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Is It Time to Replace Your Fitness Headset Microphone System? 7 Ways to Tell

Is It Time to Replace Your Fitness Headset Microphone System? 7 Ways to Tell

As audio technicians with close relationships in the fitness industry, we've spoken with countless fitness instructors about problems with their fitness headset microphones and microphone systems. The microphone system is an essential tool for any fitness instructor, as it allows for seamless communication during their fitness classes. But like any audio equipment, it's not meant to last forever. However, with proper use and maintenance your fitness headset microphones and fitness sound systems can last a very long time, read more HERE about suggested maintenance and microphone care. Today, we'll be sharing with you seven ways to tell if you need to replace your fitness headset microphone system.

The Best Fitness Headset Microphones for Fitness Classes

If you have been asking any of the following questions this article may be just what you need to troubleshoot your fitness headset microphone's problems.

  • Why does my microphone have static?
  • Why is my voice cutting out?
  • Why is my headset microphone not staying on?
  • Why does my microphone sound distorted?
  • How do I get rid of the buzzing sound on my microphone?
  • Why does my mic suddenly sound worse?
  • Why does my microphone sound fuzzy?

1. Clarity of Sound
The first indicator that you need to replace your fitness headset microphone system is if the clarity of sound is waning. A system that was once clear and concise may now have a muffled sound, making it difficult for your audience to understand you. This could be due to the microphone element wearing out.

Solutions:
The best option for this is to replace either your entire microphone system or try to troubleshoot the individual components of your microphone system (audio receiver, audio transmitter, and microphone) and determine if just one component is not working. If you were to do this and then determine that the bodypack transmitter no longer works and the batteries are new, then replacing the bodypack transmitter may be a good option.

There are two things to consider if you run into this situation.

  1. Make sure the transmitter model/frequency that you need still available.
  2. If replacing just the headset, choose a microphone headset with a connector that is compatible with your existing transmitter.

Replacement-fitness headset-microphonesImage above: Best Fitness Headset Microphone for Cycling Classes

2. Loose or Damaged wires
A loose or damaged microphone wire will cause your microphone system to malfunction. If you've been using your microphone system for a while, the wires may be frayed or broken, this will cause static, crackling or dropouts during workouts. Be sure to check the cords for signs of wear and tear.

Solutions:
Some services such as AV Now's repair department offer microphone connector repair for select brands such as Fitness Audio. The headset cable is usually not repairable. Some brands do not offer repair service and a replacement headset microphone will need to be purchased. For more information on selecting the right fitness headset microphone, read this article from AV Now, "Best Wireless Microphone Headsets for Fitness Instructors."

Frayed wires on microphone
3. Difficulty in connecting
Microphone compatibility issues can be a possible reason for a headset microphone system not to connect to your device. Outdated technology, incorrect headset connector type, the wrong frequency/channel, or pairing errors are some things that could create difficulty connecting your device and microphone system.

Solutions:
Make sure that the transmitter and receiver are the same model and that they operate on the same frequency or frequency group. Also make sure the type of connector on the headset matches the connection type for the transmitter. A transmitter will not pair with a receiver unless the components are the same model and proper pairing steps are performed per the system instruction manual. 

Mic problems

 

4. Battery Life
It's common for fitness headset microphone transmitters to run on batteries, and the battery life is often limited. If your microphone system is continuously having battery issues, it's probably time to upgrade or switch to pro-audio batteries. Without power, you risk audio cut-outs or little to no volume.


Above image: Fitness Audio U-Series Bodypack Transmitter (9V Battery)

Solutions:

Make sure you have spare new batteries on hand and replace the old ones. It's also a good idea to clean the battery contacts on the transmitter with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. If the issue persists, you may need to replace the transmitter.


5. Frequency Interference

Check to make sure you have good reception by checking the RF indicator on your microphone receiver. If that checks as fine, make sure that there are no physical obstructions between the microphone and receiver (line-of-sight is needed for good reception). And if all else fails, consider investing in a higher quality microphone that is less prone to frequency issues, such as a digital system like the Shure GLXD14+. By taking the time to prevent microphone problems, you can ensure that your fitness classes are always a hit with participants.


6. Outdated Technology
Every year, technology is updated with new hardware and firmware capabilities. With these updates, it is essential to upgrade your headset microphone system as well. Newer systems can offer better sound and are often more robust, more comfortable, and more reliable.

Adjustment Band for Headset Microphone

Image above: Samson Airline 88 Replacement Headband


7. Personal Microphone Comfort
The final consideration, yet an essential one, is your personal comfort. Your microphone system might be technically sound, but if it isn't comfortable to wear, it's time to upgrade. The microphone system may have worn and lost its grip over your head, or the earpiece may be uncomfortable to wear.

Some brands offer solutions for this, such as:

 
Anything that involves audio systems will eventually wear out and age. It's essential to ensure that you take proper care of your fitness headset microphone system. While it might be an initial investment, upgrading your headset microphone can improve the sound quality of your workouts and keep you motivated. By following these seven tips, you'll be able to understand the signs to watch out for and know when it's time to upgrade your system.

In conclusion, if any of the following also apply then it may be time to purchase a new microphone or replace microphone components.

• If I have to shout to be heard
• If I sound muffled 
• If my headphone cord is tangled more than my headphone cords
• If I'm sounding like I'm underwater
• If my headset mic's battery is running low more often than my phone's battery, 
• If I can't be heard no matter how loud I yell
• If I'm not speaking clearly and my words aren't decipherable
• If I can hear everyone else but they can't hear me
• If I don't sound like myself when I'm speaking
• If I sound like I'm in a wind tunnel

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