It is becoming more common these days to see artists on all stage sizes wearing in-ear monitors rather than relying on foldback wedges to meet their needs. Because of this, we have been fortunate to have a great range of in-ear headphones available to choose from. One brand that I hadn't really considered with in-ear buds until this review was Audio-Technica, something I found has been to my own detriment.
COMFORT IN DESIGN
It didn’t take long to fi gure out how these ear buds were designed to fit within the ear, and seating them properly is easy to do. They don’t feel like they are constantly going to fall out and the over ear loop design of the cable ensures they won’t. You just need to ensure you fi nd the right sized silicone earpiece to best suit your inner-ear. When properly sized up, these are very comfortable and isolate stage noise from your monitor signal really well. The cable length is perfect and the detachable cable from the ear piece gives this unit extra design points. So, if you happen to break the cables in the moment on stage, they can be easily replaced.
The IM01’s are capable of some seriously high SPLs with their balanced armature drivers, which will allow you to hear what you need to at crucial moments on a loud stage. I’d always recommend finding the right balance and making sure that you look after your volume control and thus your most important asset, your ear drums. Really crisp sounding highs with nice even mids and a good low bass response made these quite the little package.
IN SOUND SUMMARY
Having no expectations and being pleasantly surprised is always enjoyable when testing both headphones and in-ears. The ATH-IM01’s really brought the volume needed and isolation desired here and will no doubt find themselves at home in many musicians arsenal from entry level to pro. I see them fitting into all genres of music, especially where volume is paramount like heavier rock and a lot of instrumentation is in the mix. At an affordable price point, these are really well thought out and designed with all accessories and in-ear fi ttings needed. Top job Audio-Technica, my hat goes off to you while the IM01’s go in... my ears of course!
Hits and Misses
Lightweight and comfortable.
More than enough volume for any stage.
Short cable for connecting to belt pack without excess.
Packaged with carry case and a range of insert sizes to suit any ear.
Could be seen as too loud for day to day use.