How to choose your first IEM, for beginners!

2022 is an excellent year for you to listen to music properly! As I write this article, a slew of new IEM releases have arisen and are competing with one another. So, here's a guide to assist you to choose your first IEM.

1. What are your preferences?

- Do you prefer a bassy tone? Or how about a vocal-centric sound? Perhaps balanced? Perhaps non-fatiguing? Do you only want an IEM for metal music? What about Japanese music? Pop Music? Perhaps an all-purpose IEM? Everything is up to personal taste. Most of the time, selecting an IEM is a question of personal choice. It may not be to someone's taste, but it may be to yours, and vice versa.

2. How do you want to wear your IEMs?

- Do you want them to be worn straight down like regular earphones? Or perhaps you want it to be worn over your ear as many musicians and performers do? Fit and comfort are also crucial factors to consider. Although straight-down wires will suit most ears, over-ear cables have the advantage in terms of securing the IEM to your ears. You should also check for IEMs with a removable cable option, as it will save you money in the long run because it can be simply changed when damaged, and it can also be replaced with a cable with a mic option if needed.

3.  What is your preferred build material?

- Do you want your in-ear monitor to be composed of metal? Plastic? Or perhaps resin? These materials will affect not just the sound, but also your fit and isolation experience. Metal IEMs are durable, however they are sometimes weighty and might induce tiredness depending on your ear. IEMs made of plastic or resin are lightweight, but they may require special care in the long term.

4.  How much are you willing to spend on your first IEMs?

- Do you want a low-cost IEM that will suffice for everyday tasks? Or do you want an IEM that can handle practically any music you throw at it? Most affordable IEMs (around $20) are already extremely excellent, do the job well, and outperform standard smartphone earphones in terms of overall performance. Spending more money on IEMs most of the time (but not always) results in more and better sound quality. I recommend that you start with the cheapest ones and then decide if you're prepared to spend more or not. Don't be concerned if you didn't notice any difference or if the difference isn't a night-and-day difference from your stock smartphone earphone. There are others who are in the same predicament, and they are saving a lot of money to go through it.

5.  Where do you listen to your music?

- Most IEMs are more than sufficient or enough when hooked straight into a smartphone or PC. However, certain IEMs presently require a specific combination to get the most out of them. USB dongles, sound cards, and even a dedicated music player can all help an IEM reach its full potential. Look for reviews of the IEM you're interested in on the internet as well. The majority of these evaluations will give you an indication of its overall performance.

And those are the major considerations you should make while selecting your first IEM! In-Ear Monitors may be used by anybody, whether for professional purposes such as music creation, live band engagements, or informal music listening. Because this is a subjective hobby, it is entirely up to you.

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