Caring For Your Fitness Microphone

Posted by: on Feb 9, 2016 in Articles | No Comments

Your Fitness Microphone is an important and expensive item. It’s the best tool to help you be an effective instructor. To get the most from your microphone please follow these basic guidelines.
Storage: Giving your microphone a rest between classes with a place to dry out is important. Whenever your microphone is not in use, store it in a place that is safe from abuse with plenty of air circulation to dry it. It’s easy if you have a hook near or attached to your sound system rack to hang it.
If you store it at reception or in an office for safekeeping, put an adhesive hook on a wall about 1m above a shelf and hang the mic there to dry, resting the belt-pack on the shelf below.
Keeping the mic connected to the belt-pack as much possible relieves stress on the connectors.
The Mic Capsule: Protect the capsule – the most important part of the microphone is the capsule, because it’s the part you talk into. Any damage to the capsule will affect the sound quality and therefore the usability of the microphone.
Don’t try to clean or wipe the capsule with sanitisers, cleaners, or alcohol wipes: these types of cleaners can dissolve the sweat-proof coating and cause damage.
Avoid flooding the capsule with spit and sweat: this can happen with over-use and inadequate dry time between uses.
Cable: Other brands supply headmics with screened copper cables which can be delicate
and weak. Aeromic, Cyclemic and E•Mic headsets are made with steel core cables, which add strength. This doesn’t mean the cable is unbreakable, it’s just a lot harder to break by accident.
Avoid cutting, scraping or cracking the wires as this can cause damage.
Do not clean with wipes, solvents, or alcohol: this leads to drying out the jacket making it brittle.
Avoid sharp kinks: the individual cables may be strong but they can become damaged if you pinch or kink the wire. A damaged jacket will let your sweat in which could cause a short (loss of sound) or crackle.
Do not wind the cable around the headset or your hand: it will kink the wire and shorten the life of your microphone.
Connector: The connector that plugs into the belt-pack is important and you need to keep it clean. Fortunately for you, you have more sweat protection at the connector with an Aeromic, Cyclemic or E•Mic. We help prevent corrosion by applying a dab of eGloop electrical grease to the Fitness Audio belt-pack connector before shipping. However it may still need occasional maintenance.
If you hear crackling sounds coming from the connector it may need cleaning out with De-Oxit D5 spray cleaner.
Windscreens: The Aeromic and Cyclemic have been specifically designed to work without requiring windscreens. A wet windscreen is like a ‘sweaty sock’ to the Aeromic and Cyclemic and will degrade the microphone sound quality. On the other hand you should always use a windscreen with an E•Mic, unless you are using it in the pool. The windscreen helps E•Mic work better by allowing it to be positioned closer to your mouth to take advantage of the noise cancelling feature of the mic capsule.
Remove the E•Mic windscreen when the microphone is not in use.
Every E•Mic user should have their own windscreen.
Spare E•Mic windscreens are available from

Remember, a little care goes a long way but neglect or abuse could cost you more money!

Aerobic Microphones Australia, South Sydney Ph: +612 8399 1052
Distributors of The Aeromic, The Cyclemic and The E*Mic

Noise Level Controls – a growing market

Posted by: on Dec 9, 2014 in Articles | No Comments

…and Fitness Audio Distributors have solutions!

Complying with OH&S Rules or Noise Pollution Orders issued by local Councils and State Liquor Licensing Boards has become a recurring issue for many entertainment, hotel and fitness club venues. Fitness Audio Distributors offer a selection of products that can inform, measure and log sound levels 24/7.

Starting with The Trigger ($297.00 inc GST) by Fitness Audio, this is a wall mounting device that shows the noise level in the room. It can be pre-set to peak from 79 to 109dB in 3dB steps and is switchable between A & C weighting. Furthermore you can link it with a run of CAT 5 Cable back to Fitness Audio’s SPL Limiter called The Gov^nor ($550.00). One pair supplies power to The Trigger. A second pair delivers a signal for the limiter to cut in if The Trigger’s Sound Level setting is exceeded. This combination gives a good control solution at a low entry cost for many venues. The Trigger & The Gov^nor are Australian designed and manufactured for Fitness Audio in Taiwan.

Or you can replace The Trigger with the Danish SoundEar II ($1100.00inc GST) or the SoundLog II U Monitors. These are wall mounting noise level monitors that measure across a greater decibel range but also connect to The Gov^nor in the same way. Besides that the SoundLog II U ($1749.00 inc GST) will also record the noise level every 2 minutes for 30 days. It uses a USB plug-in device that will record downloadable data to produce graphs or charts that show how loud it was on a particular date and time.

The SoundEar Pro System (from $2695.00 inc GST) can do the same thing but from up to 10 positions in an area. A technician can track the levels in real time using a 2.4GHz wireless connection to a laptop PC. Three leading Australian Orchestras have purchased SoundEar Pro systems to provide noise dosage data to their musicians after each performance in Opera Theatres.

Finally, Fitness Audio can also supply a Lime NLX Noise Limiter ($1290.00 inc GST). Made in the UK, this has a power cut-out solution and will interrupt the power supply to the sound system for 10 seconds if it gets too loud. Brutal – but sometimes it’s the only way!

April 2014 – Aeromic life expectancy increased with the Carbon Collar

Posted by: on Jul 29, 2014 in Articles | No Comments
April 2014 – Aeromic life expectancy increased with the Carbon Collar

AMCM CapCollar

Aerobic Microphones Australia (AMA) introduced a further refinement of the current Aeromic and Cyclemic headworn microphones for Fitness Instructors earlier this year. They now come with a carbon protector encasing the capsule. It is acoustically transparent and protects the mesh in front of the capsule from getting clogged or wet from sweat or spit.

Peter Paisley, the Aeromic’s designer and manufacturer, said “This development will overcome issues of having to re-mesh mics at the customers expense during the 2 Year Warranty period as “fair wear and tear” cost because now the mesh does not come into contact with the user’s face so we are confident it will now last longer in the field when used within our guidelines of 7 classes a day 7 days a week”.

John Penhallow, CEO of AMA added “After extensive testing in heavy use facilities, we are happy that Peter’s latest development provides exceptional capsule protection while preserving the Aeromic’s crystal clear sound. However, we won’t be removing the famous “Do Not Bend” advice from the yellow boom-arm. If Instructors do insist on bending it inwards then the capsule will be at a reduced risk of failure because of the Carbon Collar protecting it”.

Aerobic Microphones makes the Aeromic and Cyclemic in Sydney and they sell for around $495.00 in Australia. You can order them with connectors for many different brands of wireless transmitters. This includes the Fitness Audio brand which AMA says best suits fitness industry conditions. Call the AMA Office: 02 8399 1052 for more info or

Be Prepared for the Wireless Mics Changeover

Posted by: on Jul 29, 2014 in Articles | No Comments
Be Prepared for the Wireless Mics Changeover

FA Beltpack Package  Lets take a quick look into the near future – it’s Jan 2, 2015,  you’ve just come back to the club to present your first class for the New Year, your regulars are all there, everything’s the same as it was back in 2014 – then you turn on the sound system and the beltpack for the Aeromic and what comes out of the speakers is this strange whooshing sound of digital noise pulsing like you are tuning in to deep space! Why is this so?

Since 2000 and the start of digital radio testing in Sydney and Melbourne and the subsequent move to the UHF band, your wireless mic suppliers have been providing all the Health Clubs around Australia with UHF systems in the 695 to 820MHz band. Our brand, Fitness Audio, supplied systems in the 800-820MHz group for the 10 years up to the end of 2010. We have many customers with these 800 group systems that are still working well as you read this in 2014. However, the Government auctioned off this lump of spectrum, called the 700 Band, to the highest bidders between the 3 major Telcos in Australia in April 2013. The growth of Tablets, Smart Phones, Cloud Computing, Credit Card and EFTPOS Terminals means they are all using wire-less ways to connect. The predicted growth for all these devices is a compounding 75% a year! So the Government has to sell off the spectrum, not only to raise money but also to allow the mobile networks of data processing to grow and communicate at reasonable upload and download speeds.

The Government has told the Telcos that the 700 band will be free of all users by the 31st of December 2014. The successful bidder will spend 2014 building their systems and will commence using them from Jan 1, 2015. So in the plainest of language – IT WILL BE ILLEGAL to continue to use your 700 or 800 group wireless systems from Jan 1, 2015. In fact, Optus recently announced they were testing in Darwin and Perth their new 4G system in the 700MHz spectrum that they purchased last year. However, there won’t be any vans going around your neighborhood with listening devices on board looking for “rogue” users. The Telcos have paid a load of money for the right to use this spectrum so if they do receive any complaints of interference from your mic systems, then you can bet you will get a visit from a technical representative and one warning to stop transmitting immediately – there won’t be any second chances – they’ll just sue the club!

At the end of 2013 all analog TV broadcasting ceased and now our TVs only receive FTA programs by digital transmission. Earlier in 2014, the Digital TV stations broadcasting in the 700 band moved down to the 600 band in an exercise called DTV restacking. All wireless microphone users will have to share the same space, however, you can only use frequencies indoors where TV is not in conflict, otherwise you will receive lots of digital noise through the sound system and may cause interference to TVs tuned into the same channel as your mic system uses.

So who is paying for the changeover?

Well, in a nutshell, the wireless mic users are. All users are expected to change their systems over as a result of these changes in the law. Aerobic Microphones are offering a $50.00 +$15.00 freight allowance trade-in rebate for any club switching their 800MHz systems over to our new Fitness Audio U-630 Series products. This is in addition to the price negotiated for replacement systems and extra transmitters from any of our dealers.

Life wasn’t meant to be easy but at Aerobic Microphones we are managing the changeover as accurately as we can for our dealers and end user customers now that we know what’s happening. When I look at the major TV areas around the country I can see some trouble spots that will mean we will have to take on extra stock on additional frequencies, including a return to VHF for some areas. Take the Gold Coast for example, it has 4 TV areas serving it; Gold Coast with 9 stations transmitting, Canungra with 6 relay stations, Brisbane South East with 6 relay stations and the Gold Cast Southern Hinterland with a relay of 9 stations again. What all this means is that, unless you are geographically very lucky, there is not any free white space to operate any UHF Wireless Mic Systems. It’s a similar story in the Sunshine Coast TV region. If this turns out to be the case, then we may well return to stocking our VHF single channel systems that worked so well for us back in the 90’s and are still the mainstay of our wireless mic business in the USA and the UK.

The point of all this is to let you know that you have to get familiar with what you are using in wireless mic frequencies, and if it is an 800 system then plan to change it in this financial year’s capital expenditure budget. We will be guiding all of our customers to the right solutions for their TV region as we understand it and we will stock systems in two of the frequency groups that have white space available in 2014. There may be other options coming along after the changeover but we won’t know if they are viable until it all happens in 2015 and they test OK. I’ll keep you updated through this blog and email newsletters but please make the change over sooner rather than at the last minute. Until then – just don’t bend the yellow bit!


John Penhallow

Aerobic Microphones Australia

Don’t Send Yourself Deaf Teaching Fitness!

Posted by: on Mar 30, 2013 in Articles | No Comments
Don’t Send Yourself Deaf Teaching Fitness!

That’s not such a silly statement when you think about it – let’s look into it a bit deeper. Noise in the Workplace is not just about factory machinery humming and whirring at high levels or tradesmen wielding Angle Grinders or drilling holes in concrete floors – the National Acoustics Lab Information Sheet on Noise Exposure says this:

“The ear cannot distinguish between noise produced by work activities, even though leisure noise may bring a lot of pleasure. Currently there are no specific regulations that control the amount of noise to which patrons are exposed at any entertainment, dance or music venue (which would include Aerobics and Cycling Studios – jp). Indirectly there may be some control through Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation. In general it is up to the patrons to avoid hazardous noise areas (no matter how good the music may be!!)”

What I take this to mean is that the official noise level guidelines cover all members attending a class as well as club employees of any kind, even if they only work in this environment for just than one hour a day leading a group fitness session. The Instructor also has a responsibility to others in their ”workplace”, they need to be correctly advised by management on how loud they can push each sound system they might use. If the Instructor is setting the volume at too loud a level and a member complains about “ringing in the ears” afterwards then they have the legal responsibility for this, along with the club.

So how loud is too loud in the OH&S world we live in? Well, each State & Territory of Australia has its own laws, but the national standard is set by Worksafe Australia and the standard is currently 85dB(A) for an eight hour exposure of continuous noise (which could mean background music plus treadmills, bikes whirring etc) and for each one hour fitness class, run by a different instructor with different participants in a dedicated studio, the sound level should average no more than 94dB(A). Let me explain a little more, when we say average that does not account for the shouts of “4 more”, the occasional sound peak like a holler or a whistle that goes over the 94dB level – we are talking about constant level noise exposure that we call an average noise dosage. You can see high average levels of music on many fitness cds if you were able to meter them – they hit the red line from the opening riff and stay there –  all musical energy, pounding bass, plenty of percussion filling every available air space and no relief in sight until the cool down song at the CD’s end. I’m sure you know what I mean – well that music is made to be loud but it’s dynamically lacking because it’s all just loudness for 50 minutes, there’s no light and shade to give your ears a rest as you work those bodies and to lower that average dosage.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Australian Hearing found out of 300 older Australians with hearing loss, 80% per cent of men considered workplace noise as a major factor. “Once your hearing has been damaged it cannot be restored” says NAL’s Research Director, Harvey Dillon, “too much noise for too long – whether it’s just noise or whether it’s sound you want to listen to like music – too much for too long and you’ll get a hearing loss that’s irreversible!” He also added that listening to an MP3 Player at full volume through earbuds or headphones can be like having a chainsaw working next to you and is concerned that today’s Gen Y-ers will be deaf before retirement age because of this leisure noise exposure.

So what can be done about it in a simple, practical sense? Well knowledge is power and every club should own a reasonably accurate decibel meter and know what the typical SPL levels are in all areas of their club. Take and record regular measurements (a quarterly audio audit if you like) of the sound levels that each instructor teaches at and give them feedback if they’re too loud for their own good. Just measuring about 1m off of a side wall between speakers at head height so you’re not measuring direct sound will be a good start. If it’s consistently too high then maybe an investment in the SoundEar SPL Monitoring Panel linked to a Fitness Audio Aeromix 2+2DC mixer can hand control of the audio output to the SoundEar Panel. Set the SoundEar at 100dB and hang it on a side wall to measure reflected sound and if it hits the 100dB RED WARNING Light for 5 seconds it’ll tell the Aeromix to shut the sound down for an adjustable 6 to 60 seconds recovery time and the music volume will have to be turned down to avoid a repeat cut out. Hard but fair – learn to mix to the amber light is our advice with this product combination.

Aerobic Microphones Australia can supply the permanently installed SoundEar Range of SPL Monitoring Systems from $990.00 and a Handheld Digital SPL Meter for $149.00 by mail order direct to clubs or to their usual audio dealer for installing. (NB. Australian Hearing and the National Acoustics Lab do not endorse any of these solutions suggested here)

However, the main point I want to make is to encourage instructors to learn how to turn up the intensity of their classes without turning up the volume so high it hurts their ears. Instructors are in the front line for prospective hearing damage and they control the noise environment they work in so they can do something about it – just turn it down a touch!


John Penhallow

with thanks to NAL and Australian Hearing for their information.

See to find out more.

Postscript 9 April 2013, this article just appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald essentially saying the same things and supporting this post – read it too:

SMH Article published April 5, 2013





2013 – A new era for Aeromic begins…

Posted by: on Jan 14, 2013 in Articles | No Comments
2013 – A new era for Aeromic begins…

I am delighted to report after some 6 months of research and testing we are now shipping the Lo Sensitivity version of the Aeromic and Cyclemic to all our customers as standard. Here’s some background info as to the reasons for the change.

Since 1990 we have been using a high output AM10 capsule on our mics. It has a very light membrane which quickly responds to any sound it “hears” and delivers a signal that is very high in output level that it can drive a Line Input – not bad for a headworn mic! All brands of wireless transmitters have a sensitivity control to better match the mic to the transmitter. There is no right or wrong here, no “better if it’s louder”. Each mic generates it’s natural output level according to the design and most transmitters are built so that they can deal with a range of levels from different mics from high to low output mics – certainly our Fitness Audio Transmitters do. However, Shure, one of the bigger brand names in wireless, sells the entry level priced PG and PGX bodypack transmitters and have limited the ability to match the output of the Hi Sensitivity Aeromic or Cyclemic compared to their previous designs. As this brand is popular with a major fitness club chain customer here in Australia and is also used by many European, US and African clubs, we felt we had better do something to improve the compatibility of our mics since they’ve reduced their ability to match up with us. We also received comments from our trade customers that their installers were having a hard time programming EQ, Limiting and Feedback Suppression for the Aeromic with expensive digital mixer and sound processors like the range of DBX Zone Controllers because there was too much gain or output coming from the mic system. So this was the scenario back in May last year and we had to fix it by re-freshing the mics and make them more compatible to both ends of the market – cheaper transmitters and expensive digital processors.

Introducing the Aeromic AM11LS and Cyclemic CM11LS! From January 2013 all of our mics have a 3xxxx serial number and will have the new AM11LS Lo Sensitivity Capsule fitted as standard. This new capsule features a stiffer membrane that reacts more slowly to sound vibrations, which results in a lower output level but a higher SPL rating. It has the same sweat protection as before but it’s improved too by the use of a fine mesh grill that won’t allow sweat and spit to pass through – moisture droplets bead and eventually will fall off the surface with movement or a tap on the boom arm – but still a good reason not to blow directly into the mic capsule! It’s still an omni-directional capsule with a big sweet spot but we’ve effectively reduced the bigness of the ambient noise pick up area so there’s now more gain before feedback.

The end result is that we think the LS versions sound even more natural and dynamic than before so full marks to Peter Paisley back in the Aeromic Australia lab for this year’s new and improved Aeromic and Cyclemic. Certainly the comments coming back from our hard core of dealers and installers have been very favourable – the Lo Sensitivity Aeromics are now more compatible than ever before with every type of wireless mic transmitter and digital processor and everyone’s a winner!

John Penhallow


Buying a mic system? Call before you buy!

Posted by: on Nov 12, 2011 in Articles | No Comments
Buying a mic system? Call before you buy!

I received a phone call this week from a lady who was helping her daughter launch a new club where she teaches Pilates style of classes. Her daughter told her to get on the web and search for Aerobic Microphones – something like that. She found us and did the right thing – she called in (02 8399 1052) to speak with me about it. Buying a microphone system is not something she’s ever done before, like a lot of our end user customers, so I asked her a few questions “Did she have a sound system installed already?” – she did, “Did it have a separate amplifier with a Microphone Input and a Mic Volume Control” – she wasn’t sure. She asked me “Does the price include you coming down here and hooking it up?” “Sorry but a mail order business is just that” I replied, “However, would you like someone to visit you and check out the room and system and advise on what you will need to make everything work the way you want it to?” ” Yes please” she said, so I asked for her contact details and recommended she phone one of our installing dealers and ended the conversation.

My dealer subsequently visited the club, confirmed my recommendation of an E*Mic/MTU-8 Mini Tx Frame mounted version for them, but surprise, surprise, there was no mic input on the HiFi amp they had there. So, if she had bought it straight from our webshop without any interaction with me then no doubt she would have been upset if they couldn’t connect it to their amplifier out of the box and  would then be on the phone to tell us about it! Fortunately, she was agreeable to paying a bit more for the service of an expert who also advised her that she needed a Fitness Audio 2+2 Mixer added to the system so that voice and music could be blended together in perfect harmony, so, by the end of the week that’s what happened and the club is up and running now.

The moral of the story then is, if you don’t feel confident you can buy a mic system that’s suited to your type of fitness classes and sound system, then please call us first. Tell us what you want, what you have and if you’d like professional help to confirm and install it for you. Better to pay a bit more and have it done properly the first time. Fortunately we have a network of “soundguys” – installing dealers in all the State Capitals around Australia and in most of the major cities who we can recommend to you.


Making Your iPod® Work Harder in Class

Posted by: on Sep 24, 2011 in Articles | No Comments
Making Your iPod® Work Harder in Class

This article is for all instructors and group fitness managers who use their iPod as the principal music source for teaching aerobics, cycling, aquarobics and gentle exercise classes. This is now the norm at clubs all over the world, so it’s worth reviewing how to get the most out of the MP3 music files in iTunes® and on your iPod.

Let’s start at the beginning. The music you will use has either come into your possession as a fitness music CD or as a download from a music web site. The first thing to understand about MP3 compressed music files is the bit rate, the kbps (kilobytes per second) of the digital music data stream. iTunes Store downloads start at 128kbps, which is adequate for listening to music on the bus or while jogging, for example, but there are compromises involved in compressing the music to downloadable size.

Rule 1: Always import your class music into iTunes @ 256kbps or better.

While still not quite CD-quality, 256kbps MP3 tracks retain much more information than 128kbps tracks and are nearly impossible to distinguish from CD. So, what did you lose with the halved bit rate in your 128kbps download? Clean bass notes and bass drum beats for a start – their loud peaks sound like rounded, ill-defined blurs – and when amplified to a typical class volume can sometimes come out with what can only be described as a ‘farting’, distorted bass sound. In more gentle music, such as that used in the various styles of stretch classes, the breathy detail of a solo flute or the decay of a single piano note is shortened. Put simply, there are losses of detail at both ends of the ‘loudness’ spectrum.

Importing at 256kpbs will create bigger files that take up more storage space on your computer and your iPod, but the results you hear at the club will be closer to CD quality and not back to the bad old days of sounding like you’re using cassettes for your class music. In iTunes 8 the import settings can be found by going to iTunes->Preferences- >General->Import Settings and selecting ‘Custom’ from the drop-down menu. If using other software, search the program’s help file for ‘bit rate’ or ‘import settings’.

Rule 2: Use a volume equaliser program when assembling your own playlist.

If you are using a fitness music CD transferred to your iPod via iTunes then you shouldn’t have to worry about the volume jumping up and down between tracks as this will have already been adjusted in the Mastering process. However, if you teach a cycling class and you want to assemble your own 60-minute soundtrack, the volume of each track has to be treated and individually adjusted to the same average setting. iTunes has a ‘Soundcheck’ feature, for more consistent results you may want to purchase volume-specific software, such as iVolume, which is quick, easy and does a good job. There are other programs available on the market, so search around for one that suits you.

Once you have your class music playlist transferred to your iPod, you’re ready to head to the club to teach. The sound system at your club will have one of two options to allow you to use your player. The simplest is a ‘floating’ cable connected to the mixer with the mini plug hanging there on top of the rack, or as with the Aeromix mixer, there’s a socket on the front with a white cable provided – so you plug this into the headphone socket and press play – is that right? NO! First you must check the player’s settings to make sure you’ll get a good result – so press the ‘Menu’ button on your iPod until you can see and select ‘Settings’.

Rule 3: Check the following settings on your player before you leave home!

  1. Shuffle should be OFF – you don’t want a random order of music tracks coming out
  2. Repeat should be OFF as well – you don’t want the playlist starting again as soon as you’ve finished
  3. Volume limit should be set to MAXimum – you turn it down to protect your hearing, but with a sound system you have to turn it up to the max to generate the volume needed by the system and to get closer to the CD player’s loudness.
  4. EQ reset to OFF or FLAT – all those different EQ settings are designed to make your music sound good when you are using the earphones supplied, but through a sound system amplified to 95dBA or more and when combined with the bass and treble settings of the mixer they can make the music sound ‘mushy’. It’s best to leave the system sound to the mixer, not the player!
  5. Soundcheck should be ON – this is important as it works with the volume levelling software to maintain a more even volume between tracks.

It’s the same procedure if you have a docking device or a player like a Numark® iDec or Tascam iPod Players. The benefit of having one of these players in the rack is that the output level is stronger with less distortion, and the player’s battery won’t give out on you if you forgot to charge it up the previous night.

There’s a lot more to making the most of your iPod in group exercise classes than simply plugging it in and pressing play – as with so many things, preparation is everything!

One last thing; there’s a move towards digital media players that just have a USB socket for your music files – it’s starting with portable PA systems that get used in aqua classes. Generally speaking, these players have a numeric/alpha track reading priority system. This means you must insert the track order number into the title of the song in your iTunes Playlist, i.e. 001_Warm up song number 1, 002_Warm up song number 2 and so on, so the system will read the numbers first and ignore the first letter of your song titles. This can be a good alternative to using your MP3 player, as USB keys are very cheap these days – with 1GB available for about $10 and able to hold up to 200 song files, they are so cheap you could afford to carry a backup around with you – now wouldn’t that be something?

John Penhallow

(iPod® and iTunes® are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. in the USA and other countries)

Is your Sound System Working OK? Here’s Our Checklist

Posted by: on Sep 5, 2011 in Articles | No Comments
Is your Sound System Working OK? Here’s Our Checklist

We’re helping to keep your maintenance costs down with this step by step guide for all fitness studio sound systems that use our microphones.

Read More

Your Headmic is a Tool of Trade so look after it!

Posted by: on Aug 13, 2011 in Articles | No Comments
Your Headmic is a Tool of Trade so look after it!

Carpenters treasure their saws and chisels, plumbers look after their wrenches, fitness instructors know how to use and look after the microphones they teach with – isn’t that just as true? Well I wish it was and so do many club owners around the country I suspect. A fitness instructor needs to teach with a mic for two key reasons – firstly to communicate effectively with 20 to 80+ group exercise participants with and without music, and secondly to protect their own vocal chords so that they can have a longer career in fitness without vocal damage. So a “made for fitness users” mic system is their tool of trade and a must for every studio.

What makes for a good fitness microphone? Well it has to handle sweat well. Sweat is just not water – it is water coming through the pores of your skin carrying elements of your medications including vitamins, diet and last night’s alcohol out with it all of which which can corrode metals – lick your sweaty arm sometime – it tastes salty – salt water and salt air corrode as anyone who lives on the coast will tell you. The key points of a sweat resistant headmic are that it is sealed up wherever possible against sweat ingress and it uses a sweat resistant and protected mic capsule.

In an ideal fitness club world there will always be a second mic and transmitter set for each fitness studio so that mics get time to dry out between classes. And, when running consecutive classes, the next instructor always arrives at least 5 minutes early with a fresh mic on their head ready to start the next class as the last instructor turns off and hangs up their wet one to dry. Ok – so tell me I’m dreaming – but many clubs do have this 2 mics arrangement now and it’s a good one.

Vocal warm ups – do you prepare your voice for the work it has to do? In the privacy of your car driving to the club go through some of these exercises as used by choirs all over the world – it’s the same deal for fitness Instructors:

* stretch and yawn; hold the ending “ah” sound; relax your throat and jaws

* shake out your face and lips, high and low

* feel different parts of mouth and nasal passages vibrate with these different sounds:




Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum

* open your mouth , eyes, and face as wide as you can on the last syllable of:

Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula

Normally it’s club management that chooses and purchases the mic systems, and they can be influenced by their key instructors whose opinions are respected. However, whatever the mic system supplied, it’s the instructors responsibility to be aware of how to correctly adjust, wear and use the headmic, to read through the manual or training manual and understand the manufacturer’s recommendations. Then all they have to do is to turn up with their own pouchbelt and deliver the best group fitness class experience they can and afterwards, hang up the mic to dry, remove the battery and maybe put it on charge. Sounds pretty straight forward to me and they don’t have to buy their own tools of trade!


John Penhallow

John is the managing director of Aerobic Microphones Australia and has been a supplier to, and active supporter of, the fitness industry for 20 years. For more information e-mail or visit