Electric guitars are usually wired to amplifiers. Once connected on both ends, the signal flows uninterrupted and you can play your music all day long. However, not everyone is pleased about the clutter in the room due to crisscrossing cables. These are not only eyesores, they are also hazards that can cause people to trip and fall. Their finite length severely limits movement during performances as well. These issues spurred the invention of the best wireless guitar system.
- Are guitar wireless guitar systems & kits worth it?
- Do wireless guitar transmitters affect tone?
- Wireless Guitar System Setup
- Our Best Wireless Guitar System Recommendations & Review:
- Guitar Wireless System Conclusion
Want to go wireless? Read on about our recommended guitar wireless system options that are best for you!
Are guitar wireless guitar systems & kits worth it?
Wireless guitar systems are composed of a transmitter, which plugs into the guitar, and a receiver, which plugs into the amplifier and can work within a specific range between the receiver and transmitter of the wireless guitar systems. The signals travel through the air so there is no need for tiresome cables between the equipment. Are these systems worth your time and money? That depends on how much you are willing to spend and how badly you need this type of setup. There are affordable wireless guitar products out there that you can try if you are on a tight budget. See if the system works for you and if it has a significant positive impact on your best musical life.
For those who typically play the guitar inside their homes and studio, this wired vs wireless debate may not be that big of a deal. They can do well either way and sticking with cables may not be such a bad idea. After all, they will rarely need to get up and move around while strumming. It’s a whole new game when it comes to stage performance. Showmanship demands movement and engagement. You need to address the audience and give them a visual treat aside from the sweet music. Wireless systems let band members move around and rock out to their heart’s content.
Do wireless guitar transmitters affect tone?
One of the biggest concerns that people have about shifting to wireless is the possibility that their guitar’s prized tone might be affected due to interference between the receiver and transmitter range. The truth is that anything that you place between the guitar and the amplifier can affect the tone. This includes widely used cables. If your cables are too long, then the signal can suffer from degradation along the way. They need to be as short as practicality will allow to get the best sound with wireless systems. They should also have excellent shielding to protect them from interference. This will eliminate the common buzzing noise. High quality connectors with gold plating improve conductivity while preventing corrosion.
Analog wireless systems for guitar require compression before the signal can be transmitted over the air. Once the receiver gets the signal, it will be expanded to try to recover the original signal. The more expensive analog systems can produce better results than cheaper options due to better circuitry. However, they will never reproduce the best guitar signal perfectly which impacts the tone. As for digital wireless systems, the signal is converted from analog to digital wireless while preserving the dynamic range. At the wireless transmitter, the reverse conversion will occur to recover the original signal. The sound is natural and the tone is unchanged.
Wireless Guitar System Setup
Setting up a digital wireless guitar kit is quite easy. There are only two parts – a transmitter and a receiver. You plug the transmitter into your guitar and usually you clip it on your guitar strap. Then you plug the receiver into the amp. Done!
Our Best Wireless Guitar System Recommendations & Review:
1. Shure PGXD14
Shure is a well-known US brand that specializes in wireless audio systems so you can trust in their products. The PGDX14 is a good example of what the company can offer. This digital wireless system is meant for use with both guitars and bass. Inside the package are a bodypack transmitter, a larger rugged receiver, a 2.5ft guitar cable, a power supply cable, 2 AA batteries, a user guide, and a carrying case. It uses an advanced 24-bit 48kHz audio circuit to provide a clean radio frequency signal (why is my amp playing the radio?). It may be wireless but listeners won’t be able to tell as the sound is crisp and signal is strong.
The bodypack is slim and small so it doesn’t get in the way of a good guitar performance. These wireless systems come with a belt clip so guitarists can just place them at an optimal location without worrying that it might fall off. It can be controlled with its own power button, mute button, and recessed gain dial. Users can lock these controls to prevent accidental changes. Battery level is shown via LED indicator. It can keep going for over 6 hours of continuous use with AA batteries so multi-set gigs will not be a problem. Wireless setup is easy and dropouts are a non-issue.
- Excellent sound and range
- No lags or drops
- Easy to use
- Long battery life
- Gain control prone to overdrive
- A bit on the expensive side
This is our choice of best wireless guitar systems.
2. Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Wireless System
Shure just keeps pushing the envelope when it comes to what a digital wireless guitar system can do. Unlike the PGXD14, this one has a receiver that is designed like a pedal. It lies on the floor so you can stomp on the switch to between tuner mode and wireless display. This positioning makes it easier to mount this from pedal boards. A small colored LED screen provides vital information. As for the transmitter, the compact and ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use for long periods. Indeed, the built-in rechargeable battery can last as long as 16 hours of continuous use in one go.
Under ideal conditions, the guitar wireless system operating range can reach up to 200 feet. However, in typical indoor settings with a few signal blockers this goes down to a still respectable 100 feet. Outdoors, it can reach 165 feet in ideal conditions and 65 feet in a typical environment. Always err on the safe side by planning with the shorter distance in mind. Do a few field tests just to be sure. This system features automatic frequency switching to get the best results in any given situation. Note that the receiver system needs a 12V supply to work flawlessly.
- Rechargeable battery with 16 hours of continuous use
- Long 200-ft operational range
- Fantastic stability, fidelity, and reliability
- A very expensive transmitter and receiver system
- Rickety cable needs tape to stay in place
3. Xvive U2
Although the Shure systems are impressive, not everyone has the money to cover their asking price nor the need for all the advanced features. Some are perfectly happy with a much simpler wireless solution that does all the basics. The Xvive U2 system Rechargeable fits this demographic well. It features a miniature transmitter and receiver pair. In fact, these are so small that you will not need any belt clips at all. The components are bent at an almost 90-degree angle such that you can plug them in and have the rest of the body stick close to the guitar.
These use the 2.4GHz automatic frequency band to minimize the risk of interference, although the manufacturer still advises caution in keeping a 3-meter distance from other wireless systems like Wi-Fi routers. The built-in recharging battery is easy to top up with the included USB cable. Charge it just like how you would charge your phone. This system is capable of going for 5hrs without breaks. The sound is excellent thanks to a wide automatic frequency response and large dynamic range. If you want to get the best wireless guitar systems for your home without going broke, then this is a good option.
- Clever and elegant design
- Decent rechargeable battery
- Clear sound without noise
- Good operational range
- No precise battery level indicator
- All-plastic build
- Shorter range
4. Donner DWS-2
If you liked the concept behind the Xvive U2 wireless guitar system, then you will be pleased with the Donner DWS-2 as well. It also features tiny transmitters and receivers with swivel plugs that allow direct contact with the guitar while preventing protrusions. These ones provide a better user interface with easy selection among 4 available channels, 5dB volume boost, and other features. Transmission is very fast with just 2.5ms latency which is shorter than the Xvive’s 6ms. The operating range (not to be confused with dynamic range) is also longer with 200 feet vs 70 feet. This means you can use this system in large venues without any worries while you move around.
It also has a USB port for charging with the lithium ion battery capable of delivering about 4.5 hours of uninterrupted connection. Allot 1.5 hours to charge the items to full capacity. Once you’re ready to play, just plug them in and enjoy instant connection. You will notice the fast wireless response that makes it feel like you are using a wired system. The tone is excellent with no signal degradation. Guitar practice alone at home or at a studio or get your bandmates plugged in as well. Use the 5dB boost when you want extra oomph in a snap while you’re far from the amp.
- Low latency at 2.5ms
- Long operating range
- Preserves original tone
- Quick setup and ease of use
- Good value for money
- Occasional speaker cackle
- Needs control lock to prevent accidental channel switch
5. AKG WMS40 Mini2 Mix
AKG is a company that was founded in Vienna after World War II. It specializes in acoustics engineering with products that are widely respected in the industry. It is affiliated with Harman and Samsung. A lot of professionals use their products because of their devotion to sound quality. This is evident in the AKG WMS40 Mini2 Mix Set. This wireless system caters to guitars and microphones for an all-in-one configuration. If you are a one-man show, then this is a great option for you. Record your vocals and your instrument with the same reliable system for quick setups and ease of control.
This is a plug and play guitar wireless solution. It features the SR40 dual mini receiver provides balance outputs with typical jack connectors. There are two PT40 mini handheld transmitters that have 3-pin mini XLR connectors that are compatible with microphones, guitars, bass, and headsets. There is also an HT40 mini transmitter with a dynamic cardioid mic for high gain. What sets this apart from others, aside from the dual nature, is the incredibly long battery life of 30 hours. This is off just one AA battery so users can save a lot of money while having the peace of mind that they can always carry cheap spare batteries when needed.
- Remarkably long battery life
- Dual vocals and guitar wireless system
- One handheld and one lapel mic included
- Good operating range between receiver and transmitter signal
- Relatively large receiver-transmitter pai
- Some static when using the instrument
- No channel selection
6. Line 6 Relay G50
Line 6 was only established in 1996 but it has been making older and more established companies take notice of its products. Based in California, they manufacture guitars, basses, amplifiers, pedals, and wireless systems. The Line 6 Relay G50 Wireless Guitar System is one of their most popular offerings in this category. Aside from the transmitter and receiver pair, the package comes with accessories like the power supply, batteries, and a locking cable. It uses the 2.4GHz band to reduce interference and ensure good signal transmission. The system can broadcast simultaneously on several channels while protecting the data with encryption.
The Line 6 Relay G50 wireless guitar system can achieve a long range of up to 200 feet, provided that the transmitter and receiver are within each other’s line of sight. This is similar to what leading brands are capable off. The Line 6 system range plummets when anything blocks the signal like another person or a piece of equipment but this should still be adequate smaller venues. The broad frequency response, wide dynamic range, and advanced 24-bit digital wireless conversion all help to ensure that the tone stays the same after reception. This Line 6 option uses AA batteries that can last up to 8 hours apiece.
- Rugged metal enclosure for increased durability
- Long maximum signal range between receiver and transmitter
- Excellent tone preservation
- Build quality issue with battery compartment door
- Persistent dropouts in larger venues
7. Boss WL50 Wireless Pedal Board System
Boss is more widely known as a creator of timeless pedals but they do occasionally branch out to related products. This Japanese company is responsible for the WL50 Wireless Pedal Board System that uses the stompbox format. It has the same size and shape as an average pedal. Indeed, the receiver is designed to be placed on the pedalboard for quick access. The transmitter is small and light but it does protrude due to the lack of a swivel mechanism. Battery life is solid at 12 hours per charge. Even more impressive is the latency that is one of the lowest at 2.3ms.
This plug-and-play system should make a lot of people happy with the simple setup. It’s a great option if you are fond of using effects pedals to shape your guitar’s tone. However, the WL50 is susceptible to radio frequency response interference. This can be a major problem when practicing or recording at home. It can result in instability when using with other devices. It does work great as a standalone wireless guitar system. You might hear random crackling from time to time as reported by other users. The sound may not be to everyone’s liking as it tends to get tinny with the tone not being preserved as well as it should be.
- Decent 12-hour battery life
- Impressive low latency of 2.3ms
- Plug and play system
- Short range of 65 feet at line of sight between the transmitter and receiver
- Random crackling, tinny sound
8. Sennheiser XSW-D Intrument Base Set Wireless System
This private company based in Germany is considered as one of the leading names in the audio industry. It should be no surprise that Sennheiser has an entry in the race to make the best wireless guitar systems. Whether it is successful is up to the user. The XSW-D INSTRUMENT BASE SET certainly looks nice with the minimalist design and miniature sizing. The whole thing should be easy to store and travel with. The components will not get in the way when you play which is the essence of wireless systems. Plug it in and swivel the transmitter system any direction you want to prevent it from protruding from the guitar.
This guitar wireless system also uses the 2.4GHz band for transmission and features automatic channel allocation. Sennheiser has included an built-in interference management system just to reduce stress when playing. This has one of the longest operating ranges in this product category with a maximum of 250 feet for line of sight use. Battery life, meanwhile, is fairly average at about 5 hours per charge. After all, these are extremely small parts so it is difficult to fit in a large battery inside them. If you want a compact wireless unit, then this should be on your list of candidates.
- Small, sharp, and smart design
- Very long max range at 250 feet
- Good sound overall
- Battery discharges faster than 5hrs
- Transmitter requires occasional reset
9. Getaria 5.8GHz Wireless Guitar System
Getaria may not be as well-known as other brands on this list but its wireless guitar system works well and is available for a reasonable price. These should be more than enough to merit a spot in your final candidates. This is particularly true if you are on the lookout for compact models that you can plug in and forget while you play. This sports the now familiar swivel plug mechanism that allows the transmitter to stay close to the guitar body. What’s curious about these guitar wireless systems is the choice to use the 5.8GHz frequency response band instead of the usual 2.4GHz. It still works with most users more than happy with the performance.
This guitar wireless system can even support a maximum of 4 devices working at the same time. There won’t be any interference between them. Channel switching is possible with one-key touch. The built in battery has a 1,100mAh capacity. It requires around 1.5hrs of charging to reach 100% and last 8hrs before dying. The operational range is not remarkable at only 100 feet but this should do in most situations. The wireless sound quality is pretty good, especially for the low asking price.
- Compact design with swivel plug
- Much more affordable than similar models
- Good sound quality with very low noise
- 5.6ms latency is more than twice what some offer
- Effective distance of 100 feet could be longer
10. Behringer AIRPLAY ULG10
Germans love music so it should be no surprise that we have another entry from The Fatherland. The Behringer Wireless System AIRPLAY ULG10 is yet another compact option with a swiveling plug. Its main body is much wider than that of the Sennheiser but comparable to the Getaria. This one uses the more conventional 2.4GHz band for license-free use everywhere. It’s easy to use since there are no complicated setups. Just like cable, you plug the ends to the guitar and the amp, then you start playing right away. The maximum range is only 100 feet or 30 meters.
Every wireless system suffers from latency because of the analog to digital wireless conversion and back again at each end. However, the delay has been trimmed down to only a few milliseconds so it’s not really that noticeable. This system has a latency of 5ms which is alright though others have managed shorter times. It has a built-in lithium battery with a 750mAh capacity. This can power the system for as long as 6.5 hours. That’s longer than the Sennheiser and is perhaps a fair time given the miniature size.
- Wide frequency response of 20Hz to 16KHz
- Reliable and flawless operation
- Smart and small design
- Operating range could be longer
- Latency more than direct rivals
Guitar Wireless System Conclusion
If you are looking for the top rated wireless guitar system, then study the best options about to see which suits your style of play and likely usage. These will determine the right choice. If you are aiming to practice at home with reduced clutter, then range is not a big deal. If you are playing at large outdoor venues, then it is a major consideration. Think about which form factor might work well with your preferred setup. Pay particular attention to the latency and sound reproduction since these are two of the biggest issues surrounding the best wireless solutions.