Can You Plug Headphones Into a Guitar Pedal?


Guitarists who often travel need useful gear and devices to play their instruments. Other people also like to practice playing guitar in silence. These are a few situations you might want to transmit the sound to your headphones. The question is, can you plug headphones into a guitar pedal?

Plugging headphones straight to a guitar pedal will not work unless it is a multi-effects pedal with a headphones output. Using devices such as guitar interface, mini amplifiers, and headphone amps are recommended. These will allow you to transmit the guitar sound to your headphones.

Guitar pedals alone can’t amplify the sound of your headphones. The devices should have outputs where you can plug them. In this article, we will discuss the use of headphones for guitars.

Can You Plug Headphones Into a Guitar Pedal?

Generally, you can’t plug headphones into a guitar pedal. These are mainly designed to connect to a guitar and amplifiers. Another thing is you can’t directly plug the headphones into an electric guitar jack.

There is a jack converter that may also fit your guitar. Using it with your headphones will not produce any sound as it requires amplifiers. Guitar pickups transmit the strings’ vibration into an electric signal to create a sound in the amplifiers.

Headphones on Wooden Surface

If you check standard guitar amplifiers online, you can see there are inputs and outputs near the knobs. They are often labeled as “Input” and “Phones”. The input is where you connect your electric guitar with its cable while the Phone is specifically an output for your headphones.

In the recording, guitar interfaces also help in sound transmission to another device. It will serve as the amplifier connecting it to your laptops, etc.

Guitar pedals are specifically made to produce a variety of effects. Since it is a pedal, guitarists stepped on it to switch on the specific effects. These pedals are either digital or analog types.

Other models like multi-effects sometimes also have headphones output. They are labeled as “Line-Out” on the pedal. This output will work if you use your headphones.

Single guitar pedals have inputs and outputs. These are used for patch cables to attach several single guitar effects pedals into one series. It means that every effect is affected by one another if you step on each of its pedals. Headphones are not recommended to plug in these inputs or outputs.

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What Is An Acoustic Guitar Headphone Amp?

A guitar headphone amplifier is a device used to amplify the sound to a headphone. You don’t need heavy amplifiers to convert and transmit the sound to your headphones. This is a portable gadget that you can bring anywhere if you want to play your guitar.

Guitar headphone amps function by directly plugging them into the guitar. The device has an output where you can connect your headphones. This is generally battery-powered and rechargeable.

Another accessory that you can opt for guitars is the mini amplifiers. Similar to headphone amps, these are usually rechargeable. These are amplifiers but small in size. You can also plug your headphones into this device.

The guitar amplifier emulation units provide numerous amplifiers. Similar to headphone amps and mini amps, these are also small in size. It also possesses stomp-box simulations and a cupboard speaker.

How Can I Play Music Through My Guitar With Headphones? (Options)

Playing your guitar with headphones is advantageous. You can play anytime or even anywhere as long as you have the proper tools and accessories. There are several methods that you can choose on how to do this.

playing a acoustic guitar with headphones

1. Plug your headphones into the guitar amp

One of the basic methods to convert the guitar sound is through amplifier outputs. Ensure that the headphone jack is fit to the headphone out. The common headphones that you can find are designed with 3.5 mm jacks.

Headphone outputs that are found in guitar amps are generally 6.33 mm. You can use jack converters to your headphones to adapt the size of the amp output.

Some guitar amps may also provide 3.5 mm output for headphones. They are sometimes located at the back or front of the amp. With such, you can directly plug in the headphones without using a jack adapter.

2. Use a guitar interface on your computer or smartphone

Another efficient way to play your guitar through headphones is by using a guitar interface. These are generally used for audio recording purposes but you can utilize them for practicing.

There are audio converters that are common in music production. The guitar interface has a similar function and it is mostly portable. The device has a USB connector, headphone output, and guitar jack input.

You just need to plug all the jacks and the interface into your laptop or smartphone. It immediately works with the specific applications in the devices. Take note that smartphones’ USB ports are smaller and you also need a converter for that.

PC software such as AmpliTube, Guitar Rig, and more will serve as your virtual amps. It also offers a lot of guitar effects.

You can connect your guitar pedals to the interface and then connect them to a PC or smartphone. This allows you to use headphones on your devices if your amplifiers don’t have a headphone output.

3. Plug your guitar into a multi-effects pedal

Most of the multi-effect pedals sold nowadays come with headphone outputs. Having this won’t need other devices to amplify the sound of your headphones.

Multi-effects pedals usually have 6.3 mm headphone outputs. You will need a jack adapter to convert headphones with a 3.5 mm jack.

If you can’t find the “Phones” output, it is usually named “Line Out”.

4. Use a mini guitar amp or guitar headphone amp

Mini guitar amplifiers are portable devices you can carry anywhere. It has a headphones output if you want to play in silence. Using this can benefit you to practice while traveling.

The guitar headphones amp is another good choice. It is solely used for headphones and it doesn’t have speakers. The structure is also portable.

Both mini guitar amplifiers and guitar headphone amps are battery-powered. Some models are rechargeable.


Guitars require an interface and devices to convert the sound for your headphones. Directly plugging it will not work. You can choose the easiest way from the methods we tackled. Make sure you check every plug and cable for efficient function.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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