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How To Connect Electric Guitar To Headphones? Best Full Guide 2023

How To Connect Electric Guitar To Headphones Best Full Guide 2023
  • Max Kuehn

If you want to practice your electric guitar without disturbing others, Check out this quick guide on how to connect electric guitar to headphones. This way, you’ll be able to hear your guitar clearly without any interference.

How To Connect Electric Guitar To Bluetooth Headphones

Adapter for headphones

Plug a headphone adaptor into the output jack and then your headphones into the adaptor if you wish to listen to an electric guitar while playing it. According to a Mike’s Music Shop employee, this is one of the simplest methods to listen to your electric guitar while playing it.

Ensure that a headphone adaptor for your electric guitar will work with the electric guitar you own before buying one. Not all headphone adaptors are compatible with all electric guitars, so check the compatible electric guitars list before buying one.

Connect Headphones to an Amp

Plug your headphones into your amp if you want to listen to what you’re playing on your electric guitar through headphones. Most amplifiers, however, will not allow you to put in your headphones directly, so you’ll need to buy a headphone adaptor to plug into the headphone jack.

You might not need to purchase a new headphone adaptor if you bought a jack for your electric guitar.

If you decide to buy a headphone adaptor for your amplifier, check sure it is compatible with electric guitar amps. You might also need to stretch the wires on your headphones to stand up and play your electric guitar through the amp.

Please pay attention to all the cords when playing your electric guitar and listening to it through your amp-connected headphones, so you don’t fall on them!

Portable Amplifiers

You can plug your headphones into a small, portable amp if you want to listen to your electric guitar while playing through your headphones rather than through the amp. Instead of using a headphone adaptor, several portable amplifiers allow you to plug your headphones straight into the amplifier.

This eliminates the need to carry a headphone adaptor, which is always convenient.

Portable amplifiers are quite helpful, especially while traveling. If you’re traveling and don’t want to disturb others while playing your electric guitar, your portable amp can be used to listen to music using headphones.

Portable Amplifiers

Headphone Amplifier

You can acquire a tiny amp that you can connect straight into your electric guitar if you don’t want to carry around a large or portable amp but still want to be able to play your electric guitar and listen to it through headphones. Connect your headphones to the headphone amp after plugging it into your electric guitar.

The headphone amp will function as a headphone adaptor for your electric guitar. Still, the sound quality will be significantly improved because it will be coming from an amplifier rather than directly from the guitar.

Headphone Amplifier

Make Use of a Computer Audio Interface

You can play your guitar over your computer using a USB audio interface. You can then rehearse using headphones or speakers or a DAW to record audio (like Garage Band, Ableton, Pro Tools, etc.).

If you utilize effects processing software—we’ll go through a few alternatives in a minute—you can use an interface to obtain virtually infinite tone variations. Of course, you may also practice with the signal from your pedalboard or your raw guitar signal. As I previously stated, this is something I enjoy doing.

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is one of the best starting audio interfaces for a good reason. It contains a 1/4-inch jack for guitars, an XLR input for mics, and an exceptionally high-quality pre-amp. The XLR input provides an alternative phantom power setting for bigger condenser mics. MIDI connections are available on larger Scarlett models.

However, some users may prefer the Behringer U-Phoria UM2, which is half the price of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo and has all of the same features. The only significant difference is that the Behringer unit features a less expensive pre-amp and a dual XLR/1/4′′ input that can accept either a microphone or a guitar cable.

More significant variants of the U-Phoria, like the Scarlett, feature MIDI connectors.

Okay, but how do you generate amp-like tones from these audio interfaces with software? Consider the following free alternatives:

  • IK Multimedia Amplitude is the most popular free amp simulator. The free edition includes a simulated recording studio with cabs, microphones, and various pedals.
  • The Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 is a virtual rack that includes over 70 amps, cabs, microphones, and effects. A free edition of Native Instruments’ software allows you to use one amp, one cab, and a few guitar effects simultaneously.
  • The Amped Roots simulator is wonderful for getting those chuggy metal tones, and it works well with other ML Sound products like virtual pedals.
  • Ignite Amps: The Ignite Amps website has a ton of different boutique amp simulations. These amp simulators are designed for metal musicians and include a few virtual guitar pedals.
  • Shattered Glass Audio Ace: A free amp that sounds like a Fender Tweed from the 1950s. Although this amp does not include any virtual guitar plugins, it has the sound of a vintage Fender Tweed.

These amp and effects simulators can be used standalone or with a DAW like Ableton or Pro Tools. Put another way; you can use them for both practice and recording.

Make Use of a Computer Audio Interface

Use Headphones For Practice, Such As The Boss Waza-Air

Even if the tone is perfect, practicing through headphones can be tedious. There’s something magical about playing in a room with an amp. That’s exactly what the Boss Waza-Air wireless headphones were designed to do. These headphones can reproduce the sound of a simple amplifier in a real space.

The Waza-Air headphones use advanced augmented reality technology to follow your head motions and adjust the sound of a virtual “amp” as though you were playing in an actual physical location.

This augmented reality technology includes Boss amp modeling and over 50 simulated effects that can be controlled and changed via an app. The Boss Waza-Air, unlike other wireless headphones, uses a proprietary low-latency protocol to eliminate unpleasant lag.

It also has Bluetooth built-in, so you can jam out to your favorite tunes in a virtual room (and think you’re playing with a whole band).

Make Use Of A Multi-Effects Processor

For playing guitar through headphones, digital effects processors are a one-stop-shop. The primary goal of these machines is to create a high-quality amplifier and effects pedal simulation.

Unlike VST plugins, however, this is a hardware device that does not require the usage of a computer (though you can connect them to a computer for easy recording). You won’t need to connect to a computer, smartphone, or external software with a digital effects processor.

With knobs and, depending on your device, foot pedals, you’ll be able to dial in your amp settings and effects right on the unit.

The best thing about digital effects processors is how many connectors they have, including audio, USB, and headphone outputs. This versatility allows you to attach them to a PA system for live performances, link them to a computer for recording in your DAW, or listen to music through headphones.

Though effects processors are more expensive than audio interfaces, some excellent entry-level devices are available. The Line 6 Pod HD 500X was the digital effects processor I used for three years before upgrading.

Because of its versatility, I like using this device. It’s a floor unit, which means it has a pedal and controls for switching between effects. You may also use it as an audio interface by connecting it to your computer.

However, my favorite feature of this device was that it also had an audio connector for loading MP3 files from an external audio source in addition to a headphone line. You can put your phone or laptop directly into the device and play guitar while listening to backing tracks, with everything coming through your headphones.

Connect Your Guitar To Your Tablet Or Smartphone

Connecting your electric guitar to your mobile device, whether a smartphone or tablet, is another simple option to play it through headphones. You’ll need to invest in a mobile-friendly digital guitar interface to do so. Then, similar to a VST plugin, you’ll utilize an application for your amp simulations.

I recommend utilizing the iRig HD 2 interface using an iPhone or iPad. One of the most well-known mobile device interfaces is the iRig. It’s easy to transport and sounds fantastic. After connecting your guitar to an iOS smartphone, download Positive Grid’s Jam Up Pro or Bias FX Mobile for guitar tones.

These amp simulator applications have the same high quality as the desktop VST plugins I stated in the last example; therefore, they’re my go-to. They even work with Garage Band, allowing you to record music directly on your phone.

I’d prefer the iRig UA guitar interface if you’re using an Android device. It’s similar to the iRig HD 2, but it’s optimized for Android. Amplitube for Android, free with the iRig, may be used to create guitar tones.

Wearing Headphones When Playing Electric Guitar Has A Number Of Advantages

Electric guitars are notoriously noisy, and many people like listening to and even playing loud music. However, not everyone in your immediate vicinity will appreciate the loudness and may desire peace and quiet, which they will not be able to achieve if their neighbor is playing their electric guitar loudly.

People may be trying to sleep depending on the time of day, which they cannot accomplish if their neighbors play an instrument at full intensity.

You will not disturb your neighbors if you listen to what you are playing on your electric guitar through headphones because you are the only one who can hear it. This means they can sleep and enjoy peace as you listen to your loud music to your heart’s content.

When you use headphones while playing electric guitar, you can hear the music much more clearly than when not wearing headphones. However, the sound quality will be affected by the quality of your headphones, so if you want to hear what you’re playing on your electric guitar through your headphones, invest in high-quality headphones.

Top 3 Micro and Headphone Amplifiers

One of the most appealing aspects of microamps is their low cost, especially compared to high-end amps. They’re also great for traveling when you don’t want to bring your real amp with you.

It’s a terrific method to practice playing your guitar while wearing headphones, and it won’t break the bank.

Headphone amplifiers are another option to consider, and they may be required for specific headphones types.

VOX amPlug

Vox created a small amplifier that doesn’t require a cord. The amp connects to the guitar immediately, so all you have to do is switch it on and start playing.

It’s also worth noting that the amp has a modest speaker and may be played without headphones; however, it does include a headphone port. When it comes to price, it’s one of the most affordable amps on the market, and it’s surprisingly good.

You can also choose a model based on your preferences, with blues, classic rock, clean, lead, metal, and other styles available.

Marshall MS-2

This model is one of the most famous tiny amplifiers, so chances are you’ve seen it before. The fact that Marshall developed it and that you can wear it on your belt and walk about with it is one of the main reasons.

The amplifier includes two knobs for volume and tone and a switch for on, off, and overdrive. Remember that overdrive isn’t perfect, but it’ll be enough to practice and learn new skills. A 9V battery powers the amp, but if you have one, you can use it instead.

Fender Mini Tonemaster

In this category, the last amplifier I’ll describe is from Fender. It’s very similar to the Marshall one, and which one you buy will depend on your particular preferences. The amp contains an on/off switch and gain, volume, and tone potentiometers.

It is powered by a 9V battery and is supposed to resemble a Fender cabinet.


FAQs About How To Connect An Electric Guitar To Headphones

Are There Headphone Jacks On Guitar Amps?

Yes, most modern guitar and modeling amplifiers feature a separate headphone jack. Check for a label on the front of the amp that says “Phones” or “Headphones” on older guitar amplifiers.

What Is The Size Of A Guitar Amplifier’S Headphone Jack?

1/4″ headphone jacks are used in guitar amplifiers. A 1/8′′ or 3.5mm headphone jack is used in most headphones. You can purchase a headphone adaptor to plug your headphones into a guitar amp.

Is It Possible To Connect Headphones Directly To My Electric Guitar?

You cannot immediately plug your headphones into your guitar. Electric guitars do not have separate headphone ports. Instead, you’d need to connect your guitar to your amp before connecting your headphones.

Can I Use Bluetooth Headphones With My Guitar?

By connecting your guitar to your computer via line-in or an audio interface, you can connect your guitar to Bluetooth headphones. However, it is not feasible with today’s Bluetooth technology due to latency concerns.

Is It Possible To Play Guitar And Listen To Music While Wearing Headphones?

You may connect an external audio source for MP3 files to various modeling amps and multi-effects pedals. Alternatively, you may connect your guitar to your computer via an audio interface and use your computer’s audio to play music and the guitar signal simultaneously. These approaches allow you to listen to music while playing the guitar.


Playing the guitar over an amp isn’t always possible, and we’re all compelled to look for a less noisy alternative. Headphones are the most convenient option to keep playing without annoying others.
If your guitar amp or pedal has headphones, this is the easiest way to use headphones with the instrument. If that’s the case, all you have to do now is put in your headphones, and you’re good to go. Fidlar hope you found this article useful and let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!
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