different for different people. Initially, in-ear monitor earphones were designed for musicians to monitor sound on the stage and help them to make songs in the studio. This type of headphones is featured with the maximum sound isolation and helps music producers to monitor the songs' mixing. Yet, the "studio" headphones are not always the best. If you are a casual listener, probably you just need multimedia headphones. Anyway, the right way to choose a pair of headphones is to check its specs, price/quality ratio, and of course, just listen to it in the nearest shop. In this case, your ears will make the right choice.

Q: What is a headphone sensitivity?
A: Sensitivity is how effectively earphones convert an electrical signal into an acoustical signal. It is measured in dB SPL/mW (decibels of Sound Pressure Level per milliwatt). 1 mW is 0.001 Watts. Knowing the sensitivity of the headphones, you can calculate how loud they will play when a certain signal level is applied. Headphones with high sensitivity play louder than less sensitive models at the same volume setting on your music player, smartphone or headphone amplifier. Usually, the sensitivity of earphones is in the range of 80 to 125 dB SPL/mW.

Q: What is a headphone impedance and how can I choose in-ear monitors drawing on impedance rate?
A: Impedance is pretty technical measurement. It is the resistance to the flow of current. The impedance consists of a resistive and reactive component, so the resistance level depends on the frequency. If you are going to choose headphones by its impedance rate, it is better to know for sure what kind of equipment you will use with them.

Earphones with low impedance (less than 25 ohms) require little power to deliver high audio levels. For instance, low impedance earphones work well with weak amplification equipment like portable music players, smartphones, and other portable devices. That's why the majority of in-, on-, and over-the-ear headphones have a low-impedance design.

However, stationary equipment requires a higher impedance. High-impedance headphones (25 ohms and over) can be used with a wider range of audio equipment. They are better suited for a home than on-the-go use. Of course, if an impedance mismatch occurs, nothing terrible will happen. Yet, you won't get the best sound quality from the headphones with an impedance that's too low or too high for your MP3 player or home amplifier.

Q: How can I choose the right in-ear monitors for a stage performance (I am a musician)?
A: Just pay attention to the specs. An isolation level plays the most important role here. The main purpose of stage monitor headphones is to help you hear yourself on the stage in the loud conditions.

Q: There is a little delay in my in-ear monitors, is it normal?
A: No, certainly not. The in-ear monitor is a high-end system and the absence of delay is one of its crucial features. The right way to solve your problem is to contact the authorised dealer and immediately report your problem.

Sources:

1. Jon Burton An Introduction To In-ear Monitoring, Sound On Sound. February 2013.

2. Keith Crusher Getting Started with In-Ear Monitoring, AskAudio. April 13, 2014.

3. Why choose in-ear monitors? Audio-Technica USA.

4. Stage & Studio: Musician’s In-Ear Monitors Buyer’s Guide, The Headphone List. July 18, 2014.

5. Basic Guide To In Ear Canalphones, Head-Fi. March 22, 2012.

6. Joe Shambro How to Mix In-Ear Monitors, About Tech.

7. Aaron Staniulis 4 of the Most Common Misconceptions About In-Ear Monitors, Sonicbids Blog. February 10, 2015.

8. Nachiket Mhatre All you need to know about buying in-ear earphones, Tech2. June 4, 2013.

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Publish Date: 2017-12-29 13:58:23