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How to Set Up A Fitness Class Sound System

how to set up a fitness class sound system

Knowing how to set up a fitness class sound system correctly is crucial if you want your workout classes to be a success.

But if you’ve never done it before, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we’ve compiled the ultimate step-by-step guide to setting up a sound system for a fitness class, covering:

Before we get started, why not take your fitness career to the next level with OriGym’s Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course? Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus to browse our full range of courses. 

5 Tips for Setting up Your Sound System for Gym Classes

Before we jump into the step-by-step guide, here are some tips for you to consider when setting up your gym speaker system: 

Tip #1- Choose Appropriately Sized Speakers for a Gym Class

speakers for a gym

When setting up a sound system for a fitness class, one of the most important things to consider is the size of your speakers.

In general, the bigger the speaker, the louder the sound will be. 

Bigger speakers are therefore appropriate for classes such as Zumba, which are energetic and require students to be pumped and motivated.

These classes therefore need to convey sound with lots of bass and a higher volume.

However, larger speakers are harder to transport, so using multiple smaller speakers may be more appropriate if you’re running mobile yoga classes, for example, or need to move them outside.

Tip #2- Keep the Gym Speaker System at a Safe Distance From Your Clients

speakers for a gym 10

It’s important to ensure that class members can hear your voice and the music as clearly as possible, so that they can experience the benefits of the class fully.

However, you also don’t want the speakers to get in the way and disrupt your class.

So when positioning speakers for a gym, make sure that you keep large speakers away from the area in which clients will be exercising.

Large speakers can pose a health and safety risk, especially during classes which involve circuits, where people will be moving around quickly and suddenly.

If there are wires connected to any part of your sound system, it's also important that these are concealed. 

Not only are they potential trip hazards, but they are also unpleasant to look at!

 

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Tip #3- Ensure That Your Sound System for Gym Classes is Protected 

speakers for a gym 2

Whilst it's an essential and worthwhile investment, purchasing a sound system can be expensive.

You should therefore do everything that you can to keep your system protected, to ensure that it doesn’t become damaged and need replacing quickly.

Firstly, we’d recommend keeping speakers out of direct sunlight. This is because the heat can sometimes cause the speaker to malfunction and overheat, so be sure to keep them in room temperature environments where possible. 

Along with your speakers, you should also purchase a speaker cover. 

This protects the system from dust, water, and general wear and tear, particularly if it’s a portable one that you’re likely to transport around the gym.

Another tip for protecting your gym speaker system is to use a hydrophobic microphone. 

This is especially important if you’re going to be teaching a sweaty class, as you’ll want to protect it from any moisture damage! 

Tip #4- A Sound System for a Fitness Instructor Should be Accessible and Easy to Use

speakers for a gym 3

When instructing a fitness class, you should be able to quickly and easily adjust the volume and change your music during a class.

This is because you don’t want to waste valuable time trying to do this, which can look unprofessional and disrupt the flow of your class. 

With this in mind, when choosing a sound system for a fitness class, ensure that you can access everything you need at the touch of a button.

For example, keep volume controls nearby so that they are accessible whilst you are leading a class. You don’t want to have to leave the room to adjust the volume!

Another thing to consider is that if an internet connection is required to access music or playlists, ensure that it is strong enough across the whole gym facility to avoid buffering!

Tip #5- Test Your Gym Speaker System Before Teaching a Fitness Class

speakers for a gym 4

Once your speakers, microphone, and music are all ready to go, you should leave plenty of time to test them out before the class begins.

You want to avoid having a room full of students ready to start your class, and you find out that your gym speaker system isn't working, or that they’re not the best speakers for the class you are teaching.

If instructors have to waste lots of workout time making changes, the class may run over time or have to be cut short.

This risks looking unprofessional, leaving your members unhappy and less likely to return again to your classes. 

To test your sound system for a fitness class, ask other members of staff to stand in different parts of the room, to ensure that the sound is clear for everyone.

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How to Set Up a Fitness Class Sound System

So, now that we have covered our top tips to ensure that you have the best speakers for a gym class, we’ll now take you through exactly how to set up a fitness class sound system. 

Step 1: Position Your Gym Speaker System in the Correct Place for Your Class Space

speakers for a gym 7

The first thing that you need to do is position your speakers in an appropriate place within your setting.

It’s crucial to ensure that everyone can hear the music and your instructions, so take into account the size of your space when positioning your speakers.

For instance, if you’re working in a large, echoey studio or hall, the sound can easily be absorbed by the walls and floor. 

To ensure an even sound throughout the space, you could therefore place one speaker at the front and one at the back of the class. 

This means that people at the back can hear, without having to turn the volume up so loud that people at the front are overwhelmed.

A great way of saving space in your class area is to mount your gym speaker system on the wall, if you’re working in an indoor studio.

You will need to protect the speakers with something that can withstand objects hitting it whilst also allowing sound to travel through it, such as a wall-mounted cage. This should be high enough so that it doesn’t get in the way, but low enough to access if needed.

Mounting your speakers on the wall also saves time, as you won’t need to bring them into the room, plug them in, and switch them on each time. Simply turn them on using a remote!

Alternatively, you could position them on a speaker stand. This helps to push your speakers up higher, so that they’re well out of the way of your clients and so that the sound reaches everyone in the room. 

As we’ve discussed, if you’re using a portable speaker, make sure that it is out of the way of the main exercise area, to ensure that people don’t trip over.

However, make sure that it isn’t placed too far away, so that your instructions can be heard by every student. 

Step 2: Connect Your Music Source to the Gym Speaker System

speakers for a gym 5

Once your speakers are set up, the next step in how to set up a fitness class sound system is to connect it to your music source. 

By music source, we mean your device such as a phone or laptop that you have your music on.

How exactly you do this will depend on the particular speaker that you have.

If your speakers have Bluetooth capability, then this step is simple. Switch on the Bluetooth connection on your device and speakers, pair the two together, and simply start playing!

Alternatively, if you’d like to use Bluetooth, but your speakers don’t have this capability, then we’d recommend purchasing a Bluetooth receiver to connect to your speaker.

This helps to turn a non-Bluetooth device into one that can receive audio being streamed from a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a phone or tablet.

If you’re using a docking station as your speaker, using a receiver means that you can hold your device in your hand and control it from there! So you won’t need to keep running over to change the track or alter volume!

Your gym speaker system may also have the option to insert an SD card or USB stick.

This is a great alternative to Bluetooth if you’re worried about Wi-Fi connection or notifications on your phone interrupting the class.

Just ensure that you have all of the music that you require loaded onto your card or stick, so that you can connect them and go!

Another option is a standard aux cord setup- just plug your phone directly into the speaker via the aux and play your setlist directly from there. Just be careful not to yank the wire out, or else you’ll severely interrupt the flow of your class! 

Step 3: Make Sure That Your Speakers for a Gym Class are Loud Enough

speakers for a gym 6

There’s nothing worse than starting a class and realising that your music isn’t loud enough, or the sound quality is poor. 

It’s therefore important to ensure that your speaker is set at the optimal volume for your space.

This is one of the most important steps when learning how to set up a fitness class sound system, as bad sound quality will distract your clients and be less likely to motivate them.

To test the volume and sound quality, take your speakers into an empty studio. If they’re not suitable speakers for a gym class, you may need to purchase a speaker that is more suitable for your space.

For example, you could invest in a portable gym speaker.

Portable speakers are one of the best speakers for a gym class, as they are:

  • Small
  • Easy to transport
  • Cost-effective
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use

They’re also the perfect solution for a fitness class, as all of the sound equipment that you need is housed in one box. 

You therefore won’t need any additional cables. Simply plug in and play, and concentrate on teaching your class.

A good portable speaker system should have the following features:

  • A connection point for your music - It should have either Bluetooth capability, SD card or USB ports, or somewhere to plug a Bluetooth receiver into.
  • A wireless remote control - This will allow you to control the music from wherever you are in the room.
  • An internal battery power source - This means that you don’t need to plug into a mains supply, which is good for working outdoors or in an area close to water.
  • A built-in mixer- This balances out bass and treble settings, which is a particularly useful feature for classes requiring prominent bass drum beats for clients to move in time with.
  • Wheels and a trolley handle - This will provide easy transportation.

Step 4: Connect a Wireless Microphone to Your Sound System for Gym Classes

speakers for a gym 9

Wireless microphones are a key component of any sound system for a fitness instructor. This is what ensures that students can hear your instructions whilst you move around the class.

They also help to prevent feedback, which can be annoying and disruptive to the class.

Microphones often come with gym speaker systems, but you may need to purchase one separately, depending on the sound system that you have.

Wireless microphones come in three different forms, which are:

  • Handheld
  • Tie clip
  • Headset

The last two options are the most comfortable and convenient to use when running classes, as they leave your hands free. This is particularly important if you are teaching a dynamic class, such as if you are an exercise to music instructor

To connect a wireless microphone to your sound system, you’ll need to connect to a wireless transmitter, which then connects to your speaker.

 

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This wireless transmitter is called a belt or body pack, which fits around your waist.

To ensure that your belt pack fits comfortably, put it in a specially-designed pouch, which will also protect it from damage.

If you’re wearing a headset, make sure that it fits correctly around your head, as you don’t want it to slip or fall off whilst you’re teaching!

It should also be sweat-resistant, not only for hygiene reasons, but also because the microphone can decline in quality if the moisture gets inside.

When teaching classes outside we’d recommend using a windsock, a piece of foam that covers the microphone to ensure that your voice can be heard over the sound of the wind. 

Step 5: Test the Whole Gym Speaker System to Check That it Works 

speakers for a gym 8

The final step for how to set up a fitness class sound system is to put it to the test!

As we’ve discussed in our tips section, it’s important to make sure that all of the components work together, including the speakers, your microphone, and your class playlist.

To ensure that the system has been tested thoroughly, ask other staff members for their opinions on volume and sound quality. 

You could even do a full rehearsal of your class before teaching clients, which will allow you to practise transitioning between tracks, as well as giving you a chance to make any necessary adjustments.

This means that you’ll know exactly what you’re doing in terms of the technical elements, and so can simply concentrate on giving your all on the day! 

Before You Go!

We hope that this article has provided you with everything you need to know about how to set up a fitness class sound system! 

Feeling inspired? Get started with our Advanced Sports Nutrition Course to take the next step in your fitness career! Enquire today, or browse our full range of courses by downloading our course prospectus here

Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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