Is It Advisable to Use Headphones When Recording My Voice?

Hearing your genuine voice is something that you should do when recording your own voice. Some professional voice actors and coaches would say that to get an honest-to-goodness performance or read, you must not use headphones. Without headphones, you would be able to hear your natural voice and resonance.

When you ask voice over talents to recommend the best headphones to use during recordings, you will  get a very short list of headphone brands, and frankly, you may also get a total disapproval from using them. 

Though using a headphone can help build your confidence as the amplified sound makes you “love” the sound of your voice, it will also make you over-critical of every noise you hear, every sound you make, thus your attention is divided. You put yourself in a position of judging and producing your performance as you record. Don’t play two roles at one time – allow yourself to be a performer first then an engineer after. 

Can I use headphones as a beginner in voice acting?

Using headphones pretty much depends on your preference when recording, and what works best for what you are recording.

As a beginner you can use headphones to observe pronunciation or enunciation better, and understand all the noise around you. You may also record a script with the headphones and then without, as you do not want to be uncomfortable when you are required to use one during sessions that you need to take directions live.

What kind of headphones do voice actors use?

As mentioned above, using headphones is your call. But, if you have to make a choice, there are two kinds of over-the-ear headphones: Open-Back and Closed-Back.

Here are three of the most recommended headphones by voice over talents:

Sony MDRV6

Priced at $109.99

A headset system designed for audio professionals. 40 mm drivers deliver accurate sound throughout the frequency range. Circum-aural design keeps ears comfortable. Reduces noise from the outside world. Copper-Clad Aluminum Wire (CCAW) Voice Coil enhances movement of PET diaphragm.



Priced at $118 – 199

The K240 MKII professional over-ear, semi-open headphones are a long-time standard in studios, in orchestras and on stages around the world. Its advanced Varimotion 30 mm XXL transducers deliver solid low end, accurate mids and crystal-clear highs. The semi-open design provides the airiness of open headphones with the powerful bass response of closed designs. For more than three decades, professional engineers and musicians have made the K240 the most widely used headphones in studios and at live consoles around the world.

Sennheiser HD 25-1
Sennheiser HD 25-1

Sennheiser HD25-1 II

Priced at $231.64 – $249.95

The closed-back HD 25-1 II purpose-designed, professional monitoring headphones offer high attenuation of background noise. Capable of handling very high sound pressure levels and of extremely robust construction, these headphones perform exceptionally well in high-noise environments, such as sound reinforcement, studio monitoring, and audio equipment testing. The capsule is rotatable for one-ear listening. The Sennheiser HD-25 II make ideal monitoring headphones for cameramen and DJs.

It is still reasonable to get a decent set of headphones to learn your way around using your microphone, to master your levels, and to connect and understand your voice and resonance.  Learn to use your headphones in a way that you are less aware of it so that your voice will come out more natural. If you are willing to go outside the “security” of wearing headphones, be confident to free yourself from self-monitoring and trust in your set-up.

Whether you decide to use an open-back or closed-back headphones, or not use it completely, remember to do what is most comfortable for you.

What should I not use for recording voiceover?

If you are recording your voice for professional purposes, never use the in-ear headphones that come free with your phones, whether ios or androis. In-ear headphones or earbuds, typically offer less accurately bass frequencies. Earphones have smaller driver size (the bit of the headphones that generates noise).

Noise cancelling headphones are also not advised. These headphones find it hard to remove outside noise. This, naturally, has effects on the sound that you are hearing, and makes them completely not suitable for recording professional audio.

Being comfortable while recording your audios is the most important. Whether you use headphones or completely ditch them depends on you. Aside from choosing the proper headphones, you should also be mindful of other equipment that you use when recording professionally. You also have to remember that it spending on quality equipment is a good investment. Before spending your cash, you should research on the item that you are planning to buy. Find something that suits your needs and budget. 

Which do you prefer, with headphones or without headphones? What headphone brands would you recommend? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below.