All About Game Show Buzzers
We've got the answers to your game show buzzer questions:
What's the latest? Where to buy? Cost? Compatibility? Can you build your own?
We test drove the wireless buzzers from Affordable Buzzers and found them to be an outstanding value.
Wireless table-top buzzer review
Summary: Another price breakthrough from Affordable Buzzers. This time, it's wireless table-top buzzers for $49.95 each. Playfully named "Big Daddy" buzzers, these are great for team play because the large buttons are easily shared by a team. The system uses one USB port for the wireless receiver that captures signals sent when buzzer buttons are pressed.
Features we like best are the easy setup (works out of the box with Game Show Presenter Gold or Bronze), solid construction and smart design. Good wireless range, too. Our test went up to 40 feet, but, of course, your mileage may vary.
Check out our youtube channel of game and buzzer videos!
Software with Advanced Buzzer Support Built In
Game Show Presenter GOLD Level is our latest and best-selling software for creating your own game shows. It works with many popular buzzer systems and also home-made systems. GOLD Level includes 4 game show formats. It has expanded customization options and advanced buzzer control options for number-key buzzers. Get a free trial version.
Because we've been developing quiz game software since 2000, we've evolved our software based on usage and feedback from thousands of customers. For example, the GSP GOLD's has these advanced support features for managing buzzers and player behavior:
- Delay buzzers until you press spacebar - Perfect for when you want to read the questions out loud without being interrupted by buzz-ins.
- 2-second penalty for buzzing-in during the delay - Discourages players from holding down their buzzer button in order to be first.
- Variable countdown timer - After a player has buzzed in, this timer adds pressure so player will give answer promptly. This discourages the behavior of buzzing in before the player has thought of an answer.
- Option for individual buzzers and team scores - If you want each player on a team to have a separate buzzer, you can set that up and the game will still track scores by teams. (Maximum of 10 total players)
For Kids and Family Game Night
The Eggspert Buzzers continue to be a low-cost favorite for teachers of young kids, but there are some tradeoffs. Older kids could be too rough with it. And while it does light up to tell you which team is first, it doesn't connect to Game Show Presenter, which means you would have to press the number key matching the player. Eggspert Basic and Eggspert Wireless sell at Amazon in the $65-$85 range.
The following companies make buzzer lockout systems that may help you create a game show experience for your players. We contacted each of the following and asked them to evaluate how Game Show Presenter software works with their products. When possible, we tested them ourselves as well. (If you are a quiz bowl or buzzer system vendor and would like to be on this page, please contact us using the info. at the bottom of this page.)
Affordable Buzzers: www.quizgamebuzzers.com
The affordable wired and wireless buzzer lockout systems offered here are used by a great many Game Show Presenter customers. Selection includes big, table-top buttons (easily shared by teams) and handheld buzzers (great for individual players). Both types are offered in wired or wireless forms. And all are compatible with Game Show Presenter software without any special setup. US-based ordering and support.
Phone: +31 35 6939261
Based in the Netherlands, Compuphase offers USB "Dome Buttons" in several configurations. Just like pressing a key on your Mac or PC keyboard, these buttons send a keystroke signal to the computer that allows Game Show Presenter to recognize a player is buzzing in. For Windows, there's a utility program so you can set which keystroke the buzzer will transmit. The buttons are available in wired or wireless models and several color choices. See the website for full specs.
Enjoy Tech. Buzzers: www.enjoyvote.com
Large, TV-style game show buzzers with 3 color lights and 3 different sounds. Buzzers are available as standalone or with software to support communication with Game Show Presenter. Enjoy Tech has been manufacturing buzzer systems in China for 16 years. Enjoy Tech has options for wireless scoreboard system and synchronizing with light table, chairs, cap, t-short and more.
Eggspert: Wired version and Wireless versions:
The Eggspert buzzers have been most popular with preK and elementary teachers because of its affordability and the kid appealing design.
ESL Buzzer Game System: Web Site
Based in Thailand, ESL Buzzer Game Systems offers a wide range of wireless and wired buzzer systems for PC and Mac. These lockout buzzer systems have big buttons and communicate with your computer via the USB port. ESL buzzers has been designing systems since 2007. The systems emphasize easy set-up and all systems come with a 2-year warranty
Rolls GS76RL Game Show Controller and Buttons sold through Amazon.com:
This standalone* buzzer lockout system has 8 buzzer boxes and a control box that uses lights to show who buzzed in first. This system does not communicate directly with Game Show Presenter. Instead, it turns on a light to show you who buzzed first, and you need to press a number key (1 thru 8) on the keyboard so the game knows which player buzzed in. *See FAQ below. So while this system is "strictly the basics", it gets the job done.
Trainers Warehouse: www.trainerswarehouse.com
Trainers Warehouse makes and sells the colorful Wireless "Who's First?" buzzer and light tower system. This popular system identifies first and second place respondents with snazzy lights, a loud buzzer (which can be turned off, if desired), and 6 color-coded touch pads that announce who came in first -- and second. It also has a USB interface to "talk" directly to Gameshow Presenter.
The Who's First system has a unique design with a light tower that provides a great focal point. The buzzer pads are color coordinated with the tower lights, and as a bonus, Game Show Presenter also color coordinates the color of team names with the colors used on the Who's First system.
Trebisky Game Buzzer Standalone System
Sold through Amazon, this standalone system has some pros and cons. It does not communicate with the computer hosting a game show, but it does work as a standalone system. That means when the buzzer panel shows you the number of the player who buzzed in first, you must press that number key on your computer so Game Show Presenter can put that player's name on screen and credit them for their answer. This 8-buzzer system is wired. So you have a couple of inconveniences. But the price at Amazon of $99.50 (as of Nov 2018) for 8 buzzers makes it a deal. And the button lighting is extra cool compared to the childlike or basic designs of some other standalone systems. Reviews indicate many customers wished they had bought the buzzer cord extension add-on, so consider that.
If you make game show or quiz bowl buzzers, contact us to see if you can be included in this list.
What are the various types of buzzer systems?
- Direct connect buzzers communicate directly with your game show software. The buzzers may be wired or wireless, but they use a USB or other method to receive the signals from the buzzers. In most cases, the software is then able to determine and show who buzzed in first. Game Show Presenter is compatible with direct connect buzzers that use a number-key signal. For example, if players 1,2 and 4 press their buzzers, the signals "1", "2" and "4" are sent to the computer and the game determines which player was first and shows that info. One advantage big advantage of the direct method is the software can have advanced features for controlling the buzz-in process.
- Standalone lockout buzzers have no connection to your computer and do not communicate with the software. Standalone systems typically use sound or lights to indicate which player buzzed in first. If you are using one of these with quiz game software, then you would need to tell the computer which player was first, according to which light is on in the buzzer system. For instance, if player 5's light is on, you would press the "5" key and Game Show Presenter would then display that player 5 is now going to answer the active question.
Can I build my own buzzer system?
- Yes, if you have some DYI skills and mojo, you can build your own game show buzzers. We've dedicated a page to DIY Buzzer Project. Let us know how your project turns out!
Do you sell game show buzzers?
- Here at Bodine Training Games LLC, the focus is on game show software. But we test many buzzers for compatibility. This page is for the info. and convenience of our many customers who buy buzzers. See our list of buzzer vendors above.
What are the lowest cost buzzer solutions or alternatives you know of?
- On ebay, you can find used copies of the Quizzard board game.
What is a buzzer lockout system?
- Buzzer lockout systems determine which player in a game show "buzzed-in" first. When players race to answer a question by hitting buzzer buttons, the system shows who buzzed first and locks out the late buzzers. Quiz buzzer systems usually include lights and a buzzer sound effect, so they add to the game show atmosphere as well as functionality. Some systems are wireless (more expensive), some use buzzer buttons wired to a control box and others wire the buzzer units directly to the USB port on your computer.
Where can I get game show software that works with buzzers, keeps the score and shows the quiz questions?
- Game Show Presenter software has been doing these things for 16 years. It is used by teachers, trainers, presenters and entertainers. You can check it out and get a free trial version at www.gameshowpresenter.com.