How to Set Up an Ear Monitor System

By Robert Ceville ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Two 1/4 inch instrument cables
  • Audio sources such as microphones, keyboards or guitars

In-ear monitoring systems are used by professional musicians and live speakers to hear audio directly from the main sound mixer board through a headphone set. Configuring an in-ear monitoring system takes a bit of work. Unlike traditional monitor speakers, however, such a system can provide crystal clear sound from anywhere on stage. You can set up your in-ear monitoring system in less than five minutes with the right instructions.

Plug the in-ear monitoring mixer's DC power cable into the "DC IN" jack, then plug the mixer's DC connector into the transmitter's "DC In" jack. Plug the opposite end of the DC adapter into an available power outlet.

Plug the antenna into the "ANTENNA OUT BNC" jack on the transmitter, then plug two 1/4 inch audio cables into the mixer's 1/L and 2/R MIX OUT jacks and the transmitter's 1/L and 2/R INPUT jacks on the front panel.

Plug your audio sources, such as microphones, into the mixer's "MIC/LINE INPUTS" jacks, then mix their signal levels using the pan and level knobs. The pan knob is located on the outer ring of the volume knobs. Make sure that the LED lights are not indicating clipping in the signal before proceeding (see Tips).

Put the 9V battery into the receiver (see Tips).

Turn the receiver on by turning the volume knob until it clicks. Keep the volume low at first, then increase it slowly to avoid clipping. Set the level and other desired functions at this time as well. Make sure both the transmitter and receiver are set to the same frequency so communication between them is established.

Check to see that the RF, or Radio Frequency, LED light is lit, meaning an RF connection has been made, then plug the ear phones into the jack and into your ear (see Tips). Slowly adjust the volume on the receiver to the desired level to complete setup.

Tip

Step 3: Clipping refers to incoming audio exceeding optimal levels and causing distortion.

Step 4: The type of battery your specific in-ear monitoring system receiver uses may vary based on manufacturer and model, so refer to the operating instructions for the specific type you need.

Step 6: RF connection refers to the radio frequency from the transmitter being successfully synced to the receiver.

Each ear monitoring system may have a setup procedure that differs from this particular method, so refer to the operational documentation that came with your specific model for proper setup guidelines.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.