3 Best Wireless Headset Microphones For Fitness Instructors

zumba instructor with wireless headset mic

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Music production, live sound, speeches, recording.

Microphones play so many roles, and there are literally thousands on the market. Each and every one was designed with a different purpose in mind. If you are a fitness instructor, aiming to teach a class such as pilates, spin, yoga, barre, dance… you might find your head spinning after starting to research wireless headset microphones and sound systems.

After all, you just want to teach your class and not become a certified audio engineer!

On top of that, as a fitness instructor, you actually have a unique set of microphone needs, which can make things feel more complicated. When you consider that most microphones are designed with musicians in mind you can see the problem. Many are very high-fidelity but delicate, and not meant for live use in a fitness setting.

But I’m here to try and simplify all this.

I’ll explain what fitness instructors need to look for in their wireless mics, the pitfalls to avoid, and my general recommendations. But if you want to just skip ahead and get straight to the point, you can see our 3 favorite options here:

Best Overall
AKG WMS45 Pro Sports Headset
9.9
  • The perfect balance of quality and price for most live fitness instructors
  • Offers a "Sport" version that's specifically made for sweaty and active settings
  • Could be more than you need if you're just recording a video but it's ideal for live settings
Best On A Budget
FIFINE Headset and Lapel Microphone System
9.7
  • Very easy on the budget but still includes both a lapel mic and wireless headset microphone
  • Set up is very easy and it's simple to integrate into most PA systems
  • You're not going to get the premium comfort and durability that you'd expect in a premium mic
Premium Pick
Sennheiser XSW 1-ME3-A
9.8
  • Lightweight and low-profile microphone design is ideal for fitness pros
  • A high-quality microphone does a great job canceling out background noise
  • Premium quality comes with premium pricing

Wireless vs Wired Microphones For Fitness Instruction

You might realize that a wireless mic is best for you. But even then, listings for wireless headset mic systems will be full of references to churches, weddings, karaoke…

What is a fitness instructor to do?

First of all, don’t let the references to karaoke and preachers through you off- you definitely want a wireless system. Mic cables are bulky and definitely limit your mobility.

Yes, wired mics are still standard in most situations, because the overall sound fidelity and reliability are slightly higher. Even though technology has continued to rapidly progress, you can still tell a difference between a wired and wireless setup.

But for live speaking, announcements, and instruction-type situations, wireless is the standard. And even though the hardcore audiophiles will be able to tell the difference, your spin class students definitely won’t. You also can’t beat the freedom to move around even if you’re usually stationed in the front of a class, you still want the option to move around and provide deeper instruction when you need to.

Even if you’re providing online fitness instruction, you’ll still want to go wireless in most cases.

Wireless Microphone Basics For Fitness Professionals

Remember, the goal is that you get what you need without having to get too technical. And we’re going to stick with that.

In fact, all of the recommended microphones, besides the Shure, come with everything you need except a speaker. They each come with their own transmitters and receivers, and since they are bundled, they should be fairly easy to set up.

But you might be wondering…what the heck is a transmitter? Or a receiver? It’s important to know what you’re looking at when you start shopping so let’s cover the basics.

Transmitters

Every wireless microphone consists of two core components: a transmitter and a receiver. Wireless headset microphones usually include one additional component and that’s the actual microphone.

The transmitter is either within the microphone (as in the case of handheld microphones) or it’s separate in the form of a body pack that fits around the waist. You’ve probably seen these before either from other fitness instructors or during many kinds of television productions (they’re usually easy to notice on reality TV shows).

Old school transmitters can be heavy but the modern transmitter is usually very lightweight and easy to position in a way that it doesn’t interfere with any fitness instruction.

Receivers

Next, are receivers and these are what receive the signal from the transmitter. These are usually shaped like a small rectangular box and connect directly to the speakers.

While you might think that Bluetooth would be easier, I honestly can’t recommend Bluetooth for something like this. Despite a history that goes all the way back to 1998, I still wouldn’t count on Bluetooth when the pressure is on. It’s just too darn finicky and there’s no fitness class that will be happy watching you try to pair your microphone to the speakers. You may also end up with a dropped signal in the middle of your class which is just as bad.

Instead, the combination of a dedicated receiver and transmitter is typically going to be much more reliable.

Microphones

With a wireless headset design, the microphone is typically separate. There’s a lot of variation between individual microphones but considering these mics will be placed close to your mouth there’s usually not a need to get into the nitty-gritty of how microphones work and the different types that are out there.

However, you do want to consider the weight and water resistance. There are many wireless microphones that are oriented toward sport or fitness and these usually include a fair amount of moisture resistance. We’ll be focusing on those types of mics but this is still something you want to keep in mind.

Sound System and Speakers

Your instruction space may already have a PA or loudspeaker system. If you’re teaching fitness classes online, then you don’t even need to worry about this option.

If you don’t have a PA speaker or a portable speaker you can pick one up pretty easily. There are dozens of options and almost any mid or large-size speaker should fulfill your needs. A larger speaker will make your voice sound more powerful but will obviously be heavier.

You may have to buy a ¼” or XLR cable separately, to connect the mic receiver to the speaker. The XLR cable is also known as a mic cable, and is easily identifiable by its 3-pin plug design. The ¼” cable is also called an instrument or guitar cable, and looks like an oversized headphone plug.

Putting It All Together

The last thing you need to think about is how these components work together. This video does an amazing job showing you how to set up a wireless microphone and also highlights all the components we just covered:

There Is An Outlawed Frequency Range That You Want To Avoid

Hopefully, no one has to learn this the hard way but if you’re trying to go the used route it’s worth mentioning that FCC has banned wireless microphones from using the 600 MHz frequency range, specifically the 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz frequencies. Some manufacturers are continuing to try to sell mic systems that use those frequencies and sometimes used systems come up very cheap because they use those.

Others may be selling used microphones in this range that were once (but are no longer) compliant.

Anyone selling that is a borderline scam artist, so just make sure to check if you aren’t sure! Any reputable large brand selling new gear is trustworthy though.

Best Wireless Headset Mics for Fitness Instructors

Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s get into our favorite options for fitness instructors starting with the best overall.

Best Overall: AKG WMS45 Pro Sports Headset

Best Overall
AKG WMS45 Pro Sports Headset
  • The perfect balance of quality and price for most live fitness instructors
  • Offers a "Sport" version that's specifically made for sweaty and active settings
  • Could be more than you need if you're just recording a video but it's ideal for live settings

For most fitness instructors, whether that’s hot yoga or pilates, the AKG WMS45 Pro Sports Headset takes care of everything you need. I know, it isn’t exactly the catchiest name but it does get the job done and does it at a very reasonable price point.

You’ll get all three core components we just covered: transmitter, receiver, and microphone. The transmitter is small enough that you can comfortably clip it just about anywhere but you depending on how you wear it you may need to pick up something extra to hold it in place. It doesn’t have to be fancy and even a running belt can usually do the trick.

The transmitter uses AA batteries (which are included) and you can expect those to last around 5 or 6 hours. That’s on the lower side compared to truly premium setups but that should be more than enough for most fitness classes. It’s also easy enough to change them out in a pinch.

The AKG system has the added advantage of being designed with sports and fitness instructors in mind. The C544 L mic comes with extra moisture shielding, to withstand your sweatiest moments. The microphone is what’s called a cardioid dynamic mic which is an audio geek’s way of saying that the mic picks up sound in the direction it’s being pointed (your mouth) and cancels out sounds coming from other parts of the room (the class). That’s all you really need when it comes to live fitness instruction.

It also helps that AKG is also a well-respected and established brand in the professional music world. They’ve been producing microphones since 1947 so this definitely isn’t their first rodeo- or spin class.

Just keep in mind that you may need to pick up a separate XLR cable to connect the receiver to your mixer but that’s going to vary between setups.

Overall, the AKG is tough to beat and strikes an ideal balance between budget and quality. It’s above the entry-level but not so premium that it’s price prohibitive. You can take a closer look at the microphone design, read more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Best On A Budget: FIFINE Headset and Lapel Microphone System

Best On A Budget
FIFINE Headset and Lapel Microphone System
  • Very easy on the budget but still includes both a lapel mic and wireless headset microphone
  • Set up is very easy and it's simple to integrate into most PA systems
  • You're not going to get the premium comfort and durability that you'd expect in a premium mic

If you’re looking for a budget option, it’s going to be very hard to beat the FIFINE wireless headset system. And while I can’t recommend this wireless microphone for the long haul, if you’re just starting your fitness career and want to dip your toe in live instruction it makes sense to start with a budget option.

Besides the affordable price, this system also comes with both a lapel mic and a headset microphone. That also means beginners can try out which one they prefer and while I feel pretty strongly about the headset options for fitness instructors, there are definitely some niche cases where the lapel can work. Either way, this system lets you try both.

The microphone uses a unidirectional polar pattern for the microphone which simply means that it needs to point directly at the audio source- in this case, that’s going to be your mouth. However, it’s not uncommon for budget unidirectional mics to be very sensitive when it comes to placement and you can expect the same here. That doesn’t mean it won’t work, but you should expect some adjusting.

You can actually see this in action in the video below. It’s particularly noticeable with the lapel mic and when he moves his head the sound changes. But the wireless headset does an awesome job at maintaining sound quality:

Honestly, I think that demonstration says it all and while the microphone is far from bad, it’s clear that it’s not a truly premium product. Still, for many fitness instructors, it’s going to get the job done and it’s a hard-to-beat entry option.

You take a closer look at the headset design, read more reviews, and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Premium Pick: Sennheiser XSW 1-ME3-A

Premium Pick
Sennheiser XSW 1-ME3-A
  • Lightweight and low-profile microphone design is ideal for fitness pros
  • A high-quality microphone does a great job canceling out background noise
  • Premium quality comes with premium pricing

Honestly, a top-tier setup like this one is going to be overkill for most fitness instructors. After all, you usually aren’t dealing with a lot of background noise, and you just need to project your voice without too much concern over fidelity.

But if you do want to take things to the next level, it’s worth taking a look at this system from Sennheiser. Even though the video is focused on musical performances, you can get a good feel for the quality of this microphone in the video below:

The big downside is that this microphone isn’t specifically designed for sports or fitness settings you’re going to be missing out on some of the extra moisture resistance. But if you’ve ever seen a live performer really throw down, you know that musicians sweat too so this mic isn’t going to fall apart at the first drop of sweat or anything.

For most fitness pros, the AKG (our best overall) will be more than enough. But if you need a higher quality microphone, are incorporating music into your fitness instruction, or just want to take things up a level it could be worth checking out. You can take a closer look at the microphone design, read more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Best Headset Mic Only: Shure SM31 Fitness Headset

Best Headset Mic Only
Shure SM31 Fitness Headset
  • This is only the microphone and isn't a full system but if you already have a transmitter and receiver this microphone could be a great update
  • Durable and moisture-resistant design made specifically for fitness instructors
  • More than 300+ five-star reviews on Amazon

It’s worth emphasizing that this is only the headset microphone and doesn’t include the transmitter or receiver. And according to Shure, you will need to pick out a matching transmitter and receiver- in other words, you can’t mix and match with other brands.

That means that you’ll need to do a little math to figure out what the final cost will be and that will be unless if you already have Shure gear.

But what do you get for that extra work?

You get a very high-quality microphone that’s specifically designed for fitness instructors. That means a sleek design that looks like it actually belongs in a gym or studio, durable construction that won’t fall off during your downward dog, and a few moisture resistance extras mixed into the mic.

So why isn’t this microphone featured more prominently on the list?

Unfortunately, Shure doesn’t make it very easy to track down everything you need, and while transmitters are readily available finding the right receiver can be a little harder. If you already have Shure gear at your fitness studio and just need to bring your own mic, then this is a great choice. But many instructors will need the full system in which case something like the AKG is usually a better option.

Still, if this sounds like a good fit, you can take a closer look at the color options, read more reviews and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.

Types of Wireless Mics For Fitness Instructors

Even though I think wireless is (by far) the best option, it’s not the only option so let’s look at some of the other microphones you could consider if you didn’t like anything from the above list.

You’ll need to choose between handheld mics, headsets, and lavalier microphones. Each of these has its own set of advantages and disadvantages for different types of fitness classes but the majority of instructions will want to skip the handheld and go for either a headset or in some cases a lavalier microphone.

But let’s quickly break these down as they related to fitness instruction so you know what you’re looking for when you’re shopping.

Handheld Wireless Mics

A handheld mic looks just like a typical singing or karaoke mic, but is usually a bit bulkier because it also contains an antenna to transmit.

As a fitness instructor, you’ll only consider this microphone if you aren’t doing the workout with your students. In other words, if you’re a yoga instructor that’s demonstrating poses then a handheld mic is obviously not going to work for you.

However, handheld mics do have some benefits that can be easily overlooked and if you’re purely instructing students these can still work. To start with, they’re the most durable microphone type which can be a big benefit in an active fitness class setting.

The handheld is also, by far, the easiest to pass off to another person on the fly. If you’re doing an online fitness class, this isn’t going to do much for you. But many larger classes may have multiple instructors that rotate between one-on-one attention and leading the class.

Overall, the handheld microphone can be great but only in very niche scenarios so it’s not a good fit for most instructors. You also have to be conscientious when using them, to keep them pretty close to your mouth at all times. Otherwise, your voice will get strangely louder and quieter from the class’s point of view.

Wireless Headset Mics

A headset clips to your head, as made (in)famous by Britney Spears circa 1999- even though it might be exactly the way you remember.

Headset mics are probably your most versatile (and best) option as a fitness instructor. The only serious disadvantage of these is that they are less durable than handheld mics, but they should still hold up just fine under normal use- even during a fitness class.

Some people also see their “look” as a disadvantage while others will actually see it as a positive. See previous Britney Spears comment- people literally avoided them for years purely because of this. However, manufacturers are aware of this concern, so many models are offered in different skin tone colors, so the headset is less visible and technology continues to make things smaller and smaller.

The advantages of headset mics are great, especially for fitness instructors. They are wireless and hands-free, so you can be as active around your classroom as you like. They are mounted a set distance from your mouth, so you don’t have to worry about sounding inaudible or unprofessional as you move around. And in fact, as I will show, a few models of wireless headset mics are actually designed with fitness instructors in mind which is not something you’re going to find when it comes to handheld options.

They are not your cheapest options, but with that kind of specialization, it’s hard to do better!

Lavalier Mics

And a lavalier (or “lav” mic) is common in Ted Talks, live presentations, church services… it’s small, unobtrusive, and clips to your clothing.

While that sounds good, lav mics aren’t actually a great option for most fitness instructors. Honestly, they’re the worst of both worlds- they are less durable than handheld mics, but also can present the same audibility issues. Since they are mounted to your clothes, you could be harder to understand as your head moves.

It’s also common for lav mics to be noisy if they rub against your body hair! I know, that might not seem like a chief concern (and it isn’t for some) but when you’re trying to hide your mic you might get creative and a hairy chest or longer hair can really ruin a fitness class if you’re depending on a lav mic.

On the plus side, they are wireless and hands-free so if you’re in a pinch they can work.

Conclusion

And there you have it, an introductory guide to investing in a wireless mic system for all kinds of fitness instructors. Whether you plan to teach yoga, spin, pilates, barre, or dance. Based on your budget and your needs, this list should help you navigate your options and plan your setup. Happy teaching!