Why Do Singers Take Out Their Earpieces?

Did you ever get taken aback watching your favorite artist take his or her earpiece off in the middle of the performance? Do you wonder why this is necessary or what this actually changes? If you know the fact that such an act is usually extremely harmful for the artist, you must be wondering about the underlying thought or reason behind it. We are here to let you know why artists resort to this practice. 

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Why is Earpieces Important?

Earpieces, as many of you are already aware, are not simple standard headphones. They are special devices which assist in the process of eliminating or reducing unnecessary sounds (from the background- such as from audience or from the external extra instruments). This is often preferred by many artists given the fact that such background noise can distract or disturb the singer mid-performance.

Before thinking about the causes of removing the earpiece, it might be a good idea to think of why earpieces are used and needed in the first place. The answer to this is not the difficult. To start with, there is the hearing issue that comes to play.

Singers wear earpieces to protect their hearing ability. When they are performing in a stage, for example, in live bands, the noise around the stage is likely to be extremely loud.

The singers can damage their hearing capabilities if their ears are constantly exposed to such loud noise, most importantly in instances when the amplifiers are not being controlled well. In these cases, use of in-ear monitors can come to rescue. However, if that is not a concern, the singers may remove the earpiece.

Why Singers Take Out the Earpieces?

Honestly, if we look from the outside, there is a huge chance that the singer will make his or her way towards risking an off-tune delivery or towards skipping a beat if the earpiece is removed in the middle of the performance.

This is because it will cause the singers to get a sudden burst of different sorts of noises from all around. Then why do so many renowned artists do so? Let us take a look at some of the reasons.


Believe it or not, this is one of the most common reasons- the audio itself starts to malfunction in the earpiece at times, or more rarely, the earpiece is not tuned properly beforehand and it does not do the work it is supposed to do in the middle of the performance.

Of course, it requires great skill and dedication from the side of the artist to remove the earpiece. Such artists are often put in high regard because they have to maintain both the correct tune and the right beat in the middle of a highly enthusiastic crowd, cheering them, and the extensive echo in the massive stadiums or concert halls.

The earpiece is worn to search as a monitoring tool. They are sometimes personalized to the requirement of the singers. The singer should only hear what he or she wants to hear- for instance, no drums at all. And if, the earpiece is malfunctioning, what is the point of keeping it on? It is only going to worsen the delivery.

Why Do Singers Take Out Their Earpieces?
Photo by: anna-earl

Audience Attention

The audience is the greatest gift and most treasured reward for most performers on stage. Sometimes, the singers decide to take of the earpiece in order to get to hear their fans better.

When they do not have to stick to hearing their mics in their ears, they will be able to communicate with the audience with a greater personal touch. This will in turn give an even better experience to the crowd. It is the risk that the singers take to make their fans feel more appreciated and respected. 

This is however, once again a huge leap of faith that the singer takes for the sake of his or her audience. Usually, when wearing an earpiece, many singers play a metronome while on stage.

This is nothing but a beeping noise which you can hear when wearing the earpiece. It ensures that the music follows the right rhythm and timing. When the earpiece is removed, the singer has to take over the control of making the music sound as non-amateur as possible. After all, the audience should be revered, not disappointed. 

Creating a Mix

Sometimes singers may want to mix the tune and the beat. This can either be for experimentation or to stir up the crowd further, to add a touch of the singer’s own fusion. In such a case, taking off the earpiece will allow the singer to play around with the sound levels better and play around with the tune the way they would want to.

This also creates excitement amidst the crowd, hearing the different version of the sound the audience was expecting and getting rejuvenated by the mix. Sometimes, singers take it off only for the time being and once the mix of tunes is done and they are satisfied, the singers will put them back.


Some singers practice the use of no earpieces before their performances where they are considering removing the earpiece. They want to engage with the audience without having to hear their mic in their ears.

And to avoid skipping beats or messing up the tunes, they will have to rehearse very well beforehand. This comes more with experience and practice. So, if you are attending a concert of your favorite famous artist, do not worry. They might have already thought of the consequences well and prepared accordingly. 

Concluding Remarks

Though wearing the earpiece has become the standard for several kinds of performers for singers, the aforementioned instances might provoke the singers to take out the in-ear monitors in the middle of their performance.

In such an occasion, the singer has the sole responsibility of maintaining the perfect tune and beat, while engaging with the audience personally, not allowing background noise to affect the quality of delivery of the music.

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