Please read this helpful knowledge base article about why your AudioBox USB may be producing noise.
You won't hurt your headphones by leaving them plugged in.
It's always a good idea to adopt a set of best practices with your studio gear.
- Turn down main volume on your interface and/or mixer
- Turn off speakers / amp.
- Turn down the headphone knob
- As long as you've done 1, 2 and 3. Unplugging headphones is not necessary but if you're extra concerned, unplug them too.
- Power down the rest of your system.
When you turn the system back on do those items in reverse order.
- Power up system
- Turn on your interface or plug it in to your system (if you've disconnected it)
- With the levels down, plug in your headphones
- Turn your speakers on
- Bring your main and headphone levels up.
Get in the habit of doing this on any rig you use from your small setup and it will always ensure you to have protection for your sound system and your ears.