What is a silent disco headphone party and what equipment is required?
The term “silent disco” refers to a party where you can’t hear the audio unless you are wearing the specialized silent disco wireless headphones. Because of this,it looks like people are dancing without any music.
The word “disco” in the term, refers to a silent disco being a ‘dance’ and does not refer to the disco genre. All types of music are used
What equipment do you need?
In order to put on a silent disco, you need the special headphones for each guest. You will also need silent disco transmitter(s) to broadcast the music to the headphones.
These days the headphones are rechargeable. They arrive fully charged and will operate ten hours on a single charge. So, unless you are doing multiple events, re-charging is not necessary.
The transmitters are about the the size of your hand and don’t require user adjustment. They are just plug-and-play and usually included with the headphones.
You will also need to supply the music. That could be your cell phone, tablet or laptop streaming a playlist from Spotify or Apple Music. It could also be a live DJ or even a band.
As of the year 2020, most of the silent parties in America use three channel headphones. The person wearing the headphones can change which channel they are listening to with a switch on the headphones.
Each channel on the headphones corresponds to a different transmitter. So, a three channel system would have three transmitters.
Ideally, the silent party host supplies three music sources. They can be cell phones, tablets, laptops, DJs, bands, etc. Each music source is connected to one of the three transmitters.
We’ll talk more about the equipment and the music requirements below, but first:
If you rent the headphones, rest assured that rental companies are bending over backwards to make sure the headphones are safe and germ-free. We were doing that long before the Covid-19 scare, but as you can imagine, we have doubled down our efforts.
If you rent your headphones, you will want to double check with your vendor regarding their disinfection standards, but here at Silent-Disco-Rental.com, your safety is first priority.
Is a silent party really silent?
When the party first starts up, they really are weirdly silent. It is a surreal and other-worldly oddity that has to be experienced in order to understand how absurd it feels.
But once the party heats up, headphone parties are definitely not silent.
While they are still eerily silent compared to listening to loudspeakers cranked up to ten, your dancers will be singing slightly off key to music that only they can hear.
They will also be laughing out-loud, talking to each other over the headphones and jumping up and down with their favorite dance moves.
Silent parties don’t have any noise from loud music, but the crowd noise can be significantly boisterous.
As you know, people who are having fun usually make noise, so ultimately the volume level will depend on the number of guests you invite.
What is the ideal space for a silent party? Should the range of the wireless headphones be a consideration?
The first thing that people ask me when they are trying to decide where to hold their silent headphone party is the range of the wireless headphones.
The headphones that we rent out have a range of 300 meters (or 328 yards). For reference, a football field is 100 yards. So, the headphones will still sound great more than 3 football fields away from the transmitters.
These are not the Bluetooth headphones that you are used to. They don’t drop out when you get thirty feet from your cell phone.
The type of wireless that silent disco headphones use is in the FM range and is therefore unaffected by walls and windows. This means that the headphones won’t lose any music quality or volume if you go upstairs, downstairs, outside or even around the block.
This means that the room size/orientation is less important for silent disco than it would be for a traditional music party. You don’t even need a specific party room because the headphones still work fine outside of the room or even outside of the building.
It is very important to have your silent party be ‘silent’ outside of the headphones.
Much of the motivation to wear the headphones is the silence outside of the headphones. That same silence is much of the appeal for wearing the headphones.
The best way to ruin a silent party is to have any audio available outside of the headphones because that gives people the option of not wearing the headphones.
If a TV is playing or background music is playing outside of the headphones, you are taking away much of the attraction of the headphones and some guest won’t wear them.
Where to get the equipment. (Should you rent or buy?)
If you are that person who is putting on parties every month, buying the headphones would be a great idea. We sell them for as little as $33.00 per headphone.
But if you are only putting on one or two parties a year, it is much easier to rent. The rental company takes care of the storage, the cleaning, the recharging and the disinfecting of the headphones for you.
Most of the rental companies will also take care of the repairs and make sure your are receiving the latest technology.
Rental companies like ours make sure that you receive the equipment several days before your party and are on hand for you to do a soundcheck and to help you with any set-up questions.
More about the equipment below, but you can find more details about our rental process here.
How to set up the equipment. (It is easier than you think)
When you rent the equipment, set-up instructions are included, but it is literally plug-and-play.
Live DJ vs Streamed Playlist. (Do you need a professional DJ?)
Before Spotify, Apple Music and the many music streaming platforms that are available these days, you needed a DJ to supply the music and the sound equipment.
These days you can make your own playlist(s) and you can find playlists that others have made including nearly any song that has ever been recorded. The music is digital quality and can be streamed on your phone, tablet or laptop at the press of a button.
So you don’t need a DJ to supply the music and when renting the silent disco headphones and associated transmitters, you don’t need a DJ for their equipment either.
You can connect your cell phone directly to the transmitter. No other equipment is required.
What about the DJ’s expertise at setting up the equipment? Well, as mentioned above, you already know how to use your cell phone, and the transmitters are just plug-and-play.
How to set the volume levels for maximum guest satisfaction.
As mentioned above, each headphone has three channels and the listener can switch from one channel to the other at any given time.
You will connect a music source to each of the transmitters which will, in turn, broadcast to the headphones.
For the example below, let’s assume that one of the music sources is your cell phone.
There are two very important volume-related tips/best-practices.
The first practice is how to make sure your wilder guests can turn up the music as loud as they want.
The solution is to set your source music loud enough so that it sounds really loud to you even when your silent disco headphones are turned down to the halfway point.
In other words, if you are using your cell phone for the music source, turn the headphones that you are wearing down to at least the halfway point and then start turning up your cell phone.
While wearing your silent disco headphones at their 50% volume, turn up your cell phone until the music is as loud as you can stand.
Leave your cell phone at that volume during the party so that your rowdiest guests can turn up their silent disco headphones way louder than you would ever want to turn up yours. That way, you’ll never get any complaints that your guests “couldn’t get the music loud enough.”
The second practice is how to assure that each channel is broadcasting at the same volume.
As we mentioned above, your guests will be switching channels on their headphones frequently. They don’t want to keep adjusting their volume each time they switch.
The solution is to make sure each of the music sources are set at the same output volume.
Don’t change the volume of the cell phone we just finished setting in the example above, and instead, match the other two devices to that one.
What type of music works best?
At silent disco parties, songs that participants know the lyrics to, can sing along with, songs with defined movements and songs that are in the ‘rave’ category with a powerful ‘bass drop’ work the best.
Silent disco is not particularly well suited for slow-dancing, serious songs, mid-tempo songs or relatively unfamiliar songs.
If it is a serious song, it needs to be one that everybody knows and can sing along with. Overall, the headphones work best with ‘fun’ party-style songs.
Obviously, what defines a ‘fun’ party-style song is your guests at your party. Choose your playlists accordingly.
We do not recommend having a different music genre on each channel.
In fact we highly discourage separating the channels by genre because in-turn, it separates your guests by genre and lowers their interaction with each other.
All three channels should have genre mixed playlists in order to maximize the fun and interactivity had by your guests.
Because the headphones show which channel they are picking up by the color of the LEDs on the earpieces, you can see which channel your friends are listening to and they can see the same of you.
This interactive element between your guests makes switching channels and encouraging your friends to do the same half of the fun! In order to maximize this amusing communication between your guests, you want all three channels to be equal in their appeal to everyone present.
How to keep the headphones from walking away.
Whether you rent or own the headphones, you don’t want people taking them home or losing them. Here are some ideas to help you hang on to them.
Obviously this is not going to be a problem with close family and friends.These ideas are for those instances when you may not know the guests.
Hold onto their driver’s license while they have the headphones. You can keep the licenses in alphabetical order for quick return after the party.
Have staff at the entrance and exits so that nobody enters without picking up a headphone and nobody leaves without relinquishing a headphone.
Some vendors have RFID tags on the headphones and scanners to keep track of who has which headphone. – Beware that this will be an extra fee and not all vendors offer it.
Number the headphones with a sticker and write down each guest’s name next to the number of the headphone they have.
Hold onto their student ID in exchange for the headphones if it is at a school.
Do you need a light show?
A light show is extremely optional because the headphones themselves provide a human light show that is far more interesting than a mechanical light show ever could be.
Not only are the dancers jumping up and down to the music, but as they switch the channel they are listening to, the color on the headphones changes too.
in 2020, most of the rental headphones available light up according to their selected channel.
The headphones that we supply light up in the colors blue, red, and green depending on which channel they are on.
In the rare event that you actually have three DJs and each DJ is covering one of the channel colors, it is nice to have their DJ station lit up with the color of their channel but the same effect could be achieved with color coded T-shirts on the DJs.
In cases where the music is supplied by streamed playlists on personal devices such as cell phones or laptops, a light show is really not needed.
How much will it cost?
Pricing for a live DJ, support staff or a band varies widely by location and name recognition, so I am only going to cover equipment costs in this post.
First the price to purchase and then the price to rent:
Purchasing smaller quantities can be as little as $33.00 per headphone and $129.00 per transmitter. The headphones use rechargeable batteries and require dedicated chargers. The chargers charge 16 headphones at a time and run $27.00 apiece.
This post describes how we handle your rental security amount
You pay the security upfront with the rent. Both of them have to be paid along with your signing of the rental agreement before we ship your rentals to you.
You hold your Silent-Disco-Dance-Party and have more fun than you ever imagined! Your friends beg you to do another party as soon as you can!
Once you pack up your rentals and get them back into the hands of FedEx, you begin to wonder how soon you will get your security back.
In order to get your security back to you as quickly as possible, the first thing we do is check your package’s tracking numbers on the FedEx website.
Let’s say that your rentals are due to arrive back home on Friday.
Once your rentals come back to us, we have to “check them in.” -Basically we count them and check for damage.
If any headsets are missing or damaged beyond repair, We deduct $45 per headphone from your security.
Assuming they are all there, then we don’t deduct anything from the security.
Once your headphones are checked in, we return your security immediately.
When we return your security, we write you an email saying that we did it.
Also, you will get a notification from the transaction company. (PayPal, Venmo, Credit Card, etc) After that notification, it can take a few days for the money to cleardepending on the platform.
Typically we are able to check in your headphones the same day that they arrive back to us. (In your case that will be Friday)
On a rare occasion when it is during a particularly busy time of year, it may a few days to get your rentals checked in – especially for larger orders. But, I will definitely let you know what is going on by Friday Evening.
In the majority of cases, we are able to return your security on the same day your rentals come back
Short Answer: You can play the music or stream a playlist on any device capable of doing so, and yes, you can use Bluetooth.
You can use Bluetooth to connect your device to the Silent Disco transmitters that I provide and they, in turn, transmit your music to your dancers wearing the Silent Disco headphones.
You play your Silent Disco music (or stream a playlist) on a device such as your cell phone, tablet, or computer. You connect that device to one of the three transmitters that I provide. That transmitter, in turn, transmits the music to the Silent Disco headphones using a short-range FM type of signal.
If you have professional DJ equipment, you connect the main output of your controller/mixer to the transmitter with an RCA cable (or an adapter to RCA).
If you are using personal equipment like your phone, tablet or computer, you connect your device directly to the transmitter.
We recommend using an aux cable (3.5mm) from your headphone jack into the transmitter that I provide but you can also use Bluetooth.
The aux cable gives you the highest quality and most reliable signal but many new phones, tablets or computers don’t have headphone jacks these days. So with those, you would connect to the transmitter via Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth gives you extremely high quality. Just remember to turn off notifications so that incoming texts or calls don’t interrupt your dancers.
When you fill out our contact form as a first step in renting from us, we ask what devices you will be using to play your music. With that information, we make sure we send you the correct cables and adapters.
Bluetooth is only used to connect your personal music playing device to one of the transmitters. The transmitters use short-range FM signals to transmit the music to the headphones.
Bluetooth typically extends only 30 feet or so, but by using an FM signal, the transmitters are able to send their signal to your silent disco headphone wearers for a distance of 300 meters, which can be a city block or more.
Remember that we send you a three channel Silent Disco system.
Three channel Silent Disco means that we send you three transmitters and in order to fill all three channels, you will do the above process three times -once for each transmitter.
You want to have three different playlists or three different DJs playing simultaneously. Each has their own transmitter which corresponds to one of the channels on the headphones. The headphone-wearing-dancers can switch their headphones to a different channel at anytime in order to change which song/playlist or DJ they are listening to.
The headphones will light up with either red, blue, or green according to which channel (transmitter) their selector switch is set to.
Why hiring a traditional DJ is not a great idea for your kids party – and what you can do to fix that:
For many adults, the very definition of a dance party is a DJ with loud speakers!
Why do boomers (and older millennials) think DJs with loud speakers are so hot?
Loud & high-quality music takes them back to their ‘party days’ in high school, college, and wedding receptions. What could be better? Loud music was the foundation of those parties!
Loud music is ‘Boomer-Code’ for a good time! Loud music is a trigger that puts them into ‘The Party Zone!’
But your kids grew up with loud & high-quality music readily available in every room of the house. They have their own earbuds and their own music players with their own playlists.
Gen Z does not need your loud music and may even resent it as a boomer effort to override their freedom to listen to their own choices.
When my kids go to a school dances, they are never impressed with the loud speakers, the loud music or the DJs because they can get all of that at home!
If you want to impress school-age kids, you need to show them something they can’t get at home.
The kids will totally forget about the loud-speaker-DJ a week after the party because it is not unique enough for them.
Not only can they be their own DJ at home but it’s even better because they will be able to choose their own music.
If you really want your kids to think you are cool, If you really want your kids to think the party is cool,
You need to rent Silent Disco!
You need to dropkick your DJ delusions by getting silent disco for your kids party. Whether a pro DJ plays through the silent disco system or your kids put their own playlists through the system using their phone, your kids will be talking about the party for months afterwards and having a blast telling their friends who couldn’t make it.
Overnight, your Silent Disco kids will be the envy of all the other kids and you’ll be the coolest parent EVER!
This is your chance to shine:
Heroes are made by Experiences!
Be a Hero!
Lead your kids into that bold new horizon of
Three massive benefits that make Silent Disco the party of choice for Your kids:
It is a total novelty- So they get to experience something completely new with their friends.
They get three times as much music simultaneously – Finally, something their phone can’t do.
They get to control which song they listen to (and what volume) – Gen Z craves the empowerment of choice.
Gen Z doesn’t see the need for a DJ to bring and choose the music to play on loud-speakers. Unlike you, Your kids don’t see the need for any of those things.
They have never experienced music scarcity, nor media scarcity of any kind. So, loud music (like a traditional DJ brings) is not a particular novelty for them.
Worse yet, a DJ doesn’t even have all the music they like. Oldsters know and expect that, but Gen Z kids can’t imagine why a DJ would not have every song in the world.
Kids have all the music in the universe available to stream on their phones through high quality earbuds or speakers at home. Why would they need someone else to bring and choose what music to play?
Your kids want more music choice, more control and more novelty. Silent Disco is the solution for all three of those things!
Remember that Silent Disco headphone systems offer three channels of music, so at any moment in time there are three different songs playing for the listener to choose from. The listener can change their channel (and volume) at will.
Furthermore, much of the fun is deciding which of the three songs is your favorite and then you try to convince your friends to switch to the same channel as you. This is a totally new focus on listener choice instead of the scarcity model of only one song at a time.
I am a DJ who does this full time and works with a ton of kids, I know without a doubt, that Silent Disco is the secret sauce for an unbelievably good time For Your Kids!
Rent Silent Disco for your kids parties and be amazed at how much fun they have!
-And remember, a Silent Disco party is ‘silent‘ fun!
So, you can host the party right at home and not have to worry about the noise!
Yay! Now you don’t have to rent a hall! (You can save that money for your kid’s college education!)
So, yeah, a traditional DJ is still cool for boomers and older millenials,But…. If you really want to thrill your school-age kids? You need Silent Disco.
Anyone who has not tried Silent Disco thinks the headphones cut the dancers off from each other socially.
“What social aspects?” They snort, “Everyone is isolated in their headphones!”
The truth is quite the opposite.
With your headphones on, you suddenly join a social group that is far tighter than just being on a dance-floor.
The minute you put on the headphones, you enter a mysterious world that is magically achievable only to the headphone wearers.
Only you and the other headphone wearers are in the group. Anyone without the headphones is an outsider. With your headphones on, you are an insider. It feels great!
That is just one of many aspects that make Silent Disco overwhelmingly social.
Another social aspect is your friends trying to get you to listen to their favorite channel on the headphones and you trying to get them to listen to yours.
Remember that we rent three channel headphones to your silent party.
You are loving the song on your channel and wanting your friend to listen too! So you do all sorts of antics to show her how much fun you are having with your song, just to get her to change to your channel!
You exaggerate the dance moves and shout out the refrains to emphasize how much fun you are having!
At the same time, your friend is doing the same thing – trying to get you to listen to hers.
It is a self-perpetuating spiral of enthusiasm as friends each try to outdo the other!
Silent Disco is Socialization on Steroids!
It is really an incredible social experience – unlike any other. The headphone wearers literally socialize waay more than traditional dancers do.
That is what makes it so much fun. Anybody can listen to headphones but a Silent Disco is way more than that. – And Naysayers are shrugging and asking you why anyone would want to block out their friends by wearing headphones?
Anybody who thinks that partying in silent disco headphones is not a social experience has not tried it.
Yeah, at a silent party, you are INCLUDING your friends by wearing the headphones and you are being INCLUDED BY THEM when they put on their headphones.
Your guests will be astonished to find that headphones don’t remove the social aspects of Silent Disco. On the Contrary, The headphones cause the social aspects of Silent Disco.
The most obvious reason that silent disco headphones are more social is also the most overlooked reason.
You can take off the headphones at any time and converse without shouting over the loud music.
This is such a simple concept but it is a true game-changer.
At a dance party that uses loudspeakers, you have to yell over the music in order to converse. You literally can’t communicate in a conversational tone because the music is so loud.
With the music in headphones, you can take the headphones off and whisper to each other and hear exactly what the other person is saying!
Real isolation between dancers results from loudspeakers that prevent conversation.
Headphones enable conversation. They are the opposite of isolation!
If you want a truly “social” event. You want silent disco headphones!
Silent disco headphones are the only ‘loud music’ party format that actually allows guests to converse on the dance floor at a normal tone of voice.
So, passionately share with the unbelievers how “social” the event is once they experience those three channels of headphone heaven.
Just be aware that some of your friends won’t believe you until they have tried it themselves.
Maybe this is the perfect chance for you to convince them by daring them to come to your party.
Ready to rent our disinfected silent disco headphones for your upcoming party?
People usually suggest this idea because they want the non-headphone wearers to have fun too. They don’t realize how much fun Silent Disco is to watch. But, here is the thing: Silent Disco is only fun to watch in silence.
When there is only silence, it is incredible to watch the people dancing to (seemingly) no music. It is a crazy fun to be NOT wearing the headphones at a silent party because it LOOKS so weird!
But it only looks weird if you can’t hear music. The silence creates cognitive dissonance that is hilarious. By having audible music playing for your non-headphone wearing guests, you are depriving them of a really good time.
Audible music coming from loudspeakers takes away from the headphone wearers because some of it bleeds through the headphones.
Don’t get me wrong; Our headphones do provide sound isolation (some call it noise cancellation) but it is only due to the headphones covering the ear. In other words it is not much.
The headphone wearers will only hear a little bit of the loudspeakers but it will be enough to diminish the experience.
Now there is nothing wrong with having a small speaker playing quiet background music while the headphones are being used. The wearers won’t hear that and it won’t disturb them. . But if you are having a DJ with big speakers play music at any sort of volume that DJ’s usually play- that will ruin the headphone experience.
There is nothing worse than hearing two songs at the same time. -Also, remember that Big speakers used by DJ’s also provide knee shaking bass that people actually “Feel” in their body. The headphones don’t have that. So, even if the headphone wearers don’t hear the high frequencies from the big loudspeakers, they will feel the low frequencies from the big loudspeakers and again that will cause a significant decrease in any pleasure the headphone wearers are feeling.
Another important aspect of the Silence is that it motivates people to try the headphones.
They want to hear what everyone else is hearing. They don’t want to miss out. And if they have their own audible music from loudspeakers, that pressure to put on the headphones is taken away.
In closing: There is nothing wrong with a regular DJ just playing loudspeakers. I do that for a living. There is nothing wrong with Silent Disco, but it does require silence.
Loud and silent simply don’t mix.
There is definitely something wrong with trying mixing the two party formats. It is all around a totally bad idea.
A DJ is not necessarily needed for the following five reasons.
Reasons to hire a DJ (Not):
A DJ brings the equipment: – Not needed for silent disco because you’ve rented the equipment from me.
A DJ supplies the music and the music player – Not needed because you can use your phone and a pre-made Spotify playlist (one device playing music for each of the three transmitters that I send you – maybe 1 phone, 1 laptop, and 1 tablet -each running three different streaming music accounts)
A DJ decides how loud it should be – Not needed because each headphone wearer has their own volume control to adjust at will.
A DJ decides what _ONE_ song to play that everyone has to listen to. – Not needed (as much) because you will be playing three different playlists simultaneously and your guests can choose which of those three songs they want to listen to. -Also, because of those three simultaneous choices, human nature chooses the best of the three songs instead of judging the one song.
The Last reason to hire a DJ is so that they can do announcements. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that even with three DJ’s it can be difficult to do announcements effectively with silent disco. The reason is that unless all three DJ’s announce the same announcement at exactly the same time, guests are probably not listening to the channel that the DJ is announcing on and also, they may not even be wearing their headphones at all when the announcement is made. For that reason, even with live DJ’s silent disco is not a good format to use when announcements must be made.
But remember, without a DJ, You do need to supply music and a music player for each transmitter.-For example: Your phone streaming a Spotify playlist. (Or Apple Music or Tidal or Amazon music or YouTube Red or Pandora or music already on your device) Or your laptop or your tablet or your ipod or your mp3 player. If you are familiar with the premium version of streaming services, they offer really good playlists already made and they make it very easy to create your own playlist. Spotify even offers cross-fading between songs. (in the settings)
Tips to DJ a Silent Disco Party:
Set the source volume while wearing the headphones at 50% volume.
Some dancers want their music louder than you do.
If you set the source volume while your headphones are turned all the way up, your guests can’t make the music any louder in their headphones.
You want to set the source volume with your headphones only half-way up so that your guests will be able to turn up significantly farther than that.
Make sure the source volume is the same on each channel.
You want the source volumes the same on each channel so that dancers don’t have to readjust their volumes when the switch channels.
Set the source volumes while wearing the silent disco headphones.
Switch between all three channels. If one channel is quieter than another, adjust the volume on your phone, tablet, or computer until that channel matches the others.
Don’t split out the channels by genre.
You want to have fun songs from every genre on every channel.
Half the fun of silent disco is switching channels and the social interaction between the dancers trying to get each other to join with them in listening to their favorite song.
If you make each channel predictably different, you split your crowd and rob them of the fun of their interaction between each other.
Use mostly fast, fun and/or singable songs.
There is something about silent disco that makes people want to have fun, jump around, or sing-a-long.
Play songs that are fun, fast, and singable that lend themselves to that type of behavior.
This is not the time to play songs that are serious, sad and/or mid-tempo.
Use as many genres as possible.
This is not a night club atmosphere where you want to stick to just a few genres and keep the beat the same through the whole night.
With silent disco, guests want you to mix up the playlist.
As alluded to above, silent disco is not the place for serious dancers. It is the place for serious fun. The way you achieve that is by playing favorites songs from all over the map.
Learn more tips for putting on a silent disco party with this guide.
Lights play a big role in energizing the dance floor.
DJ’s and dance clubs spend thousands of dollars on lighting in order to help the music come alive.
While wearing our LED illuminated headphones, your dancers will become part of the light show!
The number one reason to choose our headphones is because they light up so very brightly! When dancers are wearing them, they literally bring the music to life!
Oh yeah! And they sound great too!
With 30-20K Hz crystal clear sound, your guests won’t want to leave the dance floor!
The headphones light up according to which channel is selected, so as you look over the dance-floor, you can see who is listening to what song.
Lighting technicians spend hours coordinating the lights to one song, but with real live guests wearing our LED illuminated headphones, they give the song a visual personality that no lighting technician ever could!
You can still enjoy traditional dance-floor lighting, but light on dancers adds a whole new element.
We are big fans of black lights at Silent Disco dances too.
With black light parties, you turn the house lights much lower than you ordinarily would. The lights from the headphones are just enough to keep the room from being too dark and they add a whole new element to the fun!
Once you get started with the looks of your party, you won’t be able to stop. I felt the need to buy myself a pair of LED Shoes for adults for adults the other day!
If you want to have your guests create a human light show on your dance-floor, we would like to help you make it happen. Your friends are going to be sooo jealous!