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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: In-Ear Monitoring

7. Consumer Earphones

In-ear consumer earphones, designed to be used with personal stereos and
mp3MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3: a digital audio file format employing data compression to achieve small file sizes, in common use on the internet and most portable music players.
mp3
players, vary greatly in quality from the cheapest, which are supplied in the package with
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
audio
players, to expensive alternatives which sometimes offer excellent
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
audio
quality. As such, their use is by no means to be rejected out of hand.

However, their open back design and loose fitting usually mean that consumer earphones do not reject ambient
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
to the same degree as professional in-ear systems: the very feature that makes them safe to wear when crossing the road is usually a disadvantage on stage. However, for quieter gigs they may be perfect, providing a mix between ambient sound and
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitor
signal without resorting to the use of an ambient
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
. On louder gigs, however, it is possible that the only way to achieve sufficient
Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
volume
above the ambient
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
level with consumer headphones is to turn them up so loud that both
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
distortion
and hearing damage may result.

An interesting hybrid solution involves the use of sealed, custom moulded ‘ear adapters’ which attach to standard sized consumer earphones.

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