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Buzzer Types: Piezoelectric, Electromagnetic, Mechanical and More

Buzzer Trivia: Everything You Need to Know About Buzzers

If you love trivia games, you probably know how important it is to have a good buzzer system. A buzzer can make or break your quiz night, especially if you are playing online with Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. But do you know what a buzzer is, how it works, and what are the best options for your trivia game? In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. We will explore the definition, history, types, technologies, and applications of buzzers, as well as give you some tips on how to use them for Zoom trivia games. Let's get started!


What is a Buzzer?

A buzzer is an audio signaling device that makes a buzzing sound when activated. It can be used for various purposes, such as alarm devices, timers, confirmation of user input, or quiz games. A buzzer can be mechanical, electromechanical, or piezoelectric, depending on the technology used to produce the sound.

Definition and History of Buzzers

The word "buzzer" comes from the rasping noise that electromechanical buzzers made. The electric buzzer was invented in 1831 by Joseph Henry, an American scientist. He used it for his experiments with electromagnetism. Later, buzzers were mainly used in early doorbells until they were replaced by musical chimes in the 1930s.

Piezoelectric buzzers, or piezo buzzers, were invented by Japanese manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s. They used the piezoelectric effect of certain materials to generate sound when an electric current is applied. Piezo buzzers were fitted into a wide array of products, such as watches, calculators, toys, and games.

Types and Technologies of Buzzers

There are two main types of buzzers: indicators and transducers. Indicators have the driving circuitry built into the design, so they only need a DC power supply to produce sound. Transducers do not have a built-in oscillator, so they need an AC audio signal to produce sound.

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There are also different technologies used to create buzzers:

  • Mechanical buzzers use a spring or a metal strip that vibrates when hit by a hammer or a solenoid. They are simple and cheap but have low sound quality and volume.

  • Electromechanical buzzers use an electromagnet that attracts and releases a metal diaphragm or a clapper. They are similar to electric bells but without the metal gong. They have better sound quality and volume than mechanical buzzers but consume more power.

  • Piezoelectric buzzers use a piezoelectric ceramic disk that bends when an electric voltage is applied. They have high sound quality and volume but require higher voltages than electromechanical buzzers.

  • Magnetic buzzers use a coil of wire that generates a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through it. The magnetic field moves a metal diaphragm that produces sound. They have low power consumption but low sound quality and volume.

Applications and Uses of Buzzers

Buzzers are used for various applications and purposes, such as:

  • Alarm devices: Buzzers can be used to alert people of danger, emergency, or fire. They can also be used as timers or reminders.

  • User input confirmation: Buzzers can be used to indicate that a button has been pressed or a keystroke has been made. They can also be used to provide feedback or guidance.

Quiz games: Buzzers can be used to signal who has the right to answer a question or who has given the correct or incorrect answer.</ How to Use a Buzzer for Zoom Trivia Games

One of the most popular and fun ways to use buzzers is for online trivia games. With Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, you can host a virtual quiz night with your friends, family, or colleagues. But how do you use a buzzer for Zoom trivia games? Here are some benefits, options, and tips for using a buzzer for online quizzes.

Benefits of Using a Buzzer for Online Quizzes

Using a buzzer for online quizzes can make your trivia game more exciting, interactive, and fair. Here are some of the benefits of using a buzzer for online quizzes:

  • It adds an element of competition and challenge to the game. You have to be quick and accurate to buzz in before your opponents.

  • It prevents cheating and shouting out answers. You can only answer if you buzz in first, and you can't change your answer after buzzing.

  • It reduces confusion and arguments. You can easily see who buzzed in first and who has the right to answer.

  • It enhances the audio and visual quality of the game. You can hear the buzzing sound clearly and see the flashing lights or colors on the screen.

  • It increases the engagement and participation of the players. You can interact with each other more and have more fun.

Best Online Buzzer Websites and Apps

There are many online buzzer websites and apps that you can use for your Zoom trivia games. Some of them are free, while others require a subscription or a purchase. Here are some of the best online buzzer websites and apps that you can try:


BuzzIn.LiveA simple and easy-to-use online buzzer system that works on any device. You can create a game room, invite players, customize your buzzer sound and color, and see who buzzed in first on the screen.Free

Kahoot!A popular online quiz platform that allows you to create or play interactive quizzes with multiple choice questions. You can use your smartphone as a buzzer to answer the questions on the screen.Free for personal use, paid plans for educators and businesses

SpeedQuizzing LiveA professional online quiz platform that enables you to host live trivia events with up to 32 teams. You can use your smartphone as a buzzer to answer the questions on the screen.$25 per month for unlimited events

Buzzer BeaterA fun and colorful online buzzer app that works on any device. You can create a game room, invite players, choose your buzzer sound and color, and see who buzzed in first on the screen.$0.99 per month or $4.99 per year

BuzzitoA sleek and modern online buzzer app that works on any device. You can create a game room, invite players, select your buzzer sound and color, and see who buzzed in first on the screen.$1.99 per month or $9.99 per year

Tips and Tricks for Hosting a Fun and Fair Zoom Trivia Game with Buzzers

Using a buzzer for Zoom trivia games can be a lot of fun, but it also requires some preparation and coordination. Here are some tips and tricks for hosting a fun and fair Zoom trivia game with buzzers:

  • Choose a suitable online buzzer website or app that meets your needs and preferences. Test it out before the game to make sure it works well.

  • Send the instructions and the link to the game room to your players in advance. Make sure they have access to the online buzzer system and Zoom.

  • Set up some ground rules for the game, such as how many rounds, how many questions per round, how much time per question, how to score points, how to resolve ties, etc.

  • Select a quiz master who will ask the questions, check the answers, keep track of the scores, and announce the winners.

  • Use a separate device or screen for Zoom and the online buzzer system. This way, you can see and hear everyone better.

Mute everyone except the quiz master during the game. This will prevent background noise and interfere


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