Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Things That Make A Fitness Sound System Different From A Standard PA System or Home Stereo

It’s no big surprise that so many fitness centers and exercise classes start with using a less-than-ideal sound system.  After all, it’s supposed to be about fitness—not listening to music—right? 

In reality, a group ex fitness experience benefits from great sounding, motivational music. Group Ex instructors should be able to focus on their class, not dealing with an overly-complicated sound system or a system simply not designed to do what's needed in the grueling fitness environment.   

So a 'fitness sound system' has a rather hefty set of standards to meet in any kind of high performance environment…much more than just playing some background tunes.

With this in mind, lets look at the 5 things that make a fitness sound system different from an ordinary PA system or a home stereo:

1.  Simplicity

While it might sound more complicated at first, the fact of the matter is that fitness sound systems are designed to provide exactly what an exercise class instructor needs. 

It starts with the brains of the system—a mixer with 2 wireless mic inputs and about 3 individual music channels to handle inputs from a CD player, portable music player, or other source device.  From there, it’s all about having the correct amplifier (whether built-in or external) and professional speakers that are perfectly sized for the environment. 

It’s really as simple as that; there’s no need for complex features like reverb that are found on PA systems designed for bands and other more complicated jobs.

2.  Group Ex Sound Clarity

A home theater system provides the ideal in-home movie watching experience; a dance club sound system is designed and tuned to provide club-shaking bass and volume.  But the demands placed on a fitness sound system go above and beyond—with group ex sound, it’s vital to have excellent performance both when it comes to playing great sounding music and having crystal-clear wireless mic clarity so the instructor can be heard by all. 

Quality fitness sound systems are custom designed to provide balance…the best of both worlds.

3.  Ease Of Use

A fitness instructor is usually much more interested in doing what it is they do best—instructing the fitness class—not running a 96-track sound system capable of running a world-class concert hall. 

Ideal fitness mixers will feature one easy to use master on/off switch, very simple sound adjustments and controls (without hundreds of knobs and sliders that no one understands), and an all around self intuitive method of running the system.  In other words, it should just make sense to the person operating the sound system—no more, no less.

4.  Durability

Home stereo systems and most low-grade PA systems just aren’t up for the challenge that everyday use in a professional fitness environment requires. And of course, a high-performance fitness sound environment also presents its own unique set of challenges—things like extreme sweat and the potential for high impact that wireless microphones and other equipment must be specially designed to handle with ease. 

It’s also important to note that delicate home theater or stereo speakers are very easily damaged when used with wireless microphones that produce unpredictably high volume levels during regular use, especially with accidental feedback. 

Durability is an essential component in a quality fitness sound system.

5.  Support

It’s important to have a sound system that comes with complete technical support and advice, both before and after the purchase.  Because there is more to a pro-grade fitness sound system than using a boom box off the shelf, it’s always important to have someone who you can call and get quick, expert advice from people that actually know and understand your unique circumstances.  This is something only a fitness sound specialist can adequately provide on this level.

So while many fitness centers and exercise instructors begin by using a home stereo system or an ordinary everyday PA system, for most it doesn’t take long  to realize the importance of graduating to a true fitness sound system that’s been professionally designed for the unique circumstances required. 
A genuine fitness sound system really does make all of the difference in the world—why not take your fitness center or exercise class to the next level soon?

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