I mentioned a little while ago that I wanted to do a review on a pair of IEM‘s (in-ear monitors) that I received back in September. Now that I’ve had them for a while, I wanted to let others know about my experience.

Disclaimer: I was not asked by this company to do this review. I’m doing this because I hope my experience might be beneficial to others who are in the market for IEM’s. (**2016 Update. As of 2016, I am currently a Westone Endorsed Artist and recommend you check out THIS PAGE for more info**)

I’ve used in-ear monitors in the past. My experience with them included Shure’s SE line, Westone UM1, Apple’s ear buds and a pair of Brookstone dual-drive ear buds. Believe it or not, my favorite of those listed above was the Brookstone dual-drive ear buds. They fit my ears the best, were the most comfortable and had the best dynamic range.

However, this review is on the Alien Ears G8 which is my first experience with custom molded in-ear monitors. I did some research on different companies comparing their products, prices and reviews. For the budget I had-I decided to go with Alien Ears. I have not heard of them before, but wanted to give them a try. I was impressed that they were offering a quad-driver (or 4 speakers per ear for those that aren’t sure what a driver means) for $550 at the time of my purchase. This included a case, detachable 72 1/2″ (& a free replacement cord) cleaning tool, custom color and logo imprinted on the monitors. That price also included a molding kit (you can watch their mold instructional here).

For more information on the specs of these particular monitors I’ve included a shot from their webpage that outlines what it contains:

I had my wife help me with the mold to make sure I was getting the compound all the way in as they instructed. It was easy and pain-free. I shipped the molds back to Alien Ears and they responded back within a week saying the molds looked good and I should receive my in-ears in 4 to 6 weeks. It took about 5 weeks for them to be completed. I filled out the forms to decide on my monitor color, cord color and what I wanted imprinted on the monitors and case.

I picked them up during my lunch hour and wanted to try them out right away. I went to my studio and plugged them. I was definitely pleased!

Everything that I expected based off of experience and reviews was there. These monitors have a great dynamic range. The lows are present, but not overbearing. The mid’s have a balanced richness and the high’s give great definition without being unpleasant.

Below is a closeup shot of my left monitor:

Besides struggling to get them out of my ear (it’s not as easy as just pulling out an ear bud), I was enjoying them. However, after about a week or so into receiving them I kept having problems with my left monitor. The G8’s have a detachable cord option so you can change them out when the cord goes bad. The left monitor’s cord kept falling out in the middle of using them during performances. At first I thought it was the original cord so I tried changing it out for the backup. That didn’t work either.

I called Alien Ears and talked with their customer service department. They were very helpful and told me that it sounded like in the final buffering process some of the compound got into the port where the cord connects. I needed to send them in to be sure, though. I’ll be honest, at first I was a little upset that I needed to send them back in so soon after getting them. But being impressed with everything up to that point, I didn’t let that get to me.

I sent the monitors back in and had them returned within 2-3 weeks. I’ve had them back for the past month or so and have yet to have a problem. That sound great and I’ve been using them for loud gigs and other performances where in-ear monitors work nicely. If you’re looking at trying some in-ear monitors (custom molds or buds), I would highly recommend looking into Alien Ears!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog/post. As a thank you I wanted to give you a FREE MP3 from the JKQ. Simply click the button below and fill out the short form and you’ll have it in just a few short moments!

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0 thoughts on “Alien Ears (IEM) Review

  1. Anonymous

    their customer service is absolutely awful. They do not care or take care of their customers what so ever. I would never suggest using them. Their 30 day guarantee is a hoax. They would not refund my money or remold my monitors. They pride their self on customer service and word of mouth marketing, but when it comes down to it, if you arent satisfied, you are screwed.

    1. jasonklobnak

      I’m not connected to Alien Ears whatsoever. With that said, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. In today’s economy, customer service is key to long term sustainability. I had a good experience with them and have been pleased with the product and what was paid for them. Hopefully they can resolve your situation. But if not, there are other great IEM companies out there that would love to have your business.

  2. anonymous

    I have purchased several sets for band members at my church. We have purchased triple drivers and even six drivers per side. We have had on going problems with cords going bad quickly as well as drivers blowing. I notice that the left ear is much clearer and louder than the right ear in both sets I have. I even got my ears looked at and cleaned out by a Dr. to make sure it wasn’t me. Well it wasn’t! I’m pretty disturbed as I have looked at other reviews now and see the same excuses as to why they are not working properly have been given to others almost word for word. I’m really hoping to buy as many as 8 new sets for band members and singers but I think I have to find another company. Any suggestions?

    1. jasonklobnak

      I have read a number of different reviews regarding Alien Ears. I must have received an exceptional pair, because while I did have an issue with one cord staying in (which they fixed rather quickly and sent back)-I haven’t had any issues and they sound great. I use them for a number of different gigs. I’ve said in another a comment that I’m not endorsed by them nor was I asked to do a review. If they don’t work for you then find another. Unfortunately, you’re going to find good and bad reviews for just about every company out there because we all have personal preferences of how sound “should be.” Some people love Shure’s in-ears and others hate them. The same could be said about Westone, Ultimate, etc etc. Even though it is a frustrating process…I wish you the best in your search!

  3. Bruce Marcho - Video Craft Pro, Inc.

    My first set was the G8. Yes, it was a waiting period at first but right around the 6th week I’ve received them. At first they were hard to get used to. My ears would become sore from wear but only lasted about a week. Loved the fit. The main issue was the clarity. Mostly in the hi end freqs. It sounded like the range ended around 8k. My guess is pushing those hi freqs through the narrow track leading to your ear somehow gave it a hollow sound. A shrilling effect. Now, I’m comparing them to my ear buds that came with my phone which sound 10X better in clarity. I’ve approached Alien Ears with this issue. Their comment was “check your ears”. I did. Even cleaned them but what for. I was able to hear clean hi end freqs with my buds. I sent them back for eval and had upgraded to the G16. If anything, this should solve the problem but no. Still the same unclear sound and lack of clean hi-end results. Yes, I’ve listened to many different sources ranging from live sound to mp3 playing back from phones. Again, compared with my ear buds which sounded better. I’m a long time guru of sound. I’ve spent 20 years of studio to house mixing. Playing music as a DJ and other corporate projects. I know my sound and whats it’s supposed to be. Alien Ears may have a product and it’s more affordable compared to their competitors but why do my ear buds sound better than the G16’s? even they didn’t have an answer. I spoke to the owner Andre, explained this matter to him. Unfortunately, as a drummer, developed tinnitus and lacking a frequency range. My question is, I’m curious if other IEM manufacturers like Westone sound any better??

    1. jasonklobnak

      Hi Bruce-thanks for sharing your experience. Like I have mentioned in the other posts I’m not connected whatsoever with Alien Ears. I’m a musician who wanted to do a review and share my experience which was a positive one. When it comes to things as sensitive as our ears I believe our experiences and preferences are uniquely individual. One person may like a fit, sound frequency or material that another person doesn’t care for. Alien Ears have been the only molded in-ears I have tried. I know musicians who swear by Westone, Shure, etc., but I also know other musicians who can’t stand them…so it comes down to personal taste. The only way to know is to try. I mentioned it in my original post, but when it comes to buds I HAVE tried a number of pairs. I still have a cheap pair of Brookstone’s that are wonderful. If you really don’t need to have custom molds and the buds you have work then stick with them. Either way-I hope you find the pair that best suits what you need and don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get them!

    2. brucemarcho

      My feelings are the same Jason. I was like you, just trying out products. I’m not jabbing or putting down Alien Ears. Just expressing my feelings. I met them personally and they run a challenging service to say the least. They did a great job of working with me to resolve my issue but failed not by service…..by their product. I may look into Westone. They make a 4 way driver ear bud with mic for your phone. Around $200 US I think. I would be happy to sell my Q16’s if I can find someone with the same fit.

    3. jasonklobnak

      I understand. I appreciate your review as well. Musicians should make informed decisions and if someone comes across my site it’s important for them to get unbiased perspectives. Westone is a great company and I hope those work out for you!

  4. Anonymous

    I actually had an amazing experience with Alien Ears. I ordered the Quads and had a fit issue right off the bat with my right monitor. Andre literally fixed them right in front of me until it was perfect. So far i’m happy with them. I’m using them for the first time in this video.

  5. Ernest Fornaught

    I ordered 2 way in ear monitors from Alien several years ago. I did not get detachable plugs.
    I was initially not impressed with the high frequency response. They were happy to tune the highs to my liking.
    I did not return them. The band I was rehearsing had a drummer who was on STUN at all times. I began to appreciate the extremely high level of isolation and great fit. I could easily pinpoint my guitar and voice in the mix. The isolation allowed me to monitor myself at a reasonable level. It was then much easier to concentrate on getting a detailed mix that made singing much less challenging. My hearing did not desensitize, even after 2 to 3 hours of use. I assumed the muted high end was actually a feature contributing to less fatigue.
    Recently the biggest improvement happened with the sound of these monitors. I got a new doctor who set about having my ears flushed out. I use earplugs all the time. There was an accumulation of wax that kept getting pushed in by inserting ear plugs.
    It was obvious that my sense of high frequencies was enhanced after getting my tympanic membranes cleaned off.
    Now I can appreciate the enhanced high frequency response. I did not use these for general music before. Now they are detailed in the highs. The imaging is perfect. The bass is deep, tactile, and tons of fun.
    It was a me problem all along. I have learned about the downside of frequent ear plug use. It is easy enough to melt and loosen the wax with a bit of warm water and peroxide.
    I really like this in the ear monitor system from Alien.

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