Can You Wear Headphones When Playing Guitar?

Learning to play the guitar well requires significant practice and effort. The practice that this instrument requires is extensive, and it can become a nascence for those who live with, or live near, a guitar player. Sometimes guitar players want to get loud, and some guitar genres require overdriven loud guitar tones to execute well. All of these scenarios lead many guitar players to wonder if it is possible to use headphones while playing guitar to not disturb those around them?

You can wear headphones when playing guitar. Many modern guitar amps have dedicated headphone outputs that work very well. Guitar-focused headphone amps are available that are very effective. Headphones used in this way are effective, sound great, and significantly reduce the sound of the guitar. 

There are many guitar-playing scenarios that can benefit from using headphones, especially for the sake of your roommates and neighbors. Is there a way to use guitar phones with any type of guitar? What is the best way to use headphones while playing guitar? Let’s find out!

Can You Use Headphones For Playing Guitar?

The guitar is an instrument that can get very loud, and some musical genres that guitarists enjoy playing require a very loud sound and intense tone. This is especially true for electric guitars. 

This leads many guitar players who live in small apartments, those who have roommates, or those guitar players who have close neighbors to wonder if it is possible to use headphones while playing guitar for the sake of keeping the guitar volume levels down?

The good news here is that it is possible to use headphones when playing the guitar. There are several ways to use headphones while playing the guitar, and all of them are very effective. 

Using headphones for this purpose is an excellent way to keep the volume of your guitar down while playing, practicing, or learning new material on your guitar. Using headphones means that there will be no amplified sound from an electric guitar apart from the sound that you hear within the headphones. 

Outside of the headphones, the only sound will be the sound of an un-amplified electric guitar which is significantly quieter and unlikely to cause any disturbances whatsoever, regardless of how thin your practice room walls are. 

Let’s identify some of the best methods for playing the guitar with headphones as there are several options, and some are significantly better, easier to use, or more practical than others. 

What Is The Best Way To Use Headphones For Guitar?

Using headphones for keeping guitar volume levels down is very effective, but there are multiple options for doing so. Regardless of your current guitar rig, there is a way to get your guitar running through headphones easily and effectively. 

The easiest way to use headphones with your guitar is to plug headphones into the headphone output on your guitar amplifier. Many modern guitar amps, especially solid-state amps, modeling amps, and amp profilers, are equipped with a dedicated headphone output. 

Plugging headphones into this dedicated output bypasses the speaker of the amplifier and causes the sound to only be output through the headphones. This solution is ideal because the tone and effects from the amplifier will be output through the headphones, and the guitar will sound the same as it does through the amplifier. 

However, this solution only works if the amp has a dedicated headphone output. If your amplifier does not have an output like this, there are other options to consider that can be just as simple and effective. 

The world of guitars is full of powerful and useful hardware, including a wide selection of headphone amplifiers that are designed specifically for this purpose. There are guitar-focused headphone amps that can be run in the same way as a guitar pedal. The output from your amplifier is sent to the headphone amp, and the output from the device is sent directly to your headphones. 

This works in the same way as plugging headphones into the amplifier itself, as the sound of the amp will be output to the headphones producing the same audio signal. 

There is another type of guitar headphone amp that can be very useful as well. Companies such as Vox and Orange produce mini guitar headphone amps that plug directly into the guitar itself. These small devices are battery-powered and have built-in clean and distortion effects. 

The device is plugged into the input jack of the guitar, and headphones are plugged into the amp. The tiny amp does a good job of amplifying the guitar signal and outputting it to the headphones. This is the most portable option for using headphones with a guitar. 

Does Using Headphones For Guitar Sound Good?

Using headphones with your guitar does come with some compromises. Headphones have much smaller speaker drivers than guitar amplifiers do, which means that the sound profile of the guitar signal from an amp and from headphones will sound significantly different. This leads guitarists to wonder if using headphones for their guitar will sound good?

The truth is that using headphones with your guitar will sound different from other setups, but using a good-quality set of headphones and good hardware such as high-quality headphone amplifiers can produce an excellent sound. 

The best way to produce a good sound in your headphones from your guitar is to use a headphone amplifier with the signal from your amp sent directly to it. The headphone outputs built into amps are not always very good, and mini headphone amps that plug into the guitar do not sound great. 

The best sound option is to use an in-line headphone amp that can receive the output signal from your rig and send it directly to your headphones. Whit will produce an excellent-sounding tone, and these headphone amps often have EQ capabilities that enable the guitarist to fine-tune the sound they hear. 

Wrapping Up

Using headphones for playing and [practicing guitar is a practical way to reduce the volume of your guitar in order to not cause a disturbance for your neighbors and roommates, or housemates. Headphones can sound great if they are used well, and setting up this solution is very simple. 

Explore the different options for using headphones with your guitar are your particular rig. There are several options out there, and finding the right one for you is crucial for getting the best sound and the simplest setup for your headphone rig. Take the time to do this well, and your guitar will sound great in your ears and never disturb anyone else again!

About the author

Jake Helman