Top 3 In Ear Studio Monitors- A 2024 Rundown

Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by IDS Team

Why use in-ear studio monitors? In ear studio monitors are an easy way of isolating sound so that you can mix it more cleanly and crisply. Furthermore, getting the right pair can help you protect your ears, as you can control volume at will. This way, you don’t have to crank up your speakers to deafening volumes In order to hear specific parts of your mix. 

We’ve chosen our top three picks for in ear studio monitors of 2024 based on a couple of criteria – for starters, there’s our best budget in ear studio monitor option. Outside of this, we have our mid range choice, as well as slightly more expensive offerings with our top pick. Read on for the full low down. 

Best In Ear Studio Monitors On A Budget: Shure SE215 Pro 

These make the top of our list for one of the best budget in ear studio monitor sets due to their low price, high quality, and suitability even if you already have some experience mixing.

These can block up to 37dB of noise from outside making them perfect if you are mixing somewhere that has less than stellar soundproofing. 

best in ear studio monitors

Are they the best in ear studio monitors overall?

With fantastic bass quality but slightly less differentiation at the mid and upper frequencies, these IEMs are perfect for bedroom producers and are suitable for a wide range of home recording situations. These can include playing with a live band and mixing a track with hardware in a home studio as well as simply mixing and producing a track mostly digitally or on your laptop. 

When might you want to upgrade?

For sure, these are a great pair of IEMs. But like anything, they’re not suitable for every environment. So when might you want an alternative? What these don’t work that well for is live performance. Yes, although they have a wireless option, if you’re playing live you might want something that gives you a greater range of sound. Plus, we think any pick for the top in ear studio monitors should allow you slightly more control. If that’s the case, read on for our mid range choice as well as some of the best studio IEMs that you can also take to live recordings. 

Price: 99 USD 


Best Mid Range IEMs: Audio Technika ATH E50

The Audio Technika ATH E50 are a slightly pricier, mid range option at 180 USD. They come with 4 sizes of silicone earbuds for maximum comfort and smoothly and cleanly block out sound with a crisp high end. 

However, what really earns them this spot as a stellar pair of mid range IEMs is their use of a technique called balanced armature. Balanced armature involves the armature – a small coil of wire – being suspended between two magnets in a process that gives clear and precise sound with greater levels of control over the small nuances. They are also highly energy efficient, making them great for on the go, and this precision also allows you to adapt them to a wide variety of setups that may have varying acoustics. 

best in ear studio monitors

What are they best for? 

All in all, they are one of the best sets of IEMs out there for multitasking musicians who want one piece of gear for both the studio and potentially onstage. 

Whilst there are other IEMs we would recommend specifically for live performances as outlined below, we can’t deny that these are amazing all rounder headphones that offer an astounding amount of features for comfort at a relatively affordable price. 

The ATH E50 IEMs come with a detachable cable meaning they are perfect for both sitting in front of your laptop as well as moving around live.

They also have a highly nuanced sound stage that means they can adapt to circumstances ranging from your bedroom to venues with potentially challenging acoustics. 

Is there anything better?

There are a variety of options in the mid-range in terms of IEMs. However, we’ve chosen these due to their additional comfort and convenience as well as the flexibility in how they process sound making them as good for intimate live gigs as they are for full band studio setups. If comfort isn’t such a big deal to you, there are cheaper options for a smaller price. However, they are one of the best In terms of sound quality. So, at this level, we think they are one of the most relevant options for musicians of all abilities. 

Price: 180 USD

Where to find them:

Best All Round Studio IEMs For Live and Studio Usage: WestOne Pro X30 

Part of the Pro X range, the WestOne Pro X30 is a set of IEMs that is still relatively affordable but sits a little above the mid-range. What’s more, they’re adaptable enough that you can use them across a wide range of genres and in various different spaces with a range of acoustic signatures. 

Part of a range that includes the 5-driver X50 and simpler, 2-driver X20, the Pro X30 is a high-quality set of IEMs that operates with ultimate differentiation of sound. 

What makes them the best in ear studio monitors at the mid range?

We’ve chosen these for our upper mid range pick if you’re able to go for something more expensive and want more nuanced sound as part of this. We still recommend the ATH E50, these are just another option for those who want it.

The driver in any IEMs can heavily influence the quality of sound you get on the receiving end. A driver fills the same role as a speaker would in a classic pair of external studio monitors or wedge monitors. However, with only one driver (such as in the Shure 215 Pro headphones we recommend for beginners) it is much more difficult to accurately represent the entire frequency spectrum. 

Once you increase to two drivers you can begin to approximate the kinds of sounds you would get if listening to a track through two external stereo monitors. However, the PRO X30 has not two but THREE drivers, giving them a level of nuance in their sound that makes them worth their increased, mid-range price. 

Price: 388 USD

Where to find them:

Final Thoughts

The IEMs on the list are by no means the be all and end all of what’s out there. Instead, we have aimed to provide a snapshot of the most suitable options for each particular set of needs. 

We’ve also taken the price range into the upper mids, just to give you a snapshot of what the best types of in ear studio monitors look like at all levels of cost. Plus, we’ve included our choice from Shure as a tried and tested pick for the best in ear studio monitors for beginners, ensuring you’re not left out if you can’t afford pricier options.

If you like hardware and want more comparison articles, you can check out our entire hardware section here.