audio-technica 3000 iem

Review: Audio-Technica 3000 Series IEM System

Sam McNessy’s words

Audio Technical Group | Recommended Retail Price: $1,499

As a live sound engineer, artists rocking their own set of in-ear monitors have become the new norm. It will bring live electronics who want to accurately hear low and low bass frequencies as well as bands who want a really loud mix on stage without the hassles of feedback from all the live mics or selecting an in-ear monitoring system for their live performance.

In the past, in-ear monitoring systems were mainly intended for the touring business due to their high initial cost which was not financially viable for domestic and semi-professional musicians. With the changing times, wireless audio systems have become more streamlined, easier to implement and most importantly affordable even for small domestic businesses.

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With artists looking forward to an easy-to-implement, high-quality in-ear monitoring system for live performances and rehearsals, along with Audio-Technica’s new IEM 3000 Series. This affordable wireless in-ear monitoring system comes with an ATW-T205 Stereo Transmitter, an ATW-R3250 Stereo Receiver, and a pair of ATH-E40 In-ear Monitors which is enough to start your journey in controlling your screen looks.

Similar to the popular 3000 Series UHF Wireless Microphone Systems, the form factor of this product is sleek and professional. The all-black aesthetic paired with the OLED screens on both the receiver and transmitter gives a clear and accurate reading of all the essential data needed to operate the system including selections for name, battery level, frequency, group, channel, and whether audio is being transmitted. The stereo transmitter is rack mountable making it a viable option to integrate into a tour setup while at the same time being small enough to be detached if deployed on stage.

The receiver features multiple screen display options that provide the information you need depending on the setup. For example, if you are an audio engineer and you don’t need the artist to see information about the exact frequency that is set, you can display the channel name instead which means they will always know their receiver. The lightweight construction features a double-sided latch to open the battery compartment, preventing you from accidentally opening it in the middle of the party.

Audio-Technica has added professional-level features to this suite, with the transmitter being able to automatically scan and find frequencies suitable for wireless audio use, not to mention an EQ rack built in high and low frequencies, a limiter, gain, and balance controls on the receiver. There is a mono equalizer mode that allows you to mix the left and right channels unilaterally on each receiver allowing the artist to customize the level between two different audio signals which could be their vocals and the band instruments, for example.

The in-ear monitors, the ATH-E40s, use Audio-Technica’s proprietary two-phase push-pull motors that deliver a high level of clarity and definition while at the same time isolating you from the outside environment. There are several silicone ear pads which make them fit securely and comfortably inside my ears during the test. The sound that these earbuds carried through the wireless system was phenomenal, a well-balanced sound that provides immersion across the full frequency spectrum with no increase in high or low frequencies. The unique part about the in-ear monitors is the easily detachable cable which firstly prevents you from breaking the sometimes fragile IEM cables getting stuck in something, and secondly, making the cable easily replaceable and interchangeable. Not only that, but these devices have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack at the output with a low impedance (12 ohms) which means they can double as your everyday headphones by simply plugging them into any consumer-grade device (like your phone).

With an inbuilt network connection, the IEM transmitter included in the package can be controlled remotely using Audio-Technica wireless manager software. With the software, you can rename your transmitters, scan the frequency band to find the frequencies used, and finally, and most importantly, create a coordinated frequency plan to avoid these used frequencies and send this information to the transmitters. This can save you time and effort in testing to find frequencies that do not generate interference or modulation between different frequencies, and it is a real winner in terms of usability and functionality.

Using the receivers with high-quality rechargeable batteries, I was able to use the system for just over six hours straight, allowing you to use it to check sound and party without worrying about it leaking out on you. I had no leaks during testing while roaming my street home about 50m away, which almost convinced me to get a set for my home studio so I could walk to the other end of my place and listen to the mix I’m working on while I cook a meal!

Perhaps a big part of this set is how easy it is to expand it to suit your needs. Let’s say you are a soloist and you buy one for yourself and then decide to start performing with another musician. You can simply buy another receiver and you both have access to the same screen combination. You can even set up two separate mixes and send them unicast to one receiver, now each of you can have independent mono mixes with one transmitter, and the monitoring capabilities are fixed.

Overall, this in-ear monitoring system from Audio-Technica is a high-quality, professional product that will satisfy both small and large artist and venue applications. The robust architecture paired with robust RF connectivity options and most importantly, the fantastically clear and accurate audio transmission that drives embedded IEMs make the 3000 Series IEM system from Audio-Technica a great choice for those in the market for upgrading their audio monitoring.

Head over to Audio-Technica for more information. For local inquiries, contact Technical Audio Group.

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