• In-ear monitors do not inherently protect your hearing.
  • However, with a properly isolating seal and when used correctly, following safe listening practices, custom in-ear monitors offer excellent ambient isolation that allows for lower listening levels and some loud sound attenuation. 
  • All in-ear monitors block out some ambient sound; however, how much attenuation (reduction of the volume of external sound reaching the ear) in-ear monitors provide will vary. In order to obtain maximum attenuation:
    •  the IEMs should not have any open sound bores or open vents that would allow for unregulated amounts of external sound to enter the ear and 
    • the IEMs should have a properly isolating seal and should fit snuggly and deeply into your ear canal, which is why a proper fit is so important, making the ear mold impression and follow-up fitting process crucial.  
  • Tips:
    • ​See an audiologist and have your hearing tested every year (or sooner if you are having issues). 
    • Know how loud you are listening. In-ear monitors can absolutely harm your hearing. Some IEMs are capable of delivering up to 130 dB SPL to your ears! That's loud-really, really loud. Keep the volume down. 
      • How loud you can safely listen is a product of how loud the sound is, how long you are exposed to the loud sound, how often you are exposed to loud sounds, and individual risk factors. 
      • Ask us how we can help you find out exactly how loud you have your in-ear monitors turned up so we can make absolutely sure you are listening at safe volume levels. 
    • Re-train your ears. Using in-ear monitors is going to sound different. You will be more isolated on stage than you are used to and the monitor mix will sound different through in-ears than wedges, so you will need to re-train your ears to listen in this new way. In addition, it is important to know that if you are used to using floor wedges and switching to in-ear monitors, there is a tendency to turn the IEM volume up to the same, usually unsafe, level that your wedges were at without even realizing it, so you will need to re-train your ears to listen at lower volume levels. 
    • Wear both earpieces! Taking one earpiece out negates any isolation and attenuation you would have had for that open ear canal. When you take one ear piece out, the tendency is to raise the volume of the IEM still in your ear to compensate and hear the mix over the ambient sound. Now both ears are susceptible to damage from loud sounds.
    • Use either an internal or outboard compressor or peak limiter to help protect against bursts of feedback, transients and other sudden loud sounds that can occur during a performance. ​
    • Be aware of how the monitor mix and your monitoring system impacts the use of your in-ear monitors. 
    • The more isolation your IEMs provide, the more attenuation you'll have of the ambient sounds and the less you'll need to turn the volume up. The deeper in the ear canal that your IEMs fit, the greater the isolation. Silicone in-ear monitors can more comfortably go deeper in the ear canal and may offer a snugger fit than acrylic IEMs. Properly fit, custom in-ear monitors will provide better isolation than universal-fit earpieces. 
  • ​Ultimately, the goals should be to keep the stage volume as low as possible, to obtain as much attenuation as possible from your in-ear monitors to protect your hearing from ambient sound levels, to wear both IEM earpieces to protect both of your ears, and to keep the volume of your IEMs in a safe listening range. 
  • At the end of the day, you are in charge of how loud you listen and in-ear monitors are capable of being just as damaging, if not more damaging, than floor wedges. Make protecting your hearing a priority.
  • Contact us to learn more and to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your most valuable piece of gear-your ears. Our audiologist is happy to consult with you and answer any questions you have about safe listening with IEMs. 

Sound Access is proud to be an authorized dealer of Westone Audio in-ear monitors.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. 

  • Cold Pour Acrylic
    • As an alternative to most curing techniques, earpiece housing are cold-poured in acrylic which results in a thicker, more resilient and solid acoustic enclosure. Expect increased durability, a more controlled response, and a lustrous appearance. 

  • Acoustic Symmetry
    • Left and right earpiece responses are matched to an extraordinarily tight +/- 2 dB tolerance, delivering unparalleled balance and accuracy of sound-stage reproduction.

  • Dual Bore
    • Typically, multi-driver in-ear monitors have a single-bored sound port, meaning the output from each driver will acoustically sum inside the earpiece housing. With Dual Bore technology, the high and low frequency sound components are individually channeled through two passages in the sound port. This allows high and low frequency inputs to sum within the ear canal, emulating the more natural phenomenon of live acoustic summation. The result is a more convincing transition between frequency ranges and is audibly more natural.

  • Flex Canal®
    • A body temperature-reactive, semisoft earpiece canal additive, Flex Canal’s unique properties allow the canal portion of the earpiece to remain firm at room temperature for ease of insertion and then soften at body temperature, allowing for increased comfort and acoustic seal for incredible noise isolation.

  • EPIC® Removal Cable
    • The Earphone Precision Interface Cable (EPIC) is constructed of bifurcated, high-flexibility, ultra-low resistance tinsel wire and reinforced with a special aramid fiber usually reserved for ballistic-rated body armor. The robust, braided design resists tangles, while an integrated slider keeps your earphones in place during activity. EPIC’s over-the-ear cable design also offers superior in-ear comfort and isolation from mechanical cable noise. Available MMCX Audio™, CX-Audio, and legacy 2-pin connectors.

  • Replaceable Filter Technology
    • Westone® puts you in control of your ambient experience with the Elite Ambient Series. Using in-ear monitors with replaceable filters allows you to pick your level of attenuation with 10dB, 16dB, or 24dB filters as well as the included 27dB solid plug.

  • SLED™ Technology
    • Westone®’s exclusive SLED™ technology combines passive ambient sound with the monitor mix and gives you control of your musical environment. Enjoy full-range frequency response from your in-ear monitor signal, hear and feel your surroundings, and engage with fellow performers and your audience like never before. ​

Reference: Westone®

Did you know? You can demo

Westone Audio in-ear monitors. 
We have universal-fit demos of Westone Audio IEMs so you can try before you buy to make sure you get the perfect in-ear to meet your listening needs. ​​


Westone Audio History

  • 1959 Starts manufacturing custom-fit earpieces
  • 1985 Introduces the first custom-fit earpiece for “Walkman” style earbuds
  • 1990 First to use balanced armature drivers in custom-fit earpieces for musician in-ear monitors
  • 1991 Starts working with Rush and Def Leppard to provide custom-fit musician in-ear monitors
  • 1995 Collaborates with Jerry Harvey to design and produce Ultimate Ears by Westone
  • 1996 Ultimate Ears by Westone introduces the first custom dual driver in-ear monitor
  • 1997 Designs first balanced armature universal-fit in-ear monitor for Shure®
  • 1999 Creates the first universal-fit dual driver in-ear monitor for Shure®
  • 2002-2004 Westone introduces its own in-ear monitor product line
  • 2008 Introduces the first three way earphones designed for personal listening
  • 2016 Introduces the first universal-fit passive ambient in-ear monitors
  • 2017 Introduces ambient technology with interchangeable filters in custom-fit in-ear monitors. 
  • 2018 Launches first ever High-Resolution Bluetooth Cable
  • 2020 Westone Audio is acquired by Lucid Audio.

Reference: Westone Audio®


Westone audio IEMS



WESTONE AUDIO In-ear monitors

Phone: 314-313-2289 (call or text)


Did you know you know? You need an ear mold impression to order custom-fit in-ear monitors.