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Thread: Wireless in-ear monitors

  1. #1
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    Default Wireless in-ear monitors

    Our band is looking to get wireless in-ear monitors. Currently, we're using the wedges in front of us but we have occasional problems. Sometimes the crowd noise drowns out the monitors. Other times, the space is so small that you can almost rest your foot on them while playing.

    We've had wireless mics and instruments for a while and cost wasn't outrageous and they work great. I can't say that about the monitors. With dollar signs in mind, we're looking at the Galaxy Audio AS-1400-4 Band Pack System. It's roughly $1200 +/- and that's decidedly lower than Sennheiser and Shure. The reviews are generally pretty good.

    Has anyone here had any experience with the Galaxy system? If we have to spend the big bucks for the other systems, I guess we will but our motto seems to be "Going broke getting famous," and we'd like to change that. I'm 75 and I'm running out of time to get my 15 minutes of fame.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I can't speak to the cost, but play at my church regularly and the in-ear system they use is called Aviom, and works pretty well IMHO.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Past model (6or 8 years ago) of Galaxy I used was low quality (not high fidelity). No current experience with Galaxy. I do have Sennheiser IEM G4, they are very good.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Past model (6or 8 years ago) of Galaxy I used was low quality (not high fidelity). No current experience with Galaxy. I do have Sennh eiser IEM G4, they are very good.
    I also tried a single-user Galaxy system about the same time. It worked but I was not impressed. Having said that, most of reviews of the newer system(s) are generally favorable. There have been some unfavorable reviews but some of those I discounted feeling the users didn't know what they were doing. Things like "I only heard static" make me think they didn't read the manual.

    I'm gonna continue my research before dropping the big bucks on any system.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Couldn't afford the wireless in ear monitors. I had to go with the wired in ear monitors. I couldn't stand up straight at first so I got the extra long 20 foot chords. Works ok but if you spin around too much you can strangle yourself. Also the bass player thinks its funny to yank on it during my vocal solo. But when he does it quickly and repeatedly that helps give me more bravado so...
    Last edited by Astro; Mar-02-2020 at 2:54pm.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Couldn't afford the wireless in ear monitors.
    We may not be able to, either. We'll see.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    You might want to have a look at the https://www.ld-systems.com/en/series...000-g2-series/
    Thomann & GAK do it & it seemed like good value when I saw it. I'm a Sennheiser user, but that's because work are paying. If I was looking for myself I'd probably get something like this.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I looked at those but I"m concerned about RF interfering with the signal. That was a common complaint in the reviews. We're already using other wireless equipment and RF from those, coupled with the myriad of other things that can cause RF interference (fluorescent lights, LED lights, other radio equipment, electric motors, etc, ad infinitum) makes me put them way down the list.
    David Hopkins

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  12. #9

    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    My band tried these, I should mention we all run the Line 6 G10 Relay for wireless instruments. Now we are trying to sell the Galaxy system. Here's why:

    You get to the bar/venue, you're running your own sound so you're 2 hours early. You lug all the equipment in, you set everything up (You don't have to setup monitors now because you have this new in ear system). You're sweaty, now you have to check all the vocal mics, and all the instruments, and mix FOH. Now you go to mix the ears. Depending on your PA the band likely will all have 1 mix, unless you buy an extra wireless box to get true stereo. Plug it all in, you can get a sound, but there's static. The problem is that you have to MANUALLY find a clear wireless channel, and it's a pain in the ass. You would be much better off saving up for the nicer Shure or other that AUTOMATICALLY finds a clear channel for you, free of static.

    Of course, I'd love to sell you my Galaxy system!

    But I just thought I'd share my experience, which I learned the hard way Cheers!

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  14. #10

    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I should clarify, I just wouldn't want to see someone else incur the difficulties that we encountered with this system. It's just, the last thing you wanna do after setting up your whole rig is scroll through wireless channels on a non LCD screen.

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    FYI: The Galaxy AS-1400 system receiver shows signal strength, battery strength, stereo or mono, group number, channel number and frequency. The transmitter shows all that except the signal strength. Both use an LCD screen.
    David Hopkins

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  16. #12

    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    You are right David, it is an LCD screen, and right on all other counts. I double checked, and it turns out the unit we have is the AS-1100 unit, so definitely not as nice as the 1400. My mistake and apologies on that. All I know is, it was a bit frustrating and challenging to use, specifically having to search through frequencies to find a channel that didn't have static. At a later time, I did have the chance to try out a Shure unit (not sure which one). It was as simple as plug in, turn on, and press a button, and it would automatically find a clear frequency to transmit over. Much easier for the gigging musician who is running his own sound.

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by rivervalleymando View Post
    You are right David, it is an LCD screen, and right on all other counts. I double checked, and it turns out the unit we have is the AS-1100 unit, so definitely not as nice as the 1400. My mistake and apologies on that. All I know is, it was a bit frustrating and challenging to use, specifically having to search through frequencies to find a channel that didn't have static. At a later time, I did have the chance to try out a Shure unit (not sure which one). It was as simple as plug in, turn on, and press a button, and it would automatically find a clear frequency to transmit over. Much easier for the gigging musician who is running his own sound.
    The Sennheiser system finds free channels, and syncs with one button touch. Very slick and efficient.
    You can run four different mixes with two transmitters. You gotta have a mixer that can send 4 aux channels.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I thought the original Galaxy's were on the VHF band, which is prone to interference and drop outs. There are now some issues with UHF and cross talk from both new digital television frequencies and cell phone allotments. We recently encountered an issue where an HDMI to Cat converter box on a computer was placed to close to a wireless receiver and caused some problems.
    Anyway, some music stores will rent out systems - you might have to purchase the actual plug that goes in the ear. It's a great way to test a system to see if you want to take the plunge.
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Drop out doesn't bother me as much as "interference." I'm also a ham and that interference is RF (Radio Frequency) and can affect ham radios, too. It can come from almost anywhere. LED and fluorescent lights are particularly bothersome. Other radios (and we have them with the wireless mics and instrument transmitters), electric motors and some TVs are good examples. Almost everything that has electric current running through it (especially alternating current) can produce RF. Obviously, some things are worse than others. (As a teenager, I remember sometimes driving by a chiropractor's office and hearing his equipment whining on my car radio.)

    If you look at some of your electrical stuff, you'll see a label making reference to the device causing interference. That's the stuff I'm talking about. Advancing technology has helped minimize the problem but it's still there.
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    Registered User pit lenz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    From my point of view as a professional live sound engineer, allow me to share my opinion:
    Stay away from cheap wireless inear systems, especially in the 2.4 GHz range. This works theoretically but hit-and-miss in a true live situation is waaaay too risky. You may be lucky but you really have to know how to fix a surprisingly upcoming problem quickly (and they do come up quite often with these)!

    My recommendation: if you‘re on a budget, you better invest a fraction of that money in a good wired solution. Everybody can have small personal amp packs on their belts that can be plugged and unplugged quickly with one XLR cable per person. Much more convenient than you might imagine.
    The signal transmission is safe without hassle and the audio quality is incomparably better than any wireless system (exept the really expensive ones like 2000€/person).

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  22. #17

    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors - My experience with a $350 4-Pack

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    Our band is looking to get wireless in-ear monitors. Currently, we're using the wedges in front of us but we have occasional problems. Sometimes the crowd noise drowns out the monitors. Other times, the space is so small that you can almost rest your foot on them while playing.

    We've had wireless mics and instruments for a while and cost wasn't outrageous and they work great. I can't say that about the monitors. With dollar signs in mind, we're looking at the Galaxy Audio AS-1400-4 Band Pack System. It's roughly $1200 +/- and that's decidedly lower than Sennheiser and Shure. The reviews are generally pretty good.

    Has anyone here had any experience with the Galaxy system? If we have to spend the big bucks for the other systems, I guess we will but our motto seems to be "Going broke getting famous," and we'd like to change that. I'm 75 and I'm running out of time to get my 15 minutes of fame.
    Good afternoon,
    I play in an Irish trio here in Key West. Things can get noisy when we're playing in the bars and my wife (concertina and fiddle player) can't use a wedge monitor because of feedback problems. We decided to dip our toe in the water and get an inexpensive (but well-reviewed) IEM system.

    We purchased a Audio2000'S In-Ear Audio Monitor System (AWM6306U) from Amazon for about $350 and have been using it for six months now. We have no problems with drop-outs, interference, range, etc. We're typically spread out across a 12' stage, so none of us is more than 20' from the transmitter base. The unit is decent quality and easy to use.

    My biggest negative feedback is about the earpiece shape and size, and the way that it fits your ear. I play mandocello and octave mandolin, and find that unless I have the earpiece jammed tightly in my ear, the low frequencies are not heard as distinctly, giving me a false sense that I'm not playing loud enough. The unit comes with three sizes of rubber covers that go over the earpiece to custom-fit the unit to your ear. You can also use any favorite bud-type earphones you use on your iPod type device.

    Hope this helps.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Thanx, everyone. I really appreciate the comments and experiences.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Well, we bit the bullet and bought the Galaxy AS-1800. It's in a frequency range still allowed by the FCC for wireless equip. As usual, Sweetwater gave me a good price and, in spite of "everything going on," quick delivery.

    We put them to use at our rehearsal last Thursday and they work like a charm.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    If we have to spend the big bucks for the other systems, I guess we will but our motto seems to be "Going broke getting famous," and we'd like to change that. I'm 75 and I'm running out of time to get my 15 minutes of fame.
    DH,your band motto reminded me of the joke about the hard-working band that won big on the lotto. When asked what they were going to do now they said,"I guess we'll just keep on-tour til we run out of money."

    Glad you found a system you like. Play on!

  27. #21
    Registered User Chunky But Funky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I don't know how feasible it is for your application, and it does use 2.4 GHz option frowned upon above, but I was going to order a Rode Wireless Go system and use it in reverse for in ears. I saw someone using it that way on YouTube (scroll to 1 minute for the wireless hack, which can be modified for in ears). It says 8 systems can be utilized simultaneously. I wanted to order it for better audio for video anyway, but the potential dual functionality sold me. Using wired in ears with the connector looped through a belt loop and dropped into your pocket works too. That's how we use our Aviom's at church. Best of luck in your quest!

    Sorry! I just saw your solution a couple of posts up. Well, maybe this option will help someone else. It seems like it would work well for a duo or trio. Carry on!


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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    A lot of the stuff transmitting on 2.4 gHz is actually using Bluetooth. Bluetooth uses frequency hopping (like cell phones) and it doesn't seem to cause a problem. You note that 8 systems can be used simultaneously. That probably indicates 8 different frequency-hopping patterns. Our wireless instrument system uses 2.4 gHz and each unit has 4 "channels" which probably equates to 4 different patterns. They work well for us. The mics are on 615 mHz and the monitors are on multiple channels in the 549 mHz range.

    We spent the money to go as wireless as possible to eliminate many of the cables which, in turn, makes setup easier. However, as one who is quite familiar with Murphy's law, we also have sufficient cables accessible,
    David Hopkins

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    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.
    I like the above part the most! ... Good luck with the in-ears. We've tried virtually everything, including clip on instrument condensers and in-ear monitors. Just remember: You can always go back to everybody standing around a large-diaphragm condenser with the bass plugged in or with its own mic. : ) That said, gear is good. I can't stop myself from accumulating more even as I use less!
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    Honestly I wish there were more affordable options for IEMs, but unfortunately I've heard nightmarish stories about many of the lower-priced options. I cannot stress how devastating it is when your IEMs cut out mid song. It can derail a song very quickly. It's also important to note that IEMs are difficult to get used to to begin with, and adding signal drops into the equation will make them even more uncomfortable. My recommendation would be to buy one Shure PSM 300 transmitter and have everyone in the group share the same mix. The transmitter will cost around $350 (new), and each member will need a receiver as well, which are $350 a piece. In total you'll have about $2000 invested, but it's the last IEM system you'll ever need.

    Also some tips for getting used to IEMs:
    - Always run them in stereo. Running IEMs in mono will cause phase issues that will make your mando sound tinny and weak. Run the mando in one ear and the guitar in the other. Keeping them separated will preserve the tone of each.
    - Don't be afraid to add a little reverb to the mix. Some digital mixers have room reverb plugins that you can apply to your monitor mix to add some feeling of space.
    - Make sure the gain on each input is set correctly. IEMs expose how truly undynamic a DI sounds, and if your gain is set too low you'll have virtually no feel of your instrument.
    - Stick with them. They may be unbearable and unnatural the first few times you use them, but you will get used to them eventually. It took me literally 50 shows before I really started to enjoy the sound of IEMs, but now I love them. The benefits do outweigh the adjustment time.

    Sorry for the long rant, but I've spent a long time working to get my IEMs sounding good and I just wanted to share my experience to make them more enjoyable for you!

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  32. #25
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    Default Re: Wireless in-ear monitors

    I looked at Shure. It's good quality but a little pricey. I think part of the cost is the name, Their receivers are just shy of $500 each. The entire ensemble would have cost us almost $2400. The comparable Galaxy system cost $1700. It's working just fine. We've used the system during a couple of rehearsals to get used to them. (We haven't used it during a gig because, well, because no one is gigging right now.) Each receiver is switchable between mono and stereo.

    So far, everyone in the band is happy. We have no regrets. Now, if we can only fine a job to pay for them.
    David Hopkins

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    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric; Slingerland Songster Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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