Making a Scene Present Top 4 In-Ear Monitor Systems Below $500
One of the most important aspects of a live performance is the ability of the performers to hear themselves onstage. For vocalists this prevents them from having to strain their voices and to feel the groove of the band. For many touring artists many times the monitor systems in the venues you perform in could be subpar or even non existent. By investing in an In-Ear Monitoring system, you can insure a certain level of consistency to this crucial aspect of putting on a great live show. You also get the added benefit of lowering the overall volume on stage!
Unfortunately far too many in-ear monitor systems are on more pricey side. The less expensive ones, for the most part deliver the good quality sound from transmitter to receiver and can be better optimized by replacing the stock earbuds with a higher quality set. In fact, many musicians from various applications decide to get a reliable low budget in-ear monitor system while using different earbuds of their choice.
Our list of the top 4 wireless in-ear monitor systems below are all the highest-rated and most reliable units for the low price. Some in-ear systems have the option to use multiple transmitters as well.
Before we get started, a few things to keep in mind…
- Each system comes with at least receiver: Part that you plug your earbuds into that typically attaches to your belt or pocket.
- The transmitter is the unit that’s set up in the vicinity of the stage: Not carried with you
- You are able to purchase earbuds separately if you prefer
The Phenyx Pro UHF is another incredible bang for the buck wireless in-ear monitor system. Operating in the much less congested 900 MHz frequency band, it is very reliable with little to no signal interference. However, the 900 MHz frequency is only available in the United States and Canada. If your outside of those countries or planning on touring outside of those countries, it’s best to skip down to the next unit. Both the receiver and transmitter are relatively durable. The receiver takes 2 AA batteries with 8 hours of use.
The sound quality for the Phenyx Pro UHF is decent. Not the best sound quality on this list but not to bad either. While turning up the bass on the mix, there was a bit of noise. It worked best for me to keep the bass at a lower volume. However, many users claim this system hits the jackpot with an additional purchase of higher quality ear-buds. I found it very interesting that the Phenyx Pro’s receiver had an option for a limiter, Eq, or mono/stereo at this low of a price. Typically, In-ear monitors that have these extra features are at least triple the price as this system.
Overall, the Phenyx Pro is an incredible in-ear monitor system for the cheap price. It is very reliable, relatively durable with no longevity complaints thus far, and it has many extra features for the sound quality.
How to set up the Phenyx Pro in-ear monitor system
- Power the transmitter on
- Make sure the receiver (bodypack) has 2 AA batteries and power it on
- Pick a channel on the transmitter (anyone you prefer that is not the same as any other frequency as other wireless units on stage)
- On the transmitter; press set than scroll over on screen to press exit. (transmitter screen will show a loading icon)
- Open the battery pack of the receiver (bodypack) and face it towards the front right of the transmitter
- Press the set button on the transmitter while holding the receiver open towards the IR sync button on the transmitter
- Once the blinking (loading symbol) of the transmitter stops you are free to use the Phenyx Pro in-ear monitor system
- Reliable with little to no signal interference
- Great customer service
- Transmitter with metal casing and durable antenna
- Receivers compartment is able to fit rechargeable batteries (unlike many receivers)
- Not able to be used outside of the United States and Canada
- Noisy bass when turned up
- Poor belt clip (best to put it in your pocket)
- Manuel is not very thorough
- Comes with rack-mountable hardware
- Limiter option on the receiver
- Mono or stereo option on the receiver (labeled FO)
- EQ option on the receiver
- Headphone jack in the receiver
|Frequency Band:||905MHz – 925MHz)|
|Number of Frequencies:||6 channels, 11 groups (total of 66)|
|Operating Range:||They claim 160 ft, in my experience it is further|
|Receiver Power:||2 AA- 8-hour battery life|
2. ANLEON S2
The ANLEON S2 in-ear monitor system is an extremely good unit for a very low price. Both the receiver and transmitter are relatively durable and able to last. Rather than this system sending a mono signal to the receiver, the ANLEON S2 is a true stereo system. This means that you are able to pan each instrument as you please.
The transmitter is conveniently compact made with a metal casing for added durability and longevity. It has one antenna with the power switch directly in the middle and the channel selector on the right. There are 6 different channels available to use all within the 526-535Mhz frequency band. In my experience, I have not had any issues with signal interference. The ANLEON S2 is extremely reliable for the price.
The receivers screen shows the battery life, the frequency band it’s operating in, the selected channel, and the strength of the signal. You’re able to change the receivers channel by its side button. However, the transmitter and receiver must both be on the same channel for it to work. If the receivers button on the top shows green, that means you are connected and ready to go. However, if the light is red it is not connected.
In terms of sound quality, the ANLEON S2 sounds extremely good for its low price. To be frank, most in-ear monitor systems under the $500 range tend to have distorted bass. However, even with the original earbuds it comes with, this system has a very clear bass sound. I highly recommend the ANLEON S2 wireless in-ear monitor system.
- Durable transmitter and receiver
- Very reliable for the price
- True stereo transmission
- Incredible range
- Great sound quality
- Good bass sound
- Slightly long limiter release time
- Made in China
- 6 different channels to choose
- Anti-interference features for 6 different receivers to be used simultaneously (each must be on a separate channel)
- Light on the top of the receiver shows whether both units are connected or not. Red for no and green for yes.
|Number of Channels:||6|
|Transmitter audio in size:||1/4 inch|
|Operating Range:||200 Meters|
|Receiver Power:||2 AA, 12-hour battery life|
The Galaxy Audio AS-1400 UHF is another in-ear monitor system that comes with a rackmount kit. The receiver takes 2AA batteries providing 7 hours of continuous use. Both the transmitter and receiver have a great build quality that was clearly designed for longevity. It gives you the option to either use it in stereo, mono, or mixed mono. In stereo transmission, you are able to pan the instruments in whichever way you please.
The sound quality for this system is very good with overall clarity for the low and high end. However, the ear-buds are not up to par with the quality of the actual system. It may be better to purchase an additional set of ear monitors. With 275 channels to choose from, the Galaxy Audio AS-1400 UHF is entirely reliable.
- Rack-mountable transmitter with included kit
- Durable build quality
- Able to pan instruments with bodypack (receiver)
- 275 selectable channels
- Most expensive system on this list
- Comes with rackmount kit
- XLR on the back of the transmitter
|Frequency Band:||516-558 MHz|
|Number of Frequencies:||275|
|Stereo/Mono:||Stereo, Mono, Mixed Mono Mode|
|Operating Range:||300 ft. Line-of-sight|
|Receiver Power:||2 x AA (7 hour battery life)|
4. Xtuga RW2080
The Xtuga RW2080 is a good in-ear monitor system for groups who need many receivers. You can buy this system with 2,4,6,8, or 10 receivers that all can have their own channel. Both transmitter and receiver are made of metal for added durability and longevity. It has great reliability with 275 selectable channels to choose from. However, some channels are more clear than others.
Unfortunately, the sound quality of the Xtuga RW2080 is the best. I had to find the clearest frequency before getting the sound to work at its best. However, once the correct channel is found, the sound quality does its job. It does not perform well when the volume is extremely loud but just fine at a moderate to low volume for the price.
Overall, the Xtuga RW2080 is a good in-ear monitor system that is best used for those who need anywhere between 2-10 receivers. It will get the job done.
- All metal build
- Able to purchase this system with 2,4,6,8, or 10 receivers
- Able to purchase additional receivers separately
- Bad sound quality at high volume and unclear channel
- Does not use stereo
- Able to purchase this system with anywhere from 2 to 10 receivers depending on how many you need.
- LCD shows when the battery is low
|Frequency Band:||572MHz – 599Mhz|
|Number of Frequencies:||275|
|Operating Range:||300 feet|
|Receiver Power:||2 AA batteries|
A Quick Recap
Here are the top 4 best and cheapest wireless in-ear monitor systems all below $500
- ANLEON S2
- Phenyx Pro UHF
- Galaxy Audio AS-1400 UHF
- Xtuga RW2080
Any one of these systems will be a good pick for musicians or singers on a budget. Some are better than others in terms of your situation and what you’re going for. Be sure to check the reviews before purchasing anything!