Can You Play Electric Guitar With Headphones?


You won’t be able to connect your headphones directly to an electric guitar. Even if you get an adaptor to fit your headphones into the guitar’s jack, you will likely get a lot of buzzing and humming.

To solve this, you need to buy an amplifier that has a headphone jack or use headphones with built-in amplifiers.

In this article, I’ll take a closer look at how to amp your electric guitar with headphones.

How to Play Electric Guitar With Headphones

To play electric guitar with headphones, you’ll need an adaptor to connect your headphones to your amplifier.

Connect your headphones to your guitar amp using a simple 3.5mm to 6.3mm audio adapter.

Many headphones have a built-in amplifier that can be turned on or off.

You should look for low impedance and high sensitivity when shopping for headphones to use as an amp because they will give you the best sound quality.

Make sure your electric guitar headphone setup is compatible with your smartphone before buying it.

Electric Guitar Headphones Compatibility with Smartphone

The output impedance of your amplifier needs to be at least 32Ω, otherwise, the sound will cut out when you plug in your headphones.

If your smartphone doesn’t support low-impedance audio through its headphone jack (most don’t), it’s time to upgrade that smartphone.

You can use your smartphone as a tuner by downloading an app like GuitarTuna and plugging in headphones with the built-in amp turned on.

Guitar apps that let you tune by ear don’t work very well because they rely on recognizing notes, not just pitch.

With these headphone amps, it’s time to rock out in your bedroom, on the road, or even in a hotel room.

Is playing guitar with headphones bad?

Practicing with headphones is not a bad idea.

It’s good to practice with headphones because you can listen to lower levels and still hear everything clearly.

You should make sure the volume on your headphone amp is controlled by its knob instead of an app or digital device (or it could be way too loud).

If you do use a smartphone as a headphone amp, make sure the volume is turned down to 30% or less.

Can you play electric guitar quietly?

You have the benefit of practicing quietly with an electric guitar since the instruments make very little noise.

You can jam without disturbing anyone if you plug them into an amplifier with a headphone jack or a computer via an audio interface.

Do note: many amps and headphone adapters have a high output impedance (as much as 100Ω or more).

This means they may not be compatible with your smartphone unless it supports low-impedance audio.

How do I plug my headphones into my electric guitar?

Plug your headphones or speaker directly into the output of a headphone jack.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Either use a standard audio cable with a jack end and an amplifier
  2. Or buy equipment that has been designed for playing through headphones from stores like or

If you’re getting a headphone amp, make sure it has an input impedance of 32Ω or higher (most do).

If you want to invest in equipment that will last for years, I suggest buying the Line-six Amplifi TT USB, which is made specifically for using headphones with electric guitars.

How can I play bass guitar through headphones?

Playing electric guitar with headphones is the same as playing bass or any other stringed instrument.

You can also use a BassBuds headphone set to play your bass through one of its earbuds if you plug it into an amp, receiver, or interface that has a headphone jack (most do).

How much does it cost to play guitar through headphones?

Headphones can be a very cheap upgrade from your computer speakers, but you might have to pay extra for equipment that will work with them.

You can get quality headphones from $50 to $150.

Is it safe to play guitar through headphones?

Playing your electric guitar or other stringed instruments through speakers (or even earbuds) won’t damage your hearing at all.

However, you might want to invest in some large headphones so they don’t sit on your ears too tightly (and damage them that way).

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