You might consider yourself old-fashioned, but those floor wedges you've been lugging around are becoming a thing of the past. In-Ear monitors provide a better experience for the you, your sound-man, and your audience.
There is a laundry list of pros for making the switch to In-ears. Bottom line is they are simply better than using traditional floor wedges. Here is a quick run down of what makes in-ears the way to go for gigging musicians.
Improved Sound Quality
We've all been there, sometimes it just doesn't sound right on stage. Maybe you can't hear the vocals, or your guitar riffs. Sure, you can just have your sound guy crank your monitor, but this causes all sorts of sound problems including hearing damage. A decent set of In-Ear monitors, such as the shure SE215, give you the ability to have Studio quality sound at a level that won't make your ears bleed.
Lower Stage Volume
Sound guys love in-ears for the lowered stage volume. Loud stage volume negatively effects everything else, creating a fight between the sound coming from the stage and the sound coming out of the FOH speakers. The result is muddy mess for your audience.
Better FOH Sound
It's not just about the people on stage, the lowered stage volume creates a better experience for the listeners as well. Floor wedges may be directional, but turn them up loud enough and the low mids and bass will spill out to the audience. This makes for a muddy Front-Of-house mix that the best soundman can't fix, especially in smaller venues.
Something everyone can appreciate! Your sound guy can only turn your monitor up so much before you start getting ear splitting squeals. Feedback happens when a mic pics up the already amplified sound from a speaker, and re-amplifies it, creating an infinite loop of ear destruction. In-Ear monitors all but eliminate this problem. Just keep your singer behind the FOH speakers please.
Hear In Stereo
Studio quality sound on stage is possible with in-ear monitors! The ability to hear your mix in stereo is invaluable for performing musician. This gives the sound space and dimension creating a much more natural sound. Guitar players running stereo effects, like delays, will especially love this.
You won't break your back carrying a pair of earbuds, plus setup and tear down times are drastically reduced.
Open Up The Stage
One downside with floor monitors is that you have to stay in just the right spot to get the best sound. Step outside of that and you're in no-mans land. In-ears give you the freedom to roam the stage. Get a wireless system for your guitar or bass and you are free to run laps if you feel the need.
Where To Get Started
If you are looking to dive into the world of In-Ear monitors, here are few links to get you started.