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Author Topic: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH  (Read 3652 times)

Dave Bednarski

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Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:50:29 am »

Disclaimer: I am currently using EW300 IEM setups, I know a/the answer here is to buy another unit for myself and be done with it.  It feels like a lot of money to send wireless signal 3 feet for an occasional/low priority use case.

I'd like to keep my ear buds on me and cut the tether from the mixer to my head - have my buds dangling around my neck once the show gets going.  Primary to quickly keep an ear on the recording mix once the show gets moving.  Anyone aware of any test/proven budget options under $300 or am I setting myself up for a total 'buy/cry twice' here?  I was thinking I could stash a bluetooth transmitter w/ wall wart in the dog house and BT bodypack receiver on me - or are the re-sync/delay issues here not worth it?  If its something 'critical' with whats going on stage, an IEM mix or channel problem, I can have a pair of headphones sitting where they normally are.

Thanks!
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 08:26:53 am »

I have a Pasgao PR80 in a roadcase with an ipad mixer.  This unit is possibly typical of Chinese IEMs.  Supplied earbuds are junk.  Sounds better (but not perfect) through good headphones.  Some flutter noise when moving.  1/4 the price of the Sennheiser EW300 where I am.

If you just want to hear each channel from the back of the room, it works ok.
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Brian Adams

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 12:14:02 pm »

This has been discussed a little bit, and the general consensus is that you need an IEM setup of some kind. From what I've heard, Bluetooth has way too much latency to even be considered. A set of wireless headphones (not Bluetooth) might work ok, but I've never used any, so I couldn't say.

If you're just looking for a yes/no kind of reference, a cheap IEM setup might work for you, but if you need any sort of accuracy I think you'll need to get a decent IEM unit like the EW300. Having the same system as the band is also an advantage, since you'll hear exactly what they hear, plus it can act as a backup if necessary.

I don't typically monitor my FOH mixer with IEM's, but I do hook my EW300's up to the monitor console so I can hear what the band is hearing. I'm not sure I'd want to do it with anything less.
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2016, 01:03:52 pm »

I've only ever seen traditional IEM transmitters used in this context. However, I don't see the Bluetooth latency as a problem for the OP's application if he wants to monitor a record mix. I usually have set delay on my FOH headphones anyway. I would be more concerned with Bluetooth or cheaper wireless about the signal not sounding like the source, which seems like the primary goal of the monitors. Can you possibly explain your desire for wireless again? You seem like you are saying you want wireless to stand in a place where wired headphones are within reach, which is a bit confusing.
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brian maddox

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2016, 04:44:45 pm »

I've only ever seen traditional IEM transmitters used in this context. However, I don't see the Bluetooth latency as a problem for the OP's application if he wants to monitor a record mix. I usually have set delay on my FOH headphones anyway. I would be more concerned with Bluetooth or cheaper wireless about the signal not sounding like the source, which seems like the primary goal of the monitors. Can you possibly explain your desire for wireless again? You seem like you are saying you want wireless to stand in a place where wired headphones are within reach, which is a bit confusing.

I suspect it's simply a matter of convenience, and i totally understand.  I use my PSM900 rig for this all the time just to not have a wire to trip over and also so i can walk away or move without worry of getting tangled up.

I think a traditional IEM rig is still the way to go.  You can go cheap and get one of the Galaxy or Carvin offerings.  But i'd just add a few more dollars to your budget and wait for a good used EW300 G2 system on Ebay.  I've been able to snag them for about 400 on more than one occasion.

Edit:  FWIW, i ponied up the money for a PSM600 rig when they first came out 20 years ago and then upgraded to the PSM900 rig when it came out.  It was expensive, especially considering i've rarely 'needed' it.  But i've used those systems literally hundreds if not thousands of times and i have never regretted spending the money i did on them.  Were they necessary?  no.  Were they worth it?  You bet!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 04:48:07 pm by brian maddox »
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

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Samuel Rees

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2016, 05:26:09 pm »

I'm still a confused about where the convenience lies when you are within cables' reach of the console. Yes even right in front of the console suppose you loose the cable but you gain transmitter, receiver, and batteries. Wouldn't the convenience only materialize of you walked away from the desk with an iPad?
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 05:49:18 pm »

I am starting to see people mixing on iPads for Mackie DL32R's and Presonus RM32 Ai's that used IEM's for the solo/pfl/cue buss.  It is the only way to monitor these outputs if you are using a tablet to mix away from the "box" sitting on stage.

The new CADD Stagepass system ($350.00 MAP) is a possible lower cost alternative to the Sennheiser and Shure IEM systems.  The Shure and Sennheiser are still the "gold standard" (or maybe best known) of the pro wireless systems, but there are a few other good systems out there.
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brian maddox

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 06:10:14 pm »

I'm still a confused about where the convenience lies when you are within cables' reach of the console. Yes even right in front of the console suppose you loose the cable but you gain transmitter, receiver, and batteries. Wouldn't the convenience only materialize of you walked away from the desk with an iPad?

I think part of the issue is that he wants to keep his 'earbuds' on and just maybe hanging on his shoulders and then just grab them and listen. he can certainly do that and remain tethered to the console, but in my experience it gets to be a pain to run them up from the back and get them just so only to have to undo them to run to the stage for something or reach for something just out of reach of the desk or whatever.

now you can run a jumper wire to your 'earbuds' and just disconnect and connect at your belt and that's gets you pretty close.  But being wireless means you get yourself situated once and then you're done.

Is this kinda a tweaky uber convenience thing?  yup!  But i've found having done this for a while it's precisely these kinds of things that i tend to care about the most.  Don't even get me started on seated mix positions and proper chairs.  You'll end up pulling a muscle with your eyeroll.  :)
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
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'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Jon Ross

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 08:29:17 pm »

I've seen a fellow engineer use an 1/8" headphone extension cable so he can quickly plug and unplug his iem when he moves from the desk. Seems to work well for him and I would think that the artist he works for could easily provide a wireless iem if he thought that was a better solution.
I use a cheap $10 pair of wireless headphones to watch tv late at night while the wife is sleeping. Sound quality is better than expected. I'm only using them 15ft from the transmitter so I don't know the max range.
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John Chiara

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 08:48:26 pm »

Disclaimer: I am currently using EW300 IEM setups, I know a/the answer here is to buy another unit for myself and be done with it.  It feels like a lot of money to send wireless signal 3 feet for an occasional/low priority use case.

I'd like to keep my ear buds on me and cut the tether from the mixer to my head - have my buds dangling around my neck once the show gets going.  Primary to quickly keep an ear on the recording mix once the show gets moving.  Anyone aware of any test/proven budget options under $300 or am I setting myself up for a total 'buy/cry twice' here?  I was thinking I could stash a bluetooth transmitter w/ wall wart in the dog house and BT bodypack receiver on me - or are the re-sync/delay issues here not worth it?  If its something 'critical' with whats going on stage, an IEM mix or channel problem, I can have a pair of headphones sitting where they normally are.

Thanks!

Look for a used Mipro 808. I got 4 sets for $1600 last year.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 05:45:59 am »

More of the same as the band is always a good idea, as long as the budget supports it.
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Dave Bednarski

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 09:48:00 am »

Thank you for all of the input/feedback here.

I will save the $100-200 on bluetoothy things and just pony up for another IEM setup that matches what is in use.  As it was pointed out - there is value in the redundancy.  I did not really consider that since these EW300s have been rock solid (knock/wood).  :0
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Nick Enright

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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2016, 12:02:02 pm »

Thank you for all of the input/feedback here.

I will save the $100-200 on bluetoothy things and just pony up for another IEM setup that matches what is in use.  As it was pointed out - there is value in the redundancy.  I did not really consider that since these EW300s have been rock solid (knock/wood).  :0

Also the abillity to set your pack to Cue/Engineer mode and be able to jump with a button push to listen to the different mixes as necessary.

Other reasons aside, I love this for mixing ears.
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Nick Enright
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Re: Wireless Headphone/IEM @ FOH
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2016, 12:02:02 pm »


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