In the not too distant past, the big monitoring debate concerning live performance was generally around wedges versus IEMs (in-ear monitors). For many performers, particularly in the rock world, wedges were not only a tried and tested monitoring solution, but were almost part of the stage dressing, providing many a showboating guitarist or vocalist an extra pedestal from which to demonstrate their widdly-diddly chops. Of course, they are far more than just simple props, and for many they offer more of a ‘live’, perhaps less clinical feel when onstage.
However, particularly in the 21st century, the popularity of IEMs amongst performers has skyrocketed. As audio technology has advanced and grown ever more sophisticated, the capabilities of in-ears have followed suit. The detail and quality that can now be found in these pocket-sized packages has not only prompted many a wedge user to make the switch, but also established the format as the go-to monitoring solution for most artists.
So – and again, not to diminish the qualities of monitor wedges in any way whatsoever – the debate today is really IEMs: universal versus custom.
Which brings us on to the Sennheiser FA 500 Custom IEMs, made in conjunction with Fischer Amps.
Put simply, the debate just mentioned isn’t really a debate. Yes, there is a notable difference in price, but if we’re talking quality of product, for regular live performers a set of custom IEMs can be invaluable. And Sennheiser’s FA 500 Customs are just about as good as it gets. Here’s why…