Accessories for In-Ear Monitors
To further enhance the sound you hear and experience on stage, we provide a range of accessories for your in-ear monitors to complement the solution for monitoring and delivering the ultimate sound to your ears.
Ultimate Ears Sound TapMade by Ultimate Ears, the Sound Tap plugs in between the house mixer and the wedge floor monitor(s), letting you tap the signal for your In-Ear monitors without changing anything for the house. The wedge keeps getting the signal and you take control of the volume on your In-ear earphones. The real beauty is that it works everywhere. Pubs and clubs, we know. Pubs and Clubs, we don’t know. Outside. Inside. Or in your friend’s garage. It’s an easy way to power and control your In-Ear Monitors with minimal extra gear, no learning curve, and without bothering the sound engineer. So, let’s walk through a gig to find out more about how the UE Sound Tap works in the real world.When looking at the unit, it’s got 2 inputs, 2 outputs, 2 knobs, and a 3.5mm IEM jack. The inputs take the signal in from the mixer. The outputs send the original monitor mix to the wedge. One knob sets the input gain, and the other sets the In-ear earphone volume. It is pretty straightforward.So, what do you need to do to get set up? Every gig already starts with a handshake, hopefully, for the sound engineer. When he asks you what you need for ins and outs on stage, tell him/her that you will be using In-Ear Monitors and that you will be dropping this cool little box right next to the stage monitor. The sound engineer can mix for that monitor just like they always would, but you will have control over the volume for your IEMs, and hearing protection against abhorrent feedback.Don’t worry, it doesn’t affect the house sound at all. The house might be running powered or unpowered monitors connected by speakon, XLR, or ¼” cable, and the Ultimate Ears Sound Tap will pass clean, transparent signal to the house wedge while you enjoy your In-Ears on stage.Setting up is straightforward, and the Ultimate Ears Sound Tap comes with all the cables you need. Take the cable leading to the monitor into your monitor DI, then find the matching cable in your kit and complete the connection to the wedge. Then connect your IEM headphone cable and you’ll be all hooked up, ready to go.The large knob controls the input trim, and when you’re checking the sound, you’ll want to adjust it, so the LED is consistently green. Then use the closer knob to set your In-ear monitor volume.Now, what do you do about the mix? Well, what were you going to do about the mix before? Have a conversation. Talk to the sound engineer about what you like, and what you sound like, and how nice the stage is.The only change you have made is that you have taken control of your access to In-ear monitoring. That is the power and inspiration in Sound Tap. You have maximum flexibility and control while remaining minimally invasive, so everyone is happy and you’re ready to wow the crowd.The engineers at Ultimate Ears clearly spent a lot of time on stages before settling on the final feature set for Sound Tap. There’s a lot that this “simple little box” can do. Let’s rattle through a few of the other cool features and benefits that may interest you.Can I daisy chain Sound Tap?Yes, you can daisy chain Sound Tap units. If you want to run more than one set of IEMs off the same monitor mix, just connect one Sound Tap to another, and keep going until you hit the wedge, and everyone has what they need.Can I use Sound Tap in my rehearsal space?Yes, you can. Because the Ultimate Ears Sound Tap works anywhere, it can easily slip into your rehearsal space. It’s important to practice the way you perform, and it’s nothing to strap the box into whatever mixer and PA combo you’re running in the garage.And if everyone is using In-ear Monitors, you can drop the PA entirely and give the neighbors a bit of a rest, which is an added benefit.What else?Sound Tap features a unique protective circuit that cuts off the signal when feedback or loud noise comes down the monitor line, potentially saving your hearing when the guitar player steps too close to their amplifier.Gear like the Ultimate Ears Sound Tap is really exciting for a musician because it opens up entirely new avenues for dreaming and scheming. How would this make my life better? How would this make my rig easier? And when the answer is that it’s the simplest way yet to get a quality In-ear monitoring experience on every stage, while improving the sonic experience for both the band and the audience, and costs a literal fraction of a traditional wireless In-ear Monitoring set, then that’s when you know you’ve got something special.
Ultimate Ears Sound GuardWhat does Sound Guard do?Sound Guard provides two functions, Audio Signal Buffering and Audio Spike Attenuation.What do these functions mean?Audio Signal Buffering:Sound Guard ensures that multi-driver and low impedance In-ear Monitors do not interact poorly with the music player headphone output electronics and “distort” the originally designed audio frequency response. Provides an “Easy to Drive” interface to the In-ear Monitors for the music player.Audio Spike Attenuation:Sound Guard ensure that loud, transient or unintended sounds such as microphone pops (hot plug or unplug) & drops and/or feedback events are lowered in SPL so, although the user will hear it, they will be greatly reduced in level. In summary, problematic and potentially painful accidental sound spikes and transients are reduced to more comfortable and safe hearing levels.
Is this like Impedance Matching?Impedance matching is really an incorrect term in this case. Sound Guard in this case is actually an Impedance Transformer. In that way, Sound Guard provides a very *low* source impedance such that it creates a *mismatch* with an In-ear Monitor. Portable solid-state devices such as iPods or wireless monitoring belt-pack systems seek to deliver voltage to a load and typically can have trouble sourcing relatively large currents into low impedance loads. If impedances are MATCHED, then that voltage is split between the source output impedance and the In-ear Monitor impedance, thus creating a loss of signal and ultimately sound to the musician/listener. By presenting a low source impedance to an In-ear monitor, the In-ear Monitor retains a far greater magnitude of the intended audio voltage. The low source impedance provided by Sound Guard minimizes interaction between the SOURCE and In-ear Monitor and thus renders the designed and approved In-ear Monitor frequency response.
How does Sound Guard protect the musician’s hearing?Sound Guard has an internal threshold, or “setpoint”, above which the source audio signal is electrically reduced in gain. The internal circuitry does not “clip” the signal above the preset threshold, rather it reduces the amplitude while maintaining the signal’s original referential envelope in amplitude & time. The reduced signal is derived precisely from the original signal yet scaled to a lower level. This ultimately drives the attached In-ear monitor set to a lower SPL than would have been originally experienced.Additionally, each channel of the Left and Right stereo signal path has its own independent limiter so that audio spikes on either channel can be independently processed. Finally, the threshold and limiting are all accomplished with analog circuitry. There is no A/D conversion and no sampling delay time.Why do my Ultimate Ears sound better when I am using Sound Guard?Aside from the limiting function within Sound Guard, there is also a buffer that isolates the source device impedance from the In-ear monitor impedance. The buffer is followed by an output drive stage that can source relatively large currents into heavy, low impedance, loads.
Ultimate Ears Sound Guard offers the same sonic improvement and protection for balanced armature In-ear Monitor design by other manufacturers.
We trust and hope that the above information and explanation will provide a better understanding on how Ultimate Ears Sound Guard works.
Ultimate Ears Line DriveUltimate Ears Line Drive is a small, battery-powered stereo buffer that “conditions” the audio signal to drive your In-ear Monitors, headphones, or ear buds. It is connected between the mixing console, or personal monitoring system, or phone, and your In-ear Monitors, ear buds, or any brand of headphones.
The Ultimate Ears Line Drive runs on two internal, 3-volt Lithium batteries (included and comes with two spares) and has an on-off switch and two LEDs to indicate power on/off and the batteries’ condition.
The Ultimate Ears Line Drive is able of driving In-ear Monitor or headphone impedance as low as two ohms to full level, without distortion, from 10Hz to 50kHz. The unit “mirrors” whatever volume level you are sending to its Input jack at its Output jack. The big difference is that now the full sound quality mix, bass/treble and life of your music is maintained and accurately reproduced on any set of In-ear Monitors and headphones.
Ultimate Ears Line Drive is a must-have for consistent sound quality and level when connecting your In-ears or favourite headphones to unknown In-ear Monitor or headphone systems.
Fischer-Amps In-ear StickThe In-Ear Stick from Fischer-Amps is a portable front-end headphone amplifier designed to be used on stage with either a balanced mono or an unbalanced stereo signal. It receives signal via its Neutrik combination XLR / 1/4" terminal, boasts a sturdy aluminum housing, and is comparatively lightweight at 119grams. It features Burr Brown op-amps to ensure a dependable performance with minimal distortion and a flat frequency response, as well as a built-in electronic limiter in the input section to preserve your hearing. The In-ear Stick is powered by two AAA batteries, lasting on average longer than 10 hours per set of batteries.