The 5 Best IEMs Under $1000 in 2023 [Buyer’s Guide]

by Alex.   Last Updated On January 3rd, 2023.
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High quality in-ear monitors are not just a useful piece of gear for audio production professionals, musicians, or vocalists; they are also a vital device that can mean the difference in hearing a flat mid or a perfectly balanced mid. However, comparing the various features and offerings of high-end IEMs can be extremely time consuming.

We took the time to compare a wide variety of features and extra perks on several of the best IEMs on the market at this price point. The basics such as frequency response, driver type, and comfort were all taken into account, as were extras such as independent tuning, cable quality, IPX ratings, and more.

Whether you are looking for a high quality professional IEM for your studio recording sessions, audio sampling and editing, or on-stage vocal or instrumental performances, you are sure to find a professional level IEM on this list.

Table of Contents

Comparison of the Best IEMs Under $1000

Best Stylish Design IEM Under $1000See On Amazon
photo of the MoonDrop Illumination Reference Class DynamicMoonDrop
Illumination Reference Class Dynamic
Best Professional IEM Under $1000See On Amazon
photo of the HiFiGo Kinera Nanna ProHiFiGo
Kinera Nanna Pro
Best Luxury Style IEM Under $1000See On Amazon
photo of the Moondrop S8 8BAMoondrop
S8 8BA
Most Versatility IEM Under $1000See On Amazon
photo of the iBasso IT07 IEMiBasso
Best Comfort Level IEM Under $1000See On Amazon
photo of the Sennheiser IE 500 Pro AudioSennheiser
IE 500 Pro Audio

Reviews of the Best IEMs Under $1000

Exceptionally good-looking IEMs with a high-performance dynamic driver and large frequency range that reaches 20 kHz.

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  • Driver
    • 11mm high performance dynamic
  • Style
    • Wired
    • Detachable cable
  • Features
    • Frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz

MoonDrop has gone above and beyond in creating their Illumination Reference Class IEMs. In fact, if you are looking for an IEM that not only looks amazing but performs amazingly as well, look no further. These sleek, gold colored IEMs are coated in a titanium alloy and tin-plated exterior to give you years of durability without chipping or scratching.

The driver is an 11mm high performance dynamic driver that offers a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The sound quality is powerful across all ranges giving you a great return on the lows and highs, as well as everything in between. It also includes a coupled acoustic audio chamber that helps improve overall wearing comfort, while offering a unique and Patented damper.

These IEMs fit exceptionally well, and include various additional ear tips so you can get a custom fit to your ear structure. Ensuring a proper fit will also help you get a proper noise isolation return which is great for audiophiles as well as audio professionals, vocalists, and musicians.

What We Like

Stylish and expensive design

Great fit and comfort after several hours

Extremely durable titanium alloy exterior

Know Before Buying

Makes use of an 11mm dynamic driver

Includes a Patented acoustic chamber

Uses N52 neodymium external magnet

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For audio professionals looking for an IEM that can meet their demands, HiFiGo has created their Nanna Pro 2.0 just for you.

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  • Driver
    • 7mm dynamic driver
    • One full-range BA driver
    • Dual electrostatic tweeter
  • Style
    • Wired
    • Detachable cable
  • Features
    • Four-driver hybrid setup
    • Frequency response to 50 kHz
    • 1.2m tight braided pure copper wire

For discerning professionals or audiophiles searching for an IEM that can meet or exceed their demands, HiFiGo has risen to the challenge. Their Nanna Pro 2.0 offers a hybrid set of drivers that can reach an incredible frequency range from 5 Hz to 50 kHz. This gives you unrivaled sound reproduction quality whether you are watching a movie or professional studio editing.

The driver system consists of a four driver hybrid system. You’ll find a 7mm dynamic driver in each earpiece, followed up by a full-range balanced armature driver in each earpiece. From there, you’ll find dual electrostatic tweeters in each ear giving you a pristine balance on mids and highs.

The detachable cable is tightly braided and is full copper throughout. You won’t experience any detracted sound with tin or silver plating. The detachable cable is durable and more than 1 meter long making it a versatile and effective cable to use for studio or stage work.

What We Like

Pure copper wiring throughout

Amazing sound for any audio uses

Hybrid driver system for incredible sound

Know Before Buying

Includes a 1.2m pure copper braided cord

Offers a perfectly neutral sound signature

Microphone quality can be lacking

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When you not only want a high quality sound reproduction with a powerful driver system, but also want an IEM that looks luxurious, the S8 is the answer.

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  • Driver
    • 8 driver triple crossover
  • Style
    • Wired
    • Detachable cable
    • Crystal clear housing
  • Features
    • Frequency range up to 40 kHz
    • Unmatched pristine sound quality
    • Innovative triple crossover driver architecture

MoonDrop took their IEM prowess one step further and created the S8 with professionals and discerning audiophiles in mind. This IEM will not only create an extremely well balanced and high quality soundscape, but can also be used for an immersive experience when watching movies or shows.

The S8 features an 8 driver system that consists of dual highs, quad mids, and dual lows. When it comes to the low end, these IEMs offer an above average soundstage but can fall a little thin on the low bass. This includes lower register instruments as well as low bass male vocals. For mids and highs, it shines in both on-stage and studio presentations however.

For the price point, it will be hard to find an IEM that can offer a better sound quality return. These IEMs are a high end professional audio monitor that are comfortable to wear all day. They’ll provide a very clear and detailed sound which makes them great for anyone searching for that highly analytical sound quality.

What We Like

Redesigned 8 driver system

Two year warranty on this IEM

Extremely comfortable for long use

Know Before Buying

16 ohm impedance range

Mid range sound can be recessed

Upper bass can be lacking

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When it comes to versatility, comfort, and a wide range of frequency responses, the IT07 from iBasso is a great IEM to consider for professionals and casual listeners alike.

See On Amazon
  • Driver
    • 10mm high magnetic flux dynamic
    • 6 Knowles balanced armature
  • Style
    • Wired
    • Detachable MMCX cable
  • Features
    • Great choice for singers and musicians
    • Provides high-resolution audio output
    • Light and comfortable for hours of use

When it comes to professional quality IEMs, iBasso has delivered with their IT07s. These in-ear monitors are an exceptionally powerful and very versatile piece of equipment for audiophiles, audio professionals, and casual listeners. Whether you are searching for an immersive movie watching experience, or want to hear every detailed note in your favorite audio recording, these IEMs can deliver the results you are searching for.

Using a combination of a 10mm dynamic driver as well as a series of six balanced armature drivers with a four-way crossover design, you’ll get an outstanding frequency response that ranges from an incredibly low 5 Hz to an impressive 40 khz. This delivers a controlled deep bass sound which goes right up to clear highs without distortion.

For long hours in the studio or on stage, these IEMs are exceptionally comfortable. You’ll find the ear tips are ergonomically shaped to give you high levels of comfort whether you are wearing them for a quick song or for the whole day. Additionally, they are lightweight and sturdy giving you a comfortable fit even if you do a lot of moving around.

What We Like

Great reproduction of deep bass tones

High quality MMCX balanced cable

Can be great for professional or casual use

Know Before Buying

Cable is detachable and interchangeable

Provides a full and natural soundscape

Needs proper fit for stereo positioning results

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This IEM is a perfect choice for professionals searching for a powerful audio return while also remaining comfortable to wear for hours on end.

See On Amazon
  • Driver
    • Dynamic
  • Style
    • Wired
    • Detachable cable
  • Features
    • Crisp sound without losing the deep bass tones
    • Lightweight and ergonomically designed
    • Reinforced ear hook and break-proof ducting

For audio professionals that are looking for a comfortable IEM for hours of daily use, Sennheiser’s IE500 Pro is a great choice. It provides you with a variety of ear tips so you can find the best custom fit for your ears, and helps hold the IEM in place with a reinforced wire hook. Once you get the right fit for your ears, the noise isolation kicks in and helps you enjoy the best sound return even on loud stages.

The dynamic driver system offers a frequency range from 6 Hz to 20 kHz giving you a versatile and robust range of mids, highs and lows. You’ll get high resolution sound whether you are casually watching movies, an audiophile listening to songs, or a musician on stage. The triple-duct ventilation helps reduce pressure build up and almost eliminates the risks of sound distortion over time.

Whether you are keeping the volume low and sampling music in the studio, or are blasting the volume to keep it audible on a live sound stage, Sennheiser’s dual chamber absorber helps prevent feedback and keep the audio clean and clear even with high sound pressure levels. For an IEM in this price point, Sennheiser’s IE500 Pro is an outstanding choice for audio professionals and discerning audiophiles.

What We Like

Made with high quality components

Cables are detachable and replaceable

Very comfortable ergonomic design

Know Before Buying

Includes both silicone and foam ear tips

Very compact yet extremely durable design

Break proof ducting is Patent pending

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Buyers Guide

Things to Consider When Buying an IEM

Wireless in-ear headphones on wood table

Finding the right IEM (see also our top IEMs for this year) for your needs can be a bit time consuming, however comparing all of the features and deciding what is right for you is an important step. You don’t want to get an IEM that seemed okay at the start only to find out it falls short in some areas that are important to you.

IEMs of all types have a range of features you can consider. Noise canceling is an important feature to consider, especially if you’ll be using your IEMs near instruments or in busy rooms. If you plan on keeping your IEM usage confined to quiet studio use, noise canceling may not be a big concern. Aside from that, there are many more important and vital features and considerations to keep in mind. Let’s go over those now.

Driver Type

Most IEM drivers will be around the 10mm size, though smaller or larger drivers are not hard to find. A driver can be found in different types including planar magnetic, dynamic, hybrid, and more. You’ll normally want to go with a dynamic driver, though a balanced armature driver is another good choice.

Planar magnetic drivers are usually on the much higher price range (see also IEMs under 500 dollars), and will normally only be something to consider if you are willing to make a sizable investment into your audio hobby or profession. If you’re just starting out or simply want a more budget friendly option when it comes to an IEM, dynamic drivers are the way to go.

Cable Connectors

Cabling is important with your IEM as it will be the connection between you and your devices. Most cables are MMCX or 2-PIN. Many people will go for the MMCX cabling over the 2-PIN for the better all-around quality and reliability it offers.

In addition to the cable type, keep in mind that cables will come in different lengths as well. Most will be around 6 feet long, though some can be much longer and a few will be shorter. If you plan on staying near your recording or playback device, cable length may not be much of a concern. But if you are doing studio work with instruments or standing to sing vocals, a longer and more flexible cable may be important to you.

Impedance and Frequency Response

Both the impedance range and the frequency response will have a direct impact on how good your audio sounds. When it comes to impedance, the quality may depend on how compatible the IEM is with your device.

Having a wide frequency response range will give you a better return on your low bass and high trebles. A larger range also helps make sounds seem more crisp and clear, with less distortion when hitting the extreme notes.

Most IEMs will cover a 20 Hz to 20 kHz range, though some may go much lower or higher. A 20 hZ to 20 kHz range will reproduce the entire audible spectrum and will be perfectly fine for both average and many professional users.

Comfort Levels

IEMs can be worn in a couple different ways, either over the ear or hanging from the ear. But either way you choose to wear them, they are still an in-ear device and comfort is key, especially if you plan on wearing your IEMs for extended periods of time.

Comfort is a highly subjective trait, and what is comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for another. Various factors on the IEM can determine the level of comfort a user will get. These include the weight of each IEM, the shape of the in-ear piece, the size and softness of the foam or silicone pad, the length of the cord and whether or not you might hit the end of it and yank the IEM out of your ear.

Included Accessories

Woman ear with white wireless in-ear headphones

IEMs will normally come with a small accessories pack that includes some necessary and extra items. These can include the carrying case, USB cables for some hybrid or detachable models, and a variety of different sized foam or silicone ear pads.

While these accessories are not a necessity and have no impact on the sound quality you will get from your IEM, it’s sometimes a nice touch for companies to include a few customizable options or alternate components to suit a wide variety of user needs.


Best Luxury Style IEM Under $1000

From studio sampling to on-stage performances, having the right IEM with the best system that not only meets the technical specifications you need but also feels comfortable in your ear after hours of use is a very important consideration. Be sure you take the time to try out each of the included ear tips in both foam and silicone as the best fit will give you the best return on your sound quality and noise isolation.

With several options to consider, and numerous companies all vying for your patronage, it’s up to you to decide which features and extra perks are important and which you can do without. If frequency range is your goal, there are several IEMs that can reach 40 kHz or higher. If impedance is vital, consider an ohm range up to 30.

Regardless of your needs and expectations, hopefully you were able to find an IEM on this list that fits your audiophile lifestyle or professional musical background. If not, hopefully you at least now know which features to look for in a professional quality in-ear monitor for you as you continue your search.