3 Reasons Why K-Pop Idols Need In-Ear Monitors To Perform, According To Music Professionals

It goes for all musicians in any genre.

Whenever a K-Pop idol performs, they always come prepared with their trusty in-ear monitors, which they customize and get properly fitted. Music professionals from the vocal group NeighBro explained the three main reasons why in-ear monitors are so important.

BTS’s Jimin wearing in-ear monitors while performing.

1. Noise-Cancelling

Because groups often perform with loud sounds around them, especially fans’ screaming, it can be hard to hear anything on stage.

You can hear lots of noise from everywhere. It’s hard for singers to hear their voice while singing.

— Mr. Kim

To block out all the outside noise, in-ear monitors are required to help them focus and hear their vocals. Mr. Kim said, “So you wear your in-ear, and you can hear your own voice.

2. Narration Signalling

Since there’s so much happening at once, in-ears alert idols on when they should speak during their talking segments and remind them of what they’re supposed to say.

Secondly, to get some information—including narration—about what section comes after a few remarks and which lines should be said.

— Mr. Kim

Mr. Kim revealed it could be “funny to hear” because you’ll hear someone count leading up to the moment, while everyone in the audience has no idea it’s happening. He even gave an example that made Mr. Kwak laugh.

‘Comment after four counts. One, two…’ Imagine that you hear it while you’re singing.

— Mr. Kim

3. Beat Timing

Most importantly, in-ears often use a “metronome sound” that keeps artists singing on beat with the song.

Without wearing in-ear monitors, things can quickly go wrong because “the beat may not match sometimes” if the artist can’t hear anything, especially when loud instruments are also playing.

To give everyone an idea of why in-ear monitors are so important, Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama went viral for showing what she hears when heading on stage and singing. It perfectly shows all three points that Mr. Kim and Mr. Kwak detailed.


what i hear on stage !!!! ❤️‍🔥 ❤️‍🔥 ❤️‍🔥 #outsidelands #festival #livemusic

♬ original sound – Rina Sawayama

Listen to the musicians explain how in-ear monitors keep live performances going smoothly for K-Pop idols.

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