Ask the Times

Published January 6, 2007

Q: Why do singers perform with plugs in their ears? Does it drown out the music or is music transmitted into these plugs for them to hear?

A: The singers probably are using in-ear-monitors, not ear plugs.

Originally only used by top touring professionals because of the costs involved, in-ear monitoring has been around since the mid-1980s.

Compiled from Times staff and wires. To submit a question, e-mail answers@tampabay.com or call (727) 893-8179, toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ex. 8179.