Do You Have the Right Mic for the Job?
What makes one mic better than another for group fitness? Learn why some mics can be used continuously while others should only be used once or twice a day.
It is simply not plausible to walk into any electronics or musical instrument store around town, ask for a head worn mic for a fitness studio and expect any product offered to be suitable. Unfortunately, many microphone manufacturers and their retailers will nominate their mics as being suitable but the cold hard truth is they're not - fitness is a very special case because of sweat and movement. The key questions to ask any sales person are "How many class/hours a week do you recommend for this mic?" or "Is there any guidance from the manufacturer about exposure to sweat?" and "Is it guaranteed against sweat damage?" and ask to read the warranty statement before you buy.
So, while you can compare features like looks, comfort, adjustability and cost in a store, it's not until you use it for five classes a day at the club that you'll find out whether it was a proper sweat protected mic. Typically, around three months later it's likely that corrosion will have set in or the cable has broken! Then, to add to your misery, you'll discover that fine print on the manufacturer's warranty card excluding sweat damage as an acceptable warranty claim condition. And why should they cover it? They'd love you to buy four mics a year! Microphones for fitness instructors are either sweat protected and suitable for fitness instruction or they're not - end of story - and if they're not - don't waste your money on just a cheaper priced product finding out, that as with all things, you get what you pay for.
Sweat is the big destroyer of microphones in showbiz too - many of the big musicals that use tiny European-made mics hidden in the cast's hair or hats and enjoy a great reputation for their vocal sound quality and have a price tag to match at well over $800.00 each. However, their stage life is limited as sweat and make-up take their toll every night. Systematically the mics are moved back from the soloists to the chorus line in a matter of 6-8 weeks before ending up in the "dead mic" box in the tech room! And they're not even serviceable - they're thrown away after buying new replacements - it's no wonder theatre ticket prices are high! So you can also spend big bucks and still not get a mic to do the job in fitness.
The Aeromic may not be the only head worn mic made specifically for Fitness Instructors but we believe it has unparalleled sweat defences and yet it still sounds natural. The capsule, the frame, the cable, and the connector were chosen for their sweat protection properties as well as comfort, strength, and sound quality. The assembly technique in manufacturing the Aeromic guarantees that it will not be damaged by sweat - even when used for 7 classes a day 7 days a week for the first 12 months. So when it comes to selecting a mic to teach in your club you can purchase an Aeromic confident in the knowledge that it's been handmade to do the job you want it to do and that's worth something to you isn't it?.
Finally a few words about wireless microphone electronics; again, not all brands available in music stores have transmitters that are suitable for this work, or are compatible with the Aeromic. Factors that determine this are size, weight, connector type, internal layout, battery type and the battery compartment. Here are the things that you can check out: do you want to use normal batteries or rechargeable ones; then if the battery compartment has a hinge or a flap - forget it - it'll break within weeks; connector type; unless it uses one of the 4 types of connector that can be sweat protected for the Aeromic it's not compatible. So, to make your life easier go straight for a Fitness Audio wireless system because it passes all these tests, and has a great track record in the fitness sound systems we've supplied for over 14 years.
I hope that this has given you a better idea of how to evaluate a wireless microphone system for your club, because, as with all things in life you get what you pay for. There are always tempting, lower cost offers around in retail stores - but if it won't do the job for long enough then they're a complete waste of your money!
© Kevin Dempsey, Fitness AV the Fitness Audio Visual Experts