There has certainly been an increase in the use of wireless in-ear monitoring on stages just about everywhere in recent years. Improvements in technology have finally made it a more affordable option and there is little doubt to the improvement of audio quality the performer is offered compared to traditional fold back speaker setups. Enter the Audio-Technica ATH-E40 professional in-ear monitoring headphones, the latest offering from AT that delivers the goods in a number of ways.
Something that is often overlooked with in-ear solutions is the actual sound. So much emphasis is placed on look, feel and aesthetic design that the real purpose is sometimes left to last. Remember, the purpose of this product is to allow you to hear both yourself and the rest of the band clearly on stage. So, what good is it if the clarity isn’t there to begin with? That is where the ATH- E40s start, with a pristine, clear audio reproduction. There is a definite bottom-end that allows you to hear the rhythm section in its fullest, when the earbuds are correctly seated and sealed within the ear itself. This is backed by a perfectly precise mid-range and a sparkling high frequency response. At both low levels and seriously high volumes, these buds deliver what you need to hear.
As well as an on-stage option, it is easy to see how these could be an attractive option in a very different realm, as a high-end solution to personal music listening from portable devices. After all, just because you are listening to music in your everyday routine, it doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable and hear with great clarity too.
FINDING YOUR FIT
Included in the package, along with the sturdy, zippered carry pouch is a selection of earbud endings in different sizes to suit each and every ear. Finding the right fit is essential to getting the fullest of the low frequency response and capturing the isolation that these in-ear monitors can offer. The E40s offer a lengthened adjustable hook to wrap over the ear, but finding the right seating for the buds to begin with is a little tricky. Once they are in, you barely notice they are there.
That said, for a pair of in-ear monitors that goes unnoticed when worn properly, these are a very good contender. They deliver plenty of volume and isolate stage noise quiet well, so all you need is a good fold back engineer to deliver a mix that is worthy of these buds and you are all set.
For more details, head to audio-technica.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Lightweight, unobtrusive styling
Excellent sound isolation
Big sound even at low listening levels
A little awkward in fitting