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Tour Smart: GPS and Bluetooth Tracking Solutions for Musicians

By: Lynn Bridge at Music Industry Blog Planet

Presented on :

"We were in the middle of our tour when our entire trailer was stolen from the parking lot of the hotel we were staying in, trailer, gear--gone!

Musician with guitar and tracking device on tour
Keep your gear safe on tour with the best tracking devices for musicians

What is a Tracker?

GPS and Bluetooth Tracking Solutions for Musicians

Here, we will discuss the differences between GPS and Bluetooth tracking.

As a touring musician, you rely on your gear to make a living. Your instruments and equipment are your livelihood, and the last thing you want is for them to go missing or get lost while you're on the road. This is where a tracking device can come in handy.

A tracking device is a small, portable device that you can attach to your gear, or place inside your luggage or other items. For musicians, GPS and Bluetooth tracking solutions provide effective ways to enhance their tour experiences. With a smartphone app, you can track the location of your stuff in real-time, making it easy to locate lost items and keep track of your gear while you're on the go. Tracking devices can also prove to be a great tool to keep track of things like mileage, and tour routing.

What's the Difference between Bluetooth and GPS

An important thing to note about tracking devices, is the distance for which a tracking device will work.

GPS trackers use satellite technology to track location in real-time from anywhere with an internet connection, while Bluetooth trackers use short-range wireless technology to connect to nearby devices and transmit their location. For example, a tracking device like an Apple AirTag, or Tile (newly acquired by Life360), are excellent trackers for short distance items you may need to find quickly, say for example, your wallet or your keys (who hasn't lost or misplaced one of those items before?). Trying to find a missing wallet, or locate your keys can be a hassle, and it's REALLY convenient to simply open up your app on your phone and tap a button to find these misplaced items.

But the average range on an Apple Air Tag is only about 35 feet, Tile (bluetooth versions)-comes in at a whopping 400 feet, which is great. These are definitely useful, particularly on tour, but only for the "around the house items".

GPS or Bluetooth --Best Option For You

Now that you know the difference between GPS and Bluetooth trackers, the key now is finding which works for you. Some independent touring musicians use a combination of both. But it all depends on what you would like to use them for.

Consider this situation which happened to John Bentley, a regional Guitarist in the band, Electric Avenue-

"We were in the middle of our tour when our entire trailer was stolen from the parking lot of the hotel we were staying in, gear and all --GONE. We were devastated . While our guts were in knots, we got lucky. This was the first tour that I decided to add a GPS tracker to the trailer.

My main purpose was to keep track of mileage, but of course, it served as a saving grace when our gear went missing. I literally opened up the app, and I could see exactly where the trailer was. As soon as the police arrived on the scene, I showed them exactly where the tracker showed our gear. It was about 5 miles away from the hotel. They drove to the spot (shadiest part of town), there was our trailer, sitting right in this thief's driveway. The police recovered our trailer, and luckily it had ALL the gear in it. Not one single thing was gone.

But, if it hadn't of been for the GPS tracker, that would have been the end of the tour, and thousands of thousands of dollars of gear. It saved us time, and money, as well as took a thief off the street.

Since then, I armed our entire fleet with trackers both bluetooth and GPS. I put the bluetooth trackers (Apple Airtags and even another GPS tracker on the gear. Anyway, we've never had another incident like that, but now, I know if we do, there is some peace of mind here".

Unfortunately this story is all too common. But, it's important to note that a tracker isn't going to prevent theft, and there are plenty of malfunctions that have been known to happen, particularly with "knock-off" brand models.

We have narrowed down the best recommended Bluetooth & GPS Trackers that have a proven track record for quality. Some of our recommendations are based on a combination of battery life, durability as well as subscription based or one time fees. Take a look below for some of the best options on the market.


Top Recommended Bluetooth and GPS Tracker

Prices are displayed in USD. Some items may only be available in the U.S.

Bluetooth Trackers

Here are the best Bluetooth Trackers we have found.

| No Subscription | Available on Apple iOS Devices Only

First up, let's take a look at Apple AirTags.

Apple Air Tags: These small, lightweight tracking devices are easy to attach to your gear and have a long battery life of up to a year.

They're integrated with iCloud, so you can keep track of your stuff from anywhere with an internet connection. However, they only work with Apple devices and may be more expensive than some other options, with a price of $27.99 per tag. Keep in mind they operate with bluetooth so the range is limited, but they are really useful for keeping track of your day-to-day things.... i.e. keys, boxes.




| No Subscription | Free App | Available for iOS and Android

Tile offers a range of tracking devices that can be attached to your gear or placed inside your wallet, luggage, or other items. Much like the Apple AirTags, you can use the Tile app to locate your lost items, and you can even enlist the help of the Tile community to help you find your stuff. We recommend the Tile Pro pack as shown here. They have an incredible range for bluetooth trackers (up to 400 feet), and they are slim- perfect for keys, bags and more.

(2- Pack)

Price $47.99 usd




Chipolo ONE

| No Subscription | Free App

Chipolo is another popular tracking device that works with a smartphone app to help you locate your lost items. Like Tile, Chipolo has a community feature that allows you to enlist the help of others in finding your stuff. It also has a loud ring to help you locate lost items. Prices start at $25 for a single Chipolo, with discounts available for bulk packs.

Price $25.00 usd




Take a look at the best GPS TRACKERS BELOW.

Best GPS Trackers

And here are the best GPS Trackers for long range tracking.

Purchase for $34.80

Subscription Required- $6.99/mo or $12.99 Annual

The Trak4-GPS tracker is a rugged, waterproof device that is designed to withstand the rigors of life on the road. It has a long battery life of up to two weeks and can be tracked from anywhere with an internet connection. It's also customizable, allowing you to set up alerts and notifications to help you keep track of your gear.




Purchase $15.95

Subscription: $30.00/Month to Month | $25.00 / Annual

The Spy Tec STI GL300MA is a compact GPS tracker that can be easily attached to your gear. It has a long battery life of up to two weeks and can be tracked from anywhere with an internet connection. It also has a variety of features, including real-time tracking, customizable alerts, and the ability to set up geofences to help you keep track of your gear.





Purchase $77.00

Subscription: $8.00/month

Bouncie is one of the highest rated GPS Trackers on the market right now. It has an incredible value at just $77.00 usd. No Connectivity fee, and just $8.00/month usd for the app. You can also cancel any time. Bouncie is a smaller company, and they are serious about customer support if you ever have any issues.

They offer a wide value range of options with the GPS Tracker such as Roadside Assistance, accident notification and route history.




In conclusion, tracking devices can be a lifesaver for musicians who need to keep track of their gear while on tour. Whether you choose a GPS tracker or a Bluetooth tracker, these devices allow you to locate your gear from anywhere with an internet connection, set up customizable alerts, and even enlist the help of others in finding your lost items.

While there are many different tracking devices on the market, it's important to choose one that meets your specific needs and budget. Consider factors such as range, battery life, compatibility with your devices, and subscription costs when making your decision. With the right tracking device, you can focus on your music and leave the worrying about lost gear behind.

Happy Touring!

Have you used any of these?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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