Other Equipment

Guitar Practice Through Headphones


Do any of you regularly practice through headphones? Pros? Cons?

I am thinking of buying a Fender Mustang I amp and a modest priced set of headphones and trying it out. Any other suggestions?


I usually play dry,sometimes through phones.A couple of reasons.First,it's quiet.Although the Mrs is the only other person around,she does not need to hear me play something over and over while I'm getting it right,and I'm more interested in learning how to play something rather than getting killer tone.I can always dial in the tone at the gig.Related to that,the sound an amp makes at home is completely different from the sound it makes onstage,so whatever you dial in at home generally doesn't work in public.I don't usually turn on an amp at home unless it's to test something out.Last,if I want to hear a sound rather than work on a song,headphones sound so good I don't miss the amp.I always record direct at home;it's just easier to plug my pedalboard into the recorder(a Yamaha AW1600) than it is to tweak around with mic placement and amp knobs.YMMV


I have a couple of headphone amps. I use them on occasion. I'd really prefer not to use headphones, when at all possible. I usually do when I'm jamming to something & want to keep noise down. I end up with cables everywhere, can't stand it. I would suggest a good set of headphones & an amp that has a nice sound to it. I have a set of Sony headphones that I've had for a while. They have a nice sound that is easy to listen to for extended periods. My amps are an old Zoom & a Tom Sholtz. The zoom really doesn't sound that great, so I rarely use it. It does have a lot effect editing capabilities though. The TS has a really great vibe to it. Tough to explain but when I put it on high gain it reminds me a lot of that early Def Leppard tone. & it sounds great on low gain. It sound surprisingly good on anything I plug into it. I know it's not easy to try all these types of items out, but well worth it if you can


I have a boss microBR and a Johnson J-Station that I use noe and then for headphone practice.

But more recently I find myself running the bandmaster through a minimass with headphones out. It's a little dry and a little brighter than through a speaker, but it works fine and I love the sound it.:)


hi timbog. I occasionaly use headphones (Fostex T-7) through a small practice amp (VOX DA5) so as not to disturb the neighbours - especially with my bass as this really carries through walls. The sound quality of the bass, surprisingly, is pretty good. Guitars are so-so but acceptable for practice purposes. One annoyance to me is the cable hanging round my head so you may want to consider radio headphones.


Use Grado headphones through a Carl Martin Rock Bug amp simulator pedal. The sound is very good.

Rock Bug


I play about half the time through headphones because I have a 2 year old and the only the I can really concentrate is after she goes to bed. I really don't mind it. I have some pretty decent headphones (Audio-Technica ATH-M50). They sound great but I find them a little uncomfortable after more than a few hours so I may be getting some true "over the ear" type. I have 2 setups for playing through headphones.

I have a POD X3 live which is the same I use through my amps. The X3 live is discontinued and is also the only POD with an Ipod/cd in. I really have no idea what line 6 was/is thinking. that should be about the 3rd feature after guitar input and stereo output but whatever. The Mustangs all have the aux in I think, so you are covered there. The X3 sounds pretty good through my amp but with headphones you can really hear how thin, modeled it is.

Most of the time I use my computer and Guitar Rig 5. This setup sounds fantastic, it continues to surprise me. So much better than the X3. I really wish NI would put out some stand alone guitar hardware. Since its computer based you can use all sorts of other tools easily. TAB, slowing songs down, looping, charts, videos all kinds of stuff.

I briefly tried an Ipad with Irig as a practice setup. I really wanted it to work but it was horrible. Constant level fluctuations, dynamics weirdness it was a nightmare.

I think the mustang is a great way to go though. I have only played the amp, not through headphones. I would have bought a IV or V if not for the "fizz", the I,II and III dont have the issue though


I am not a fan of headphones. I only use them when I am recording. This may be because I don't own a really nice set, but I find the air and the sound of the speakers really effects the sound of my guitar.


I work away from home so five nights a week my playing is through headphones. Generally I'd rather play moderately loud through headphones than quietly through an amp. Having a decent set of comfortable headphones is a must.

I use one of two approaches. If I'm at my apartment in South London I've got Pod XT Live there. Very convenient and it sounds half decent. If I'm on the road then I take a USB soundcard and use Amplitube. It is a bit more "faffy" having to boot up the laptop, plug in extra cables, etc, but Ampitube does have the advantage of being able to model different rooms too so you can get a surprisingly natural feel to it.

That said, I do look forward to getting home at the weekend and cranking up an amp. There is nothing quite like setting your kecks flapping in the breeze of a moving speaker.


I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old so I play a lot through headphones. I purchased the mustang I just for that reason. It does an excellent job on the headphone out. Apparently a lot of amps with headphone outs sound nothing like the amp via headphones. The modeling straight out of the box isn't the best but after a few hours in the fuse software you can't get some great tones from these mustangs. Lots of good presets from users on the fender site.


I do it occasionally if I feel the need to work on or adjust my right hand technique -- If Im starting to sound sloppy, its the best way to hear detail in your right hand attack, or right -left hand coordination.

I get under headphones pretty rarely these days due to the right -ear tinnitus. I usually just practice unplugged.


I play with headphones most of the time I plug in. Mainly because I use virtual amps and my laptop's speakers aren't all that great. To achieve greater fidelity (or at least more bass), I have to use headphones. I've tried fancy headphones that sound amazing, but I use cheap cans most of the time. One day I'll splurge on better ones.


I do MOST of my practicing through headphones. Repititions, finger exercises, etc., are not the kinds of things others want to listen to... I find that I can "hear better" ---- the mistakes and details that need work are more clear and obvious than with an unplugged electric solid or closed body.

It is important to keep the volume low to prevent hearing damage.

I use Sennheisers (very comfortable) and a Fender Jazzmaste Ultrilite.


Apparently a lot of amps with headphone outs sound nothing like the amp via headphones.

because the headphone out typically runs out of the preamp before the power stage...otherwise it'd blow the cans right off your head.

i never, ever use headphones for anything when i can possibly avoid it since i read an interview decades ago with Pete Townshend in which he blamed much of his hearing loss on blasting himself on headphones in his basement studio trying to get the feel of playing in the room while his wife and child were sleeping upstairs. my gf used to hate it, but i'm doing a lot better without her than i'd be doing without 40% of my hearing. and i'll tell you what: it's my house, too. if if's that bad, get some earplugs or leave the room. i get to do what i do in my home. if i need to do really annoying stuff--though i'm really not one for running scales at this point in my life, i do get into repetitive exercises sometimes--i do it on acoustic, which leads to better chops on electric anyway. win::win. let's face it, i don't want to listen to myself clanging away playing sloppy banjo rolls on electric.


I probably play unplugged about 60-70% of the time, then use headphones for another 20%, so I only play through my amp's speakers maybe 20% of the time. I find the headphones work well for me. Most of the time I run them through a Tech21 amp; other times I use a cheap Vox Amplug headphone amp.

Two keys IMO are to get a good set of headphones (meaning comfortable and decent sound quality) and to keep the volume moderate so your ears aren't taking a pounding.

I use a pair of Sennheiser HD555 phones. I think I paid around $100 for them a few years ago. They're over the ear but open, which works well for me. While not totally soundproof, I find the open style much more comfortable than closed headphones, especially in warm weather.


Preferably, I practice with either headphones or amp. I find that I get much MUCH more sloppy playing unplugged.

Funny how sweep picking sounds great unplugged, then pretty disconcerting and random when plugged in. :|

Agreed as above (senojnad), nobody "apparently" wants to hear practice scales, so headphones it is. If I could soundproof my music room without making it look hideous I'd try that instead.

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