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Alclair Audio How To Buy In-Ear Monitors - in ear monitor impressions

HOW TO BUY ALCLAIR IN-EAR MONITORS

Purchasing a set of custom in ear monitors can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Use this guide to walk you through the process. If you get stuck anywhere, please reach out to us on email or give us a call. We’d love to help you get the right in ear monitor for you! If you are lucky enough to be in Nashville or Minneapolis, you can come see us and we can help you with the whole process!

DECIDE ON THE RIGHT MODEL

Which model is right for me - image of band for in ear monitors

The first thing to decide is what model of in ear monitor is right for you. Do you need lots of headroom for drums and bass? Do you need clarity and detail for mixing? We have lots of tools to help you out.

Check out some recommendations on this page, or check out the monitor shop for info and descriptions of each model. Stumped? Shoot us an email or give us a call.

DESIGN YOUR MONITORS

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Once you know what in ear monitor model you need, it’s time to design! Pick out colors for the face plate (the part that you can see in your ear) and the shell (the part that goes inside your ear).

Our design tool makes it easy to customize your new Alclair in ear monitors to look exactly how you want them to. Once the design is perfect, add it to the cart and place your order!

GET YOUR IMPRESSIONS

Impression Instruction Image with bite block

Now it’s time to get impressions of your ears. Search the interwebs for an audiologist or hearing aid center near you or email us to see if we have a listing. It’s very important that your audiologist follows the instructions or we can’t guarantee a proper fit and seal.

  • Use a silicone impression material (no powder & liquid)
  • Go past the second bend
  • Use a 1″ bite block with no jaw movement
  • Capture the entire ear including the outer ear

Print out THIS FORM to take to the audiologist.

WHAT IN EAR MONITOR IS RIGHT FOR ME?

The best way to select a custom in ear monitor is to look over the different models and select the one that fits your needs and budget best. Here are some guidelines that might help:

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Guitar Player

If you are a guitar player, the Dual XBs bring out some of the low end of the instrument without sacrificing mids and highs. The Tour model is rugged and emphasizes the low end and mid-highs, great for cutting through on loud stages or in front of amplifiers. For players who want more mid-range clarity, the Reference is also a good choice. And there is always the Spire, which is an impeccable guitar players stage monitor. Need more clarity and headroom with loads of low end and silky upper end, then go RevX, it handles anything you can throw at it.

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Bass Player or Drummer

If you are a bass player or a drummer there are three monitors that are particularly well suited for you. The Dual XB model is a great all purpose monitor with a bit of lift in the low end. Stepping up to the Tours will give you a solid low and articulate high end, with durability and great headroom. The CMVK sit at the top of the range with a pronounced low end and plenty of power for those who like to “feel” their music. The RevX is the ultimate drummer and bassist powerhouse with loads of headroom and power with a clear and detailed upper end.

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Touring Musician

If you are a musician that tours or plays large venues, look towards the Tour, RSM, Spire, or RevX models. The Tour emphasizes the low end with a boost in the mid-high end to bring out vocal and instrument articulation and clarity. They are built to withstand the rigors of the touring life. The RSMs are incredibly balanced and have great headroom and lower distortion. Loud stages and performers needing to hear the whole spectrum equally will love the RSM monitor. For the ultimate stage monitor, the Spire will inspire you and give you balance that won’t run out of low end. The RevX is the professionals dream tool with everything you need for monitoring bliss – deep lows, crisp but not harsh highs and rich mids.

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Vocals

Vocalists need a monitor that allows their vocals to jump out of the mix with great clarity. The DualXB dual driver in ear monitor is a great place to start. If you like a bit more in the low end or want to hear the kick and bass really well, the RSM is a great option. The Spire has a nice vocal range contour that lets your vocal shine through with clarity and articulation.

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Keyboardist

If you are a keyboard player check out the Versa, Reference, and RSM models. Versa and Reference for the smaller stage and RSMs for the larger/louder stage. All three monitors will give you balanced tone across the whole keyboard and allow you to hear the band evenly as well. The Electro will also give you wide range balance with the addition of bringing out the nuances of acoustic piano and the character of synth patches.

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Multi-Use, Multiple Instruments or Studio AND Stage Needs

If you need a custom in-ear monitor for multiple uses, that can get tricky. Our best recommendation is to have two pair, one for each application. But we know that is not always possible. In general, the RSM, Spire, and RevX are going to be the most versatile models that will work in multiple applications. You will likely need to compromise a bit on one of the applications. Typically we see people who will need a monitor for drums or bass as one application and studio mixing as the other. In this case, the RSM is great for the studio side and will work well for the stage side too. The Spire is fantastic for the stage and will work for studio with some learning. If you are playing multiple instruments on stage, the RevX will handle all stage needs with ease.

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Everyday and Critical Listening

If you are using your monitors for everyday or critical music listening, the Reference, RSM, Studio3, Studio4 and Electro electrostatic hybrid are your monitors. The Reference is an uncolored monitor with plenty of articulation across the spectrum. The RSM is similarly uncolored but has more headroom and lower distortion specs. The Studio4 is the pinnacle of balance with smooth lows and mids and an articulate upper end. While all three monitors are accurate, the Studio4 brings out more of the subtleties and nuances of recordings. If you like a bit more energy and contour, the Studio3 will give you balance with a slight bass and upper-mid boost for a fun listening experience. For the ultimate in depth, clarity and wow, the Electro cannot be beat. If you rely on your ears to make mix decisions, the Electro is the finest available on the market today.

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Front of House or Studio Mixing

If you are using your monitors for front of house or monitor or studio mixing, the Reference, RSM, Studio4 and Electro monitors are for you. The Reference is a fantastic monitor for churches and small clubs. It has a very even balance that gives you an accurate reproduction of your mix. The RSM model gives you the same accuracy with more power and less distortion, great for louder venues and hearing the subtleties of a studio mix. The Studio4 offers a bit more available low end with incredible detail and depth. The Electro electrostatic hybrid is perfection in a monitor. With clarity, depth and a wide soundstage, there is no more accurate monitor available today.

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Video Games and Gaming

Gamers need to both feel the game and hear subtle nuance that helps them hear an enemy around the bend. We recommend the UV3 if you are looking for a universal fit. Really, almost any monitor in our line up would work well, except maybe the Reference and the CMVK. We’ll highlight the two monitors that are absolutely game changers (you see it, we did it, we’re not ashamed…. ok, a little ashamed). The Spire is a six driver model that you can crank up the low end on, letting you feel everything that is happening in the game. But you will also get great clarity up top to hear team mates and detail. The ultimate gaming experience would be the RevX. It has power and articulation so you get the best of all multiverses, uh, worlds. A bonus entry is the Studio3 which is a bit more balanced than the Spire or RevX, but has such a great feel to it that you could describe it as immersive.

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Podcasting and Video Editing

Generally, podcast and video editing is less demanding than a recording studio in terms of the number of tracks, phase issues, application of delay and reverb, etc. You want to hear when something is wrong, or humming, or those pesky zero crossings, but you don’t necessarily need to tell if two sources are our of phase. The Versa is a really great place to start if you are beginning or on a budget. If you want a bit more clarity and detail the Reference triple driver is a good fit. The RSM is a quad driver that is very versatile. You could use it both on stage and then in the podcast studio. The Studio3 is a great blend of accurate and fun. If you want to use these for listening as well, the Studio3 is ideal. Studio4? Yeah, you can definitely use that. It’s hyper-accurate so you will hear every breath, hum, and overhead light noise. It’s great for fixing imperfect recordings. And the Electro is, well, its just got everything you would need. Clarity, detail, accuracy without being clinical… those zero crossings don’t stand a chance!