For many sound monitor engineers working in the music industry, a pair of good in-ear monitors (IEMs) are crucial to success. One young sound engineer, Irishman Conor Dillon, has found that Sensaphonics 2MAX in-ear monitors work best for him in his work as a touring sound engineer for a range of music artists.
Dillon is currently on the road with ex-Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, and has also mixed monitors for recent tours by OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and FFS (Franz Ferdinand + Sparks).
“I had been wearing custom IEMs the past few years from a top brand, and I thought they sounded fine,” said Conor in a recent announcement from Sensaphonics. “But the fit was awful, with very little isolation. So I did some research and asked around the industry for what to try next. It was clear that Sensaphonics was a company I needed to check out. I ended up talking with their audiologist, Heather Malyuk. She came down to our gig in Chicago with some products to try out and compare. I was blown away by the overall sound of the 2MAX, even the generic sample without custom molds. I just said straightaway, ‘Take my money. I want this product now.’ And I’m so glad I did.”
One thing that surprised Conor was the rich, studio quality sound that the 2MAX delivers. “I must admit, I was skeptical of what a dual-driver could deliver, because the first thing most people do is to brag about how many drivers they have,” he said. “But the 2MAX is actually fuller and richer than the sound I was getting. It’s flat and accurate like a studio reference sound.”
That accuracy is important to Dillon, who experiences a range of mixing situations from tour to tour. “Most bands I work with use a mixture of wedges and in-ears, some generic and some custom. The 2MAX gives me that neutral reference I need to mix them all accurately” Dillon reports. Dillon also appreciates the isolation and comfort he gets from having silicone earpieces. “The soft silicone molds totally make a huge difference,” he says. “They are so isolating compared to my old ones, which let all sorts of outside sound in. With 2MAX, I can be right behind the PA stack and not have it affect me at all. Or I could be on a loud stage and walk around doing my line checks. People need to grab and shake me to talk to me because I can’t hear them. Which is something I love about them.”
Dillon reports that the comfort level is also good. The ear canal portion of the earpiece goes in further than with acrylic earpieces, which means they stay sealed for good bass response. The silicone bends with the ear canal, so the wearer can’t really feel them.
Hearing preservation is an added benefit. “This is a company that really cares about their customers,” Dillon says. “From the way they design their products to their advice and knowledge, everything at Sensaphonics is about getting great sound while preserving your hearing. As a monitor engineer, I know that without my hearing, I’m done. So I really appreciate that.”
Founded in 1985 by Michael Santucci AuD, Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation Inc designs and manufactures custom-fitted earphones and electronics designed to achieve safe, high-resolution audio in mission-critical applications. Serving primary customer base of professional musicians and sound engineers, Sensaphonics products are used exclusively on all manned NASA missions and on the International Space Station. Other significant markets served by Sensaphonics include house of worship, theater, broadcasting, motorsports, aeronautics, and audiophile listening. Sensaphonics is committed to the preservation of hearing through superior products, audiological services and audio consulting, enabling longer, more productive careers and richer quality of life.
Image credits: ConorDillon_2MAX.jpg; Sensaphonics