Why Do NFL Coaches Wear Headsets? 5 Top Reasons

NFL coaches usually wear headsets during games, and you will see them talking to the mic at intervals. While it is not common for other sports coaches to wear headsets, it is almost inseparable from NFL games. Why? 

Headsets help NFL coaches communicate with their assistants and players during games, helping them to make better tactical decisions.

But that’s not all. Keep reading to discover other reasons NFL coaches wear headsets.

Why NFL Coaches Wear Headsets During Games

NFL coaches wear headsets to get the best out of their teams.

How is this possible? Keep reading to find out.

1. Headsets Aid Communication Between the Head Coach and Booth Coaches

Coaches win football matches with combined efforts on and off the pitch.

Headsets help the head coach to communicate with the assistant coach and booth coaches during football games.

You always see the head coach on the sideline, but other coaches observe the game in the booth.

As football games progress, head coaches will need to make calls and changes, but they cannot see everything from the sideline.

Due to the limited view of head coaches at the touchline, they need the help of booth coaches who have better viewpoints of the game.

Booth coaches can see player performance offensively and defensively, and they have better knowledge of player health. They relay this information to the head coach and help manage games better.

However, because they are far from the head coach who will implement the necessary changes, they recommend they need headsets to pass information across.

2. Headsets Aid Head Coach Communication with Quarterbacks

NFL teams consist of the offensive lineup and the defensive lineup.

Each team’s quarterback leads the team’s offense, and the head coach relies on them to relay his instructions to other players.

Headsets help the NFL coaches communicate instructions to the quarterback since they are not always close to each other.

The quarterbacks have speakers in their helmets with which they listen to the head coach for instructions before each play. Unlike the booth coaches, quarterbacks can only listen to the sideline instructions, and they can not talk back as they do not wear a mic.

3. Headsets Aid Head Coach’s Communication with the Defense

As the quarterback listens to the head coach, the defense also receives instructions from the coach.

A defensive player usually wears a speaker in his helmet to listen to the coach. The headset helps the head coach instruct the defensive player on how to make adjustments during play.

Like the quarterback, the defensive player cannot talk back, and he only listens and follows instructions. The communication between the coach and the on-field players continues until 15 seconds before the end of the game.

4. Headsets Have Noise Cancellation Technology

Communication is vital during games, but effective communication will be impossible without headsets.

Fans of each team will not stop chanting and praising, especially when their players are playing well.

Therefore, there will be too much noise, and communication between coaches and players will not be effective.

The noise cancellation technology in these headsets makes it easy for players and the entire coaching staff to communicate better. 

5. Headsets Personalize Communication 

Also, headsets personalize communication as team coaches simultaneously pass instructions to their coaching staff and players.

There will be confusion and interference if everyone on each team talks loudly at once. Headsets help to personalize discussions between a coach and his team members.

The headset sends voice messages over different frequencies per time and takes care of any impending mix-up.

Which Headset Do NFL Coaches Use?

NFL coaches used walkie-talkies or random unbranded headsets in the past, but this practice changed in 2017. The official headset brand of NFL teams since 2017 is Bose corporation. NFL coaches communicate better with the Bose SoundComm B30.

Bose Corporation builds the headset with aviation and military technology, and it has one of the best wireless communications. It is strong and can survive extreme weather conditions. It is waterproof, and it works well even in the rain.

It has a built-in noise reduction chip, and this chip helps with noise cancellation. It is sensitive, and it picks every sound around it, then transmits only the high-quality voices to the receiver.

Do All Coaches Wear Headsets?

Not necessarily. But to get better results from their teams, almost all head coaches wear headsets.

Some head coaches that choose not to wear headsets do not communicate with the booth coaches, the offense, or the defense. They focus on managing time, dealing with the referees, and upping their player’s morale.

Do Coaches Wear Headsets When there are Technical Issues?

Coaches may or may not wear headsets when there are technical issues with the headset depending on the issue at hand. The NFL is in partnership with Bose corporation for the supply of headsets, and the partnership ensures that the headsets are of good quality.

Therefore, technical faults are not common, but sometimes the frequency can mix up. What happens when it does? Each team has communication technicians that fix headset or frequency errors. These technicians quickly troubleshoot any issue and resolve them.

If the technicians fix the errors, coaches will wear the headsets as the play continues. But if the headset breaks and it’s beyond fixing, both teams will continue the game without headset communication.

Playing the game without headset communication will affect both teams’ overall output, but it is a rule of the game. The rule states that when a team cannot use headsets due to technical issues, the other team must stop using them to make things fair.

How Many Coaches Can Wear Headsets from Each Team?

For effectiveness, it is advisable to have 20 – 25 coaches wear headsets from each team since there are usually different channels for both offense and defense.

It is best to keep the number of coaches wearing headsets at a minimum because too many coaches on the communication line can clog the channel.

In the same way, the number of coaches wearing headsets should not be too small, so they can share the responsibility of observing the game and making necessary calls.


NFL coaches wear headsets to improve team performance during games. The headset aids communication between head coaches, booth coaches, and players on the field.

With prompt communication through the headset, the whole team can adjust their play and improve overall performance.

Jude is a music and headphone lover. He has tested and reviewed several audio listening devices and enjoys writing helpful tips and information for readers like you.