6 Best In-Ear Monitors 2016

For true musicians and audiophiles, no experience can compare to that of listening to a great in-ear monitor headphone. In-ear monitors, also known as IEMs, fit snugly within the ear canal, providing sound isolation far superior to that offered by standard earbuds. IEMs are most commonly used by amateur and professional musicians, as they allow for clear, isolated sound reproduction that makes stage performances infinitely easier. Some IEMs are sold in full kits, including the wireless device required for on-stage audio playback, while other IEM earphones are sold separately.

Despite the many benefits of IEMs, it can be difficult to choose between the many offerings on the market. In this buying guide, we’ve narrowed the list down to only the very best in-ear monitors. Whether you’re looking for an affordable pair of IEMs or the best on-stage earphones on the market, we’ve found the perfect device for you. Read on to learn more.

Top In-Ear Monitors Complete Chart

PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
1. Westone W10 Single Driver Universal Fit Noise Isolating EarphonesEarphones only$$$4.8
2. Shure P2TR215CL-H2 PSM 200 Hybrid Bodypack SystemFull package$$$$$4.7
3. Shure SE535LTD-EFS Limited Edition Sound Isolating EarphonesEarphones only$$$$$4.6
4. Sennheiser IE 800 Audiophile Ear Canal HeadphonesEarphones only$$$$$4.5
5. Brainwavz ProAlpha In-Ear HeadphonesEarphones only$$4.3
6. Takstar New In Ear Professional Stage Wireless Monitor SystemFull package$$4.1

Choosing In-Ear Monitors

Before selecting a pair of in-ear monitors to purchase, it is best to consider your individual listening needs. In considering these factors beforehand, you can make a purchase much better suited to your needs.

Things to consider when purchasing in-ear monitors:

  • Noise Isolation Capabilities. In-ear monitors are some of the best earphones for those needing powerful noise isolation from their devices. IEMs are known for providing passive noise isolation that oftentimes surpasses the active noise cancellation offered by other pairs of headphones and earbuds. If you’re looking to block out obtrusive sounds, such as a loud audience or airplane noise, IEMs are perfect for you. Most musicians find that their on-stage performances improve after switching to IEMs. If, however, you’re looking for an audio device that allows you to stay in-touch with the world around you, you may prefer monitors without passive noise-isolation abilities.
  • Full Package or Earphones Only. For performers looking to invest in a pair of IEMs, purchasing a “full package” of all the necessary equipment may be your most affordable option. These packages include all of the wireless radio transmission equipment required to make on-stage monitoring possible. If you already have the necessary monitoring hardware but lack a pair of quality earphones, you may benefit most from purchasing a pair of truly great headphones, such as the Shure SE535LTD-EFS. These earphones surpass the quality of the earphones included in most IEM packages and will significantly improve your listening experience.
  • Price. In-ear monitors can be affordable or pricey, depending on the technologies used in them. Lower-end IEMs can provide adequate audio with good passive noise isolation. High-end IEMs often contain multiple drivers, a broader audio range, and may be more comfortable and durable. Basic IEMs often cost less than $50, while high-end devices may cost upwards of $500. Be sure to choose a device that is high-quality and includes all of the features that you may need.

Top 3 In-Ear Monitors Reviews

1. Westone W10

The Westone W10 Noise-Isolating Earphones pack a might punch for the price. Though these IEMs aren’t cheap, they’re well worth the investment. These great earphones come with ultra-comfortable foam tips, which customers claim are more comfortable than other IEMs they’ve tried. If you’re looking for style as well as comfort, these Westone earphones are for you; interchangeable faceplates in blue and red are included with the device. Users rave that the bass on these earphones is perfectly balanced, and many claim that the audio quality rivals that offered by Bose and Shure headphones. The Westone IEMs are some of the best all-around earphones on the market, loved by musicians and music lovers alike. If you’re willing to invest a little extra in your listening experience, choose these IEMs.


  • You’re looking for IEMs that block out the noise of the crowd.
  • You want a classic, simple set of earphones with a touch of customizable flair.
  • You want to upgrade to in-ear monitors without sacrificing comfort.

2. Shure P2TR215CL-H2

Are you a performer looking to purchase a high-quality in-ear monitoring system for yourself or your band? If so, the Shure P2TR215CL-H2 Bodypack System is for you. This excellent package includes a wireless bodypack, transmitter, and a pair of the fantastic Shure SE 215 Earphones, all for a single reasonable price. These single MicroDriver earphones are incredibly versatile, and can be used on-stage as well as with an MP3 player at home. Though not the most expensive of Shure’s earphones, these monitors are praised for being great entry-level IEMs. The rest of the package is equally good; musicians claim that this monitoring system far surpasses the on-floor monitors they have used in the past.

If you’re a musician who can afford a quality monitoring system, the Shure P2TR215CL-H2 Bodypack System includes the best in-ear monitors for you.


  • You’re looking for a complete IEM kit that includes a bodypack and transmitter.
  • You want IEM earphones that will perform equally well on-stage and off-stage.
  • You’re tired of on-stage speaker monitors and are ready to invest in high-quality in-ear monitors.

3. Shure SE535LTD-EFS

Are you a hardcore audiophile looking for the very best in IEMs? If so, the Shure SE535LTD-EFS is for you. With a stylish, sleek red design, these earphones are as eye-catching as they are ear-catching. Though they’re some of the most expensive IEMs on the market, users proclaim that these earphones have changed the way they listen to music forever. With a wide frequency range and three powerful drivers, these in-ear monitors have some of the most powerful earphone hardware on the market, and can hold a candle to even the best over-ear headphones. Whether you’re performing or relaxing, these earphones will meet your needs.

For passionate musicians and music lovers looking for quality noise isolation and excellent audio reproduction, the Shure SE535LTD-EFS is the clear leader of the pack.


  • You a musician or audiophile who can afford to invest heavily in excellent earphones.
  • You’re a fan of Shure and their high-quality IEMs.
  • You love the bold red design of these earphones.

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