For a young monitor engineer working with several touring artists, one of the keys to success is having a trustworthy pair of IEMs. A 28-year old hailing from Ireland, Conor Dillon is currently on the road with ex-Boyzone singer Ronan Keating, and has also mixed monitors for recent tours by OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and FFS (Franz Ferdinand + Sparks). It was during the FFS tour last year that Conor has found his reference standard for in-ears: Sensaphonics 2MAX.
“I had been wearing customs the past few years, a top brand, and I thought they sounded fine,” says Conor. “But the fit was a bit awful, with very little isolation. So I did some research and asked around the industry for what to try next. It was clear that Sensaphonics was a company I needed to check out. I ended up talking with their audiologist, Heather Malyuk. She came down to our gig in Chicago with some products to try out and compare. I was blown away by the overall sound of the 2MAX, even the generic sample without custom moulds. I just said straightaway, ‘Take my money. I want this product now.’ And I’m so glad I did.”
One thing that surprised Conor was the rich, studio quality sound that the 2MAX delivers. “I must admit, I was sceptical of what a dual-driver could deliver, because the first thing most people do is to brag about how many drivers they have,” he says. “But the 2MAX is actually fuller and richer than the sound I was getting. It’s flat and accurate like a studio reference sound.”
That accuracy is important to Conor Dillon, who experiences a range of mixing situations from tour to tour. “Most bands I work use a mixture of wedges and in-ears, some generic and some custom. The 2MAX gives me that neutral reference I need to mix them all accurately,” he says.
The other Sensaphonics difference that Conor Dillon appreciates is the isolation and comfort he gets from having silicone earpieces. “The soft silicone moulds totally make a huge difference,” he says.
Another area of Sensaphonics expertise that Conor appreciates is hearing health. “This is a company that really cares about their customers,” he says. “From the way they design their products to their advice and knowledge, everything at Sensaphonics is about getting great sound while preserving your hearing. As a monitor engineer, I know that without my hearing, I’m done. So I really appreciate that.”