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Yesterday I let you guys know about the idea I have about possibly getting a better monitoring system for the church.

One of the biggest headaches when one is running a live sound system is controlling the platform volume. The task can sometimes be impossible. The monitor wedges usually end up driving up the Sound Pressure Levels (SPL; this is how sound is measured) and it’s difficult to tell musicians to turn down their instrument because they rarely listen ;-). And even if we turn it down at the FOH, the monitors are still so loud that it really doesn’t make a difference.

After a lot of research, I found that the best way for us to reduce the SPL’s at church was for us to invest in IEM’s (In Ear Monitors). Basically we would get rid of the big bulky monitor wedges and replace them with earphones for each member of the team. I’m still torn on whether or not to buy the system I told you guys last night or to go ahead and invest in a slightly better system that gives us greater control over each individual mix for each person.

Here are the options:

1. We could go the starter route (which is what I mentioned yesterday) and invest in a Headphone mixer and some cable extensions and we are set to go.

This is a PreSonus HP60 – $299.95

PreSonus HP60

Cable extensions and adaptors(7) – $105.56

Cable extension            Cable adaptor

This setup will cost us $405.51 plus the individual earphones for each person.


  • It is economical
  • It’s simple
  • Each person has there own earphone


  • Unable to create your own mix (if I want more keys or vocals in my earphones, I can’t turn it up without affecting everyone’s mix)
  • If you need to adjust levels you have to walk to wherever the module is located.
  • The need for an upgrade will eventually arise.

2. The more control at your fingers route. I’ve looked at several systems and the one that makes more sense for us is the Hear Back system.

This system consists of an 8 input module called a Hear HUB…

Hear Back Hub

and individual mixers for each member of the Team.

Hear Back mixer

The total cost for the Hear Back system is $1495.00 which includes one Hear HUB and 4 individual mixers, and the cables required to connect the system.

The way this would work in the beginning is Danny, Joel, and myself would have a mixer each and the vocals would share the 4th mixer. Each mixer has outputs for 2 separate earphones which could be split with a simple adapter to get 4 earphones into one mixer.


  • Personalized mixes for each member of the Team
  • Expandable (one HUB can have 8 personal mixers attached to it, if more are needed HUBs can be daisy chained to expand the system)
  • Compared to other systems (like Aviom) it is very economical.
  • Each musician can have their mixer setup right next to them enabling on the fly adjustments.


  • Only has 8 inputs (really only 6 because channels 1 and 2 are combined).

Seriously this is the only con I see in this system. From what I read people are generally pleased with the sound the system gives.


With either system we would still have to buy our own earphones. The ones I was looking at are the Shure SE215 which cost $99.99 (and I was wrong they come in white and black).

Shure earphones

As I think about it more and more, I would rather see what we can do to get the Hear Back system. But if we do that, we as a Team would have to invest in it personally so it would be easier on the church. If that were to happen, we could try buying some slightly cheaper earphones such as the ones Hear makes which only cost $34.99 or Sennheiser’s $54.99 model. And later everyone can try upgrading their earphones when they can.

What do you guys think?