Playing electric guitar with headphones is useful if you are living in an apartment, really would like to play while traveling, or just wish to squeeze a late-night rehearsal in.
The excellent thing is that there are a variety of excellent alternatives for playing electric guitar secretly with headphones while maintaining a decent tone.
In this article, I will explain the many methods you may use to play guitar using headphones and how to choose the best solution for you.
- Connect Your Headphones to Your Guitar Amp
- Connect Your Guitar to a Micro Guitar Amp
- Connect Your Guitar to a Multi-Effects Pedal
- Connect Your Guitar to a Smartphone
Connect Your Headphones to Your Guitar Amp
If your guitar amp includes a headphone out function, the most you’ll have to invest is less than $10 to play guitar via your amp with headphones.
Some guitar amplifiers have the headphones jack on the front panel, while others have it on the top or the rear. Simply insert your headphones into the headphones out jack to get started.
While many current amplifiers have 3.5mm (1/8′′ standard headphone connectors), some have 6.3mm (1/4′′) outputs (the same size jack as your guitar cable).
To connect your headphones to your guitar amp, you’ll need to utilize an adaptor. To connect your headphones to your guitar amp, all you need is a simple 3.5mm to 6.3mm audio adapter like this one (link to Amazon).
Note: When using headphones with your guitar amp, make sure to dial down the master volume before you begin playing. Then gradually increase the volume to avoid damaging your hearing.
Benefits of attaching headphones to your guitar amplifier:
- It is inexpensive to purchase an adapter if your amplifier requires one.
- Setup is quick and simple.
- Use your own rig in silence
The disadvantages of attaching headphones to your guitar amp are as follows:
- Only works if your amplifier has a headphone jack.
- Not suitable for travel
Not all guitar amplifiers include a headphone jack. Do not plug anything into the output jack unless it is obvious that it is intended for headphones.
Many guitar amplifiers, for example, feature outputs that are specifically meant to connect to guitar speakers. If you attach headphones to one of those outputs, you will not only destroy your headphones, but you may also severely harm your guitar amp.
If in doubt, go for the handbook for your amp type and make sure the output connector is suited for headphones.
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Connect Your Guitar to a Micro Guitar Amp
Tiny battery-powered guitar amps are gaining popularity among guitarists who travel or want to practice in silence. The main advantage of these little guitar amplifiers is that they are portable and may be used with or without headphones (depending on the model).
The majority of the tiny amps in the preceding instructions are readily connected to headphones for silent practice. If you don’t want to use the built-in speaker and instead want to play with headphones, there are a few more choices to select.
The VOX AmPlug 2 series is well-known for providing a good guitar amp tone in a small compact. Simply connect your headphones to the AmPlug after plugging it into your guitar.
Different versions are offered to accommodate various playing styles. The AC-30 model (pictured above) is the most popular, although there are several models for blues, classic rock, clean, lead, bass, and metal.
The following are the benefits of attaching your guitar to a mini guitar amp:
- Extremely transportable
- Capable of playing anywhere with or without headphones
- VOX AmPlug requires no cords or adapters.
- There is no need for adapters.
- To jam along with music, utilize the aux input.
The disadvantages of attaching your guitar to a mini guitar amp are as follows:
- The sound quality isn’t as fantastic as it might be.
- Control over guitar tones and effects is limited.
Related Post: Is It Bad to Sleep with Headphones ON
Connect Your Guitar to a Multi-Effects Pedal
You probably already have everything you need to play your electric guitar over headphones if you use a multi-effects pedal.
As you can see, this uses a 6.3mm (1/4′′) output, therefore you’ll require an adaptor depending on your headphones. If your multi-effects pedal has amp modeling, it will very certainly include a headphones output.
Even if it isn’t labeled ‘Headphones,’ seek for a way to connect the pedal to a mixer. This is frequently referred to as line out.
The following are the benefits of attaching your guitar to a multi-effects pedal:
- You may choose from a variety of tones and settings.
- More transportable than a guitar amplifier
- Capable of connecting to a PC or Mac for recording
The disadvantages of attaching your guitar to a multi-effects pedal are as follows:
- Not as portable as some of the other solutions discussed in this article.
- Not all multi-effects pedals include headphone jacks.
- If you don’t already have a multi-effects pedal, this is an expensive choice.
If you already have a multi-effects pedal, you might be able to practice or perform in quiet by using an output. Your pedal most likely has an output suitable for use with headphones.
However, if you don’t already have a multi-effects pedal, purchasing one only to play guitar with headphones is excessive. One of the other solutions will most likely be more suitable for you.
Connect Your Guitar to a Smartphone
This is an excellent choice for guitarists who want to practice while traveling or who want an easy way to play electric guitar in silence.
The concept behind this option is to connect your guitar to an audio interface, such as the iRig HD 2, and then to a smartphone/tablet/PC/Mac. You may then use whatever headphones you choose to play guitar with your iPhone.
The iRig HD 2 by IK Multimedia is the greatest choice for connecting your electric guitar to your smartphone that I’ve tried.
One of the reasons I suggest the iRig HD 2 is because it includes the complete version of AmpliTube 4, a popular guitar amp/effects modeling programme.
With AmpliTube 4 on your smartphone/tablet/PC, you can create various rigs by combining various amps and effects. It’s an excellent method to learn different effects and practice guitar with various tones without requiring a lot of actual gear.
If you already have guitar pedals at home, you may practice with them by connecting your guitar to the pedals and then connecting the pedals to the iRig. If your guitar amp does not have a headphones output, this is a decent alternative.
This solution allows you to play guitar with headphones while spending less than $100.
The main advantage of this approach is that it may be used anyplace. Simply slip the iRig and your headphones inside your guitar bag and you’ll be able to practice in complete silence wherever you go.
This approach is also an excellent way to begin recording guitar. You may record whatever you play on your smartphone with AmpliTube 4.
There are several audio interfaces available for connecting to a computer, so go through the following information to ensure you choose one that meets your needs.
Benefits of connecting your guitar to your smartphone:
- You may practice guitar quietly wherever you go, thanks to interfaces like the iRig HD 2.
- A fantastic approach to get started with guitar recording
- Tone generator software such as AmpliTube or BIAS FX may produce high-quality tones.
- No power supply is required.
The disadvantages of connecting your guitar to your smartphone are as follows:
- Android users are limited in their selections. (The iRig UA is functional.)
- You can’t practice with your current amplifier.
My iRig HD 2 has come in helpful throughout the years, and I definitely recommend getting one, whether you solely use it for practicing in quiet or also for recording.
If you wish to connect your guitar to a computer and use it as a guitar amp, read this instruction. If you don’t have a guitar amp or want to record your guitar performance, this is an excellent choice.
The iRig HD 2 may also be used as an audio interface for appropriate recording by connecting to your PC/Mac. This means you can connect your guitar to sophisticated DAWs and software like BIAS FX or Line 6’s Helix Native using the iRig.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do guitar amps have headphone jacks?
Some guitar amplifiers have jacks for connecting headphones. To minimize misunderstanding with the amp’s speaker outputs, these are generally explicitly labeled as headphone jacks.
Some guitar amplifiers feature 3.5mm headphone jacks, but others have bigger 6.3mm jacks that may require an adaptor to connect to your headphones, as discussed previously in this article.
Make sure you only plug headphones into jacks that are clearly designated for headphones. Connecting a headphone to a speaker output connector might cause harm to your amplifier and headphones.
Can I connect an electric guitar to Bluetooth headphones?
There are currently no viable methods for connecting an electric guitar to Bluetooth headphones. While it is feasible to link Bluetooth headphones to your electric guitar (for example, as demonstrated above using a smartphone and an iRig), the results are disappointing.
Latency is the issue with Bluetooth. Latency is the time lag between when a signal is delivered (for example, when you choose your strings) and when it is received (when you hear the note coming out of the headphones).
While using Bluetooth headphones to listen to music is acceptable, using Bluetooth headphones to play guitar is a nightmare.
I’m sure there will be choices that make it completely comfortable to play electric guitar with Bluetooth headphones at some point, but for the time being, I don’t advocate any of the possibilities.
Can I plug my headphones into my electric guitar?
No. An electric guitar cannot be used with headphones. It won’t work even if you buy an adaptor to plug your headphones into the guitar’s jack.
You won’t hear anything if you put your headphones into your electric guitar. Before the signal reaches your headphones, the instrument needs something to magnify it.
This is why, before attaching your headphones, you must connect your electric guitar to an audio interface or amp.
Can I plug headphones into an amp?
If your guitar amp includes a headphone jack, you can connect headphones into it and it will function normally. Some guitar amplifiers offer an Aux output that may be used with headphones.
Because not all guitar amps offer headphone output, don’t plug in your headphones unless you’ve followed the guidelines previously in this tutorial.