When Did Drummers Start Wearing Headphones in Recording Studios?

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Before I launch into a quest that may be reinventing the wheel -- does anyone know when drummers, to better hear the other musicians, first started wearing headphones in recording studios? Or, to put it another way, during recording sessions?

Is there a drummer credited with being first?

Thank you in advance.

Scott K Fish


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I found this on the Reverb website. A start at least.

Headphone history is fascinating—better than an aging rocker’s memoir. For starters, no one knows exactly when headphones were invented; they may go back as far as 1880. In 1888, opera lovers used primitive headphones to hear live music at home via telephone transmission. In 1910, Nathaniel Baldwin started making what we’d recognize as modern headphones in his kitchen. The Navy loved them and wanted to move Baldwin into an East Coast plant. But Baldwin couldn’t leave Utah: He was a polygamist. And in 1958, musician/entrepreneur John Koss introduced the first stereo headphones, the Koss SP/3. The Milwaukee-based company still makes headphones today.


Senior Member
My guess is it started becoming common in the mid 60s.

The Beatles did everything first :)........

I looked at some pictures, and in 1965, I didn't see any headphones. In 66, on Sgt. Pepper's, I did, including Ringo!

But I imagine people may have used them before that, but I don't think in general. Maybe just for overdubs. But I'm pretty sure that generally headphones were not even used for that.