This nondescript little IEM comes to us from a German company called InEar. Featuring 8 balanced armatures and a 4-way crossover, the aptly named ProPhile 8 is tuned for studio reference. The result is a ridiculously flat, no-nonsense reference tool great for mixing or mastering. Let’s take a closer look in the InEar ProPhile 8 Review.
InEar ProPhile 8 Review
InEar is a ‘professional’ audio company, not a ‘pleasure’ audio company. They make sophisticated in-ear monitors for musicians playing onstage, and for broadcasters presenting on live TV. The ProPhile 8 is no exception. Everything about the design and sound is exacting and precise.
The case is a simple leather circle, with purple stitching to match the InEar color scheme.
The earbuds are totally matte black; no pop whatsoever (although colorful options are available). The cable is also black and terminates in a 2-pin connection. The PP8 uses the same housing as InEar’s StageDriver Series; a design intended to be universally comfortable.
Two EQ switches are recessed into the housing of the PP8. They can be switched using a little pole with a hoop at the end, pictured below. One switch boosts the low-end by 3dB, and the other switch boosts 8 kHz and above by 2dB.
The PP8 comes in Standard and Small sizes (the Small fit better for me). The housing is indeed very comfortable, and the fit gives my ears just a touch of breathing room. Tight, secure, but not suffocating.
Just for kicks, I listened to a couple other IEMs in a similar price range while demoing the ProPhile. The PP-8 sounds impeccably neutral next to all of them, even after experimenting with the EQ settings.
With both switches off, the sound is completely flat; no extension or boost applied anywhere. Precise and proper, the PP-8 lacks both the high-end sparkle and the low-end boom of IEMs like the Campfire Solaris or the Empire Ears Valkyrie. Music is instead rendered with a cold, analytical precision that music professionals will appreciate.
The 3 dB Bass Boost is just enough to bring some tactile power into the low end. It won’t get subby or exciting, but if you need to understand how the bass feels as well as it sounds while mixing, the boost will do the trick.
The High End Boost is a subtler 2 dB, and has the effect of elevating the vocals and bringing them slightly forward. This is another useful modification. Being as neutral as the PP-8 are, the vocals can occasionally get lost among the other instruments in a totally flat wall-of-sound. The boost brings them out just enough to give them proper attention.
The ProPhile 8 are so effective at what they do, it actually makes them difficult to write about. If you need a pair of IEMs for studio reference, use these. They are built for specifically reference, and InEar has built them exceptionally well. For their intended purpose, they are completely without flaw.
I wish I could write something more exciting about the PP-8, but it’s like trying to write something exciting about a wrench. The PP-8 is a tool, and like any good tool, it is designed in a way that draws no attention to itself. Personality and excitement are foregone for practicality and efficiency. If this is what you need, look no further.
Pros- An incredibly balanced and versatile reference tool for studio work.
Cons- Not for pleasure listening.
Pick one up at Audio46.
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