Do you have noise problems / complaints from neighboring businesses? Have you changed class times or cancelled classes to keep the peace with another class in your club? This maybe a solution...
Message from Facebook this morning:
My name is Naomi and I have a summer internship at N2Shape My boss has recently given me a project to implement headset use in all spinning classes as there have been noise complaints in the studio we use. She wants to have it so in addition to the instructor having a headset, all people in the class have wireless earphones or headphones as well so that they can hear the music and the instructor. I have been looking online at a couple different websites such as Iqua Products, AV Now, Amazon, etc, to get ideas but it seems that most places only sell transmitters for the instructor headset. My boss told me you guys have a lot of information regarding spinning and I thought I'd contact you for help! Thank you so much in advance!
My response was easy:
Hi Naomi - thanks for your question. We actually did this back in the late 90's when we first added Spinning classes. What you need is a FM transmitter like this http://www.avnow.com/WES_
FM_Broadcast_System_p/wes-t- fm.htm and then have everyone tuned in with a FM radio receiver (old walkmans were FM) - your folks will need to dig into the back of their junk drawers.Is that enough to get you going?John
Back in the day (mid 1990's) when our club first introduced Spinning® classes, they employed this exact system. They had installed 24 Schwinn Johnny G Spinners (the original version) in a secluded corner of the fitness floor. A loud sound system with speakers was out of the question, so the Instructor's mic and music played through a FM transmitter. Everyone wore headphones connected to a Walkman tuned to the correct FM radio station.
Surprisingly it worked well. As long as you hadn't forgotten to turn off your Walkman the day before and were now scurrying around the club, looking for a pair of AAA batteries.
Talking between members was never a problem and there were no volume complaints with everyone having control of their own levels. The effect of having the Instructor's voice delivered directly into our heads was quite intimate as I remember. I'll never forget the classes lead by a particularly instructor (she's still an active Instructor and ICI/PRO member) who was very "breathy" in her class presentation 🙂
Working under the "everything new was once old" school of thought, could this be something you could offer in your studio? I'll bet if you asked, you'd find many of your members have an old Walkman shoved in the back of their junk drawer at home. Or you could buy a bunch to have for rental.
Now a days there are better options than a Walkman for an FM receiver (sweat killed them quickly) like this small waterproof FM radio shown here. Walmart has one with an armband for just $11.00.
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Naomi, I worked at club in Evergreen CO about 15 years ago that tried this approach. I believe Spinning was promoting this back then. It was an ABSOLUTE FALURE! The members went crazy. We were always having problems with the FM transmitter and members were always having trouble with their FM receiver, batteries, ear phones, then trying to adjust mic volume the list goes on. Have you ever tried to teach one of these classes. You need to wear your own FM receiver or radio as well as your mic and you get the echo of your voice through your ear phones. All this is bad enough but then you lose the “energy” of the group. It becomes a bunch of individuals doing a workout NOT a group exercise class. Imagine going to a dance club where everyone is listening to the DJ through ear phones, it’s just weird. My recommendation is to find a way to sound proof the room or move to a different building. That club in Evergreen CO tried this system for about 2 months then switched back to the stereo.