Saturday, September 13, 2014

Your Audiology Tutorial: In-Ear Monitors

In-Ear or stage monitors are custom fit earmolds which allow musicians to hear a balanced mix of stage and audience at safer levels than what would've pumped out of those old wedge monitors at the edge of the stage, facing the players. If only Pete Townshend had worn these back in the day.

There are varying parameters for stage monitors.  The frequency range is usually between 20 - 15, 000 Hz, nearly the entire range of human hearing. Decibel sensitivity can be as high as over 120 dB, particularly for those monitors that have drivers with powerful sub woofers allowing for maximum boost of bass.

Your audiologist can take impressions of your ears and send them to a lab at a hearing aid company or the fabulous Sensaphonics clinic in Chicago, where several famous musicians have been fit.

I recall Dan Aykroyd thanking the Starkey company for his In-ear monitors during a Blues Brothers gig at the House of Blues in the Windy City: "Without them, I'd be hearing sleigh bells."

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