In-ear monitors (IEMs) have become an essential tool for many worship teams over the past few years. As any worship leader knows, hearing yourself and the rest of the band clearly is crucial for leading vibrant praise and creating an immersive worship experience. IEMs help achieve that goal.
But with new models coming out constantly from Shure, Ultimate Ears, 64 Audio, and other big brands, it can be overwhelming trying to pick the right IEM for you and your team. Thankfully, based on recentforum conversations among worship leaders, there is a clear favorite brand for 2024 that balances quality and value beautifully – KZ.
The KZ ZS10 Pro Stays On Top
One user said that they lead worship on acoustic guitar and have tried several different in-ear monitors. They currently use the KZ ZAX model and have zero complaints! Their experience matches that of many other vocalists, guitarists, drummers and more using the KZ ZS10 Pro model.
With its combination of sound quality, comfort, and affordability, the 5-driver ZS10 Pro satisfies the diverse needs of most worship team members. According to one user, the well-balanced sound signature capably handles vocals, electric instruments, drums and bass without excessive tweaking of the mix.
Another user commented that they use the ZS10s and love them, especially for the price point. In their opinion, the ZS10s beat out lower end Shure models they’ve tried, at half the price. This sentiment was echoed by many others who felt that the value provided by the $50-70 USD KZ ZS10 Pros far surpassed higher-priced options from more established brands like Shure and Sennheiser.
While Shure, Sennheiser and other big brands certainly still have loyal users, many worship leaders in 2024 are choosing to allocate budget dollars to other areas and use the affordable KZ models for their teams.
Step Up with Custom Models
As great as the KZ ZS10 Pros are, they may not satisfy the needs of every worship team member, especially those searching for a more customized experience. This is where high-end, custom in-ear monitors enter the picture.
One worship leader offered this advice: “Spend the money because you get what you pay for.” For vocalists and instrumentalists wanting enhanced sound isolation and a personalized fit, custom models from brands like 64 Audio, Alclair, and JH Audio are repeatedly recommended. These brands offer multi-driver IEMs that can be tailored to your ears and needs with the help of an audiologist. They start around $400 USD and can go well over $1,000+ for high-driver count models.
As one worship leader summarized: custom models provide exceptional sound quality and isolation, while the KZs offer surprising performance for the cost.
Choose What’s Best for Your Ministry
At the end of the day, your choice comes down to your budget and the needs of your worship ministry. For many churches, the KZ ZS10 Pro hits a sweet spot between affordability and quality. But for those who need enhanced isolation and clarity to lead effectively, custom IEMs can be worth the investment.
No matter what you choose in 2024 and beyond, remember the key advice given previously: “Spend the money because you get what you pay for.” Find the model that fits your church and team perfectly this year!