What does the “hearing aid” type earpiece in musicians ears nowadays do, pipe-in lyrics or music, in stereo?

Question by Ernest A: What does the “hearing aid” type earpiece in musicians ears nowadays do, pipe-in lyrics or music, in stereo?
Saw Darius Rucker on Oprah yesterday. Noticed hearing aid type devices in his ears. I’ve seen these devices in the ears of musicians used more and more these days. What are they for? Can he hear himself? I assume it’s in stereo or mono-aural?

Best answer:

Answer by kAudio
They are called in-the-ear monitors. They allow the musician to hear him or herself while performing, but still protect their hearing from excessive noise from the rest of the band/speakers.

If a musician was simply to plug their ears with earplugs, it would protect them from the loud noise but would alter they way they sound to themselves. Give it a try – put your fingers in your ears and talk. Your voice sounds much different. For a musician this is not an option so back in the days many would perform without ear protection. The consequence? Hearing loss later in life.

Digital technology has allowed musicians to protect themselves but still hear themselves (and their band) perform. The in-the-ear monitors are expensive but very much worth it when in the long run they protect their hearing.

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