Not everyone may agree, but comparing the weight of custom in-ear monitors for drummers might be worth doing, especially if you plan to use them for extended periods. In this article, let’s compare and learn more about the weight of in-ear monitors.
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How Light Are In-Ear Monitors?
In-ear monitors, or IEMs for short, are typically lightweight and comfortable to wear. This might seem obvious, but IEMs differ greatly in weight—usually measured excluding the weight of the cable.
However, it’s not always easy to compare IEMs by their weight. Many manufacturers don’t always specify the weight of their products. But they typically weigh less than ounce to 7 ounces, which is still not heavy enough to bother virtually any wearer.
To give you a better idea, here are the weight of some in-ear monitors from Shure, Sennheiser, and Mackie:
- SE215 PR: 0.48 ounces or 13.6 grams
- SE535 PRO: 1 ounce or 28.4 grams
- SE846 PRO: 0.42 ounces or 12 grams (excluding cable)
- SE425 PRO: 1.04 ounces or 29.5 grams
- IE 100 PRO: 5.6 ounces or 160 grams
- IE 400 PRO: 0.63 ounces or 18 grams (with cable)
- IE 500 PRO: 0.63 ounces or 18 grams (with cable)
- MP-120 Single Dynamic Driver In-Ear Headphones: 1.1 ounces or 30 grams
- MP-240 Hybrid Dual Driver In-Ear Headphones: 1.1 ounces or 30 grams
As you can see, the weight that manufacturers specify may or may not include the weight of the cable. This could be an important factor to think about for your comfort.
Aside from the weight of the IEM earpieces and cable, you also need to consider the weight of the bodypack receiver. Depending on the brand and model, bodypack receivers could weigh from 4.9 ounces to 6.9 ounces (about the same weight as a cup of granulated sugar), with or without batteries.
The weight of an in-ear monitor is also affected by the type of material a manufacturer used in making it. Most types of IEMs [In-Ear Monitor Types] are made of various materials, such as acrylic, carbon fiber, metal, plastic, resin, and wood.
Acrylic, carbon fiber, plastic (ABS or PBT), and resin are lightweight materials. Meanwhile, IEM shells and parts that are made from metal (e.g., aluminum, magnesium alloy, and stainless steel) are usually heavy.
For instance, the RHA T20i in-Ear Monitors (Gen. 2) stainless steel in-ear monitors weigh around 11 ounces or 312 grams. On the other hand, the Sennheiser IE 40 Pro is made from plastic (probably ABS plastic) and only weighs 0.6 ounces or 18 grams.
Does Weight of In-Ear Monitors Really Matter?
The answer: it depends on how you’re going to use these audio devices each day.
Audio engineers, singers, and instrumentalists are going to wear them for long stretches of time, so it’s important that they’re as portable and lightweight as possible. If you love to listen to music wherever you go—when you go to work, travel by plane [Can You Take An In-Ear Monitor On A Plane], or workout at the gym—going for a pair of lightweight and ergonomic IEMs might also prove beneficial.
Of course, this can be subjective. And unless an in-ear monitor is significantly heavy, most experts don’t consider weight as a critical factor in determining comfort and sound quality. When it comes to comfort, it’s more important to have IEMs that fit tightly your ear canal and won’t cause any type of pressure points.
As you can see, custom and universal in-ear monitors vary greatly in weight. They could be as light as a pencil or as heavy as a standard roll of nickels. Their weight depends on different factors, including the materials used for making them and the accessories (e.g. cable) attached to them.
Overall, weight is not a major consideration in choosing the best in-ear monitors. But if you’re going to listen to music or perform on stage for hours, it could be worth comparing their weight to find a pair that best fits your unique needs.