Why Wear Headphones When Recording a Podcast

You have probably seen some podcasters wearing headphones while recording podcast episodes while others choose not to. In this post we will look into the reasons why podcasters wear headphones and help you decide if you should wear them when recording your show.

Prevent Talking Over Each Other

One of the benefits of hosts and guests wearing headphones is that it prevents people from talking over each other. This works since each of the participants can hear each other’s voices at the same volume rather than some being quieter than others and getting talked over more frequently. This is one of the main reasons why podcasters wear headphones when recording a podcast.

If you have multiple hosts or guests on your show then preventing people from talking over each other can make the editing experience much easier as well as improving the quality of the conversion. This is even more important if you are recording multiple voices onto one microphone or audio track as this makes it even more tricky to edit out voices when multiple people are talking on one track.

You can checkout our post about how to record a podcast using multiple microphones to make your life a lot easier when it comes to editing out people talking over each other in your podcast episodes.

Maintain a Good Distance From the Mic

If you have been hosting your podcast for a while then you will know where to position the microphones and how to speak into it properly for a high quality recording. Your guests may not have so much experience which can result in the need to constantly remind them to speak into the microphone. Having your guests wear headphones will allow them to hear when they are moving away from the mic and will help them maintain a consistent distance from the mic.

Avoid Echo During Remote Recordings

If you are recording a podcast remotely then you will definitely want to use headphones in order to reduce echo. Without headphones, the audio from the computer can be picked up by your microphones causing an echo effect. Wearing headphones is a great way to prevent this as you still need some way to hear what the other participants are saying. If you want to learn more about recording a remote podcast you can checkout our post on how to record a podcast over Zoom.

Hear Yourself Just as Others Will

Wearing headphones while recording your podcast will allow you to hear yourself just as your listeners will. This allows you to adjust the audio levels and microphone placement at recording time rather than having to spend time editing the audio levels after finishing the recording. This is even more of a benefit for guests who have less experience speaking into mics and may tend to drift away from the mic or not speak directly into it from time to time without headphones.

Avoid Popping Sounds

Without headphones, it can be very difficult to pickup popping sounds caught by the microphone during a recording. These sounds are also sometimes called plosive sounds and they are caused by blasts of air being directed directly into your microphone. Once identified with the help of your headphones, you can avoid these sounds by changing the angle at which you are speaking into the microphone so that you are not speaking directly into it. Alternatively, you could use an external pop filter with your microphone to get rid of the popping sounds.

Some Guests May Not Like Wearing Headphones

There are a few good reasons that your guests or co hosts may have to not want to wear headphones when recording an episode. One of the most common is that people are not used to hearing themselves speak. This is something that I have heard guests on numerous podcasts complain about when putting the headphones on for the first time.

Another complaint that guests may have is that they simply don’t find the headphones comfortable. Lots of people do not wear over ear headphones these days, instead many people are wearing in ear headphones. If this is a complaint that your guests make frequently them maybe look into trying out a new pair of headphones.

In addition to the feel of over ear headphones, guests may have different preferences when it comes to the style of headphones. In order to reduce the likelihood of any complaints you can opt for a neutral coloured pair of headphones. Black headphones seem to be the most common choice amongst podcasters.

Conclusion

So there are a number of reasons why podcasters choose to wear headphones when recording a podcast episode. They help to prevent people talking over each other, they help you get the audio levels right and avoid popping sounds at recording time, they help your guests maintain a good distance from the mic, and they reduce echo during remote recordings.

If you or your guests really do not want to wear headphones then you always have the option to use earbuds or no headphones at all. There are plenty of podcasters who use each of these options. So although there are benefits to wearing headphones, it is not a requirement and it is still possible to create a high quality recording without them.

References

Statista. (2022, June). Wireless headphones and earbuds usage worldwide. Statista. Retrieved February 11, 2024, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1223444/global-wireless-headphones-and-earbuds-usage-by-location/