This is an interview we’ve had with Marius Schmitt the head of InEar. Enjoy.
How did you become interested in In-Ear-monitors?
Marius Schmitt: In-Ear monitoring was actually not even my first choice, I was initially planning to study industrial design with a focus on transportation design. However, my father, Andreas Schmitt, the founder of the company InEar GmbH & Co. KG influence me at a very early stage. I learned everything about the ear from him. It was only during my training as a hearing aid acoustician that I became very involved with the subject of hearing and the technology of BA drivers. I then went about soldering the technology out of old hearing aids and built my first IEM prototypes.
Of course, I was primarily motivated by the joy of tinkering and not by the construction of a perfect IEM. This passion still drives me and even today I spend a lot of time in the lab.
What are you most proud of so far in terms of the InEar company?
MS: Two things spontaneously come to mind here: first, the universal shape of the StageDiver. We were one of the very first manufacturers on the market to develop such a perfect shape. This shape has enabled us to come so close to a CIEM with a universal IEM that you hardly notice any difference. And on the other hand, the ProPhile 8. Here we have defined a new standard, meaning that we have developed a product that has become established among the world’s greatest musicians involved in the film industry, as well as in the audiophile scene.
UIEM vs. CIEM? Which system do you prefer?
MS: Of course, as a hearing care professional, I’m all for custom-fit products. This is because hearing is relative and not absolute. Meaning the same device can sound different as a result of different ear shapes and sizes. With UIEMs, the major problem is that you can position the lamella differently and get different frequency responses. That’s why we, as an InEar company, try to prevent the flange from slipping thanks to our universal fit.
When do we speak of stage in-ears and when of an audiophile IEM?
MS: IEM’s were actually designed for the stage. However, not every IEM fits every musician. Therefore, we try to offer different scenarios to each musician through different sound characteristics. Some IEMs have characteristics that not only support the musician on stage, but are also suitable for listening to music. This is why IEMs are now being developed very successfully for the audiophile sector. The focus of an audiophile listener is on a high resolution, a clearly defined stage and a neutral sound tuning. In the end, of course, it’s your own preferences that count.
How do you think the IEM market will develop?
MS: On the one hand, I think that the established technologies from the over-ear sector will also establish themselves in the IEM sector. On the other hand, I hope that the IEM loses its stigma as a black box and gains momentum not only in the audiophile scene, but also in the hi-fi segment. The aim should be for the classic over-ear user to find a gateway to IEM products.
What can we expect from InEar in the near future?
MS: Of course, we don’t want to reveal too much at this point. What I can reveal, however, is that a long-awaited product is in the starting blocks and it will be a CIEM.