Have you ever noticed singers wearing earphones during a live show or concert? Don’t you get curious about why do they wear that? Are they actually not singing or what?
Those earpieces are called an in-ear monitor, it filters the extra sound in their background. The sounds around a singer during a concert are very loud. Also, there are thousands of people present there. So for a singer to perform in a tempo and without any distraction, those earpieces are life saver tools. If we have a look on the shows of famous singers such as Madonna, J-Lo etc. if they won’t wear them, there is no way they could hear to what they’re singing through the loud volume and noises of huge crowds at their concerts.
Why Do Singers Wear Earpieces?
If a singer is performing on stage, there will be a lot of other noises around them, such as instruments like drums, guitar etc. and the crowd cheering and making noise. In that case, it would be very hard for a singer to listen to himself, and he might end up shouting.
To avoid that, they wear an in-ear monitor, also known as an earpiece, to cut down the unnecessary sound. It’s different from the regular earpiece that we use for music or calls; it is specially designed from musicians to hear a consistent sound from singers to the band crew.
What is an in-ear monitor?
The in-ear monitor for singers has transmission functionality. It is comprised of three components, which are a receiver, a transmitter and a pair of ear buds. It sends a wireless signal to the receiver. The belt pack worn by the singer on their belts is a receiver. You might have seen that too if you’re keen enough to focus.
The transmitted audio can be heard when the earpiece is attached to that back pack. Without that, the earpiece is nothing special, but with this, it could be customized by the engineers. They mold it into the ears of singers to filter unnecessary sounds.
The earpiece allows singers to decide what sound they want to hear and to what extent. That’s why singers wear earpieces.
Why do musicians wear earpieces?
The earpieces were particularly invented to facilitate musicians on stage. They resolved the stage monitor’s issue that was needed to turn up in order to maintain the loud noises of cheering crowds. Also, it was challenging to manage the stage monitors as they were hard to move and became a hurdle in moving around freely for the performer.
The noises and volume of sounds and crowd could even damage the hearing. And stage monitors interrupted with the audio and ruined the audio that affected the performances many times in the past. The ear pieces resolved that issue as it was very handy and convenient to carry around too.
It also allows them to listen to their own voice, which is impossible otherwise in that fusion of different sounds. It helps them sing correctly and focus on lyrics as well because no one wants to say wrong things in front of thousands of people right!
Who else uses earpieces?
The use of earpiece is not only limited to the singers only. These are very liked in dancers, actors and every type of stage performers. It is very easy to move on stage in the absence of stage monitors and with just wearing an earpiece.
Most importantly, the choreographed dance numbers and stage actors use earpiece as a necessity. Assistants and crew use them for communicating with the actor performing on stage, during live shows and plays. These are also helpful to remind them of their lines in case they forget during live events as it works as a transmitter as well.
For dance groups, it is essential to wear them. It decreases the number of wires on stage and removes the need for stage monitors.
For singers, it is necessary to wear them if they want to roam around on stage. In other cases, they will just have to stand in one place, in front of mic and sing. That is even more boring to watch as much as it sounds.
In the case of concerts and music events, all other members of band such as drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, everyone has to wear them. Because everyone has to listen to the sound of the instrument, they are playing more than other noises. So the earpiece eases that for them.
Types of earpieces
There are two different types of earpieces available: Wireless & wired variant.
For singers and performers who have to move freely on stage, the wireless ones are more preferred. While for the instrument players, wired ones are more suitable as they don’t have to move a lot and just have to sit or stand in their specified places.
For general people who just want them buy them for personal use and don’t have to go to stage performances, it depends on their budget and needs. The earpieces come in a different variety based on prices, performance, quality and features. SO you can choose out of them according to your preference and requirement.
Drawbacks of earpieces
Although the technology has progressed so much but no innovation is error free or 100% perfect. The earpieces also have their own drawbacks and issues. It sounds different in an empty room and in an area filled with people and different noises. So you cannot actually predict what you will hear in the crowded place based on practicing in an empty room.
The earpieces are easily affected by the several elements in their radius. Such as radio waves and other signals. Their signals sometimes get crossed with the other sound waves. The same disaster happened with an actor using them for hearing dialogues from his assistant. The signals crossed with a police scanner, and he ended up repeating their words instead of dialogues.
This phenomenon also affects the quality of sound and causes audio dropping within earpieces. That’s why you might have seen some singers removing them from their ears during live performances.
The earpieces are the most amazing invention for the people who use them. It saves them from going deaf due to the sounds of cheering crowd, instruments and loud volume being played on stage. This article will help you clear out all the questions in your mind about why do the performers wear them and what do they actually do.