Whenever I see the video version of podcasts, like the Joe Rogan Experience, I started wondering why do podcasters use headphones. I got a pair but did not find out why I needed them, I was just following the crowd. I tried podcasting without headphones and I found out why.
Podcasters use headphones to monitor audio, to listen to their guests without causing microphone feedback, and to listen to the files while they are editing.
Wearing headphones while you are recording has been seen from radio to people on live television with those tiny in-ear monitors that let them listen to the sound that is coming through the microphone.
Do I need headphones for podcasting?
Headphones are needed for podcasting, but regular earphones can also be used. Being able to listen to the microphone while you are recording helps prevent major errors that may end up requiring a new recording.
Can you imagine realizing that your microphone has been off the whole time?
For podcasts that have guests, you will see them wearing headphones too and the reason is because when you are listening to your own voice, you are more careful about what the microphone is capturing. For example, some guests tend to distance themselves unintentionally from the microphone without realizing that their voice will not be heard.
If they wear headphones, they become more conscious of not coughing into the microphone, keeping appropriate distance, and not bumping the microphone accidentally. Still, guests are not required to use headphones if someone else is monitoring the audio for them. This person normally reminds the guest to speak into the microphone, or to step back or closer to it.
Another reason to use headphones is that they help reduce echo in recordings as well as in Zoom calls. However, software does have systems in place to reduce echo up to a certain level.
Can you use wireless headphones for podcasting?
You cannot use wireless headphones for podcasting because they cause a delay between the time when you speak versus the time where you hear yourself. Using wireless headphones would make your voice sound delayed to you and will affect your recordings.
What I would recommend you use are any pair of wired earphones or headphones to plug in directly to your interface or recording device. If you have over-the-ear headphones, those will work even better because they will block out some of the exterior sound and let you hear more of what the microphone is capturing.