To stay connected with the natural sound from his amp while controlling the volume level reaching his ears, guitar-maker Paul Reed Smith now uses the 3D Active Ambient IEM system from Sensaphonics.
“Essentially, it’s an in-ear monitor system with microphones attached," Smith says. "The 3D lets me hear everything acoustically, just as I would without earphones. The only difference is, now you can control the volume coming from the stage and add in any amount of monitor mix. They’re an excellent way of protecting your hearing while still having a natural feel for the crowd and the amps, which is really important for guitarists. The 3D lets me play live night after night without my ears ringing, as with normal floor monitors.
“I specifically use the 3D as hearing protection,” he continues. “It can be 125 dB onstage, but I’m listening to 95 dB of full-range, beautiful-sounding audio, with or without a monitor mix.”