Can You Plug Headphones into a Guitar?

You can’t plug headphones directly into a guitar in most cases. Some headphones are designed to plug into the output of an electric guitar, but it’s more common to plug headphones into an amp than a guitar. 

This post will examine if you can plug headphones into a guitar. I’ll provide you with everything you need to know about whether this is possible and give you some other related information so you can get to playing. 

Let’s get jamming. 

Key Takeaways

  • Most headphones can’t be directly plugged into a guitar, but there are a few situations where this is possible. 
  • An electric guitar needs an amp to turn the signal into sound, so you won’t hear anything even if you plug headphones into this kind of guitar. 
  • It’s more common to plug headphones into an amp than directly into a guitar. 
  • Figuring out how to listen to your guitar on headphones can help you record and practice. 

Can You Plug Headphones into a Guitar? 

You can’t really plug headphones into a guitar and get sound because the headphones and guitar need power for this to happen. But there are some workarounds to help you listen to your guitar with headphones. 

Most people reading this article wonder if you can plug headphones into an electric guitar. Electric guitars have a ¼-inch output where you plug in the guitar cable that runs to an amp. You can put headphones with a matching cable into this input. 

But that doesn’t mean the headphones are going to work. You still don’t have a power source just because you plug it in. And you need a power source for your electric guitar to make noise, which can then be listened to in headphones. 

A more common solution to listening to an electric guitar on headphones is to plug the headphones into the amp that the guitar is connected to. Then you can turn down the volume on the amp and listen to yourself play on headphones. 

Not all amps have an output that allows you to do this, so it’s not possible for everyone. But if you have a guitar amp with an output, you can plug in your headphones and listen to your guitar without making noise that other people can hear. 

Headphones for Electric Guitar

Some headphones have built-in power sources that you can plug directly into a guitar. These essentially function as a guitar amp, powering the guitar and allowing you to listen to the signal through the headphones. 

But these headphones aren’t very common, and most guitar players don’t really use them. It’s much more common to listen to headphones through a guitar amp and not spend extra money on a special set of headphones. 

If you want to listen to yourself play using an amp, all you need is a set of headphones with the proper cable that connects to the output of your amp. This is typically a ¼ inch output, and you might need an adapter to make it work. 

Doing this allows you to use your headphones for any other purpose as well. You can use them to help create and record other music in the studio or for just listening to music. 

Guitar with Headphone Jack

There aren’t many guitars that have a dedicated headphone jack. The standard output on an electric guitar can function like a headphone jack if you have powered headphones. But as mentioned above, this isn’t very common. 

I have seen some acoustic guitars with a headphone jack built into the pickup. This pickup will be powered by a battery, allowing you to listen to music through the headphones while you play the guitar. 

But even if an acoustic guitar has a headphone jack, it will play just as loudly when you strum it. If you want a way to practice or play silently, you’ll need to use an electric guitar, an amp, and headphones.


Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to if you can plug headphones into a guitar.

What happens if you plug headphones into an electric guitar? 

If you don’t have a way of powering the headphones, nothing will happen when you plug them into an electric guitar. The guitar needs an amplifier or other power source to generate sound, and headphones don’t provide this. 

Can you plug headphones into an acoustic guitar? 

If your acoustic guitar has an input that matches your headphones, you can plug them into it. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get any sound in the headphones because they need to be powered. This also won’t make the acoustic guitar stop producing sound. 

Why do guitarists wear headphones? 

Some guitarists wear headphones in the studio to better listen to their parts or the other musicians on the track. Some guitarists wear headphones live to hear better what they are doing concerning the performance.

How to Choose a Headphone for Guitar Amp

Here are some factors to check for before buying the best headphones for your guitar amp.

Headphone Impedance

The impedance of your headphones is an essential factor to consider when you’re looking for guitar amp headphones. It’s an electrical device that represents the relationship between reactance and resistance. To get a more unobstructed view, headphones with low impedance perform better with devices with low amplification.

However, we recommend that you get headphones that come with high impedance, as they work better with your guitar amp. Such headphones also prevent blowouts and confirm that you don’t face overloading when you’re playing your guitar at higher frequencies.

Also, headphones with high impedance generate more accurate sound. And they are a central part of the mixing and studio equipment.


Most headphones on the market may burn out your ears after spending one to two hours playing your guitar. Hence, it’s essential to get headphones that come with an “easy on the ear” design if you’re serious about practicing and recording for long hours.

It’s ideal for you to look out for headphones that come with proper padding to protect your ears. Also, check that the headphones have excellent head support or a headband. And it has to be adjustable too! Soft padding will add more comfort.


If you’re a serious or professional guitar player, price shouldn’t matter to you when it comes to getting the best guitar amp headphones.

We’re not saying you should empty your bank account to get the best, but don’t let the price stop you from getting what you need.

After all, a high price doesn’t always equate to quality sound; you should also look out for its specifications and build materials.


Look out for headphones that come with a lot of accessories or interchangeable components like replaceable ear pads, detachable cables, and more.

You also have to understand that headphones with more accessories usually cost more. When you think about it, you’ll see that having additional accessories is worth it, even though it will cost you more.

Dynamic Frequency Range

It’s not wise to use typical headphones with your guitar amp. The standard headphones used for guitar amps have a more dynamic frequency range than the regular ones.

Hence, it’s essential to look out for headphones that have a high dynamic frequency range when shopping for the best headphones for a guitar amp. The threshold shouldn’t be less than 20 kHz.

What’s the Best Headphone for Guitar Amp?

Here are a few top recommendations, along with a quick review of each option so you understand its pros and cons.

1. AKG Studio Headphones

If you’re on a tight budget, then you should be looking at getting these AKG studio headphones. Even though it’s affordable, its quality is up to par.

The designers created the semi-open headphones to have supersized transducers that use a proprietary Varimotion diaphragm. This helps the headphones to have a stable frequency response and deliver a more three-dimensional soundstage effect.

But that’s not all. You can feel the high-frequency treble range and the mid-range, but not so much for the low-frequency bass range. The headphone’s impedance is decent at 55 ohms, which is good enough for your guitar amp but not much of a deal for studio use.

Additionally, the headphones come with two detachable and replaceable cables. One is a 5m coiled cable, and the other is a 3m straight cable.

2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

In recent years, ATH-MX50x has been one of the most popular professional headphones in the market. We aren’t surprised as its closed-back headphones perform efficiently.

The extended bass of the headphones is in the mid-range, which makes the headphones super impressive. The treble of the device is excellent, with no popping or hissing and less or no distortion while you’re using it.

But that’s not all. Thanks to the closed-back design of the headphones, there is no sound leakage with the headphones. That means no one else can hear what you’re playing on the guitar, even if they are close to you.

The low impedance of 38 Ohms doesn’t affect the sound performance of the brand. It supports frequencies between 15KHz to 28KHz, which makes it an ideal choice for a guitar amp.

3. Sennheiser HD 598 SR

With an open-back design and an impedance of 50 Ohms, you can enjoy crisper sound than most powerful counterparts on the market today with the Sennheiser HD 598 SR.

This device uses the patented EAR technology to direct sound signals straight to your ear, which gives you a full sound effect as you play your guitar.

The aluminum coils of the headphones generate dynamic sound production, as well as low distortion. You only get a bit of distortion when you increase the headphones to the highest volume.

The frequency response of the headphones is remarkable across all three dynamic ranges. The Mid-ranges deliver the best among the three. The treble and bass produce decent sound outputs.

Final Thoughts

While you technically can plug headphones into the input of an electric guitar, doing so won’t allow you to listen to the guitar. You need to plug your headphones into an amp or other power source to get a signal from the guitar. 

If you are looking for a way to practice your guitar quietly, plugging headphones into your guitar amp is a good solution. Just make sure you buy an amp with an output that works for this. 

Have you ever used headphones with a guitar? How did you set up the headphones? Let me know in the comments below. 

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