Secure fit, maximum isolation, and artist-friendly comfort of soft silicone beats the overkill of massively multi-driver designs.
As a musician, composer, engineer/producer, and music director, Vincent Jones has been working in the music industry throughout his adult life. He connected with Sensaphonics back in the 90s as keyboardist and musical director for fellow Canadian Sarah McLachlan. Now based in Los Angeles, Jones now spends most of his time creating soundtrack music for film and television in his personal studio. Over the years, after many opportunities to try other IEM brands, he remains committed to fidelity, isolation, and comfort he gets from the soft silicone design of his 2MAX in-ear monitors.
Jones first encountered Sensaphonics President, Dr. Michael Santucci while touring with Sarah McLachlan. “Michael is like part of the family,” says Vincent. “He talked to us about how to take care of our hearing, and that message really resonated with me. So yes, I listen at a lower level. My monitor engineers have commented on it, and I keep a mark on my beltpack to remind myself. And after 30 years of touring and studio work, my hearing basically hasn’t changed. That is not a coincidence. It’s education and it’s using the proper product. I credit Sensaphonics with making it all possible.”
Today, Vincent’s focus has moved from constant touring to more studio production. Along with traditional record production, Jones does soundtrack work, including TV series like Grown-ish, F Is For Family, #blackAF along with documentary series like We Are The Champions. While he uses traditional studio speakers and headphones for final mixes, his 2MAX in-ears still retain a trusted role in recording. “I always use them for tracking in the studio, both on keyboards and when I’m playing drums,” he notes. “They have that incredible isolation and they’re so comfortable, I can work for hours without worrying about damage.”
One thing Jones has learned is that, while he’s a strong embracer of new technologies, the job of technology is to serve the artist. For monitoring, that means fidelity, clarity, reliability, isolation, and fit – areas in which the soft silicone, dual-driver design of his Sensaphonics 2MAX excels.
“It’s important to judge new products for yourself, which is hard to do with custom in-ears,” says Jones. “Fortunately, I’ve had that opportunity. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s overall product design, not the number of drivers, that make a product great.”
Asked for details, Jones continued: “I’ve been in some touring situations where the whole band was on another brand of custom IEMs, and I was told they would sound great because they have more drivers, and I had no reason to think otherwise,” he recalls. “But when they arrived and I put them on, I was like, ‘Man, these things are broken!’ The sound was muddy, with no top end. Now, I have done a lot of tours and mixed a lot of records, so I like to think I know good sound. So I sent them back, saying I think these things are not right. But the company sent them back, saying that they tested in spec and that’s just how they sound. Needless to say, I went back to my Sensaphonics as soon as I could.”
This is a scenario that has repeated several times over the years. For Vincent Jones, the results have consistently showed him that only Sensaphonics consistently delivers what he needs to hear. “I’ve listened to multi-driver plastic designs side-by-side with my Sensaphonics, all through the same system, and the result is always the same: my 2MAX sounds clear and natural, with plenty of bass and with a lot less EQ.”
Asked about changes in audio over the course of his career, Vincent Jones makes it clear that sound quality is the focus of all music production, whether it’s pristine acoustic, high impact electric, bass-driven club music, or delicate ASMR. “To me, it’s about clarity. Most great hip-hop has a lot of bottom, but it’s contained and punchy, and sounds great. I can listen to it on my 2MAXes and it sounds fantastic, with plenty of detail and tons of bass. Not to be a snob about it, but hey – pro audio is kind of a snobby thing, isn’t it?”
In fact, Vincent Jones relies on his 2MAX on stage, in the studio, and everywhere in between. “On planes, I like them more than noise-cancelling headphones, since I can wear them for hours and they take no packing space. It just seems like, wherever I am, my Sensaphonics always works and always sounds great.”
You can learn more about the many projects of Vincent Jones at www.vincentlesliejones.com.