Instructor and students wearing Sound Off headphones at a GOAT Santa Cruz spin class


At the start of the pandemic, gyms shut down everywhere, fitness instructors suddenly found themselves out of work, and exercise enthusiasts struggled to keep up their routines in an absence of weekly classes. 

Cue Natalia Rivera-España, a fitness trainer and emergency-room technician, who came up with the brilliant idea to take it all outside…with Sound Off™ headphones.

Going strong for almost two years now, Rivera-España’s start-up GOAT Santa Cruz (in this case the acronym stands for “Group Open Air Training”) offers an engaging group fitness experience for participants of all levels underneath an open, shaded structure in a parking lot location.  

Each week, their robust community uses Sound Off headphones for classes like BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, SPRINT, TRX, Barre, Yoga, Cycle, HIIT, Lifting, Active Seniors, and more.

We asked Rivera-España about the ins and outs of using Sound Off® silent disco technology in her fitness start-up, and here’s what she had to say: 

GOAT Santa Cruz fitness class students wearing silent disco headphones
Image by @alicia.telfer

S.O.: What led you to use Sound Off technology for your classes? 

N.R-E.: Because we’re an outdoor facility, we have to be conscious of noise pollution and regulations. Often, people like their music turned up. After receiving a noise complaint during a particularly loud class, we realized we had to do something. That’s when we found the Sound Off solution. 

S.O.: Has your use of Sound Off technology evolved in any way since you first started using it? 

N.R-E.: Yes! Not only did Sound Off technology allow us to meet our participants’ audio expectations, but it let us operate multiple classes at the same time without any noise disruption. We nearly doubled the number of classes we offered daily which dramatically increased our revenue! 

S.O.: What do your instructors love about using Sound Off technology?

N.R-E.: They love the comfort of the headsets and that they don’t need to yell to be heard. The color coding makes it easy to troubleshoot if a headset is off or tuned to the wrong channel. Charging is a breeze. We’ve rarely had a headset run out of power, and we use all 41 units, for many hours a day, seven days a week. The headphones hold up well to constant cleaning, too.  

S.O.: What do your students love about using Sound Off technology?

N.R-E.: Participants love that they can follow the instructor’s voice, enjoy the music, and tune out the world with Sound Off headphones. Some students come exclusively to Sound Off classes for this unique experience, and they all love the individual volume control and the ease of use.

Fitness class students wearing Sound Off headphones at GOAT Santa Cruz
Image by @alicia.telfe

Also, have you seen how flipping cool it looks to hold a Sound Off fitness class in the dark!? All of a sudden you’re surrounded by a sea of blue LEDs, bobbing to the music, or pedaling in unison. It’s amazing!  

S.O.: Has Sound Off technology helped any students with unique needs?

N.R-E.: Yes — participants with hearing impairments say that it’s the first time they’ve ever been able to make out what the instructor was saying. One student with ADHD commented that the immersive quality of the experience allows them to focus more than in a traditional group fitness class. 

S.O.: Why do you feel our technology works especially well for the fitness world? 

N.R-E.: The number one reason is that the headphones stay on even though many of our classes include jumping, speed intervals, or ground work. Also, sound is so dynamic, and trying to design an amplified music and mic system that meets the needs of different classes outdoors in different weather is nearly impossible. Sound Off solves this problem perfectly!


GOAT Santa Cruz’s goal is for participants to love their workouts so they develop healthy, fun habits for life, and we’re thrilled that Sound Off can be a part of this thriving and innovative fitness community. 

Check out the GOAT Santa Cruz class schedule and learn more about them here and @goatsantacruz. You can also read more about owner Natalia Rivera-España’s personal experience becoming a pandemic-inspired, small business owner here

Want to see how you can incorporate Sound Off silent disco technology into your own fitness studio or start-up? Contact us now!

Featured image by @alicia.telfe