Top 10+ Best IEM for Gaming in 2024

The best gaming in-ear monitors (IEMs) of 2024 are perfect for gamers of all levels. We tested and reviewed several IEMs to find the ones that really make a difference to your gaming sessions.

Whether you’re looking for crystal-clear sound, need something super comfortable for long gaming sessions, or are on a budget, we’ve got you covered.

Why do professional gamers use IEMs?

Many professional gamers use IEMs when playing at live events to achieve a focused sound that blocks out as much external noise as possible. Because they seal your ears, they tend to provide better isolation than over-ear headsets.

However, you can also see professional gamers wearing headsets over IEMs. This serves three purposes:

  • First, it physically covers the entire ear, further aiding isolation.
  • Second, I use a headset to communicate with my team because of the clearer microphone.
  • Lastly, headphones are large and stand out, making them a prime item for advertising gaming brand sponsors.

List of 10+ Best IEMs for Gaming in 2024

With all this in mind, we’ve selected the best gaming IEMs, focusing on IEMs that offer the best sound quality and ergonomics for both competitive and casual gamers.

Some people may prefer a different sound signature depending on the game they’re playing (competitive shooters typically prefer a lean, clean sound to maximize spatial awareness), but everything chosen here will be satisfying enough no matter what game you’re playing. It will.

1. Mezz Audio Rai Penta IEM

Best iem for gaming reddit

Next, we’ll take a look at what the IEM’s actual flagship-level sound quality is like. I’d like to start with one of our favorite IEMs, the Rai Penta from Meze Audio. The Penta is aptly named due to the fact that its five-driver design provides a warmer presentation and incredible soundstage and imaging.

The Penta-Hybrid drivers consist of four custom-balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver to create an incredibly wide soundstage and amazing fidelity for in-ear monitors. Like Meze Audio’s flagship headphones, the Empyrean, the Rai Penta delivers big stadium show sound compared to the Solo.

It gives your music more definition, punch, overall fidelity, and life. The combination of incredible comfort and fit makes this one of our favorite universal IEMs. Great for Rock, Metal, EDM, Synthwave and Electronica.

Combine this with the Silver Dragon IEM Cable for Meze Audio and you’ll get clarity, soundstage, and full-bodied sound unmatched by any other IEM (made even better by comfort).

When we talk about gaming and headphones, one thing that is important along with great sound quality is great fit and comfort. The Rai Pentas has a smaller, more ergonomically designed chassis, making it a universal fit.

It fits perfectly there. There is no extra pressure, there is a great seal and it is very comfortable. And now you don’t always have heavy headphones or earbuds falling off that get in the way or get in the way of your gaming session.

This soundstage will greatly help you immerse yourself in the gaming world of your choice. Check out our full review of this at the link below.

The Rai Penta’s overall fidelity is impressive, and combined with its ergonomic and anatomically shaped shell, you get the best of both worlds: excellent sound and comfort.

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2. Sennheiser IE 600 earphones

Sennheiser IE 600 earphones

The Sennheiser IE 600 is a great option for audiophiles who want an IEM with a small footprint and natural, detailed sound. IE 600 isn’t as neutral or detailed as the flagship IE 900, but it’s pretty good on both counts. As you’d expect from an IEM, the sound is relatively familiar, but the IE 600 is still pretty good at imaging and holding a variety of instruments and vocals in their respective positions.

The IE 600 is suitable for a variety of musical styles but is especially suited to vocals, acoustic music, folk, blues, Americana, and any music that requires a natural yet expressive presentation. I enjoyed it with string instruments, especially vocals.

Some people may prefer a louder, more spacious sound in genres like classical or jazz, but the IE 600 is more than up to the task of making music sound fantastic with a more intimate presentation.

The Sennheiser IE 600 IEM is an excellent option if you want to search for details. IE 600 sound leans more towards the analytical side from a gaming perspective. Don’t miss out on important elements of your experience, especially if you’re in a competitive environment.

In our full review of the IEM, we described the sound as “clear, natural, and warmly intimate.” The top end has a lovely sparkle that adds a bit of fun to the listening experience, which also adds to the enjoyment of the soundtrack. The IE 600’s small size compared to the IEM chassis makes it suitable for people with smaller ears and ear canals. Available as a universal option only.

From a gaming standpoint, if you want great detail in your mix, we recommend pairing the IE 600 with the Silver Dragon IEM cable for Sennheiser. Bronze Dragon IEM cables provide extra warmth to your analytical IEMs, adding meat to your gaming and music sounds at a price point that fits any serious gamer’s budget. For me, the warmth and musical presentation of the gaming session increased the overall immersion.

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3. Meze Audio ADVAR IEM

IEM for Competitive Gaming

Overall, the Meze Audio Advar is an impressive IEM that offers much more than the entry-level Solo and, considering its mid-price range, comes close to matching the performance of the Rai Penta. It’s no surprise that the infamous Meze soundstage still wows and amazes with each new offering and iteration, but such is the Advar’s low-end presence, mid-range energy, and high-frequency roll-off.

This makes for a smooth, dynamic, and fun IEM. Those who love everything from Rock, EDM, Folk, Alternative, and even Jazz will find a lot to love about the Advar, and many other genres will also find a way to shine through these IEMs. There are many things to give Meze Audio credit for, but consistency is the most important.

They continue to come out with great-sounding IEMs and headphones that don’t disappoint. The Bronze Dragon IEM Cable for Meze Audio adds warmth and musicality to your IEMs, enhancing and strengthening the bass response for an incredibly rich and musical experience.

This makes gaming sessions very long. You can leave it on for hours without getting tired, and combined with its smooth presentation, it makes for an enjoyable and immersive gaming session.

The soundtrack is incredibly rich in the background, and the definition it provides is next-level compared to entry-level IEMs. Its sleek design means it’ll look great to boot, too. If you’re a fan of getting lost in a game, ADVAR will help you in that regard. Forget about the world around you and make sure to:

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4. Empire Ears Bravado MKII Universal IEM

Empire Ears Bravado MKII Universal IEM

Say bravo to Empire Ears aboard the Bravado MK-II. This is a great-sounding IEM that belies the entry-level position of the Empire Ears X series. Empire Ears has taken an already great, versatile IEM and taken it to the next level. Empire’s declaration that Bravado works with a variety of genres is no joke.

We enjoyed this along with a variety of rock, classical, folk, and jazz. It brought the energy when we wanted it, but performed equally well with softer music. At $799 universal/$999 custom pricing, you’ll pay $200 more for the Bravado MK-II than you would for the original.

We think this is a reasonable price increase for a major upgrade and still keeps the Bravado within the entry-level audiophile price range. The Mark 2 is a notable improvement over the original in many ways. The MK-II features a tribrid design, meaning it has three different driver technologies. First, there is an upgraded W9+ subwoofer for bass.

This is an upgraded version of Empire Ear’s proprietary dynamic driver with true subwoofer performance. A balanced armature handles the midrange and features two electrostatic drivers for the treble and ultra-treble sounds. Use with Black Dragon IEM cable for Empire Ears IEMs.

It offers ample clarity across the entire spectrum, enhanced bass response, and transparency in the mids and highs. Overall, a great pairing.

There are a lot of good things to say about the Bravado MK-II. Instrument separation is amazing when listening to music, and this translates to gaming as well, giving a wide presentation and a big, open sound.

Imaging too (the accuracy of where the sound is coming from) is a game changer when comparing good headphones or earphones to bad ones. Bass extension is equally impressive.

Gives your sound design a powerful boost when you need it most. Making those moments feel in-game goes a long way toward providing impactful and meaningful moments in your gaming sessions.

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5. Sennheiser IE 900 Earphone IEM

Best iem earphones for gaming 2024


When you want to keep listening to all the music you know and love, you know you’ve found the guardian of your headphones or IEMs. Here’s our experience with Sennheiser’s IE 900: It’s a pleasure to listen to and the boot is very comfortable. Excellent, rich sound that sounds natural and clear – great for blues, folk, acoustic strings, and detailed music.

The vocals are very clear and emotional. Treble in IE 900 is definitely something to remember. Lots of sparkles. The piano on several tracks sounded really nice.

If you’re deciding between the IE 600 and IE 900, choose the IE 600 if you want a more fun sound for on-the-go listening/gaming, and if you don’t want to value detail and clarity, choose the IE 900. compromise You won’t be disappointed.

Of course, cost is important, but when you choose Sennheiser, you get what you pay for. Add the Bronze Dragon IEM cable for Sennheiser for additional warmth and musicality. You can really feel the motif characteristics of the IEM.
Although the IE600 and IE900 look identical, there are significant differences in sound. In the IE900 you’ll find more refined sound, resolution, and slightly better imaging. Sennheiser is known for its clarity, and the IE900 is one of the best choices for competitive gaming.

The chassis is on the small side, making it very comfortable for long gaming and listening sessions. The IE 900’s soundstage is intimate, with layers of sound and everything clearly delineated. It’s perfect for both immersive and competitive gaming, and I can’t recommend the IE 900 IEM enough to any gamer. Clean, balanced sound with exceptional detail three cable options, lightweight

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6. Valkyrie MKII Universal IEM

Valkyrie MKII Universal IEM

Our experience with the Valkyrie MK-II in-ear monitors wasn’t all that different from the originals. This is not a fundamentally changed IEM. What we got with the MK-II was a bit more control of the low and treble frequencies and a slightly more forward midrange.

Comparing the updated version with the original, the MK-II has a slightly more refined sound. It’s like a wild child growing up into a ‘work hard, play hard’ adult. Despite some improvements, the Valkyrie’s sound quality is appealing.

The urge to move, participate, and be amazed at how vibrant the music sounded was so strong that it was difficult to get anything done in the office! If you’re focused on vocals or looking for a more analytical sound, the Valkyrie MK-II might not be for you, but if you want to enjoy a fun sound signature with a bit of an adrenaline rush and plenty of bass, you’ve met your match.

It’s suitable for a variety of genres, including fast-paced, bass-heavy, and moody music, including EDM, rock, metal, and R&B. Combined with the Black Dragon IEM Cable for Empire Ears, you’ll get a tighter low-mid presentation and clearer sound in the high frequencies.

The Empire Ears Valkyrie MK-II is a tribrid IEM. That means there are three driver types: In fact, this was Empire Ears’ first tribrid model. The Valkyrie MK-II features a Weapon IX+ subwoofer for bass and sub-bass. This is an upgraded version of Empire Ear’s proprietary dynamic driver with true subwoofer performance.

Balanced armature drivers are responsible for the midrange, while electrostatic drivers are responsible for the treble and ultra-treble sounds. All three driver types are controlled by a four-way synX crossover network designed to work in harmony.

During your gaming sessions, Valkyrie will help you feel and experience living within the game. This is an impactful presentation and helps immerse players in the game world.

A booming sound is a boomer sound, and a Ka-pow sound is a Ka-power sound. It delivers a fun and exciting sonic experience and performs amazingly as a high-end gaming IEM.

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7. Pathfinder IEM earphones

best gaming in-ear monitors


Lastly, there is the Pathfinder, which beautifully combines the design philosophies of Astell&Kern and Campfire Audio. Astell&Kern’s aesthetic is based on the principles of light and shadow, giving the products an industrial and futuristic feel. Campfire Audio, meanwhile, likes to incorporate aspects of nature into its designs.

The IEM is a hybrid design using two dynamic drivers and three balanced armature drivers. Great sound in a gorgeous package. This is Pathfinder in a nutshell. Two of the most notable sound aspects of the Pathfinder are the depth, punch, and clarity of the bass.

The bass is definitely punchy, but not overwhelming. The sound is crisp, clean, and airy, with plenty of midrange warmth. Pathfinder strikes a good balance in this respect. The definition is plentiful throughout the upper range, but the presentation is smooth.

This makes the Pathfinder a versatile IEM. Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Jam Band music, and more shine in IEM. The weight of the bass combined with the softer treble sounds appeals to jazz listeners (and classical listeners as well).

Together with your favorite AK DAP or other digital music player, the Pathfinder IEM will give you plenty of options in terms of sound and ergonomics for hi-fi listening on the go. Use Silver Dragon IEM cable for added clarity and detail.

The way IEMs design their drivers for different frequency spectra goes a long way in improving the “expressiveness” of the monitor.

On the gaming side, this helps bring the environment to life, giving you the presentation that you are actually in the game while experiencing the sound first-hand. Pathfinder excels in this regard, delivering a balanced and impactful experience time and time again for both gaming and music listening.

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8. Astell&Kern AK ZERO1 IEM

Astell&Kern AK ZERO1 IEM

Astell&Kern’s ZERO1 IEM is a mid-tier in-ear that packs AK’s premium sound into a small, portable package. For Astell&Kern, “ZERO” is a number that represents a reference point. The beginning of things. ZERO1 IEM marks a new beginning for Astell&Kern, which aims to set the industry IEM standard. There are three elements that define ZERO1: The first of them is Hybrid.

Astell&Kern takes into account the diverse tastes of its listeners to create the perfect balance. Essence: Astell&Kern believes that the best quality should be implemented as purely and honestly as possible, no matter where you are.

And finally, Promise: Astell&Kern is taking on a new challenge to break new boundaries and usher in an era of high fidelity in IEMs. ZERO1 uses three types of drivers:

Composed of a Micro Rectangular Planar Dynamic Driver, two BA drivers, and a 5.6 mm Dynamic Driver, the AK ZERO1 harmonizes the characteristics of each driver to deliver the most natural sound to your ears.

It’s a great match for those wanting a more personal-sounding IEM, with a closer soundstage, great layering, superb bass representation, and top-end sparkle. We found it provided great energy for genres like Rock, Metal, R&B, and EDM. 

This is a fun price point for gaming IEMs. You really start to hear the differences between audiophile-grade sound and everything that exists below. The ZERO1 hits the sweet spot of being able to carry the low end of your gaming blockbusters but at the same time being able to deliver great clarity and detail in moments that matter.

It’s a versatile IEM that will work well for a lot of different kinds of games – no matter if you want to play competitively or just get lost in a world a galaxy away. The price point is equally sweet for this kind of performance, and they get a solid recommendation from us for both music and gaming.

Be sure to pair it with the Bronze Dragon IEM Cable for Astell&Kern for added body and warmth to the sound, giving weight to a lot of what you’ll experience in your gaming sessions. 

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9. EDITORSPICK

best budget iem for gaming

Final Audio is one of the more niche brands in the audiophile space. Based in Japan, they’re known for their wild statement pieces like the Sonorous and LAB series, but there are highlights from their more conventional models because of their very specific design philosophies. The VR3000 is one of them.

As the name suggests, the VR3000 was designed for VR applications and provides “accurate reproduction of binaural sound”. It does this through amazing soundstage and imaging performance, which just so happens to also make it one of the best IEMs for gaming. 

There’s no DSP or virtual surround at play here — with a single dynamic driver in each ear, the VR3000 offers positional accuracy in competitive shooters like VALORANT and Apex Legends that’s tough to beat even by earphones far above its price bracket. 

Of course, they can’t quite do everything. For one, the VR3000 takes on a rather neutral sound with tight bass and clear upper frequencies that won’t impress those looking for a more “cinematic” sound. Their housings aren’t the most smoothly shaped, with rather hard angles that might dig into some ears. The lack of a removable cable is also a bit unfortunate. 

But the VR3000 is an earphone with a very specific mission: to provide exceptional spatial audio as it is used in VR and video games. And to that, I can say “mission accomplished.”

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10. Final Audio VR3000 earphones

Final Audio VR3000 earphones

It’s 2024 one of the most interesting times for IEMs, especially in the sub-$100 budget segment. Sure, a bird’s eye view of it could sum up the task as “making great-sounding earphones cheaper”, but it’s always appreciated anyway to see the proverbial floor raised a bit higher. 

The SIMGOT EA500 was one of these releases that we looked at. Released earlier in February, this $80 earphone impresses with a bold and bright sound signature that enhances gaming just as well as it does music. We’re not going to sugarcoat it — the EA500 has a bright sound, and it’ll take some getting used to. Some people never do.

Heck, it even comes with an alternative tuning filter that further lifts the upper frequencies.  But if you give your ears time to adjust, you’ll be treated to one of the best IEMs for gaming to come out this year.

With impressive imaging, a great set of accessories, and a gorgeous polished finish that puts everything in its price bracket to shame, the SIMGOT EA500 is a capable and reliable IEM that can handle just about anything you can throw at it.

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11. SIMGOT EA500 earphones

best in-ear monitors for gaming

In the world of IEMs, Moondrop is a name that’s often associated with price to performance. No matter what price bracket they hit, they always seem to come out with a result better than second base — if it isn’t a home run out right.

But with a price tag of $520, the Moondrop Variations does seem like quite the ask this time around. Aimed squarely at similarly priced IEMs like the ThieAudio Oracle, the Moondrop Variations makes use of a “tribrid” configuration, commanding three types of earphone driver designs (dynamic, balanced armature, and electrostatic) in unison. 

I do find it funny that the Variations doesn’t actually have any tuning variations — no switches, no filters, nothing. But their impeccably clear mids, crisp highs, and amazingly rich and rumbly sub-bass give the earphones a versatility that more than compensates for it.

Like most of the audiophile space, anything above the budget segment is a tough sell for most people. But if you’re after some of the best IEMs for gaming immersion and sound quality, sometimes splurging for the endgame is the fastest way to get there. 

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12. Moondrop Chu II

best iem for fps gaming


The Moondrop Chu made waves in the audiophile space last year for offering what’s arguably the best sound you could get from an earphone at $20. The ergonomics could’ve been better, sure, but that was forgivable for what was otherwise the best budget earphone we’ve seen yet.

With the announcement of the Chu II, however, it seemed like these problems would be fixed. And with that, we would get the bona fide best $20 IEM for gaming and music and everything else. What we got on release was…a bit different. 

The Moondrop Chu II definitely fixed all of the ergonomic problems of the previous version. The cable is removable and its quality is a lot better. The housings have been reworked for a simpler fit, and the new ear tips (while no longer the Moondrop Spring tips) are more consistent with their seal.

But the sound of the Chu II was also changed. This time around, we’re treated to a more conventional Harman-like tuning with more emphasis on the sub-bass, as opposed to the brighter tilt of the first Chu. 

By all accounts, the Chu II felt like a completely new IEM rather than a complete upgrade. But it’s still an upgrade, and that’s what matters. 

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13. Final E500

IEM for Competitive Gaming

As we’ve seen with the VR3000, Final Audio is an earphone brand that runs with a lot of different concepts, from the midrange-focused Heaven earphones to the tune-it-yourself MAKE series.

The E500 is a bit of a different beast. Although the naming convention puts it in the same league as their rather generic E-line of IEMs, the E500 seems to be specifically made with VR and gaming in mind. 

And indeed, the E500 does seem to do just that. Like a “baby” version of the VR3000, the E500 produces a surprisingly spacious soundstage for an IEM of its size. Its imaging ability doesn’t feel quite as precise as its more expensive counterpart but at $25, what the E500 offers is more than impressive enough. 

Even for music, the E500 is still quite capable. It doesn’t have the intensity of the VR3000, but its smoother and more laid-back sound does take the edge off of sharp and loud sounds.

It’s weird to call a sound signature “comfortable” in the context of an intense FPS game, but the E500 manages to pull that off and is a solid choice if you’re after a focused IEM for your gaming sessions.

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Why Buy IEMs For Gaming?


When you look into gaming audio products, you’ll find an overwhelming emphasis on headphones and headsets while earphones and IEMs are mostly neglected by comparison.

For most gaming brands like Logitech and Razer, the idea is that headphones usually produce better sound for gaming thanks to the larger space that they work with.

The reality, though, is that since they’re larger, they can slap on more features and generally charge more than they could with gaming IEMs. But people still look for IEMs for gaming for a reason—and if you’re reading this guide, chances are you have one of these three reasons for getting one.

Portability: A gaming headset usually makes sense for a PC or console setup, but things change a bit once you take your gaming sessions on the go. 

Sure, there isn’t anything stopping you from wearing your HyperX Cloud headphones outside, but you definitely won’t be able to stuff your gaming IEMs into a shirt or jacket pocket that way.  

Isolation: One of the biggest benefits of using IEMs for gaming is their isolation. Since they enter and seal your ears at the ear canal, IEMs generally do a better job at blocking outside noise compared to headphones. 

In fact, if you look at footage of professional esports players, you might find them wearing earphones underneath their headphones. This way, they get even better noise isolation from the usual noise of a live crowd so they can focus on game audio and communicating with their teammates. 

Latency: Some of the more involved gamers might want wired IEMs for gaming because of their optimal latency compared to the wireless solutions that mainstream audio brands have been pushing out quite a lot. 

For those out of the loop, latency is the time of delay between an action happening in a game and its corresponding sound effect being played out of speakers or headphones. 

For most game genres this isn’t something you need to worry about but anyone who plays competitive shooters would want minimal latency to stay fully aware of the game. And if you play music and rhythm games, minimal latency is required or the game becomes basically unplayable. 

What’s the difference between Custom and Universal IEMs?

IEMs come in two fit types: universal and custom. Universal IEMs are made to fit a broad range of ear canals. Most people can have an enjoyable fit and listening experience with universal IEMs. Is it going to be as good a fit as customs? No. But with the right silicone or foam ear tips, a good fit is within reach for most users.

Most IEMs come with a variety of ear tips. For those looking for the utmost fit and comfort, custom-fit IEMs are the way to go. Each pair of custom IEMs is specifically molded for the user’s unique ear canal shape.

As such, you don’t need to use ear tips with custom IEMs. To learn more about the process of obtaining molds for custom IEMs, be sure to check out our guide HERE.

Why gaming IEMs are better than earbuds?

It’s really interesting because the standards aren’t that different from full-size headphones. People always ask what are the best headphones for gaming. But what about IEMs? Where do IEMs fit into the picture? The answer is that it’s in the same place that headphones do.

IEMs are in many ways more convenient than full-size headphones. Smaller, easier to drive, easier to carry. Best of all, they can sound just as good, if not better, than full-size headphones (depending on what you do). Of course, you are comparing them).

This actually makes a lot of sense when you think about how compatible the IEM is with different gaming setups. In most cases, IEMs aren’t even a consideration due to the sheer volume of headphones and cheap earbuds. That said, I think gamers need to start seriously considering the benefits IEMs have over full-size headphones. Just because the size is small doesn’t mean the sound quality is equally poor.

When it comes to portable gaming (and gaming in general), there’s no comparison. Why travel with full-sized headphones when you can get great sound from IEMs that literally fit in the palm of your hand?

Portable and home games are everywhere, and you likely have a PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Steamdeck, and/or phones and tablets playing them. Likewise, you probably also own a gaming headset or gaming earbuds.

But the question remains. Are you getting the most out of your gaming brand headset or earbuds? Sometimes you have to go outside the gaming spectrum to find the best gear for your game.

Are IEMs good for gaming?

If you choose the right product, IEMs can be just as good for gaming as over-ear products. Many of the decisions that arise when choosing between gaming headphones and IEMs come down to form factor – which one provides the best fit and comfort for your gaming setup.

The new standard for detachable earphone cables allows for more effective use of IEMs with features such as a boom mic for IEMs.

Which IEM is best for gaming?

Through our testing, we found that the Final Audio VR3000 is the best IEM for gaming thanks to its excellent imaging capabilities that make it suitable for VR and competitive gaming. The sound signature is also well-balanced, allowing most games to play well without being overwhelming.

Conclusion

The best gaming IEM can mean different things to different people. IEMs are a great choice for gaming headphones/earphones for several reasons. When it comes to portable gaming, the size and convenience of these little earphones make it perfect to carry around in your bag, pocket, or anywhere and just connect them to your portable console or phone.

In fact, many of these IEMs pack a punch in the sound department, performing on par with full-size headphones in this respect. They’re just smaller, more efficient, or easier to drive. You can probably assume that most gamers who play portable are already using cheap wireless earbuds or something less impressive, and the IEMS on this list are easy to upgrade.

The good thing is that these IEMs already provide audiophile-grade sound quality for your music. Maybe it’s something you use for music. If you enjoy using IEMs, you should seriously consider using them for gaming as well.

While gaming and built-in microphones are no longer heavily relied upon by the industry, there are plenty of standalone microphone options. So, buy a high-end IEM and get more out of your gaming experience. They will greatly help you become more engaged and competitive. Now is the time to turn up the sound level.

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