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Discussion Starter #1
I play with a 10-piece horn rock group. Two trumpets, trombone, tenor (me), bari, and rhythm section. We are, um, LOUD. Especially in certain venues.

For about two years I've been using an AMT Wi-5 mic with a Galaxy in-ear wireless monitoring system. I split the signal from my mic; one side goes to the board and the other side goes to my monitor, so all I'm monitoring is myself. I've never had an ounce of trouble hearing the rest of the band for some reason ;)

I am in need of a set of in-ear earbuds that have better sound than I'm currently using. They function both as a monitor and as earplugs. The Galaxy system came with a set that has pretty good sound but they tend to fall out of my ears as I move around/turn my head.

I replaced them with a pair of consumer-grade Phillips (bought at Target, really meant for an ipod) with an over-the-ear clip; they're nice and secure BUT they are bright and tinny-sounding.

So, I'm looking for a setup that has the over-ear clip but has a better mid/low-range sound to it, that'll sound more like my horn's true sound in my ears and not so bright. I don't know if I'm describing this adequately so I'm hoping there are folks around here who know what I mean.

If possible I'd like to stay under $100. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Why not just call Galaxy Audio in Wichita? I don't think that Brock Jabara will answer, but he has some youngsters that are pretty knowledgeable, I hear.

BTW, if you can't hear Yourself, even with in-ears, it's Too Frickin' Loud...

and you're gonna be deaf by the time you're Brock's age.
 

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I would make this a budget priority, because not hearing yourself is the least of your problems--you need to protect whatever hearing you have left, and a solution that addresses both isn't necessarily cheap.

Trust me on this--I've played with WAY too many cats who destroyed their hearing over the course of their careers. You don't want to be among them.
 

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Are you using custom ear molds? Regular gigging with stock buds will not be good for your longterm hearing... The small investment in custom molds pays BIG divvies in both noise canceling, and reduction of hearing loss!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I fear I suck at communicating my needs. Or you guys have completely missed the point...

1. I have NO PROBLEM hearing myself.
1a. I went to the earbuds from a Roland monitor specifically to preserve my hearing. Not only am I a weekend rocker but I'm a high school band director by profession. When I don't wear the buds, I wear earplugs. I appreciate the concern over my long-term hearing loss but I'm way ahead of y'all ;)
2. I need slightly darker/deeper/bassier/whatever earbuds to replace the thin-sounding ones I've got.
3. These new earbuds MUST HAVE A CLIP THAT GOES OVER MY EAR. I move around too much for a set that just sticks in my ear to stay in.

Now - any specific recommendations?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm. Those look nice but are seriously expensive. My whole in-ear monitoring system didn't cost as much as many of the items Sensaphonics sells.

I just discovered that what I'm looking for is also known as "earhook" earbuds. Does that help you guys make any other suggestions?
 

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If you have custom ear molds, and they still fall out... you need to get your money back!
 

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The Sensaphonics stuff is crazy expensive. It's not just buds, it's a system to let ambient sound in. A lot of singers seem to really like that.

Go to http://ultimateears.com/en-us/products/reference-monitors

I recommend (from much experience in this area) either the UE7s or UE11s. The 11s have a deeper bass and a touch smoother top end. The sound of these buds seem to complement the frequency of the sax in a natural way. I've had others that did not. As in the music sounded good, but the sax just got lost. They are not cheep for sure, but I had a pair of UE5s last more then 10 years.

The custom molded UEs block out tons of the stage sound, so you can actually monitor yourself at a lower volume.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sigh. Are you guys just trying to find a nice way of saying I need to spend $700+ on EAR BUDS? I know that price range almost guarantees high quality, but jeez that's a lot of cash (at least for me). I guess I need to keep looking :(

I had a wild idea the other day - get a Bluetooth transmitter and Bluetooth earphones, for a completely wireless connection. I don't know how well it'd work though.
 

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Sensaphonics are expensive, I need to protect my ears and these cut the most db's over any other in ears. They are also made out of silicon which is way more comfortable than hard plastic. The other difference is that they fit deeper into your ear canal which helps with blocking out harmful db's. I had been using their custom ear plugs since the early 1990's so when I decided to get in ears I was familiar with the company. Anyway, it was worth the dough for me. I use them on a regular basis and couldn't be more pleased.
 

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Sigh. Are you guys just trying to find a nice way of saying I need to spend $700+ on EAR BUDS?
Maybe letting us know your "ballpark" might help. You can get molds that will allow you to insert a standard size bud into. This dramatically boosts the lows you wanted. The universal fit UEs sound pretty great too. They make a triple driver model that's about 300 or 400 I think. And a dual driver model that is less then 200. The UEs have their own sound for sure.
 

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I've used the Shure ones with the foam tips for 5 years. They are designed to be inserted, flipped over, and wrapped behind the ear. They work well when I move around a lot. I bought the ones that cost around $199, but you can spend from $99 to $499 if you want. They fit perfectly with the yellow foam tips.
 

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I'm NOT talking from experience here but a thought did come to mind. It might not be a bad idea to get your hearing tested and find out where you're at and then find out what db levels would be best to set a system up like the ones mentioned above. Just a thought from the peanut gallery.


Harv
 

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If you can't afford the Sensaphonics, Westone, or Etymotics IEMs, check out the Shure SE line. They start at about $100 and go up from there.

But the best solution are custom IEM molds made by your audiologist.
 

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I agree with JCBigler. The best experience is with custom molds from an audiologist. While this is the more expensive choice, I've found it is also the better choice. From my experience, generic molds tend to give an unwanted bass boost while the custom molds tend to give a more accurate sonic experience. It is also easier to monitor yourself at a lower level with custom molds due to the high level of exterior noise blockage from the customs. At the end of a gig, your ears will feel a lot less fatigued.
I've been using IEM's since about 1995. I started with Etymotic's (ER4's with custom molds / great sound) and in 2002 had a custom mold for a pair of Future Sonics (hard shell /very uncomfortable / very expensive / never really liked the sound / harsh mid-range). I've tried the Shures (dual driver / sounded really good) and had serious quality control issues. I went through two pairs in a year as did my Bass player. I tried a pair of the Westone dual drivers (also sounded really good) and they died after a year as well.
I would love to try Sennsaphonic's new IEM with the adjustable built-in mic, but not at $2,000. After reading Woody Reed's comments, I may try out a pair of Ultimate Ears. However, I would have no problem going back to Etymotic IEM's as they had a very nice sound. Almost all of the major IEM manufacturers (Etymotic, Future Sonics, Ultimate Ears, Westone, Shure, Sennsaphonic etc.) have a wide choice of IEM's where it should be possible to find a quality pair in your budget
 

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I also use the UE11 custom molds and thesound is amazing. BUT be aware that you always have your Sax louder in the mix than the "in your head" sound due to vibrations in your skull.
The more sealed it is, the louder is the internal sound!
 
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