5 Best In-Ear Monitors For Bass Players (All Budgets)

Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.
  • Considering in-ears for onstage monitoring?
  • We reveal our top five in-ear monitors for bass players
  • IEMs from Shure, Westone Audio, Sennheiser, and others. 
  • Also, check out our Best Bass Pickups For Metal guide!

In-ear monitors (IEMs), not to be confused with consumer earphones, are a ticket to a better on-stage listening experience.

If you have played live, you’ve been there – a gig with poor onstage monitoring that put a ‘wedge’ in your performance. Do as I do, blame it on the laws of physics.

It’s exasperating when you can’t monitor yourself, struggle with feedback, or can’t hear other musicians. But you don’t have to suffer the limitations of floor monitoring systems.

How so? End the volume wars. Invest in a pair of in-ear monitors (and a wax cleaning kit).

As a bass player myself, I’ve come across dozens of in-ears ranging from single to quad drivers, hybrid or otherwise.

There are four things on-stage in-ear monitors should accomplish – a) be comfortable, b) block out enough external noise, c) produce high-quality sound, and d) stay put.

Decent performance monitoring is possible with passive noise resistance and a single driver. But you have to move upstream for good bass response and frequency range. That’s IEMs with more quad or more drivers. You might need a trust fund or a record deal to purchase them.

But all is not lost if you don’t. There are several options at different price points.

Here, we list five in-ear monitors that give the best value for your hard-earned cash regardless of your budget.

What Are The Best In-Ear Monitors For Bassists?

The Mackie MP-240 is our top pick among in-ear monitors for bass players. It’s comfortable, durable, and delivers fantastic sound thanks to the dual hybrid drivers. Plus, there is a generous inclusion of silicone, double-flange, and foam ear tips.

The Shure SE215 PRO delivers excellent value for a modest price. It’s a workhorse with a surprisingly good bass response for an IEM with a single dynamic driver. Consider these ear monitors for practice, rehearsals, and gigs at small-to-medium sized venues.

Try the Westone Pro X30 in-ears with three balanced armature drivers. Expect breathtaking clarity, an extended frequency range, and striking separation of highs and lows. It’s not cheap, but it can handle anything you throw at it.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the full reviews of the best in-ear monitors for bass players:

  1. Mackie MP-240 (Top Pick)
  2. Shure SE215 PRO
  3. Sennheiser IE 100 PRO (Value Pick)
  4. Audio Technica ATH-E70
  5. Westone Pro X30 (Premium Pick)

1. Mackie MP-240 Hybrid Dual-Driver Ear Monitors  (Top Pick)

Top Pick
Mackie MP Series In-Ear Headphones (MP-240)
$199.99

These comfortable, ergonomically designed in-ear monitors give you enhanced sound isolation and a full-range frequency reproduction, giving you pristine detail and clarity as you perform. 

Why We Love It:
  • Up to 40dB of sound isolation
  • Precision-tuned drivers
  • Ergonomic design
Check Price On Sweetwater Check Price On Amazon

Mackie is no headphone maker, but the MP240 (and the MP-series at large) has been around for long enough to change that perception.

These shiny black IEMs feature dual hybrid drivers capable of detailed audio reproduction. They are an excellent option for bass players who need in-ear monitors for live performances.

Key Features:

  • Wired in-ear monitors for bass players
  • 20Hz to 20kHZ frequency range
  • Detachable cable
  • Dual Hybrid Drivers: Dynamic + balanced armature
  • Passive noise Isolation with 40 dB Noise Attenuation

Review

The Mackie MP-240 in-ear monitors are designed specifically for on-stage use. The box includes the headphones, a rugged storage case, 1/8 and ¼-inch adapters, and multiple ear tips (memory foam, dual flange, and standard gel). Rest assured, you will find a comfortable fit.

The all-black headphones are made from hard plastic with an over-ear cable hook. The ergonomic arm that sits in the ear canal is slightly larger than the competitors. The detachable audio cable is flexible and covered in high-quality plastic shielding.

The in-ear monitors fit deeply with the right orientation. They provide excellent external noise isolation (up to 40 dB). The noise attenuation is equally fantastic but varies with the seal i.e., the type of ear tips you use.

However, changing the ear tips can be a bit of a struggle.

The MP-220 features hybrid dual dynamic drivers – a dynamic driver for lows and Knowles balanced armature for mids and highs.

It results in a powerful sound that can handle genres that get seriously loud. In a nutshell, expect clarity and detail with a wide soundstage.

The bass response is well-rounded and warm, not the boomy or muddy kind. The mid-range is warm and well-tuned with elevated high mids. The low-highs also have a slight bump, presumably to help monitoring cut through a loud or noisy environment.

Verdict

Bass players can confidently invest in the Mackie MP-240 in-ear monitors for on-stage use. They are durable, comfortable, and provide. The punch and clarity make these IEMS worthy of a ‘professional’ tag.

Yes, you can probably find better-sounding in-ear monitors, but not for $200.

2. Shure SE215-CL Ear Monitors (Value Pick)

Value Pick
Shure SE215-CL Pro
$99.00

Shure SE215 PRO Professional Sound Isolating Earphones provide clear sound and deep bass through a single, high-definition driver.

Why We Love It:
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Outstanding noise isolation
  • Affordable
View Price on Sweetwater View Price on Amazon

Opting for in-ear monitors with single dynamic drivers can keep things under $100. If that is the price range you are gunning for, it’s hard to beat (or fault) the Shure SE214-CL ear monitors. These IEMs are designed for the rigors of gigging thanks to the long-wearing comfort and clear sound.

Key Features:

  • Wired in-ear monitors with over-ear design
  • 20Hz to 20kHZ frequency range
  • Single dynamic driver
  • Detachable cable with a lock-snap mechanism
  • Blocks up to37 dB of external noise

Review

The premium-looking Shure SE215-PRO earbuds are available in an all-black and transparent color scheme. The box includes the in-ear headphones, an audio cable, nine silicone + foam ear tips, a wax removal tool, a soft carry case, and a product manual. Plentiful accessories, indeed.

The earbuds are dense but sit well in the ear canal. The detachable audio cable is thick and rubberized. The multiple silicone ear tips ensure that you can find a personalized, comfortable fit.

The build quality is commendable for the price, resulting in a compact (read: portable) and durable product.

In use, I appreciate how the angled ear hooks fit the contours of the ears. Moreover, these in-ear monitors are stable, breathable, and don’t cause fatigue with prolonged use. They provide impressive noise isolation (passive, not ANC) and excellent leakage performance.

The SE215 is fairly neutral with a decent soundstage and good bass response. You might, however, miss out on subtle details in the upper range.

Sound-wise, expect low-end depth, a balanced mid-range, and a recessed treble range. The low-end does sound a tad boomy at times.

Verdict

Having used the Shure SE315 and SE425, I find the SE215 IEMs provide better isolation with a more balanced sound. They lack in-line controls and some of the accessories included with higher-end models. But the SE215 undoubtedly performs better in noisy conditions. Consider these if you want something functional and affordable with great sound quality.

3. Sennheiser IE 100 PRO Ear Monitors

Sennheiser IE 100 Pro

Loaded with state-of-the-art dynamic broadband transducers, these IEMs yield ultra-precise, dissonance-free audio reproduction — even with the levels cranked. 

Why We Love It:
  • Around-the-ear design
  • Dynamic 10mm broadband transducer
  • Warm sound, yet powerful and rich in detail
Check Price On Sweetwater Check Price On Amazon

The Sennheiser IE-Series is designed to appease on-stage and casually listening use cases. It caters to bass players who want both wireless and wired options with interchangeable cables.

It’s a multi-use in-ear monitor at a fairly reasonable price.

Key Features:

  • Wired in-ear monitors with flexible memory cable loops
  • 20Hz to 18kHz frequency range
  • Single dynamic driver
  • Detachable cable with MMCX connectors
  • Excellent noise isolation

Review

The Sennheiser IE 100 PRO is available in black, red, and clear color options. It is bundled with an optional Bluetooth module, hardwired headphone jack cable, 3 silicone ear tips + one foam ear tip, a cleaning tool, and a vinyl pouch for storage. Lots of goodies but not enough ear tips.

The earpiece is durable, lightweight, and stays put without the need for repeated adjustments. If you are using these onstage, I recommend buying compatible third-party ear tips, preferably ones that are sweatproof.

For entry-level IEMs with single drivers, the sound reproduction is incredibly impressive. The frequency response is clear from top to bottom and distortion-free for the most part. The external noise isolation allows sound in the monitors to come across clearly.

The IE Series is capable of artifact and distortion-free sound. Expect clear high frequencies with a solid bass response and a reasonably transparent mid and high-range.

You can move upstream to the IE 400 PRO and IE 500 PRO series for more punch and better mid-range reproduction.

Verdict

The Sennheiser IE 100 is for bass players who want in-ear monitors that double up on casual listening duties. The wired avatar is great for gigs and the Bluetooth version can handle music and phone calls during your commute. Buy it for the multi-functionality without expecting to use Bluetooth IEMs on-stage.

4. Audio Technica ATH-E70 Ear Monitors

Audio-Technica ATH-E70

Audio-Technica ATH-E70 in-ear monitor headphones deliver incredibly accurate, high-resolution response across the entire frequency spectrum, thanks to a trio of balanced armature drivers.

Why We Love It:
  • Three balanced armature drivers
  • Flexible memory cables
  • Designed for maximum isolation
Check Price On Sweetwater Check Price On Guitar Center

This flagship E-Series in-ear monitor is famed for comfort and sound quality. The three balanced armature drivers yield accurate audio reproduction and a wide frequency range. They are capable of balancing the mix precisely. Consider these if you have the cash to spare, they won’t disappoint.

Key Features:

  • Wired in-ear monitors with flexible memory cable loops
  • 20Hz to 20kHZ frequency range
  • Three balanced armature drivers
  • Detachable cable with A2DC connectors
  • Excellent noise isolation

Review

The ATH E-70 is designed for bass players who need a high-quality IEM for live performance. The box includes a detachable cable, A2DC connectors, five silicone + foam ear tips, a 1/8″ and 1/4″ adapter, and a storage case. Though pricey, it’s a high-ranking contender in this price bracket.

The E-70 ear monitors have a snug and stable fit as you wrap the memory cables around the earbuds. Put on the right ear tips and you won’t need to worry about dislodging them. Plus, there are four sizes of silicone ear tips and a Comply T500 foam ear tip to find a custom fit.

At 9 grams, the ATH-E70 is extremely lightweight, making it easy to forget you are wearing in-ear monitors at all. Ear fatigue is the last thing you need to worry about. The proprietary housing keeps the cables locked in place and the ergonomic design provides excellent noise isolation.

Sound-wise, the E70s impress across the audio spectrum. The lows have clarity and depth, the mids are clean without scoops, and the treble range – though slightly subdued – allows everything to come through. With EQ, bass players can easily distinguish subtle adjustments.

Verdict

Consider the Audio Technica ATH-E70 ear monitors if you want lightweight, comfortable, and great-sounding in-ear monitors. They are pricey – nearly twice the price of a Mackie MP-240 – but the sound quality vindicates the price tag. Expect clarity, accuracy, and detail with these premium IEMs for monitoring on stage.

5. Westone Pro X30 Ear Monitors (Premium Pick)

Premium Pick
Westone Audio Pro X30

Representing the pinnacle of Westone Audio in-ear monitor design, Pro X30 in-ears offer pristine clarity and incredible detail. Pro X30s are loaded with three compact balanced armature drivers to deliver superior, ultra-efficient performance in a lightweight package.

Why We Love It:
  • Delivers excellent detail, clear highs, rich lows
  • Smaller, efficient drivers
  • Super lightweight
Check Price On Guitar Center Check Price On Sweetwater

Anyone lurking Talkbass long enough has heard enough about the pristine clarity and comfort of Westone Audio in-ear monitors. Among those, the Pro X30 – loaded with three balanced armature drivers – offer incredible detail. Consider these if you want lightweight in-ears with efficient performance.

Key Features:

  • Wired in-ear monitors
  • 20Hz to 18kHz frequency range
  • Triple balanced armature drivers
  • Linum Bax T2 detachable cable
  • Passive Noise Isolation (25 dB)

Review

The Westone Pro X30s are available in clear or green color options. They are designed for on-stage use and professional performance monitoring.

The box includes the in-ears, a cable, an impact-resistant monitor vault, a cleaning tool, and a product manual.

The in-ear monitors have a discrete profile and durable build. They feature an up-and-over cable with quick-release T2 Claw connectors. The True-Fit ear tips are available in multiple sizes.

You can easily find a snug and secure fit that will stay put regardless of on-stage antics.

The Pro X30s are lightweight and will not cause fatigue. Sound-wise, these IEMs deliver rich lows and pinpoint highs. They are famed for a solid, well-defined bass presence without bass overpowering the mix. There is a distinct emphasis on the midrange.

A snug fit ensures adequate passive noise isolation for on-stage monitoring. The soundstage is lively and immersive, allowing rhythm, vocals, and drums to cut across clearly. Overall, this universal-fit earpiece faithfully delivers singled-out audio when you are on stage.

Verdict

The Westone Pro X30s are a joy to use for performance monitoring on stage. But those with modest budgets should look elsewhere.

The PRO X30s are the next best thing to buying custom in-ears for performance monitoring, which cost significantly more. Then again, one has to shell out serious cash for the extra dynamic range and airier audio experience.

Before you head out, consider checking out our guides to: