I don’t know about you, but one thing I HATE about doing live sessions (whether in a studio or via technology) is having to use headphones. There really isn’t an effective way around it. I don’t like how I sound in the headphones, I don’t like having something heavy on my head, and I DEFINITELY don’t like having both ears covered. When I use cans (big over the ear headphones) I always have one ear out of the headphones because I hate them so much! Sometimes they creak and make noise too…I am just not a fan at all. Well, I figured out my solution!
Kicking the Cans!
After a lot of research and contemplation, I finally decided to take the plunge and try to use custom in-ear monitors for voice over. I know most people don’t use them, but I think I know the reason for that. COST. A good set of custom in-ear monitors can run you over $1000! Who wants to plunk that down on a set of headphones when you can just pick up a set of Sony MDR-7506s?
I discovered, however, a GREAT company that makes custom in-ear monitors (that EASILY rival, and even beat the “big boys” in the industry in sound and build quality) for a fraction of the cost! I literally mean a fraction. They are 1/3 to 1/2 the price of custom in-ears by the big companies that are the industry standard. The company?
These guys have been around for a relatively short time, but let me tell you, they are SUPER professional, very fast, and make a great product. I’ve been using the in-ears for about 2 months, and I will never go back to cans. I keep them in my studio, bring them to all my studio sessions, and even use them to listen to music. They make iPod headphones sound like those old stupid cheap headphones that you get on an airplane for free or came with your walkman (remember those?).
Ok, so here is what I got. I purchased the triple driver (which means there is a separate speaker for the treble, mids, and bass in each ear) and added Ambient Ports. The ambient ports allow for outside sound to bleed into the headphones. The headphones sound incredibly true to life! With the ambient port, only one ear in, and the right volume setting, I forget that I even have them in. It sounds like I am in the room with the client, and don’t have headphones on at all. THAT is the whole point!
The guys at 1964 were very easy to work with. They made sure everything was done exactly how I wanted it, and the product was spectacular out of the box (which is quite a feat when you are making something that fits INSIDE someones ear). All I had to do was order the in-ears and then go to a local audiologist and have impressions taken, send them the impressions.
If you need any recommendations, I would be happy to put you in touch with a couple of the guys who are there. You won’t find a better quality product at a price like this. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if their prices go up as their name become more well know. ONE MORE THING! If you only use one ear, they will sell you just one ear at a 40% discount! THAT is a spectacular deal for anyone in VO who wants to have a great monitoring experience AND a great price. Can’t beat it!