Musicians and audiophiles know how hard it is to find a great in-ear monitor system at a decent price, as this gear tends to be very expensive especially if you plan on buying multiple transmitters.
We’ve researched the options on the market and gathered together this short list of the best budget In-Ear monitor system for you to choose from.
Although many of these are budget options, they actually offer great quality for the price and should fulfill your studio needs very comfortably.
We’ve also included higher-end options for musicians that demand a more powerful set up for paying gigs and larger venues and bands that need the scalability to add multiple receivers and coordinate with all the band members on stage.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, we suggest you look at this In-Ear Monitor and Receiver System by Pyle. This affordable system kicks out very decent sound considering its price tag and comes with a good quality earpiece.
Below, we’ve also provided some products recommendations that you can buy with additional receivers, but which also can be bought with a single receiver if that’s what suits your needs.
In any case, be sure to see our detailed product reviews if you’d like a complete set of details about each individual monitor system.
- Budget In-Ear Monitor Systems:
- Runner Up Budget Pick
- Best Pick for Drummers
- Best Pick for Guitar Players
Budget In-Ear Monitor Systems:
Overall Budget Pick:
Sound Quality: The sound quality is actually one of the things that surprise the most from this product. You’d think that buying one of the cheaper wireless monitor systems wouldn’t guarantee a great sound, but in this case, it does. The issue might surface when it comes to the bass, but the audio tones are right where you need them to be. It’s pretty well-balanced.
Bass: The bass of this product is generally very good, but during some low-frequency bass tones you might notice a bit of a hissing sound. This could prove to be a bit annoying sometimes, but it’s not an ever-present issue.
Build Quality/Design: Although this item’s build is made almost entirely out of plastic, it’s far from being a low-quality product. The build is solid all-around and the product functions just as intended.
Fit/Comfort: These headphones don’t come with any over-ear grip, but they fit well and you shouldn’t need to replace them with other earbuds anytime soon. They work as intended.
Battery Life: The batteries on this system seem to last longer than they do on the AWM model by Audio2000. A pair of AA batteries should last you at least 8 hours, but it might even get to 10, depending on the brand.
- Great audio quality. Not only for the price tag, but in general!
- Wireless range of up to 330 feet.
- Batteries last longer than they do in other similar products.
- You really don’t need to replace anything that this product comes with.
- The headphones are solid and the receivers work very well.
- As it happens with most low-end products, the bass could sound better.
- Setup might be a bit difficult at first.
Runner Up Budget Pick
Sound Quality: The sound quality of the AWM is actually very good for such an affordable monitor system. You’re probably not going to hear any type of hissing noises when using them as well, which is a great feature to have, considering how common this issue seems to be with most monitor systems.
Bass: The bass is a bit too high in some cases, but generally it sounds very good. It might not work as intended if your audio frequency is too low, so keep that in mind if you’re going to use this product with audio under 130hz.
Build Quality/Design: The build quality is nothing too fancy, but the product shouldn’t really break down easily. Be careful and try not to drop the receiver or you may cause unintended damage to it. It’s not very sturdy, but it definitely does what it’s supposed to do!
Fit/Comfort: This product’s earbuds are honestly nothing out of the ordinary. It comes with sets of generic headphones that simply do a job and aren’t very comfortable. We strongly suggest that you get a couple of better quality headphones if you intend to buy this system.
Battery Life: The batteries of this product do not come included. You have to buy a couple of AA batteries in order to get them to work. With most regular battery brands, you should be getting at least 6 hours out of each receiver per each pair of batteries.
- Great audio quality with no hissing sound “on the back”.
- Affordable price considering that of other monitor systems on the market.
- They work well at home as well as at most music stages.
- The bass could be better at lower frequencies.
- The headphones that this product comes with aren’t really good and you might want to upgrade by purchasing new ones.
This same model made it as our top budget pick for church IEM systems. If you sing or perform in a church setting, you may want to look at these top picks. Apart from this cheaper option we’ve selected some from a slightly higher price range.
RW2080 In-Ear Monitor System by Xtuga and Transmitter
Sound Quality: Although the sound quality is very good, some hissing issues might present themselves at times. There’s also a built-in limiter which can’t be turned off, but if you intend to use it, then this product might be what you’re looking for!
Bass: The bass isn’t anything out of this world. It can be heard well but there are definitely other products that could sound better. In any case, we strongly suggest you get some dual-driver earbuds. This will almost assuredly improve the quality of the sound!
Build Quality/Design: The product is very well built and could easily be the best-looking item out of the three products we’re reviewing today. It’s pretty sturdy and does what it’s supposed to.
Fit/Comfort: The headphones aren’t exactly comfortable, but they are well designed as in-ear earbuds and they work as intended. You could get a better set if you’d like – there are some cheap headphone options out there which could work very well with this monitor system.
Battery Life: Although the battery life is very solid, the other products we reviewed will last longer. A regular set of AA batteries should make this monitor system work for around 5 hours.
- Works as intended and shouldn’t cause you too much trouble when setting everything up.
- The system is very well built.
- Good sound quality which can be easily improved by getting some new headphones for the receivers.
- The receiver’s battery life isn’t as long as other products.
- You might need to purchase better headphones if you want to get the best out of this system.
Best Pick for Drummers
Sound Quality: If you’ve never owned a high-quality monitor system, you’ll instantly notice the sound quality difference as soon as you use this device for the first time. Sounds are incredibly crisp and they are complemented by the product’s top-quality noise-canceling headphones.
You can read more about the benefits of owning a top-quality monitor system here.
Bass: Just like the product’s sound quality, the bass of this in-ear system is very powerful. It also helps that the headphones are able to reproduce the sounds just as intended, which is a huge plus as you won’t need to get additional headphones to take full advantage of this product.
Build Quality/Design: As you would expect from a high-quality system, this product is built to last. It shouldn’t break down quickly by any means. The design is slick and doesn’t feel overloaded with unnecessary additions; it has everything you need you to swiftly configure your in-ear system.
Fit/Comfort: This product’s in-ear headphones don’t feel intrusive at all. This is something very difficult to achieve with these types of headphone designs, and Shure does it very well.
Battery Life: The receiver uses a simple pair of AA batteries, which should last for quite some time if you turn off the device between jamming sessions.
- Amazing sound quality
- Powerful bass
- Comes with headphones capable of reproducing high-quality audio
- You can comfortably wear the receiver for a while without feeling uncomfortable
- Great in-ear monitor system for drummers
- The build, although durable, is made out of plastic instead of metal
- Doesn’t include rechargeable batteries
Looking for more info about this product (visit Shure Website)?
Best Pick for Guitar Players
Sound Quality: This monitor system might be a tad more expensive than the last Shure product we reviewed, but its sound quality is even better. You’ll hear no interference while playing, and the volume is incredible. It’s especially good for guitar players and lead vocals, as the sound quality will help them improve their performance level.
Bass: Since this product’s headphones aren’t too good, you might need to purchase a new pair to get the best out of the transmitter’s bass. It’s actually very powerful, but you’ll get a massive and bigger boost if you invest some extra cash in better quality headphones.
Build Quality/Design: The system is clearly built to last. Everything feels sturdy – especially the system itself. It feels like the product could almost literally outlive most bands! The design is very simple but pleasant to look at, as is the case with most Shure products.
Fit/Comfort: The receiver is easy to carry, which makes the system very practical. Comfort will change depending on whether or not you decide to buy a new set of headphones. Even if you don’t, the ones included with your purchase feel very comfortable.
Battery Life: The body pack drains battery life very quickly. You should be ready to replace them soon. It is recommended that you buy a couple of pairs of rechargeable batteries before you start jamming.
Having troubles knowing how to use your in-ear monitor system? Don’t panic, it’s easier than you think.
- Clean and high-quality audio
- Lightweight receiver and not-too-heavy system
- Powerful bass
- One of the best in-ear monitor systems for guitar players
- You might want to get new headphones
- The bodypack eats batteries very quickly
Sound Quality: This product offers one of the best sound qualities that you can find in any wireless monitors system on the market. The sound passes through the receiver on to the headphones without causing any interference. Music sounds clean and crisp, even with this product’s default headphones.
Bass: Just like it happens with most of these monitor systems, the headphones don’t offer much bass quality. The receiver and the system are capable of transmitting it, but you might want to get a new set of headphones to go along with your purchase. You’ll be thankful that you did – the product will sound much better.
Build Quality/Design: The product comes with four different receivers and a quality system, all of which feels very well built. It’s also designed to be used in many ways, not only as a monitor system. You could use this product as a remote to power speakers thanks to the system’s dedicated audio outputs.
Fit/Comfort: One of the most comfortable features of this product is that you can move around freely without having to worry about signal loss. The receivers are also small and lightweight, which makes them easy to carry.
Battery Life: You need a couple of AA batteries to make the product work, but these come included with your purchase. You might still need to buy rechargeable ones, as the battery tends to be drained pretty quickly.
Short on cash? There’s new software that lets you turn your phone into an in-ear monitor system…
- You can move around freely while playing without suffering signal lose
- It can be used for many different purposes
- Outstanding sound quality
- Includes 4 receivers
- Consumes battery pretty quickly
- LED lights aren’t of the highest quality and could break down relatively soon
Sound Quality: The sound quality of this device makes musicians enjoying playing music more than ever. Of course, you should get your own set of headphones. Those included with the product aren’t really that good (and we mean, really not good). Purchasing new headphones or using your own will improve your overall experience with this monitor.
Bass: This system’s balanced bass is well-made and also complemented by its balanced receiver features. You can set the monitor system to stereo/focus mode, which brings up bass quality, even more, depending on the type of music you play.
Build Quality/Design: The product comes with plenty of customization options and works very well. The build is durable, sturdy and the design is completely user-friendly.
Fit/Comfort: As it happens with most of the products we’ve reviewed, the receivers are very lightweight and easy to carry.
Battery Life: The product comes with a single receiver, which uses two AA batteries. They don’t get eaten quickly though – you can use the system for quite some time before having to worry about getting new ones.
- Long battery life
- Enjoyable sound quality
- Easy and pretty straightforward setup
- Well-balanced bass
- The receivers can be carried around easily
- It doesn’t connect well with other Sennheiser instruments
The system itself is pretty heavy
Related Video: Getting a Better Balanced Mix in your IEM.
If you’re in the market for a new IEM, you may also be interested in this video. While getting a quality monitor is important, achieving a well-balanced monitor mix is half the battle, here are some useful tips:
If you are a budding musician or small band getting started, it’s understandable that you may be able to invest in a high-end in-ear monitor system or maybe just can’t justify the price if you are not playing regular gigs. Hopefully, our research and this brief overview along with our 3 picks for decent and affordable IEM systems will help you make your purchase decision.
While professional equipment can sell for thousands of dollars, you can still get good quality sound and stable connection out of these more reasonably priced systems. This price range is also a good stepping stone before upgrading to a higher priced IEM system. We’ve eliminated some of the very cheap options on the market since we didn’t feel the sound quality was up to par.
These systems we selected have a balance of price, comfort, sound quality and overall quality in a price range that we feel is affordable given the wide range of systems on the market.
You may be interested in this article about why IEMs sometimes fail, forcing singers to remove their earpieces mid-performance.
At very loud venues musicians may want to consider earplugs (if you only wear IEM in one ear)