Why to use headphones when podcasting?

Couple on podcast with headphones on

Why is it essential to use headphones when recording a podcast?

In addition to the apparent requirement for a microphone and something to record into, the one piece of equipment in your podcasting arsenal that you cannot go without is a set of headphones. And this is true of every individual whose lovely voices will be heard on your broadcast. Suppose you interview a guest using Skype, Zoom, Zencastr, or Squadcast.

In that case, you will need to wear headphones or a headset with a microphone. Without them, neither of you will be able to hear the other. On the other hand, if you are talking to someone in person or have a co-host, each person will require their own set of headphones. In addition, because most computers and recording devices only have a single headphone connector, you will also want an audio splitter to plug in all the headphones.

Podcast equipment

Wireless earbuds are an acceptable alternative to headphones for your guest if they wish to bring their headphones to the podcast. However, it is advisable to always get a backup pair of headsets, just in case. You should remember that if you are going to provide headphones, you should acquire ones that go over a guest's ears rather than into them. This is because some individuals find it uncomfortable to have the ear wax of a stranger in their ear holes, which is quite understandable.

Now that you know what you require allow me to explain why...

You will improve as a podcast presenter if you listen to your shows while wearing headphones. I don't know any person who, upon first hearing oneself on tape, hasn't exclaimed, "I don't sound like that!" Suppose you've never worked in radio or podcasting or recorded your voice. In that case, the only way you've ever heard yourself is by pressing your cheekbones together and listening. And because everyone else is standing in front of you when you speak, you'll never be able to hear yourself in the same way that other people do.

Headphones for podcast interview

Unless, of course, you have headphones on.

Headphones allow you to hear exactly how others perceive your voice sound. When you are presenting a podcast, this is a vital tool since it gives you much control over how your voice sounds and how you deliver information on the go. While speaking into the microphone, your brain processes what it hears through the headphones.

This provides you with the opportunity to do a self-evaluation and make some modest adjustments. It takes place in the blink of an eye. It may involve adjusting your tone, loudness, or the millions of other factors at your disposal when performing.

Headphones for interview

Your microphone technique will improve if you wear headphones.

This holds for both you and the person visiting you. A headset with a mic gives you immediate feedback if your voice sounds too loud or popping. It helps you adjust how you use the microphone in the present moment. Managing your podcast's editing process will be simplified if you use headphones or a headset.

Because editing requires a significant amount of time, the recording phase is the best time to complete as much of the necessary work as possible to facilitate a smoother editing process. Listening to the audio as you record it is one of the most effective methods to maintain control over it.

Microphones can gather up more sound than the human ear can process on its own. It would be best to hear them when recording to make the appropriate modifications. You don't want the audio to be unplayable, nor do you want the background noise to make your changes look too evident.

Editing podcast audio

Discovering things that cannot be fixed in the future if you do not monitor while recording your podcast through your headphones is common. This can be a costly mistake. Or to waste several hours fixing something that should not have been a problem in the first place.

While recording your podcast with a guest, this becomes even more important to remember. You never want to ask for re-recording because there was an issue with the audio. It is also hard to recreate the reactions received through the interview.

Because you will monitor the conversation through your headphones, you won't need to micromanage your podcast guest. Even a guest who has never used a microphone before will benefit from donning headphones. He will be able to determine whether or not he is speaking into the mike and whether the volume is appropriate.

Couple on podcast

Suppose your guests are not wearing headphones and can't hear themselves. In that case, they will pay little or no attention to the microphone, and you will probably have to interrupt them and ask them to come closer to the mic. Nobody wants to be reminded again and over that they are terrible conversationalists. Doing so is a simple way to make your guest feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in your company. The natural flow of the conversation will be stifled as a result, which will prevent you from extracting your full potential.

They will be more likely to self-regulate if they wear headphones, meaning the conversation will go more smoothly. Wearing a headset is the best way to protect your podcast.

There are a million different things that may go wrong during the recording part of your show. Still, if you wear headphones, you can prevent many of those things from happening, like... Those levels are very high.

During the recording, it is essential to keep the levels below the red line; however, this is something that you will typically test before you begin. Theoretically, it would be beneficial to glance at them in the middle of an interview. Still, if you are engaged in the talk, you will most likely forget it. Your headphones are going to come in very handy at this point.

Podcast editing

Listen to what you're recording as you do it. You'll be able to determine volume levels and adjust as you go along. While editing, this will be helpful because it will eliminate the need for you to meticulously go through each section, raising and reducing levels, which is time-consuming and tedious. Always keep an eye on the levels and ensure they don't get too high.

You can increase the audio level in post-production. However, if the audio is too loud, you can't reduce it; the only way is to send it to the audio graveyard.

Audio graveyard

The sound of your presentation can be affected by ambient noise; however, the wind is the most detrimental of these factors. The problem is that unless you listen to your recording through headphones, it is pretty difficult to gauge how severely it harms your performance's quality.

Think back to when you were talking to someone on the phone, and they sounded like they were in the middle of a tornado. In most cases, a moderate amount of wind is sufficient to produce such an effect. If you've ever been on the windy end of the phone, you probably didn't realize it until the other person you were talking to said, "are you in a wind tunnel?" When there is a lot of wind noise in the background of a conversation, it may be pretty annoying to listen to and challenging to understand what is being said.

Because it is also impossible to fix in post, using headphones will protect your audio from being ruined by the elements and save you from having to delete it.

Now you have some information you need regarding why headphones should be your new audio best friend.

One last bit of guidance: ensure the volume is turned up to the MAXIMUM setting when using them. That also applies to the revision.

You need to be able to listen to every single second of your podcast if you want to have complete control over it.

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  • Yeah, I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t said “That’s not how I sound” as well. We all think we sound some way but when we hear ourselves we realize that’s false. Having headphones on while on a podcast is better I think. It makes you aware of your own voice, how you are speaking and maybe help catch some errors you may make often. Sometimes you might just be having a bad day and not realize it’s affecting the podcast unless you have headphones on. Then you can change your tune, start talking differently but without noticing it first you can’t change anything.

    Brandon on
  • I’m just starting to get into narration for audiobooks and you’ve answered all my questions and made some great points I never considered. Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed information.

    James on
  • Hi! Thanks for a great article. I am considering starting a podcast and you are absolutely correct- I hate hearing my own voice. Now that i read this, I see why musicians have earbuds in when they perform, this way how you sound to others can be adjusted as you go.

    kathleen on

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