Guitar, a popular stringed musical instrument that originated in Spain, is one of the common instruments played worldwide. Over the years as humans have evolved so did all his inventions, including Guitars. One way to play the guitar is without using an amp but that won’t be fun. Electric Guitars are gaining more popularity as they get connected to an amplifier that can be connected to headphones.
But How to Play Electric Guitar With Headphones?
Plugging an Electric Guitar directly into the headphone does not work and is impossible to make it work too. To ensure you hear your music clearly, you will have to invest in an amplifier which will then get connected to your headphone.
The amplifier will produce enough sound to make you hear the music clearly through your headphones. Some of the easy ways to play your Electric Guitar using Headphones are –
- Use an Audio Interface
- Use a pedal with Multi-effects or a Processor
- Plug the headphone in a Practice Amp Headphone Jack
- Use an Amplifier to Plug the Headphones
- Connect your Electric Guitar through a DAW
- Connect your Electric Guitar to your Smartphone or Tablet
How to Play Electric Guitar With Headphones
Use an Audio Interface
Using an Audio Interface is a very popular way to play your electric guitar and the best part is that all audio interfaces work with headphones of different shapes and sizes. These Audio Interfaces can be used for both your MAC and your Android computers as well.
To use the interface-
- Plug your electric guitar into the interface
- Connect the interface device to your personal computer
- Now use your headphone to hear the sound of the guitar
Some of the best Audio interfaces available in the market are The Focusrite Scarlett Solo, the Behringer Audio interface, and the Steinberg Audio Interface. The best part about this Audio Interface is that it let you record, process, and produce the music directly from your personal computer.
Use a pedal with Multi-effects or a Processor
Using a Pedal for Multi-effects or a processor also allows you to play your electric guitar using a headphone. Whenever you play your electric guitar, the multi-effects pedal will take the sound and modify it according to the settings you have provided. With the wide range of settings and the tone that comes with Multi-effects pedals, you will surely make your music sound like an amp-like tone.
These multi-effect pedals are designed in such a way that they produce amazing effects that you would love to include in your favorite sounds all day. They are also very easy to connect to your Mac or your Personal Computer.
Most of these Multi-effects pedals come with an output for headphones barring a few specific models. The headphone outputs are named “Line out”. Since the Multi-effects pedals are more portable than a normal guitar amp you can carry them wherever you go and plug in your headphones and play music all day long.
Plug the headphone in a Practice Amp Headphone Jack
An amp headphone jack is probably the easiest way to plug your headphone, and practice playing your electric guitar. These are small amps that come with a headphone jack and are very easy to carry. These can never replace your normal-sized amps but they are perfect during travels, picnics, or small get-togethers.
Although small in size, the amps have a lot of power to provide you with loud and clear sounds that you can easily hear. A few things which you have to keep in mind while buying these practice amplifiers are –
- The jack on the amp should fit your headphones. Usually, all small amps come with outputs of 3.5-mm which are perfect for your headphones and speakers. However, these outputs can at times be as big as 6.35-mm. In case the jack is too big for your headphone you can take the help of a converter
- Plug your headphones into the line-out output in your guitar amp
- Ensure you have turned down the volume before plugging in your headphone or else you may suffer from hearing loss
- If there are multiple outputs in your amp and you are not sure what they are meant for, do not plug your headphone into one of them. By doing so you can damage your amp and your headphones too
- In case you are still unsure about plugging your headphone into the right output then always refer to your amps user manual
Use an Amplifier to Plug your Headphones
Amplifiers are used to create so much sound power from the signal that your guitar receives, that you can hear them through your headphone.
To use an Amplifier you have to ensure
- You have the right jack that fits your headphone
- Be sure to insert the headphone into the right jack as different amps have different places where the jacks are located
- Plug the headphones into the Line out output
- If the length of your headphone cable is short then you may want to try an extension cable.
- Do not connect the headphones to an outlet you are not sure about as many amps come with outputs that are specifically designed only to connect to guitar speakers.
Connect your Electric Guitar through a Digital Audio Workstation
One of the simplest ways to connect your Electric Guitar to your headphone is by using the DAW or the Digital Audio Workstation. You will need to follow these simple steps to connect your headphone –
- Download a DAW software or app that works with your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or personal computer
- Once the app is downloaded, use an adapter to connect the output jack to your system
- Plug the connection to your adapter to run the connection cord to your device
- Plug the headphone into the right output to start playing your desired tune
Connect your Electric Guitar to your Smartphone or Tablet
The last but the best and easiest way to connect your electric Guitar to your headphones is to connect it to your tablet or your smartphone. Thanks to all the technologies these days that allow you to connect your guitar to an iPhone as well as an Android device. To connect your guitar to your phone you will have to do the following steps-
- Buy a digital guitar interface that is specifically designed for mobile phones. You may need to buy some specific cables or adapters depending on the interface that you buy for example an AUX cable
- Just like the VST plugins, you will need an application for your amp sims which will help in enhancing the sound and add some effects
- Once the Electric guitar is connected to your phone using the application you can download your desired apps for your guitar tones and start jamming
Choosing the right Headphones for Electric Guitars
Using a Headphone is one of the most convenient ways of playing your Electric Guitar but having the right Headphone also matters. A lot of guitars come with good pickups, yet they don’t come with built-in speakers. Hence the need for an amplifier is very important to boost the signal and create the sound you desire to hear.
Having a good headset for your guitar is as important as having the right amplifier without which you will not get the “amp-like” tone. One of the best ways to use headphones while playing your electric guitar is through the use of a good practice set. These headphones are made in such a way that they will emulate the entire sound. They help in enhancing the echo, amplification, and sounds of an instrument so much that it feels like it’s being played using a real amp.
Moreover, the headphones need to be comfortable as you will be wearing them for long hours. Ensure that the rubber on the side of the headphones is soft and spongy. One of the things that you should keep in mind while purchasing a headphone is that they need to be closed-back headphones so that the sound is intact and others are not able to hear you and vice versa.
Cramped residential places have posed a problem to music enthusiasts who want to practice playing their instruments at home. Neighbors will often end up complaining if they get disturbed by your music. Especially, if you aren’t very good at it! With technologies being so advanced, Guitarists can now play and practice their guitar all day long through the use of headphones.
But many of us are not very tech-savvy or don’t know all such solutions. Like using headphones with guitars. And we need help. We really hope you found this article helpful and the next time you wish to connect your headphones to your electric guitar this article will be able to help and guide you.
Always go for the simple and most cost effective solutions, to begin with. If those don’t work, then you have to make investments in products like amps, adaptors, and other external devices to connect the guitar with your headphones.