Why Musicians Wear Headphones While Recording

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Singing or recording a song in a perfect studio is an enjoyable and satisfying part of being a musician. I think that everybody has seen musicians using microphones and headphones while recording a particular song or whatever! But have you ever thought about why they use headphones?

Let me first say that recordings always happen in a recording studio. A studio, of course, if it is professional, owns all the things or equipment that you may own and that’s the category where headphones fall in! They are the best thing that a musician should do or use while recording!

They do help with many things and those things will be mentioned down below!

But hey this blog doesn’t mean that you can’t wear headphones just because singers do. However, I wouldn’t recommend you wear studio headphones

Studio headphones are something that is meant for professionals, they won’t benefit average joes that much.

So without wasting time further let’s start with why musicians wear headphones.


Why Musicians Wear Headphones When Recording

Below, I will try to list a few reasons on why musicians wear headphones. So make sure you read to the conclusion.

Isolation of Unwanted Sounds

Ambient noise cancellation is one of the main reasons why musicians like wearing headphones.

Musicians or singers wear headphones, in general, because they want to be fully concentrated in the recording studio!

That is directly related to the sound cancellation of the headphones because headphones include an amazing sound isolation feature and are the first thing that comes to mind when we have to deal with sound isolation. But, what types of headphones isolate the sound?

A good pair of headphones for sound isolation would be headphones that own noise canceling.

There are two modes of noise canceling. Active and Passive. Active sound isolation or noise cancelation is included on headphones that have noise-canceling as a built-in technology while passive sound isolation would be headphones that naturally block the outside noise, without using a particular technology.

Communication with the Producer

When recording a song you are not in the studio all alone! That means that recording always happens with the help of a producer! The producer always controls in a way the recording that you are doing and he stands in the control room! Trying to connect with him normally is not the best choice for you because you are not in the same place, but, headphones, especially the microphone that they own, will help you be in touch with him/her during the whole performance.

Sound Bleed

When wearing headphones bleeding is in a way an incident while recording. No I don’t mean that you start to bleed don’t get me wrong.

It means that all the things are mixed and you cannot distinguish anything between them! Since recording, in general, requires every instrument and every detail to be recorded one by one it is most likely to use headphones. You may be in the same room with all the instruments that are needed for the music, but when using headphones you will notice that they fully block the “bleed”, and keep the recordings clear in the most perfect way possible. Good sound quality is everything a musician might seek.

In Ear Monitors

I had to touchdown on this one topic as well, before I let you go.

In Ear Monitors or known as IEM’s are great headphones that musician wears.

As the name implies those are headphones that sound engineers made for the musician to monitor the sounds as best as they can.

The sound on those earphones sounds as it really is without any coloration or something of that kind.

Some musicians wear headphones to listen to their own voice during a recording session. So they can spot the mistakes more easily and fix them later.

So if you are serious about recording music, don’t miss out on IEMs.

Final Words

There is a saying by musicians:

Listening to your voice through the skull is a very different sound than listening to it through the air around you!

And that concludes it all! As an overall affirmation, musicians wear headphones to be fully alone with the music that they are about to record. Without any disruption from the place that may surround them!

Hopefully, I managed to add some additional information regarding why musicians wear headphones until next time enjoy.

Further Reading

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned microphones as well, and you may already know and in fact, should know that microphones are quite essential when it comes to recording sessions, not only wearing headphones. Well, I would like to include them here!

In case you are in complete doubt about choosing a microphone to use, I would advise you to find out more while comparing Shure SM7B and Elgato Wave 3, which are definitely great mics to use. Another powerful name in microphones is Audio Technica, and they own different types. In order to see which one is for you, check out my article Shure SM7B vs. Audio Technica AT4040, or since I mentioned Shure, you can compare Shure SM7B with Hyperx QuadCast

Melissa Peterkin
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