Why Do Singers Wear Headphones While Recording? Explained

Recording songs is my passion; I can never compromise because they are distorted. However, there is a need for some device that isolates noises and lets me focus on my voice. I have heard about noise-isolating headphones and their privileges in studios. So I started using them for recording, and now I better understand Why Do Singers Wear Headphones While Recordings?

Simply put, singers wear headphones to cut off from outside noise and generate noise-free and bleed-free soundtracks by recording all the audio parts separately. It can lead them to inspect the changes, if any, in the future.

In this section, I will discuss why it is important for singers or musicians to wear headphones while recording or mixing. Do headphones make any difference? If yes, then how can they be carried out?

Why Do Singers Wear Headphones When Recording?

For recording music, the singer makes an effort, and other instruments also take an active part in this process. For instance, guitars, drums, pianos, and other elements fuse with others and produce a fresh listening piece.

Do you know why singers do so? If you ponder, it is not at all a matter of looking cool or being aesthetic. Using headphones in studios is as vital as having a singer who records songs. Thus both work in correlation.


Do you listen to noisy tracks? Indeed not; the same goes for the singers and musicians. Wearing headphones is necessary as they help cancel the external noise. Generally, singers record in a separate soundproof room because they do not want to mix the instruments’ sounds with the sounds they create.


All singers tend to wear headphones to record new sounds that enhance the pre-recorded sounds of drums, pianos, or other musical instruments. This process has the long-lasting benefit of making changes in a particular audio section. It thus saves time for others to correct changes in the soundtrack and record it repeatedly. 

Thus overdubbing cannot be done without headphones, as they are used to monitor these sounds. It is the technique of recording new tracks without replacing other recorded ones and has many benefits to look for:

  • Thickening the sound
  • Fixing the flaws
  • Adding details of instrumental sounds

Hear Own Voice

Whether overdubbing or recording simultaneously, singers need headphones to listen to their voices to assess the sounds critically. These help them to fit their vocals with other soundtracks and to analyze the rise and fall of various frequencies.

With headphones, you hear sounds clearly and sing with more precision.


Headphones have the best function to perform in recording due to the multitracking technique. It means recording all the parts of the audio individually and later combining each one of them. As a result, you will notice that recording each part will make the sound clear and prevent audio bleeding. 

For example, suppose all the instruments are arranged with their microphones in the same room. In that case, it is likely that the headphones’ microphone picks up the sounds of other instruments and generates distorted audio.

Note: sounds already loaded with noises cannot produce sharp results in final mixing.

Why Do Musicians Wear Ear Plugs On Stage?

Singers and musicians like drummers or piano masters need some isolation to listen to the recorded tracks for their performance on the stage. As you all know, the stage is filled with many people; thus, extreme loudness is apparent. For this reason, musicians opt for wearing in-ear monitors.

In concerts, two things are required to make the show successful. The crowd hears the musicians, and the performers need to listen to themselves. IEMs allow different performers to listen to different parts of audio tracks at various volumes. 

With the in-ear monitors, a performer decides what he wants to hear. For example, Drummers want to hear the beats, and singers want to hear the guitar tunes.

These monitors are also best for achieving certain other milestones for performing on stage. They are positioned directly into the ear canals and tend to seal the inner ear to catch external noise, providing excellent noise isolation.

IEMs are also helpful in providing transparent and manageable sounds by offering the facility to control stage volume. Singers hear their performance by reducing or increasing the volumes according to their preference. These earphones also prevent hearing damage. These earphones allow full mobility for singers and other musicians to keep their audience busy with their performances. 

Working Mechanism of IEMs

In-ear monitor system contains a transmitter, receiver, or earphones. The transmitter delivers audio to the receiver connected to the earphones, and this audio is the recorded music to be performed. 

While the earphones, on the one hand, cancel out the outside noise and deliver the recorded mix to other musicians. Normally, the receiver is attached to a belt or on instruments such as guitars. It has volume control buttons to adjust the music according to the need. 

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What Headphones Do Musicians Use?

Headphones are not just for listening to music. These also have various tasks to do. One primary function they serve is to help singers in original recording soundtracks with no outside noises. The only solution is to find the best headphones with unique designs to work in studios. I have two options for this purpose.

Closed-back Headphones

You must be familiar with the term isolation, and the same is needed to define the work for singers, musicians, and guitarists. These headphones do not open from the back, so they entrap all the sounds within the ears and are best for original recording audio.

These have tightly packed earcups and are efficient in preventing audio information from being lost, providing every little detail about it. Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones are high-quality studio headphones for singers. 

Open-back Headphones

How can the design of the headphones be helpful in studios? Open-back headphones have other functions than close-ones. These are not suitable for recording, but they play their part in mixing separate tracks to convert them into final audible audio. 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is a mixing headphone with some gaps on the back to escape sounds outside. It results in achieving more open and transparent sounds.


What Do Performers Hear In Their Earpieces?

Performers need earpieces to listen to their voices, especially when doing live performances in front of a huge crowd. As the musical instruments also have amplified sounds, the earpieces prevent performers from shouting or singing loudly and let them focus on their performance.

Can Singers Hear The Audience With Earpiece?

Earpieces are designed to provide noise isolation, so the singer cannot hear the audience when they are on. However, performers must remove them to listen to the audience’s engagement.

How Do Singers Hear Their Own Voice?

The head’s bone, tissues, and fluids conduct the vibrations; singers sense these vibrations and listen to their own voices.

What Do Singers Hear In Their Earpieces?

The audience hears the performance just like singers also hear their performances through earpieces. While the musicians also hear the sounds of the instruments they are playing during live sessions.

Conclusion | Why Do Singers Wear Headphones While Recording?

Recording the audiotrack is an essential step before listening to it. Any mistake in this process due to avoidance of headphones or faulty choice of headphones can prove a big failure for a singer. In this section, I have elaborated on why singers wear headphones while recording in studios or performances. This article also covers the description of the right headphones for this purpose.

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