HomeCompareIEM VS Earphones: Learn The Difference, Pros And Cons

IEM VS Earphones: Learn The Difference, Pros And Cons

Everybody loves music. People love listening to their favourite artists and getting engulfed in the blissful experience. For this reason, people buy the best earphones on the market, so they don’t even miss a single note. Have you ever wondered what earphones artists, performers and musicians use? We are here to tell you that the earpieces that professional musicians use are not earphones but monitors. In this IEM vs earphones comparison, we will learn what IEMs or In-Ear Monitors are, how they differ from normal consumer earphones and which one you should choose. So. let’s start without wasting any time. 

What Are IEMs?

The first thing to know in this IEM vs earphones comparison is the meaning of IEMs. As the name suggests, IEMs or In-Ear monitors are audio monitors that go in your ear. They are designed primarily to be used by musicians, audiophiles, composers, sound engineers and performers in studios or live performance settings. They come in all shapes and sizes and offer crisp, robust audio quality. There are two types of IEMs. The first one is universal IEMs, which are the generic form of IEMs that many people can use. The second one is called CIEMs or Custom In-Ear Monitors, which are made specially for a person according to their ear shape and size. 

IEM Vs Earphones: Better Noise Isolation

One of the most important things to consider in this IEM vs earphones comparison is the noise isolation both of these offer. Let’s first talk about IEMs. They offer a very good level of noise isolation. This is due to the fact that IEMs are placed in the ear canals. Also, the shape of IEMs is supposed to fit perfectly in your ear and block outside noise. However, Universal IEMs can sometimes offer a little less noise isolation because the generic shape of universal IEM does not cover the whole ear sometimes. 

Earphones offer little noise isolation because, unlike IEMs, they are not placed in the ear canal but rest in our ears. However, many earphones do come with an ANC or Active Noise Cancelling feature, which filters out the unnecessary noise and enhances your listening experience. So, in a way, both of these can be good in noise isolation. However, IEMs were made for performers to isolate the noise of people on stage during a live performance. 

This Category is a draw as both of these audio devices can offer next-level voice isolation, depending on your budget. 

IEM Vs Earphones: Comfort And Convenience

The next thing to discuss in this IEM vs Earphones comparison is the comfort and convenience of both accessories. Both audio devices are pretty good when it comes to comfort. However, earbuds are meant to be used for long periods of time, so they are more comfortable by nature. That being said, IEMs are also made to be comfortable and fit in your ear. Universal IEMs might be uncomfortable for some people due to their generic shape and size; however, CIEMs are very comfortable as they are tailor-made for the user. 

Regarding convenience, we do not doubt that earbuds are far more convenient than IEMs. This is because earbuds are designed to be more convenient and easy to use. On the other hand, IEMs are a bit delicate, and you must use them carefully. Most affordable IEMs are wired, and those wires are detachable. So, IEMs can sometimes get detached, which is not true with earbuds, wired or TWS. Moreover, IEMs carry a bit more weight than earbuds, which can make long music sessions tiring. 

So, this category in our IEM vs earbud comparison goes to Earbuds. 

IEM Vs Earphones: Sound Quality 

Now, this is the elephant in the room; this is why you are all here to read this IEM vs earphones comparison. Sound quality is the reason why we spend hundreds of dollars on earphones. Let’s first talk about earphones. Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Sennihseir make the best earphones, and although their earphones are very good and top-of-the-line, their sound is not as good as IEMs. Earbuds use software and computational power to sound more neutral and have different sound profiles. Moreover, earbuds have a V-shaped sound signature, where they try to be more upbeat rather than more detailed and pure. In the case of IEMs, they offer more clarity, detail and depth, mainly because audio professionals and performers use them. 

Another reason why IEMs have better audio quality than earbuds is because, unlike earbuds, which use only 1 dynamic driver, IEMs use multiple sound drivers. The single dynamic sound driver in earbuds works very well with low-frequency sounds or bassy sounds but doesn’t perform well with high-frequency sounds like treble. On the other hand, IEMs never use a single dynamic sound driver. Usually, IEMs can have as many as 5 separate drivers. However, in most budget IEMs, you will find at least 2 sound drivers, one dynamic and one balanced armature sound driver. What this does is it makes the audio much more pleasant and lossless. The dynamic driver takes care of high frequencies, while the other one takes care of low frequencies. 

This category in our IEM vs Earphones comparison goes to IEMs because of their perfect, crisp, clear audio. 

IEM vs Earphones: Cost

Now, the cost is what you must consider before deciding which audio device to buy. So, the next thing to discuss in this IEM vs. Earphones comparison is the cost of both devices. You can find earphones from anywhere between Rs. 200 and Rs. 20000. Each one is of different quality and offers different perks. You can buy the best earphones under 5000 and use them for as long as possible. However, if you want to use high-end earphones, most high-end earphones come from Apple, Samsung, Sony, JBL, Bose, and many other companies, and their cost is somewhat in the same neighbourhood. For example, the latest Apple Airpods Pro 2 (USB-C) costs Rs. 29,999 on Apple’s official website. 

IEMs have a wide range of prices. You can find an IEM for as low as Rs. 1000, and they can go upto tens of thousands. The price of an IEM depends on its price and the number of sound drivers it has. For instance, a wired universal IEM with 2 sound drivers costs around Rs. 1000. However, if you want a custom IEM with more than 2 drivers, it can cost you around Rs. 60,000 or more. For this reason we can’t name a winner in this category in our IEM vs Earphones comparison. 

Which One Should You Choose?

There you have it; these are all the differences between IEM and Earphones. Which one should you choose? The answer to this question depends on your use. You can opt for IEMs if you want the best audio quality possible and plan to listen to music in your house or office. This is because wearing IEMs for a long time can cause discomfort and hurt your ears. So, if you want to listen to music on the go, earphones are still the best option. They offer acceptable audio with the liberty to travel. This is it for our IEM vs Earphones comparison. Make sure to comment to show your appreciation, and let us know which comparison you would like to see next. 


Most Popular