Should You Plug Your Headphones Into Your Audio Interface? (Answered)

By Bob •  Updated: 05/25/21 •  4 min read

If you’re a musician who has ever had to use an audio interface, then I’m sure you’ve been asked the same question that lots of people have.

Where should I plug my headphones into?

In this blog post, we’ll explore some options and see what might work best for your individual situation!

If you want to listen back on recordings with friends or bandmates, it’s essential to make sure everyone can hear the playback at the same volume level by plugging headphones into your interface.

The monitor speakers will give a more accurate representation of the recording for mixing and room playback.

Should I plug my headphones into my audio interface?

It depends on what you want to do with your music, if you’re recording, then yes!

Plugin those headphones and get going!

But if you just want to jam with your friends or practice by yourself, then no need for the interface.

If only one person will be listening alone, plugging into an interface isn’t necessary because most people can hear how well they are playing through their own speakers without latency issues from monitoring directly off of a computer’s output (although some sound cards for laptops have low-latency headphone outs).

However, when multiple performers perform at once, we have to talk about splitting the signal from the mix to all listening.

How do I connect multiple headphones to the audio interface?

Suppose you are using analog to connect your headphones.

In that case, the audio interface’s input should be connected to a stereo output.

Then plug two or more sets of headphones into this output on one side, and the other will go in either set.

Use a headphone amp to connect multiple sets of headphones to your audio interface.

Plug one end of the headphone amp into your audio interface’s stereo output and plug in all your headphones on the other side.

How do I connect a headphone preamp to an audio interface?

It may vary from each audio interface, but they are a very similar setup for the most part.

You will use a Y-cable that may also vary by the connector.

You can use a dual 1/4″ mono cable with a TRS connector to plug into the headphone jack on your audio interface.

It may have a 3.5 mm on the Y-cable that you can add a 1/4″ adapter to plug into the output.

You can also use a TRS connector with two RCA cables to connect your headphones and audio interface.

One end will be plugged into the headphone jack on your interface. Then you can use an adapter that plugs in both of those ends to create a stereo connection using one cable.

Is it better to plug headphones into the computer or audio interface when recording?

An audio interface upgrades your computer’s sound output.

Most computers have a “sound card” and are not designed for higher resolution music production.
A good idea is to plug headphones into your audio interfaces.

They will allow you to hear better quality than listening through speakers only.

Usually, when recording with a computer, it does not have enough power.

It will cause distortion in recordings, so plugging them directly into an interface should fix that issue.

With most interfaces, you would just need to plug in the jack on one end of your headphone cable and then attach it to the output jacks on the back of your audio interface.


For the best audio sound, it is best to plug into the audio interface headphone jack.

Use a splitter or headphone amp to add more than one headphone so everyone can hear.

Let’s say you’re recording a podcast, and there are many people on the call.

You might want to connect more than 1 headphone so each person can hear themselves in their headphones while also hearing everyone else in the room with them.

This is where an audio interface comes into play- it’s what makes this possible by providing multiple inputs for your microphones (or instruments) as well as outputs for your speakers or headphones.

If you have any questions about how this works or which one of these devices is suitable for you, please contact us!
We’ll be happy to help get things set up correctly and answer all of your questions!