1. We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.
    Dismiss Notice

Wireless IEM systems - which one to buy / avoid ??

Discussion in 'Rigs and Routing' started by Rocket Brother, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Rocket Brother

    Rocket Brother
    Expand Collapse
    Forum Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    961
    Hi,

    I play with a few different groups and artists as a sideman, almost exclusively with my Axe Fx.
    Depending on the artist/group I'll be on monitors or IEM, whichever setup the artist prefer.

    I have great IEM's but have never owned a wireless IEM system and since they are always supplied by the tech company and since a tech always put the receiver on me on my back, I've never paid much attention to what we've been using on any given night, but I know that we have used Shure and Sennheiser units predominantly if not exclusively. Pretty sure I've never tried a Carvin unit for instance.

    I'm now thinking about getting a wireless IEM system myself and want to check with those here that have experience with different types/brands of wireless IEM systems.
    I want something that sounds good and is good quality, and I'm willing to pay for it, so not going with and semi-decent entry level quality.
    I'm based in Scandinavia/Europe if that makes a difference with regards to the models/brands and the frequency bands they operate at.

    So please tell me of your experiences - Which ones should I consider and which ones should I stay away from, and why ?

    Shure PSM 200 vs 300 vs 900 series ?
    Sennheisers EW 300 IEM vs EW IEM series ?
    Carvin EM900 ?
    Others ?

    Looking forward to all your advice, and I'm hoping that forumites such as @s0c9 will chime in

    Thanks
    RB
     
    s0c9 likes this.
  2. dpeterson

    dpeterson
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,415
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Avoid anything in the 700-600mhz bands (In the US) you should be able to pick up a good deal if you buy from someone in the states, as they are now owned by someone else (thanks FCC).

    PSM200 - first iem i ever had. it's mono, but has a decent limiter, and only 4 channels IIRC.
    PSMX - all are good, more features as you go up the line, 900 is true diversity IIRC.
    Carvin EM900 - owned for many years, never failed on me, is stereo, and sounds decent for the price, pack is bulky.
    Sennheiser IEMG3 - currently own, and it's A band so it's in the 500's. Sounds the best of all the ones I have owned. It has an on pack eq which is very nice if you need a little more thump. Pack is a great size.

    Ear buds make the biggest difference IMHO. Early on i had the entry level Shure's that came with my PSM200, used those for a while with the EM900, and finally moved up to custom triple drivers, and that was a BIG difference. Seal was better, overall just sounded a lot better.

    Hope that helps some.
     
    Rocket Brother likes this.
  3. s0c9

    s0c9
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,866
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    it's your lucky day @Rocket Brother :)

    DISCLAIMER: I don't and can't claim to be knowledgeable on Euro frequencies, but here goes. This will apply to US-based IEM wireless use. You'll have to adapt for Europe.

    1. Which product?
    The PSM200 and 900 are obsolete and the current Shure offerings are (IIRC) PSM300, 600 and 1000.
    You need to decide on a budget.
    The PSM1000 is pricey, and the 600 is more Mid-range, but cheaper than the Senn G3 and Carvin (on sale now I believe) is cheaper still.
    I have used Carvin, Shure (PSM200) and Senn. Currently using Senn G3, which is by far the best of them IME.
    Each have their own idiosyncrasies such as issues with the xmitter doors, plastic vs metal belt clips, noise floor, etc. Do the research.
    You should definitely get a stereo unit, so you can pan instruments and get seperation. Mono works, but stereo works better with our brains.

    2. Which FREQUENCY?
    Once you've chosen a product, you need to decide which frequency you need.
    In the US, the devices are separated by "band". Bands differ between vendors. Senn has "A" - 516-558 Mhz, "A1" - 470-516 Mhz, and "G" - 556-608 MHz. Shure has their own - G20, H20 and J13 for example.
    You need to scan the areas where you play to determine which band has the most open channels (less interference potential from local TV).
    Here's an article on frequency choice
    https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles/wireless-system-frequency-finder/
    That has links to Shure and Senn frequency finder sites.. for the US market.
    I haven't found a Shure one for anywhere else, but I know Sennheiser has one for Australia and one for Europe.
    And this one seems to be new and covers multiple countries - http://portal.sennheiser.co.uk/sifa

    3. The one things [MOST] folks leave out.. BUDS !
    For the benefit of other readers, get the best multi-driver (I suggest a minimum of 3) buds you can afford. Universal fit if they work for you, or customs if not. With 3+ drivers, you'll get LESS ear fatigue,and better audio quality.. Which ones is another lengthy post :)

    Hope this helps..
     
    Rocket Brother and yek like this.
  4. 2112

    2112
    Expand Collapse
    Forum Addict

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    5,100
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    I just got the Senn G3 9it's awesome) and strongly agree about the buds as they make a huge difference.
     
    Rocket Brother and s0c9 like this.
  5. s0c9

    s0c9
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,866
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Leon,
    I'm running Senn D1 wireless (inbound) and Senn G3 IEM w/ 1964 A8's. Awesome setup !!

    Use the D1 (auto-sensing 2.4G) w/ both guitar and bass and had no issues w/ the 2 other L6 "digital" wireless units that are usually on stage :)
     
    Rocket Brother likes this.
  6. Jemlite

    Jemlite
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    NorCal
    The PSM900 is not obsolete. Still made and near top of line with many of same features as the 1000.
     
    Rocket Brother likes this.
  7. Rocket Brother

    Rocket Brother
    Expand Collapse
    Forum Addict

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    961
    Thanks to all of you for posting - really appreciated !

    I have two sets of custom mold pro IEM's, currently using the UE 18+ Pro, so that part of the equation is taken care of, what I need is purely the wireless IEM transmitter system.

    Anybody have experience with Sennheiser G3 vs G4 ?

    I'm also considering adding a Shure GLXD RE-14 wireless guitar transmitter instead of my Line6 G90 system, as the GLXD RE-14 and a wireless IEM only takes up 1U in the rack, and Im trying to keep my Axe III rack build as compact as possible.
    That's a pro for the Shure IEM units as they are designed to be chained/connected to other Shure 1/2 units, so I wouldn't need a rack shelve to put the IEM and GLXD RE-14 in the rack - but sound quality and quality in general is the deciding factor, not brand convenience.

    Really helpful - thanks !
    Did you ever try the PSM900 ??
    And if so any opinions on pros and cons between it and the Sennheisers ?
    The Carvin EM900 is on sale which is why I included it on my list of once to get opinions on, but if the Sennheiser and/or PSM900 is clearly better, then I'd much rather buy one of the latter.

    I'm one lucky guy :)
    I've seen you making great and knowledgeable comment's in other IEM post so hoped to get your input - which is really appreciated -thanks.
    The budget is whatever it needs to be to get the one I decide on, so if the PSM 900 or Sennheiser G3 is the one to get, then so be it.

    In Europe at least the PSM 200, 300 and 900 are the units for sale, that's why I included those.

    I'm stating production rehearsals for a fall / winter tour next month, and will have to speak to our monitor tech who is constantly touring both sides og the atlantic about frequency bands and more, maybe I'll have to buy a wireless IEM transmitter for use in the EU and then either buy a separate one or rent one for use in the US if they are incompatible with regards to the frequency bands.
    I'll also see if he has or can rent the top 2-3 contenders from this thread for me (it there is not a clear winner), to try them out side by side, thats partly why I'm asking for your experiences.

    Hey Leon - have you tried other models or brands prior to getting the Senn G3's ??


    Keep the comment coming, they are much appreciated
     
  8. s0c9

    s0c9
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,866
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I stand corrected.. hadn't seen them in a while, and I don't believe Shure is actively marketing them... promoting the 300, 600 and 1000's.
    At the $1500 price point, it's beyond the budget of most non-pro's. Even the Senn G3 is "up there" at around $1000.
    The PSM1000 is their TOTL unit, and entry-level is now the PSM300, for which it's ~$800.
    Yes, you CAN get deals on those units if you look.

    Cheap means Carvin or Audio2000, Xtuga, ANLEON, Pyle or others. You get what you pay for.
     
    Rocket Brother likes this.
  9. s0c9

    s0c9
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,866
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I haven't used the PSM600 or 900 (or 1000!). But as you've got GREAT buds already, to me, the choice would be Senn G3 (they just released a G4 version) or the PSM900.
    As far as wireless IN, there's plenty of choices.
    My requirements in that space were:
    - rack mountable
    - NiMh battery as well as AA capability.
    - digital
    That got me the Senn D1 - autosensing 2.4G channel choice, etc. ZERO conflicts with other 2G wireless units on the stage as it auto-chooses best channel. I bought TWO BA30 batteries with it. Each lasts 12+ hours. USB rechargeable (same cable as many android phones) and it also comes with an AA "capsule", so I can also use AA batts in a pinch. The BA30's are NOT included. Extra $$. It also uses the standard [lockable] 1/4 to 1/8" cable, not the funky Shure 4-pin (TA4F) connector used by Shure and L6 units.

    My current rig is Senn D1 (inbound) and Senn G3 IEM + 1964 A8's. Beats cables and wedges hands down !!
    YMMV
     
    Rocket Brother likes this.
  10. Tremonti

    Tremonti
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    808
    Location:
    Bradenton, Florida
    GtarLover likes this.
  11. unix-guy

    unix-guy
    Expand Collapse
    Axe-Master

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    3,839
    Location:
    Vacaville, California
    Just for informational purposes, what other brands/models did you previously try?

    I have the Audio Technica M3s and I'm not super impressed after 2+ years.

    I've seen the MI909 but could not find any review information from a source other than the US reseller.
     
  12. GtarLover

    GtarLover
    Expand Collapse
    Inspired

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Florida
    +1 on the MiPRO909. I moved from the older MIPRO 808 (kept it as a spare) and the 909 is GREAT!! As was mentioned, all digital and DUAL antenna...this is key for reception. There are some decent deals and if you're looking at the Sennheiser it is LESS $$ for the dual antenna 909.
    YMMV

    Here's a link that has some comparison figures...
    http://ineargear.com/wireless/mipromi909digital.html

    Hope this is helpful.
    BTW, this site and the guy (Mike) who runs it are very cool.
    I have purchased a few things here, wireless mics, in-ear systems, all great deals and he's cool to chat with if you need some advice as well. He has Shure stuff too.
    Please tell him Tim sent you, he will appreciate the referral. Been using my 909 for a little while now, with custom molded triple driver ear buds, BEST sound I've had.

    Now if I could only get a perfect EQ, I'd be listening to a CD in my head every show.
     
  13. unix-guy

    unix-guy
    Expand Collapse
    Axe-Master

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    3,839
    Location:
    Vacaville, California
    Thanks... That is actually the site I was talking about. I think he is the only US distributor (or was at the time I looked). It appears there might be a couple now.

    Thanks for your input.
     
    GtarLover likes this.
  14. GtarLover

    GtarLover
    Expand Collapse
    Inspired

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Florida
    A friend actually directed me to another site that had the MIPRO 909's and I called him and he immediately matched prices.
    Anyway, it's working for me.
     
    unix-guy likes this.
  15. Patzag

    Patzag
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,086
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Location:
    Caribbean
    IF money is no issue, the there is another brand that was entirely omitted here and is - in my experienced opinion - hands down the best: Lectrosonics.
    Their IEM offering (the Duet) is by far the best sounding system I've tried. And I tried quite a few. I can't pretend to be able to give an honest review of every system out there but having worked with upward of 6 different systems, the Lectrosonics was the best.
    I am scheming on how to get myself a permanent install with this system because I've been drooling over the sound quality of the unit ever since I tried it.
    Each transmitter handles 2 stereo or 4 mono feeds.
    It's not for bedroom players and out of financial reach for most non-pro players. But it should at least be mentioned here.
     
    reclavea likes this.
  16. Tremonti

    Tremonti
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    808
    Location:
    Bradenton, Florida
    I don't know the exact systems because I rehearse at a studio that has several bands in there and they let me try their Sennheiser and Shure systems. The fact that the MIPRO is all digital, dual antennae, stereo and built like a tank is awesome. Cost is less and they come with rack ears. Win win and love the system.
     
    GtarLover and unix-guy like this.
  17. unix-guy

    unix-guy
    Expand Collapse
    Axe-Master

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    3,839
    Location:
    Vacaville, California
    Thanks... Good to get positive feedback from several resources here.
     
  18. Tremonti

    Tremonti
    Expand Collapse
    Fractal Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    808
    Location:
    Bradenton, Florida
    I was very skeptical at first because I had never heard of them. But gigging for a year and ZERO issues. I can't think of a singular thing I would change or would ask more from it. One of those purchases that just felt great after.
     
    unix-guy likes this.
  19. AlexanderJ

    AlexanderJ
    Expand Collapse
    New here

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    18
    I use and love the Lectrosonics Quadra. The Duet was equally good when I tried it. They sounded the same so I stuck with the Quadra. Digital and diversity is the way to go if at all possible. The more affordable analog systems I've tried that I liked were the AKG IVM4500 for sound quality or the Sennheiser EW300 for volume.
     

Share This Page