The short answer is that any device that will play music will suffice. You connect it to the transmitter and you are ready to go.
The long answer is that some devices will connect differently to your transmitter, others will offer better sound quality, and still others will be easier to use for manipulating your playlist during the event.
This blog post is dedicated to clarifying the long answer:
Table of Contents for this post
Note to self: If using my cell phone to play my Silent Disco music, remember to use “Do not disturb mode” to stop all but critical notifications.Just wanted to throw that in. Now we can get started.
How different devices connect to the Silent Disco Transmitter:
The are two choices for connectivity are an audio cable or Bluetooth.
For the new iPhones, iPads, and even some of the new iOS laptops, Bluetooth is the option of choice for the typical user. It is wireless, ubiquitous, and easy.
When you sign up to rent from us, we ask you what you are going to use to supply the music so that we can provide you with the correct wires or Bluetooth capability.
When you need Bluetooth connectivity, we automatically send you the TX-60RF transmitter because that is maximized for Bluetooth connectivity.
The user presses the pairing button until the light flashes red and blue, it shows up on their Bluetooth device list, they select it, and they are ready to go.
Audio Cable Connection:
When you rent from us, we provide common connection adapters with the rental.
Renters who use a PC Laptop, Android phone, DJ Controller or Audio Mixer to provide the music to the transmitters have the option of using an Audio Cable to connect to the transmitter.
Many of the PCs and Androids still have a headphone/Aux out. In that case, you can simply take the audio cable that I provide and connect from the headphone/Aux out straight to the input of the transmitter.
We provide an Aux cables for you if you are one of these users.
Professional DJ controllers and Audio Mixers typically don’t have a BlueTooth audio output option. They have an RCA out as one of the master output options.
We provide an RCA cables for you if you are one of these users.
When you need Audio Cable connectivity, we automatically send you the TX-50RF transmitter because that is maximized for Audio Cable connectivity.
So, whether you need to connect with Bluetooth or with an audio cable, we have you covered!
How Sound Quality is affected by your connection/device
Bluetooth has been improving in quality and really sounds superb but an audio cable is slightly better.
The most obvious challenge with Bluetooth from a cell phone is that the user likes to keep it in her pocket for security (who wouldn’t?) and then accidentally walks farther that 30 feet away from the transmitter causing the music to drop out.
Do I need to mention that your phone’s notifications will come right through the transmitter if you don’t turn them off? (I recommend using the “Do not disturb mode” to stop all but critical notifications)
As mentioned above (and only the audiophiles will notice), the sound quality of an audio cable is slightly better than Bluetooth so if have the choice and you don’t mind leaving your device near the transmitter, you should use the Aux cable.
BTW-We don’t provide the dongle made by Apple that gives you a headphone jack from the lightning connector.
If you are using a DJ Controller or Audio Mixer, you won’t have Bluetooth, so you will use the RCA audio cables to go from your RCA master out (sometimes called “tape out”) to your transmitter.
Pro tip: For extra audio quality if you are using a laptop, consider using a USB digital to analogue audio converter. (USB to 3.5 mm/Aux) This gives you an added boost in quality. We don’t supply these but for those of you that really want to go the extra mile it is something you might want to invest in.
To summarize sound quality, the Bluetooth connection sounds superb, but the Aux cable or RCA cable sounds even better.
Ease of Use
If you are streaming a pre-made playlist, ease of use won’t matter because you just set-it-and-forget-it. You are not really ‘using’ the software. You are just letting it play.
If you are actively building or manipulating a playlist during the gig, then ease of use becomes a big deal.
Phones are readily available but are only as easy to use as the app that you are playing the music with. The same is true with tablets.
In general, you will get much more functionality and ease of use with a DJ program on a laptop. (Especially so if it is connected with your DJ controller. )
Obviously you will have more screen real-estate, but most importantly, DJ programs are easy to use and you can do so much more.
Most of our clients stream a ready-made playlist or make only minor adjustments to their list during the party. Doing this on a phone is easy and quick.
It is only if you are actively mixing music and/or making playlist adjustments after or during every song that you need DJ software on a laptop.
Actively mixing music in real time for a really hopping party is an exacting art and not something you want to consider doing on a phone or tablet.
- Whichever device you use, our systems are plug-and-play
- When you rent from us, we ask you what devices you are using to play music
- We take that information and provide you with the correct connections