It’s so easy, my dog could do it! (Well, actually, it does require opposable thumbs.)
Below is a visual guide starring my dog, “Pascal,” to show you how!
(It is in the “story” style, so you click on the image to get it to advance or click on the left of the image to get it to play the previous slide(s). )
Steps to set-up, plug-in and DJ your own Silent Disco Dance Party.
Read on to learn how to plug in your phone, tablet, or laptop into the transmitters that we include when your rent our headphones. Doing so allows you to DJ your own silent disco dance party with your own playlists.
#1) When your rentals arrive, do a sound check first thing.
Your rentals will arrive two days before your party, open the box(s) and locate the transmitter cases so you can do a sound check long before your event.
#2) Open up the transmitter cases and plug them into an electrical outlet.
They will turn on and already be on the correct channel. No need to adjust anything.
#3) Next, plug the supplied aux cord into the “Audio in” jack on the transmitter and the other end into the “Headphone” jack on your device.
#4) Or, use Bluetooth to connect/pair the transmitter with your device.
Use the Bluetooth if you don’t have a “headphone” jack on your device or if you need to have a wireless connection between the transmitter and your device -especially helpful if it is your cell phone.
#5) Repeat this with each of the three transmitters we supply. You will need any combination of three devices; one for each transmitter.
#6) Queue up your favorite playlist, grab a pair of headphones, turn them on and start your dance party!
If you are using a streaming account, remember that you will need three different accounts unless you have the family plan. You will use one account for each device.
If you do have the family plan, it allows you to use multiple devices on the same account simultaneously.
We like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music and Pandora best.
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:
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
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.
While this article will be helpful no matter who you rented your equipment from, some specific details will pertain only to our equipment at www.silent-disco-rental.com Our headphones:
Notice that the headphones have a right and a left. This helps the user find their controls.
You need to know how to handle volume issues:
Volume issues are usually caused by the volume of the source music being too low.
If the headphones are not loud enough, it is because the source music is not loud enough.
Additionally, the music going into each of the transmitters needs to be at the same volume in order for the headphone wearers to hear the same volume as they scroll through the channels.
If you are using phones, tablets or laptops to run the music, start with their volume all the way up.
Double check to make sure that both the hardware and software volumes on your devices are all the way up.
Then if one device is playing louder than the others, back the volume of that device down until it matches the volume of the others.
Make sure your DJ (or person running the music) is turning down their headphone volume before they turn down the source volume. This allows the dancers maximum ability to raise or lower the volume in their own headphones.
Charging the headphones (Just in case):
Your headphones arrive from us fully charged, so you won’t need to charge them under ordinary circumstances.
Charger adapters are included with your shipment. (check the outside zipper compartment of the transmitter case)
Use the charger jack on the headphones. When the Headphones are being charged, the charge indicator lights up red. When the headphones are fully charged, the indicator lights up green.
It takes about 3 hours for the headphones to charge fully and they will run for about 10 hours per charge. The amount of draw on the batteries varies by the volume level, and so operating time varies accordingly.
And Now Our Transmitters:
Our transmitters are already plugged in and set to the correct channels.
Critical information about the Low/High setting on the transmitters:
For a typical sized party, the setting should be kept on Low.
The only time you should use the high setting is if you are doing a huge block party or a multi-room party with a ton of people.
Warning: If you do set the transmitter(s) on high, make sure there are no headphones close to it(them). It can cause an annoying crackle of interference under the right circumstances.
You never want headphones right next to the transmitters, but the proximity effect is more pronounced when the power setting is on high.
That being said, in some rooms you may find some radio-frequency dead spots where users are losing the signal. Go ahead and switch the transmitters to high. That will usually solve the problem.
You can be a hero just by checking this:
It looks plugged in but it is not. Sometimes you have to touch it or wiggle it in order to tell.
Nine out of ten times, the problem is that something is not plugged in.
Make sure everything is plugged in by checking every plug point with your eyes and with your fingers. From there, double check your music player or DJ mixer outputs.
When you rent your equipment from us at www.silent-disco-rental.com, we give you our number so that you can call or video chat. From there, we can usually fix any problems that come up.