Ultimate Ears | In-Ear Monitors for Musicians & Sound Engineers

Boris Pelekh From Gogol Bordello says: “Ultimate Ears are the best in-ear monitors I’ve ever heard”

Boris Pelekh sings and plays guitar the band Gogol Bordello.

Boris Pelek // Ultimate EarsPhoto Credit:  Alison Clarke

Why did you decide to transition from wedges to in-ear monitors in general?

Gogol Bordello, I sing backup vocals and it helps so much with clarity of pitch, also I move around the stage a lot and the mix in the different wedges around the stage is different. To keep playing with precision and move around as much as I do – you need to always hear a very clear representation of your mix all over the stage.

In another band that I play in; Hey Guy. I sing very intricate lead vocals over a very loud rock band, I could never achieve the precision of vocal pitch that was satisfying to me until I switched to ears. 

What was the tipping point? When did you finally have enough of the wedge?

I could never get enough vocals in the wedge, even when the wedges are blasting with lots of volume, as soon as the band starts pounding behind me it all turns into mush.

And moving around the stage with Gogol, not hearing myself in 80% of the different parts of the stage became unworkable.

How do in-ear monitors fit into your setup? Meaning how do you use them?

I use in ears for clarity. I still have floor wedges to create air movement and the feel of moving sound. In my ears I take things that I need to hear super precisely.

What’s in your mix?

Kick, snare, bass, my vocals, and guitars, lead vocal, and sprinkles of other things depending on the venue. 

How did they improve your performance?

What we all do in Gogol I believe is quintessential to the energy of the band. We move around like a pack of dogs.

I can be in 5 parts of the stage in a given song. There would be no way to achieve that level of performance while still maintaining precise playing without ears.

What is your favorite thing about the product, fit, isolation, sound quality, and why?

Ultimate Ears are the best in-ear monitors I’ve ever heard. They fit perfectly and have lots of depth and resolution in all frequency ranges. When I first went from other brands of in-ears to ultimate — I couldn’t believe the difference.

What are your thoughts on universal-fit in-ears versus customs?

2 very different worlds. There is nothing like customs. I can be leaping off a speaker stack and doing a flip in the air, and the ears don’t nudge a millimeter. Plus the sound is incomparable when you have such a snug fit and multi-drivers.

Anything else you would like to mention about in-ear monitors and UE?

It’s been an inspiring and pleasureful experience working with UE. It changed the way I hear on stage and therefore directly changed the way I perform and the quality of my performance. On top of that the team has been extremely helpful and super responsive to all my needs.

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