New headphone device for concerts offers `Peex’ into future


Photo via Creative Commons

Elton John debuts new Peex device in tour to optimize fan experience.

Cassie Snyder, Features Editor

Every music fan knows the situation: A concert by a favorite band is negatively affected by a sound mix with saturated bass and drowned-out vocals — or by a neighboring fan either talking or screaming along to the lyrics.

Apparently there now is a new form of technology to solve it all.

Peex is a new device that is currently being used for Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brickroad tour. Audience members will be able to rent this device during the concert to create their own sound mix, and to block out talkative nearby fans.

The Peex device is basically a pair of headphones with a bluetooth device that hangs down from them. Users can connect Peex through bluetooth to their phones. From there they can control the volume and the mix of the vocals, guitar, bass, and drums.

The device streams the sound feed from the concert and lets the audience members control what they hear and the volume of it. The quality of the sound is said to be clear and consistent anywhere in the arena. Fans at Elton’s concerts will be able to rent Peex for $15.

This new technology has earned some positive reviews from concert goers and could be used by more artists in the near future. 

However, one downside to the product is furthering the technological gap between the audience and performers. This runs against the current trend of some artists requiring fans to stay off their cell phones during concerts, so fans can live in the moment and enjoy the music. 

Also, the more that technology is involved in concerts, the less genuine the experience will be. This device can isolate the audience from not only the music and experience but also fellow audience members.

Another flaw is the availability of the product. Obviously it would not work in general admission crowds of rock concerts and mosh pits, but sometimes that is when proper sound mixing is most desired. 

All in all, Peex offers an unusual tradeoff: enhancing fans’ listening experience but decreasing the value of the event at the same time.