Do College Quarterbacks have Speakers in their Helmets?

For years now, the question “Do College Quarterbacks have speakers in their helmets?” has been something somewhat lingering in the minds of College Football fans and it’s completely understandable because you would want to know all about a sport or something you’re deeply interested in. Let’s see Do College Quarterbacks have Speakers in their Helmets?

In College Football, offensive players (Quarterbacks) are not allowed to have speakers or any form of in-helmet communication in their helmets and this would be in conjunction with the National Football League’s (NFL’s) rules. When we’re not talking about College Football and we’re heading into the more professional territory, two players on the football field are allowed to have speakers in their helmets during play and this was fully established in 2008.

Do College Quarterbacks have Speakers in their Helmets?

Before then, in 1994, Coaches could use headsets to interact with one another but not with the players on the field. Back then, with considerable reservations, including from coaches, the league allowed Football teams to add speakers to players’ helmets.

NFL’s rules on players having Speakers in their Helmets

In 2008, the NFL allowed a speaker to be included in the helmet of one defensive player as well as a Quarterback. But there haven’t been any discussions about changing this rule in any manner, this is primarily owing to the huge efficiency and effectiveness achieved through transparent communications.

  • The number of on-field players using microphones is limited to two
  • Only one defensive player on the field, the middle linebacker, is permitted to communicate using Speakers
  • There are no microphones in NFL players’ helmets to allow them to communicate with coaches
  • With fifteen seconds left on the game clock, communications the Coach can have with the on-field players will be turned off
  • For anyone to utilize technologies to interact with players, both sides’ links must be working
  • The usage of on-field communication is restricted
  • Only one player on the offensive – The Quarterback, is permitted to communicate
  • Players will only be allowed to listen; they are unable to respond
  • If one side’s communications fail, nobody on both teams is allowed to utilize them.

How are Speakers Configured in the helmet?

A typical NFL helmet lacks communication technology. To be more specific, for a helmet to meet standards during the inspection conducted before a game, it must not have anything mimicking communication equipment. Only two (2) players are permitted to have anything slightly electronic inside their helmets. This contains one offensive player and one defensive player, usually the middle linebacker and the quarterback. These helmets will be identified on the back with a prominent and conspicuous green sticker.

There are no microphones and two speakers in a middle linebacker’s or quarterback’s helmet. Consider this to be the ultimate set of earphones. The speakers are mounted at ear levels on the helmet’s sidewalls, with the sounds from them going directly to the ears. This prevents muffling from fabric or hair. Because microphones are not permitted in these helmets, discussions are one-way only.

The goal of this is to provide on-the-ground instructions on tactics and formations. Owing to the game timer constraints, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity, yet it’s effective. Veteran players enjoy the confidence boost. In unfamiliar settings, new players nearly always rely significantly on their sideline coach for counsel and guidance.

Does Crowd Noise affect the Speakers?

Noise is one element that may hinder communication capacity. You’d assume the speakers would just be booming music. The helmets can only insulate against noise so much. This is correct, yet veteran players have frequently commented on how clear communications are and how it sounds like a megaphone above the roaring crowd. The noise in the background is audible, but the coach’s voice remains clear.

What about the Radio Frequency?

Radiofrequency interference has always been an issue. Initially, analogue radio waves were limited to a single location and were used sparingly. Controlling who was hearing, on the other hand, did come down to trust and agreement between teams. Some frequencies were in use by public radio stations, transceivers, and sometimes even entertainment services. The half-time presentations were frequently broadcast on the same frequency. As a result, everybody had to remember to remove their headsets after each quarter.

The league obtained an encrypted frequency band in 2016, which was filed as confidential with the FCC. With that, up to ten (10) coaches per team can communicate confidentially using an encrypted and hidden radio channel.


The use of speakers in the helmets of players during football matches has been something that has been endorsed by professional coaches and Football league clubs around the world and has revolutionalized the game of football in more ways than you can fathom today!

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Do Quarterbacks put on an earpiece?

NFL quarterbacks have tiny speakers in their headgear that enable them to listen to their sideline coach before each game, but they do not have microphones to react back. Communications are terminated with fifteen seconds remaining on the clock. Quarterbacks are simply one part of the puzzle.

  1. What does “Omaha” mean when the Quarterback says it?

It usually signifies that the ball should be snapped during the next hut. It’s frequently employed by no-huddle offences to reduce the clock to near zero.

  1. Can all Football Players have listening devices in the helmet?

No, all players’ helmets do not contain speakers. This is important to comprehend. The NFL has created a set of guidelines for headset communication: Only one offensive and one defensive player may have a speaker inside their helmet.

  1. What brand of speakers do Quarterbacks use in their helmets?

NFL Quarterbacks popularly use speakers specially created by Motorola. To get other brands of speakers used by Quarterbacks, you can run a quick google search.

  1. What do Quarterbacks and Middle linebackers hear in their Speakers?

Only the coach who stays on the sidelines or in the coach’s booth can issue play calls via the Speaker located in the Quarterback’s helmet. While the Quarterback cannot talk to the coach, he can audibly hear what the Coach says.