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Integrating an in-ear setup to an existing PA/monitoring system has been problematic at best, especially on the road, with a venue’s already existing monitors. Ultimate Ears has a way to make using in-ear monitors feasible, even in small club settings, without the need for complicated wireless transmitters and bodypacks.
It’s a fairly big box, with a volume control and gain setting, but ease-of-use is superb. Simply unplug the existing monitor and plug in the Sound Tap. You’ll need another cable to re-connect the existing monitor, if desired. There are combo jacks for XLR and line-level signals, so all the possible bases are covered. Plug in a set of in-ear monitors into the headphone jack, and now the headphones are getting a feed (or Tap, get it?) from the front-of-house system. Boom, you’ve got an instant, personal in-ear setup with about 30 seconds of setup time.
With the volume and gain controls, dialing in a comfortable level is super easy. There’s a small threaded insert on the bottom, and with an adapter it can be mounted on a mic stand.
Overall it functions really well, and for performers who don’t move around a lot on stage (drummers, keyboard players), or for rehearsal situations where space and volume are at a premium, this is a great, inexpensive tool for personal monitoring. All in all, it’s a small price to pay to get that direct connection, and using these can make monitoring on-stage a lot easier, meaning a much lower stage volume overall.