- by JJ Jenkins
in Road Tests
Future Sonics, a pioneer of in-ear monitoring — or perhaps I should say the pioneer in the field — has introduced its latest earpieces for in-ear monitoring. The Spectrum Series model G10 have incorporated a host of new changes for upgraded performance.
Features of the G10 include 10mm proprietary dynamic drivers with 18 Hz to 20,000 Hz frequency response and 32 ohm impedance. Sensitivity is rated at 113 dB at 30 Hz/1mW. Ambient noise rejection goes up to -29 dB. The G10s use a single transducer design — no armature or crossover — and the audio feed connects with a standard 1/8-inch (3.5mm) stereo mini-plug. Each earpiece has thumb-placement guides.
The G10 includes a selection of ComfortFit foam and EarFills silicone sleeves (ranging from large to smaller sizes for children), so you can set up the earpieces to fit your ears properly. Short of getting custom molds, this is a very effective system for custom fitting to your own ears. Speaking of the latter, Future Sonics also offers an optional upgrade to custom-fit Softer Wear™ sleeves, at an additional cost (plus ear impressions by an authorized audiologist/hearing professional). This way, users who may be on the fence about committing to custom earpieces can check these out first before making the leap into the earmold hyperspace.
Pulling the G10s out of the box, everything is contained in a convenient plastic carry case. Inside, I found the G10s along with eight foam sleeves (large and small) and four silicone sleeves (large and small) in addition to the ones already installed (medium) on the G10s. After I adjusted the earpieces to best fit my ears, I listened to several music sources including using it as my monitor while I performed with my own band.
Another innovative feature on the G10 are new tactile thumb-placement guides on each earpiece that indicate the left and right units — even on a dimly lit stage. For anyone who has fumbled in the dark trying to read a red dot or other left/right indicator will appreciate this feature. The proper stereo perspective of the earpieces can be easily determined via a quick feel — definitely an appreciated function.
With the earpieces in place, I was definitely wowed by the sound quality — particularly the bass response. Usually those are the first frequencies you lose are the lows with in-ears, but the G10s had a pretty even and smooth frequency response.
I’ve heard Future Sonics founder Marty Garcia speak of the advantages of utilizing a single driver technology, as opposed to multi-driver technology, many times in terms of better bass response and I have to say that the G10s certainly deliver on that philosophy. The result is a rich, full low-end that will bring smiles to any LF-loving artists you might work with, whether they be drummers, bass players, DJ’s or anyone else who appreciates a solid bass response.
The G10 specs state a bandwidth that goes out to 20 kHz, which is probably true to some extent, although I’m sure that response figure is fairly well rolled off by that point. Along those lines, the G10’s don’t sound as bright when compared to some of the competing multi-driver products, but a light touch of high-frequency equalization takes care of that issue, with no brittleness or harshness at all.
The Bottom Line
While the company states that the G10s can also be used in studio and broadcasting situations as well, I will always think of Future Sonics products as a live performance tool, and I certainly tested them with that in mind. If you’ve never used in-ears in a live situation, these are an excellent choice to get you started. They sound great and they’re an economical investment. The list price is $219.
You will hear everything, especially with these G10s.
At a Glance
Smooth Response, Easy Fit
Future Sonics expands its Ear Monitors® line with the Spectrum Series™ model G10 universal-fit, pro personal monitors, offering wide-spectrum sound in a micro-sized, more efficient, armature-free infrastructure.
PROS: Great sound. Priced right.
Future Sonics G10
STATS and SPECS
- Transducers: Proprietary single 10mm dynamic drivers
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Frequency Response: 18 Hz - 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 113 dB at 30 Hz
- Isolation: Up to -29 dB
- Termination: 1/8” stereo mini-plug
- Cable Length: 50-inch (127 cm)
- Manufacturer: Future Sonics
- Pricing: $219 (MAP)
More Info: www.futuresonics.com
About Future Sonics
Future Sonics founder and CEO Marty Garcia, a well known and in-demand live sound engineer 40 years ago (and founder of Philadelphia-based soundco Crystal Sound), practically invented the concept of personal monitors for live performance by pioneering Ear Monitors® and Ears™-brand earphone monitors before founding Future Sonics in 1991. Years before, in 1985, Garcia supplied his earphone monitors to Todd Rundgren who used them on his 1985 Utopia tour, the first wedgeless stage with all band members wearing Ear Monitors. And the concept began catching on.
Breaking new live performance ground with major tours by other artists including The Tubes, U2, and the Grateful Dead to name few, Garcia made personal monitors a reality, clearing the way for an entire industry. It is almost uncommon to see a major tour nowadays that isn’t using an in-ear monitor system. Future Sonics is at the forefront of this movement and carries on the tradition of in-ear monitoring innovation.