10 Best In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) in 2022 – [Ultimate Review]

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10 Best In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)

In-ear monitors are excellent if you’re a performing musician or simply looking to upgrade your pair of earbuds. These devices can give you an above-than-average listening experience, and many models are available in the market featuring different functions: wired, wireless connection, etc.

This article will review the ten best in-ear monitors (IEMs) in 2022. We’ll compare their features side by side and explain the benefits of using a pair of in-ear monitors and what factors you should keep in mind when shopping for this kind of product.

Why do I Need In-Ear Monitors?

Compared to standard earbuds, in-ear monitors offer a much better audio response across the frequency spectrum: the sound quality is much more neutral. That’s why performing musicians favor in-ear monitors to hear what they’re playing clearly in a noisy environment, such as a gig or a rehearsal.

Music producers and listeners also prefer in-ear monitors because they want the best possible experience with decent noise cancellation features. Those devices are excellent for monitoring what is happening inside your DAW (digital audio workstation) or referencing your final mix or master.

10 Best In-Ear Monitors in 2022

Best In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)RatingPriceReview
Faaeal Kz EDX4.6/5Check AmazonRead Review
Easy KZ Yinyoo ZST4.5/5Check AmazonRead Review
MEE Audio M6 PRO4.3/5Check AmazonRead Review
Shure AONIC 215 TW24.5/5Check AmazonRead Review
KBEAR KS14.5/5Check AmazonRead Review
Yinyoo CCZ Coffee Bean4.4/5Check AmazonRead Review
BASN MMCX4.4/5Check AmazonRead Review
Levusu UHF Wireless in-Ear Monitor4.1/5Check AmazonRead Review
Phenyx Pro Wireless In-Ear Monitor4.3/5Check AmazonRead Review
Anleon S23.1/5Check AmazonRead Review

1. Faaeal Kz EDX

Faaeal Kz EDX

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Review

The KZ EDX in-ear monitors from FAAEAL are an excellent budget choice. Priced at $22.99, it has several features found in higher-end models, such as a dual magnetic dynamic unit for improved sound quality and excellent response in the low-mid frequencies, making it great for bassists.

Design

While the design looks ok and feels very sturdy thanks to the mix of resin and metal in its construction, the gold-colored logo stands out quite a bit and could be a problem for those who prefer a more discreet design. We still like that the cables are clear-colored and can be easily concealed.

Comfort

These monitors are quite comfortable and ergonomic, featuring three pairs of silicone ear tips in different sizes for a better fit in the ear canal.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the FAAEAL KZ EDX is excellent when considering its affordable price. It has a decent frequency range of 20Hz-40kHz and a sensitivity of 112dB. As we said, the low-mid response is particularly great with this one, making it one of the best options for bassists.

Connectivity

The FAAEAL KZ EDX features a 3.5mm connection like most other options on the list. You can also use it with the KZ Bluetooth module to make it wireless.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Affordable price.
  • Excellent low-mid response.
  • Excellent ear canal fit.
  • Sturdy and durable.

Cons:

  • Not as discreet as other options.

2. Easy KZ Yinyoo ZST

Easy KZ Yinyoo ZST

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Review

Given the low price of these in-ear monitors ($17.99 by the time I wrote this article), this is one of the most affordable models on the list and can be an excellent choice for those on a budget. You can choose between a model with a mic and one without, as well as five different colors.

Design

The all-resin design looks quite pleasing, especially on the multicolor option. The cables are thin and can be easily concealed inside clothes.

Comfort

These monitors come with three ear tips in different sizes. They fit very tightly inside the ear canal, thanks to the memory silicon in the tips.

Sound Quality

With a frequency range 20Hz-40kHz, these monitors are great at reproducing very high frequencies, so it could be a massive benefit for performing singers. We also like that the sensitivity is higher than average: 106dB, providing a loud sound that is especially important if you plan to use it for live performances and noisy environments.

Connectivity

These monitors feature a standard 3.5mm plug, but they can also be connected to a wireless receiver for live performances. The connection between the monitors and cable is very secure, avoiding it from being disconnected when wearing these and moving around.

Pros & Cons:- 

Pros:

  • Very affordable: only $17 by the time this article was written.
  • Two models are available: with and without a mic.
  • Great design.
  • A very secure connection between the cable and the monitors, avoiding any accidental disconnection.

Cons:

  • None.

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3. MEE Audio M6 PRO

MEE Audio M6 PRO

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Review

The MEE Audio M6 PRO has a sleek, clean design and is excellent for performing musicians. In our opinion, one of the best features of these in-ear monitors is the seven pairs of ear tips that come with them, ensuring a tight fight between the monitors and your ear canal. Most devices come with only three tip sizes. 

Design

We like the design of these monitors a lot. The transparent model is discrete and won’t stand out much in the ears. Plus, it also comes in 5 other different colors.

Comfort

These monitors are one of the most comfortable on the list, thanks to the seven pairs of memory foam ear tips that come with them. This is an excellent feature since most other models only come with three pairs. With the M6 PRO, however, you have several tip sizes to choose from to better fit your ear canal.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the M6 PRO is quite decent and on par with other models. This device is particularly good at reproducing low frequencies thanks to its 20Hz-20kHz response. Another fact that significantly contributes to the sound quality of these monitors is that the ear tips create a very tight fit in the ear canal.

Connectivity

Like most other models, these monitors have a 3.5mm connection, but we like the fact that a Bluetooth adapter version is also available.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Comes with seven pairs of ear tips for a tight fit in the ear canal.
  • Great design.
  • Affordable price.
  • Also available with a Bluetooth adapter.

Cons:

  • None. 

4. Shure AONIC 215 TW2

Shure AONIC 215 TW2

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Review

These in-ear monitors from Shure, a well-renowned brand, has a unique design. Unlike most other options on the list, it features Bluetooth connectivity and a very long battery life considering its small size. Another excellent feature is the over-ear hook that makes it very comfortable to wear and keeps it secure around the ears.

Design

The design of these Shure monitors looks quite nice, and there are two colors available: black and blue. They’re not the most discrete model, however.

Comfort

These monitors are incredibly comfortable to wear for long sessions thanks to their over-ear hooks. These hooks go behind your ear lobe to secure the device and prevent it from falling. It also makes the monitors feel much lighter on the ear. This is especially good for performing musicians.

Sound Quality:

Sound-quality-wise, the Shure AONIC 215 TW2 performs well, especially regarding the low frequencies. However, one of the best features that contribute to the listening experience in these monitors is noise cancellation. This model has, without a doubt, the best noise-canceling technology on the list.

Connectivity

Like we mentioned, the Shure AONIC 215 TW2 features Bluetooth connectivity and impressive battery life. You can also control features such as equalization via the PLAY app. 

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Very comfortable to wear for long sessions.
  • Long battery life.
  • Excellent noise-cancellation.

Cons:

  • Fragile design.

5. KBEAR KS1

KBEAR KS1

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Review

The KBEAR KS1 is simple and affordable but does the job well. Its dual magnetic circuit single DD unit provides an excellent low-frequency response. We like that, despite the low price of these monitors, the company is very transparent about the high-quality materials used in the design.

Design

The KBEAR KS1 is simple and made with high-quality materials such as 4N pure copper cable, which improves sound quality. One of the major advantages of these monitors is their sturdy and durable design, excellent for touring musicians and sports practice.

Comfort

These monitors provide great comfort and stay in place thanks to the ear hooks. We expected it to come with more ear tip sizes; however, it only comes in 3 sizes. 

Sound Quality

Like most other options on the list, the KBEAR KS1 performs amazingly on the bass frequencies. They sound full and articulate. The highs are great as well. When it comes to the mid-range, it lacks a bit of definition, so it may not work so well for singers. We would recommend it better for bass players.

Connectivity

The KBEAR KS1 has a standard 3.5mm connection. The cable also stays in place quite well. We wish, however, that the manufacturer offered a wireless version.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable design.
  • Great for bass players, thanks to its low-frequency response.
  • Affordable.
  • Sweatproof.

Cons:

  • Mid-range is not that great.
  • No wireless option is offered.

6. Yinyoo CCZ Coffee Bean

Yinyoo CCZ Coffee Bean

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Review

The Yinyoo CCZ Coffee Bean caught our eye because of its slick design and affordable price. We also like that the company is very transparent about the technology employed in the product and provides information such as the frequency response graph, so we decided to review this pair.

Design

While nothing is outstanding about these monitors’ appearance, the CCZ Coffee Bean design looks excellent and discrete, and the product is available in 4 different colors. 

Comfort

These monitors provide a great deal of comfort. It comes with three pairs of ear tips, but alternatively, you can buy eight more pairs separately to ensure they fit your ear canal. We like this fact because it’s something rare to see in the IEMs market. We also like that the side of the device that touches the ear is made of silicone.

Sound Quality

Looking at the Yinyoo CCZ Coffee Bean frequency response graph, we can see that it has a considerably neutral response in the low frequencies but quite a dip in the midrange, around the 1kHz to 5kHz area. Depending on your particular use case, this could be a pro or a con. We also like that these have 10mm dynamic drivers, larger than most other options on the list.

Connectivity

The CCZ Coffee Bean features the standard 3.5mm connection with a 4-core wire but isn’t available in a wireless version.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Affordable.
  • Very good response in the low frequencies.
  • Comfortable.
  • One can buy a set of 8 pairs of additional ear tips separately.

Cons:

  • None.

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7. BASN MMCX

BASN MMCX

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Review

The BASN MMCX in-ear monitors aren’t the most affordable options on the list, but it is incredibly comfortable and has excellent audio quality. These monitors are one of the best for performing musicians and music producers.

Design

The design is fantastic and looks unique. One small thing that surprised us is the packaging these monitors come in: they come in a luggage-like mini case that one can use for storage and transportation. This attention to detail shows that the company is all about quality.

Comfort

The BASN MMCX has several ear tip sizes in different formats, so it is very comfortable for prolonged sessions. The monitors are also smaller and lighter than most other models on the list, so you won’t feel them on your ear while wearing them.

Sound Quality

The BASN MMCX features dual 10mm drivers, larger than most other options on the list. This gives them a great response, particularly in the low-end and the low-mids. We wish the company shared the frequency response graph for these monitors, which we could not find.

Connectivity

The BASN MMCX features a standard 3.5mm connection. The wire is 4.9ft long, which is above average and leaves room to spare.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Good, sturdy build quality.
  • Includes a carrying case.
  • 4.9ft long cable.
  • Dual 10mm drivers for a better response in the low frequencies.

Cons:

  • None.

8. Levusu UHF Wireless in-Ear Monitor System

Levusu UHF Wireless in-Ear Monitor System

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Review

Unlike the already reviewed monitors on the list, the LEVUSU kit is a wireless package with a pair of IEMs and a module. This is the best option if you’re looking for a pair to perform live or during band rehearsals. Buying a package will save you quite some money.

Design

The pair of monitors looks smaller than most other options on the list and resembles earbuds. It shouldn’t stand out too much while wearing. The wireless module and bodypack are also quite discreet, with a slick modern design that can be easily worn and concealed in your clothes.

Comfort

As these monitors are more like earbuds, they aren’t as ergonomic as some other options on the list with custom-like fitting but still provide a great deal of comfort.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of these monitors is decent but not as good as some other options on the list, particularly on the low frequencies. The mid frequencies sound decent, so we recommend it for guitar players. The noise isolation is not that great but may also function depending on the application.

Connectivity

Musicians and producers can use the monitors alone or with the wireless module, which is a great feature. Setting up the wireless module also shouldn’t be an issue.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Includes a wireless module.
  • One can use the wireless module with other pairs of monitors.
  • Discreet design.
  • Great response in the mid frequencies.

Cons:

  • Low-frequency response is not that great.
  • Noise isolation isn’t great.

9. Phenyx Pro Wireless In-Ear Monitor System

Phenyx Pro Wireless In-Ear Monitor System

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Review

The Phenyx Pro wireless pack comes with a pair of in-ear monitors, a body pack, and a wireless module. Its operating distance is 160ft, so it is excellent if you’re looking for a kit for live performances and band rehearsals. We liked the simple design of this monitor and its functionalities.

Design

The design of the monitors and the wireless module design is simple and won’t stand out that much when wearing.

Comfort

These monitors provide a great deal of comfort, but since they resemble earbuds, they aren’t as comfortable as in-ear monitors with a custom-like fitting.

Sound Quality

The Phenyx Pro monitors sound decent but lacks presence in the low frequencies. The mids and highs are clear, so these will function better for singers and guitar players. We also like the fact that there are several extra functions, such as a built-in EQ in the wireless module.

Connectivity

The Phenyx Pro monitors can either be used standalone or with the wireless module, which has an operating distance of 160ft.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Long operating distance wireless module.
  • Great design.
  • Several extra features in the wireless module.
  • Great response in the mids and highs.

Cons:

  • Bass response is not that great.
  • Not as comfortable as other options on the list.

10. Anleon S2

Anleon S2

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Review

The Anleon S2 is a professional-grade IEM kit. It has three pairs of bodypacks and monitors and a wireless module for live performances and band rehearsals. This kit is affordable considering everything you get in the package, and they sound decent.

Design

The design of these monitors is simple but functional. We like that the IEMs can be used standalone or with the bodypack.

Comfort

Although not as comfortable as other monitors on the list featuring custom-like fitting, the Anleon S2 still provides great comfort.

Sound Quality

While the sound quality is decent, it lacks a bit in the highs. The frequency range is only of 20Hz-18kHz, more limited than most other options on the list. We feel these should work well for bass players and drummers but not so well for guitar players and singers or any instrument requiring a great response in the mids and highs.

Connectivity

A musician can use the Anleon S2 either standalone or along with the bodypack and the wireless module.

Pros & Cons:-

Pros:

  • Affordable considering everything you get in the package.
  • The wireless module is small.
  • Anti-interference circuit.
  • Six selectable channels.

Cons:

  • The high-range response is not that great.

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What to Consider When Buying In-Ear Monitors

Below, we will explain some factors you should consider when buying in-ear monitors.

1. Wired or Wireless IEMs

As you can see in the list, you can buy a standalone IEM or a package with a wireless module. Even if you opt for the first option, you can still buy a module and a bodypack later if you want to make your setup wireless. One thing we noted with wireless packages is that the monitors included in these kits are, most of the time, not as great as the ones you can buy standalone.

2. Noise Isolation

Noise isolation is essential, especially if you want to use your in-ear monitors for live performances and band rehearsals: it will ensure that you hear your performance. What will provide you with good noise isolation is a tight fit between the ear tip of the monitor and the ear canal, so you should always make sure that the monitors you’re thinking about buying come with different ear tip sizes.

3. Audio Quality

Audio quality is important whether you’re using your IEMs to perform live or purely for listening to music. You should always keep an eye on specifications like the frequency range of the monitors. For example: the wider the frequency range is, the better the pair will be at reproducing low and high frequencies.

Keep in mind that different IEM models will suit different use cases. For example, some monitors may be better for singers, others for guitar players.

4. Comfort

Comfort is important, so your ears don’t hurt while wearing your in-ear monitors for prolonged sessions. Some of the features included in some models of monitors that greatly improve comfort are ear hooks, which will secure the pair around your ears, and silicone custom-sized ear tips, which will create a tight fit in your ear canal.

5. Durability

Especially if you’re using your in-ear monitors for live performances, you must ensure that the pair is sweatproof and dustproof. This will avoid any potential damage on the stage and while touring. These features are not as important for casual music listening, but they may be an advantage depending on your particular use case (sports, daily usage, etc.).

Conclusion

After reviewing these ten in-ear monitors, we concluded that you don’t have to spend much money to have a great experience. All of the IEMs featured in the article will perform very well for different tasks, and most are quite affordable, but some may fit specific use cases better than others.

IEMs with an extended low-frequency response, for example, will work better for bass players and listeners of bass-heavy music genres. IEMs with exaggerated mids and highs, on the other hand, are excellent for singers and guitar players since they emphasize these instruments.

For our top pick, we chose a pair with a neutral response that will work well in most situations: the KBEAR KS1. It is also quite affordable.

If you’re interested in any of the IEMs reviewed in the article, you can find the link to their Amazon page at their respective titles on the list. We hope our 10 best in-ear monitors in 2022 article was helpful. Remember to research extensively before making any purchase, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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