If you’ve newly attended a concert, you can be wondering why the singer to be wearing earpieces. To be they allowing them come hear something friend couldn’t? to be they moving a slightly changed version of what you were hearing? 

So, why execute singers ear earpieces on stage?

The earpieces that singers wear on phase are referred to as ‘in-ear monitors’. They carry out the singer through a direct resource of sound, safeguard their hearing and enable them to customize their phase mix. Castle also allow the singer to hear to points that the audience can not hear (such as metronomes or backing tracks). 

Keep analysis for a thorough account of monitoring systems, summary of your benefits and an FAQ:

Overview the In-Ear Monitors

At a concert, the speakers are encountering the audience, definition they’re facing away from the stage. Therefore, instead of hearing the sound straight from the speakers, the singer ends up hearing whatever’s gift bounced turn off the walls of the venue.

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This can be extremely an overwhelming to follow and make it challenging for the singer to perform their job. 

So, how do we settle this? go into in-ear monitors.

In-ear monitors room earpieces the provide the singer with a direct, clear resource of sound top top stage, allowing castle to do to the finest of their abilities. They additionally offer a variety of added benefits, which I’ll explain in just a moment. 


If you’re a vast nerd (like me) and also want a technical synopsis of one in-ear security system, check out this spec. 

Additional services Of In-Ear Monitors

Mix Customization

Singers have tendency to rely heavily on one specific element of the plan in order come navigate the song effectively. Because that example, they might need come hear the kick drum very clearly in order to continue to be in time. Similarly, many singers will want their very own voice in ~ the forefront of your monitor mix to ensure they’re pitching the note correctly.

In-ear monitors permit each musician on phase to customize your mix. For example, the singer might have your voice nice and also loud in their monitors, whilst the bassist adheres to an instrumental version of the mix. This permits everyone come play (no pun intended) to their strengths by ensuring they have a mix that’s well-suited to your needs. 

Hearing Protection

By nature, skilled singers spend a lot of time in ear-splittingly loud environments. Without enough hearing protection, they’d be placing us at comprehensive risk of long-term hearing damage.

Whilst earplugs can effectively defend a singer’s hearing, they limit their capacity to listen the mix clearly

In-ear monitors allow for the best of both worlds. Due to the fact that they’re custom-molded to the singer’s ears, they’re an extremely effective in ~ blocking out outside sound. This allows the singer to hear a crystal-clear mix in ~ a wise volume instead of subjecting themselves to the ear-splitting volumes from the PA.

Sound Consistency

The former of home sound is very dependent top top the shape and also size that the room a tape or artist is performing in.

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This way that singers will regularly be subject to a totally different sound on every night of a tour, i beg your pardon can quickly throw lock off. Furthermore, the sound can be very different at various parts the the stage; because that example, the singer could struggle to hear the guitarist if lock stood straight in front of the north kit.

This can severely limit their capability to move about on stage and still perform effectively. 

In-ear monitors enable the singer to hear a regular mix no issue what to meet they’re playing in or whereby they’re stand on stage. 

Metronome (Click Track) Use

When performing live, nerves deserve to often reason singers to start off a song at completely the dorn tempo or accidently rate up/slow under over the food of the song. Whilst this might work well for certain songs, it additionally runs the hazard of coming across as unprofessional and poorly-prepared. 

To circumvent this, countless singers employ a metronome (commonly recognized as a ‘click track’). This is a device that to produce an audible ‘click’ sound in ~ a pre-set tempo, i m sorry the singer listens to in bespeak to stay in time. To stop the audience from having to hear to the click track, it’s delivered to the singer via their in-ear monitors. 

Similarly, metronome usage is essential if the singer is making use of pre-recorded backing tracks in their set. Without a metronome to save them in time, it’s almost-guaranteed the the backing tracks will certainly be out of time v the actual performance. 

Sometimes, you could see a drummer wearing earpieces even though the remainder of the tape aren’t. Sound ‘robotic’. This is to inject a bit much more of a live feel into the power by having actually just the drummer play come the click track, whilst anyone else plays come the drummer. 


Why do Singers Take out Their Earpieces throughout A Performance?

There are three major reasons why a singer would certainly take the end their in-ear monitors throughout a performance: 

Poor monitor mix: Before a performance, singers will commonly take component in something dubbed a soundcheck. This is where they run with a short portion of the display in order to set the prior of residence level and also in-ear monitor levels. However, singers occasionally won’t have the chance to soundcheck before a performance, definition monitor levels may be collection in a hasty or unsuitable fashion. In this situation, many singers discover it much easier to perform with the live sound instead of their monitor mix. Faulty monitors: Occasionally, in-ear monitors will come to be faulty midway with a performance, leaving the artist can not to hear either their monitor mix or the live sound. In bespeak to save performing, they’ll take your monitors out and attempt come play come the live sound. To hear the crowd: As previously mentioned, in-ear monitors block the end all outside sound. This have the right to make audience participation difficult to execute due to the fact that the singer no able come hear the crowd. Similarly, they may simply desire to savor the moment of thousands of people singing along to your music. Sometimes, an artist will just wear one earpiece in order come hear both your monitor mix and the crowd at the exact same time.

When go Singers begin Wearing Earpieces?

Homemade in-ear monitors started surfacing in the beforehand 1970’s, through sound engineer chris Lindop further-developing the modern technology in the mid-1980s. However, in-ear monitors no come into mainstream use until the mid-1990’s, through rock band Van Halen being the an initial band to exploit modern-day in-ear monitors in your live performances (source).