If you’re an avid gamer who plays for hours on end, then it’s important to have the best gear that will not only enhance your experience but also protect your hearing. In this article, we’ll go over the top 7 best IEMs for gaming in 2023 – from wireless headphones to Bluetooth earbuds and more!
It’s no secret that gamers need the best equipment in order to achieve the best gaming experience. In fact, many professional gamers consider headphones an essential piece of gear for all types of gaming.
When it comes to headphones, in-ear monitors (IEMs) offer some distinct advantages over traditional headphones.
For one, IEMs provide a much more immersive experience because they seal off outside noise and create an acoustic chamber inside your ear canal. This allows you to hear sound effects and music with greater clarity and detail than you would with traditional headphones.
IEMs also allow you to control the level of bass and treble more accurately, which is important when it comes to gaming.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks for the best IEMs for gaming in 2023!
Are IEMs Better Than Headphones for Gaming?
In-ear monitors (also known as IEMs) and headphones are not the same things, despite their resemblance in appearance. Although they’re sometimes misunderstood, IEMs and headphones have a number of fundamental differences, such as how they fit in your ear, sound quality, and transmission and hearing protection. It is unlikely that the average person will use IEMs instead of headphones, even if they do come with cables and device controls.
In contrast to headphones, IEMs are made to be inserted further into the ear canal. Since they are better at isolating their own audio than other earphones, IEMs are preferred by studio musicians and stage musicians alike who want to hear their tracks without having to crank up the music to contend with the entire band and the enthusiastic audience.
When it comes to reducing external noise, IEMs can reduce as much as 40 dB, based on how deep they are inserted, the type of material used, and the strength of their seal. Performance and health are improved, as is the prevention of health problems that can arise from the stressful nature of work.
Are IEMs Harmful?
Many people, particularly artists, prefer to hear music for a longer period of time, with the average daily listening time being between 8 and 10 hours. This raises the question of whether or not wearing in-ear monitors can cause damage to your ears.
The frequency at which music is being played is an extremely important factor that should be given careful consideration. For example, if you spend several hours in an area with loud music, it might not be healthy for your ears.
In-ear monitors can cause harm to the ears if they are used at high volumes for an extended period of time. If you use in-ear monitors for more than one hour at a volume higher than 85 dB, you run the risk of damaging your eardrum. IEMs, on the other hand, are safe to use if you just listen at a low volume for brief periods of time.
Therefore, you might find yourself increasing the volume of your music on a regular basis, and this is when the problem begins to manifest itself. After a certain amount of time, increasing the volume to higher standards will cause damage to your ears.
It may not happen right away, but listening to music on a regular basis will almost always have a negative influence on your health in the long run.
Aside from that, the intense sound vibrations will cause the eardrum to go further, causing the cochlea fluid to flow more quickly. The end result will be damage to the tiny hairs in the cochlea that aid in the perception of sounds and other stimuli.
So without further ado, here are our picks for the Top 7 Best IEMs for Gaming in 2023.
1. Shure AONIC 215 Wired Sound Isolating Earbuds — Best Overall
The Shure AONIC 215 is different from your typical wireless earbuds in that it is not a single device, which implies that all of the hardware is integrated into each earbud, as is the case with most true wireless earbuds. However, this is not the situation with the AONIC 215. Essentially, these earbuds are the Shure SE215 earbuds that have been joined to adapters—which might seem a little slacker; however, Shure didn’t have to reinvent to make this work.
In that case, if you already own a pair of Shure earphones with MMCX connectors on the earbuds, you can simply purchase the adapters individually and use them to attach your preferred buds. Due to the obvious hooked design, the AONIC 215 is placed over the ear in the same manner as the SE215 is.
While these earbuds look quite similar to the Powerbeats Pro, they include a significant amount of additional technology that is packed into a bulbous section that is hidden underneath your ear. However, do not wear these earbuds during your next workout because they do not have an IP rating, and wearing them while exercising might damage the earbuds.
Why Is This the Best IEM for Gaming in 2023?
The isolating performance of the Shure AONIC 215 earbuds is excellent, although it can vary depending on the type of tip you use to achieve it.
While they are comfortable to use and effectively filter out most high-frequency sounds, noises such as air conditioning units and car engines would only appear twice as loud as they would if you were not using earphones.
If you want stronger isolation performance from the Shure SE215, you may also want to consider purchasing some third-party tips that are suitable with the Shure SE215, which are available online.
If you’re searching for a good pair of wireless headphones with noise cancellation, the Shure AONIC 50 is a wonderful choice. It has some of the best noise-canceling technology available on the market.
2. FiiO FH3 Triple Drive — Premium Pick
The FiiO FH3 is the company’s next-generation in-ear monitor, including a 10mm beryllium-plated diaphragm dynamic driver and the company’s unique balanced pressure relief technology.
The FH3 has been greatly improved from the inside to the exterior design compared to Fiio’s previous entry-level FH1S category headphones. The FiiO FH3 is designed in the same way as the FH5 and FH7. It features a waveform design and a metal enclosure. The FH3 colors, on the other hand, are totally black, as opposed to the grey of the FH5 and the dark blue of the FH7.
Knowing which genre of music you’ll be listening to the most while shopping for new IEMs (in-ear monitors) is extremely beneficial. The exception is certain premium IEMs such as the FA9 by FiiO, which allows the consumer to “adjust” their frequency (to a degree) to suit their own personal preferences; almost every model on the market is specifically designed for one or more musical genres.
FH3’s bass is powerful, rough, and resonant. The upper bass has clear, heavy lines, and the sub-bass follows suit, hitting the ears hard, and FH3 gets points for keeping the bass bar totally in the background and not being overbearing.
3. Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus True Wireless Earphones — Highest Sound Quality
Both of M&D’s new product releases are centered around the MW07 Plus buds, which cost $299, the same price as the previous MW07 buds. By looking at the design, it could appear that not much of anything has changed.
The MW07 Plus brings a more premium sound to gaming with a variety of colors and patterns, variable-sized foam tips, and a decent selection of accessories.
These are true wireless IEMs that include a charging case that provides around 10 hours of playback and gaming time, or music playback if you want to use them for that purpose. An extra three charging cycles are provided by the case, resulting in a theoretically possible 40 hours of battery life.
Master & Dynamic have taken it a step further to offer true HiFi to IEMs, and the custom 10mm beryllium speakers provide a fantastic sound.
Although each earpiece is still sealed in a luxurious glossy design, the earbuds are packaged in a hefty, shiny stainless steel shell that looks exquisite when it’s spanking new but will almost surely become scratched up if it’s not kept in the provided cotton pouch.
Activating active noise cancellation is done by touching and holding the volume up control on the left earphone for a few seconds. They also have an ambient audio mode, which allows you to hear what is going on around you and can be activated by pushing and holding the volume button for a few seconds.
4. Moondrop Aria High-Performance IEM Earphone — Budget Pick
The Moondrop Aria is a universal in-ear monitor with a single 10mm LCP diaphragm as well as a CCAW voice coil active driver that is reasonably priced. It came, it went, and it appears to have returned at this point. The Moondrop Aria is not even an MKII with a few adjustments as it is being marketed as a completely new in-ear monitor.
Moondrop Aria is tuned in a way that is similar to a Harman tuning, with a small V shape signature that sounds appealing when played with good pinna gain. However, even with this increase in gain, the Aria comes across as warm and soft, with little harshness, because of its superb Sub-Bass shelf, which coats the FR with a nice and well-balanced warmth.
The sub-bass is deep and resonant, and it rumbles effectively. The mid-bass is a tad on the quiet side, but it comes through when it’s needed. That’s not a reference bass, but it is a lot of fun and can get fairly addictive. In general, the bass frequency has a lack of depth and texture, but it is just my personal preference. Overall, the bass is excellent and has a smooth decay; yet, it is lacking in some detail and complexity.
The Sennheiser IE 300 are the German brand’s newest wired earbuds, and although they lack several popular features, there is plenty to discuss in terms of performance and technical design.
Aimed squarely at audiophiles, the IE 300 is devoid of any modern conveniences like Bluetooth, noise reduction, or phonemics, opting instead for a 4-foot imbalanced wire ending in a 3.5mm mono socket.
Sennheiser claims that every component within these in-ear monitors, which weigh just 4 grams without the cable, has been meticulously calibrated to deliver the best performance, from the resonator chamber to the low resonance membrane foil, which is meant to accommodate for the masking impacts of trapped air in the ear canal while the buds are being used.
The IE 300 makes a strong first impression, with bass depth, frequency-wide firmness, and a broad range of sound that is difficult to ignore from such small speakers. The Sennheiser’s low-end weight, which isn’t light but also not heavy, can truly anchor a song that deserves it in ways that earbuds seldom can.
The gold-plated Fidelity+ MMCX interface on each earpiece makes it possible to separate the wire from the earpieces, which would be placed in a deep socket for extra strain reduction. Because it is detachable, it is possible to change it out for a balanced cable if necessary.
Knowledge Zenith (KZ) has recently seen explosive growth in the market. This is due in part to the high volume of IEMs they release each year as well as their active marketing campaign. Their products are excellent and deserving of your attention.
KZ has improved its game and moved further into the hybrid industry since its inaugural hybrid IEM, the ZST. The KZ AS10, on the other hand, is the company’s first true balanced armature model, with five drivers in each earbud.
To give it a more premium appearance and feel, the KZ AS10 comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box. It’s a far cry from the methods used up to this point. KZ’s earbuds, cord, and two extra sets of ear tips are still included in the new packaging; therefore, there is no change in content.
The AS10 is completely made of plastic. The IEM has a transparent faceplate so you can see the internal components. The build quality is decent but not as impressive as that of most competitors. The nozzle is the appropriate size, and although it doesn’t seem to have a filter, it does. Instead of rings to keep the tips on, the nozzle features tiny protrusions that perform just as well.
BASN B master Triple Driver In-Ear Monitors are yet another gaming earphone option for those searching for the best IEM for first-person shooter gaming. These earbuds contain a 3D metal case that is intended to last for a long time, as well as a cable clip that prevents the cord from becoming tangled easily while using them.
The audio quality of this IEM is excellent, with heavy bass responses and also accurate mid-and high-frequency responses to offer a fully immersive gaming experience.
The BASN B master Triple Driver In-Ear Monitors additionally come with a wide range of features, including spectral testing, APTX sound, as well, as a CRYSTAL bead, which is utilized for noise isolation and sound clarity, among other things.
How to Choose the Best IEMs for Gaming in 2023?
In general, the frequency or range of your earbud indicates how low or high the sound may be produced by the device.
Alternatively, you can think of it as a way: a frequency tells us what mids and bass your speakers are capable of producing.
If you want to make sure that you purchase a suitable earbud, you should look at the lower price range of them. Drivers with stronger low-frequency performance are considered to be of higher quality.
Admit it or not, earbuds are more comfortable than those obnoxious headsets. They are the ideal option if you plan on spending a lot of time gaming.
Since it is frequently seen that headsets might induce sweaty ears, earbuds are the most effective way to avoid this issue.
Another factor contributing to their comfort is their lightweight, small size, and softer texture. Therefore, always look for an IEM that gives you comfort and ease.
Since they are designed to isolate you as well as the voice you are listening to from the outside world, these types of earbuds are also known as snoopers. You will not be able to hear anything outside because of the physical blockade they provide.
Simply placing them in your ear correctly is all that is required. With an earbud in your ear, you’ll get some voice isolation on the first try.
Another consideration is the long-term durability of the product you choose. The fact that it exists at all is among the most important features of practically anything.
So you must ensure that you are buying earbuds with a high level of durability, which means that they will last for a longer amount of time.
When you go out to buy earphones, you will realize that there are hundreds of earbuds available in a variety of quality levels; nevertheless, durability should be considered.
When looking for the ideal IEMs, you must place this feature at the top of your priority list.
Earbuds are available in each and every price range, from the most affordable to the most expensive. The pricing ranges between $15 to $270. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the price factor. Ultimately, how much you can afford to spend on it is determined by your financial situation.
A gaming earphone that is suitable for gaming is within reach if your budget is more than or equal to $100.
You should not be worried if your budget is limited because you can still purchase an excellent earbud without spending a lot of money.
Build quality and price are two aspects that are inextricably linked; it is simply a matter of selecting how much you are willing to spend in exchange for a specific level of build excellence.
It is okay if you are willing to pay a modest price for a headset that will most likely have to be replaced sooner rather than later. However, if you want an earbud that will last a long time, you will have to invest a little bit of extra money for it.
When purchasing an IEM, the audio quality should be taken into consideration. If you’re considering buying an IEM, it’s important to consider how you intend to use it.
Certain in-ear monitors (IEM) are designed to deliver the best possible experience for in-game audio, while others deliver a more comprehensive sound experience that allows for improved sound quality across a wide range of media sources. If you want your IEM to perform at its best, it’s vital that you understand the types of audio that it’s meant to handle before purchasing one.
It’s clear that there are a lot of great options for those looking for the best IEMs for gaming in 2023. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option like the Moondrop Aria or something more premium like the FiiO FH3 Triple Drive, there’s sure to be an earphone that fits your needs. We hope you enjoyed reading about these great options and we can’t wait to see what new products come out in the future!