The 8 Best Wireless Guitar Systems

Updated September 20, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

8 Best Wireless Guitar Systems
Best High-End
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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Musicians who wish to perform on stage without the potentially hazardous restriction of cables can do so easily by utilizing one of the wireless guitar systems from our selection. Despite their name, they are capable of connecting to various instruments and providing total freedom of movement to live performers in any genre. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wireless guitar system on Amazon.

8. AKG Pro Audio WMS 40

The AKG Pro Audio WMS 40 will boost your sound without draining your bank account. This complete system has everything you need to get started, including a dual receiver, MKG L instrument cable, and mini body pack transmitter, though it doesn't offer a very high fidelity.
  • includes a universal adapter
  • easy plug and play setup
  • electronics are poorly assembled
Brand AKG Pro Audio
Model 3348H00070
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

7. Line 6 Relay G30

With its wide 118-decibel dynamic range, the Line 6 Relay G30 can keep up with almost any style of music. The transmitter and receiver have polycarbonate shells that make them moderately well-suited for the life of a traveling guitarist, though not as durable as metal.
  • works at up to 30 meters
  • internal antennae
  • battery life could be better
Brand Line 6
Model Relay G30
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Line 6 Relay G50

The Line 6 Relay G50 boasts an exceptionally small receiver that has large knobs for controlling channel selection and gain, as well as an input and output jack layout that allows it to fit comfortably in a pedal board array.
  • 200-foot line of sight range
  • encrypted data system
  • suffers occasional dropouts
Brand Line 6
Model Relay G50
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Nady U-1100 GT

The compact body of the Nady U-1100 GT is perfect for a smaller stage where space is limited. It features LCD indicators for the audio signal and antenna reception. Unfortunately, the exterior positioning of the antennae makes them somewhat fragile.
  • has a locking connector
  • intuitive controls
  • battery cover is flimsy
Brand Nady
Model U-1100 GT/A
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Shure GLXD16 Digital

The Shure GLXD16 Digital can operate with up to eight compatible systems under ideal conditions, and it features intelligent frequency management that quickly identifies the best open bandwidths. Plus, the lithium-ion battery can last through 16 hours of continuous use.
  • easy to mount on pedal boards
  • chromatic instrument tuner
  • reversible belt clip
Brand Shure
Model GLXD16-Z2
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Sennheiser Evolution EW D1-CL1

With a streamlined pack designed to minimize the physical interference that antennae can cause, the Sennheiser Evolution EW D1-CL1 automatically scans and selects the most agreeable frequency from among its available range.
  • link protection eliminates dropouts
  • durable all-metal construction
  • 2-year warranty
Brand Sennheiser
Model EW D1-CL1
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Xvive U2 Rechargeable

The Xvive U2 Rechargeable meets the standards that professional guitarists expect, with a six-millisecond latency, a 100-foot range, and a broad frequency response. Its lack of physical pretense keeps the unit's size and price at a minimum.
  • 4-5 hour battery life
  • no distortion from the receiver
  • includes a usb cable
Brand Xvive
Model XV-U2/BK
Weight 9 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Shure PGXD14 Digital

The Shure PGXD14 Digital can provide up to 10 hours of continuous use on a single pair of AA batteries with an operating range of up to 200 feet. Its blue LCD channel readout is easy to see on stage without being too obtrusive.
  • 5 channels per band
  • includes a hard carrying case
  • positionable antennae
Brand Shure
Model PGXD14-X8
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Musical Freedom, Innovation, And Expression

If you're planning to perform on stage with your fellow musicians in front of a large group of people, there are two things to keep in mind. First is the assurance that your performances are loud enough to reach everyone in the audience, thanks to the use of powerful amps. The second consideration involves what you and your band plan to be doing while you're on that stage. Musicians with a lot of energy shouldn't have to worry about the potential hazards of tripping over bulky cords as they move around a stage with a lot equipment. Use of a wireless guitar system will help prevent such dangers and allow you the freedom of movement to perform where you want and how you want.

As a high-tech replacement for the guitar cable, the wireless guitar system is an electronic device that transmits an audio signal from a musical instrument directly to an amp and/or speaker without the need for a physical connection. Leveraging a certain radio frequency band, the system uses a transmitter to send signals from the instrument to a nearby receiver, which ultimately decodes the signal and feeds it into an amplifier on stage.

Depending on the methods by which their audio signals are transmitted, wireless guitar systems are categorized into either analog or digital devices. With an analog system, audio data that travels from transmitter to receiver must first be compressed by the transmitter, converted into a frequency modulation signal, and then expanded by the system's receiver before flowing into the amp. The compression/expansion process is a trademark of the analog system and is often referred to as companding.

Analog systems run on either Very High Frequency or Ultra High Frequency bands. Used by many radio and television broadcasts, VHF frequencies fall within a range of 30 to 300 megahertz, whereas the UHF frequency range extends from 300 megahertz to as high as three gigahertz. Though practical and common, VHF frequencies are more susceptible to audio interference and quality loss than UHF frequencies. Finally, the process of signal compression and expansion results in a certain degree of quality loss and FM noise.

By contrast, the digital wireless guitar system eliminates the need for signal compression entirely by first converting and encoding the instrument's audio signal to digital format and finally transmitting it securely using the same types of frequencies that Wi-Fi routers use. Digitally encoding an audio signal minimizes interference and quality degradation as it travels between the transmitter and receiver, which means that the signal retains the same quality as the original audio input coming from the guitar, even by the time the sound reaches the amplifier.

Jamming Wirelessly And Wisely

One of the most important considerations to make before investing in a wireless guitar system is the device's frequency agility, meaning its ability to both detect possible interference scenarios and avoid them without sacrificing the quality of the audio itself. This is a crucial feature in one's quest for sound precision during a live performance, particularly when a situation involves several musicians on stage trying to be at their best rather than being at the mercy of their equipment. Additionally, the more equipment involved, the more that frequency agility comes in handy to prevent issues like intermodulation. Some wireless guitar systems even have built-in scanning capabilities that allow their receivers to automatically detect and choose the best frequencies to use. This ensures that audio clarity is properly maintained, regardless of whether your band moves around the stage a lot during a performance.

If you think extended jamming sessions are in your future, then look for a system with long-lasting rechargeable lithium-ion batteries powering its components, so you don't run out of juice in the middle of a set.

Operation range is another important factor to keep in mind, depending on the size of a venue. Many options offer up to 200 feet of room to move around a stage without experiencing any signal loss, but it's still a good idea to keep the receiver within a transmitter's line of sight.

Next, consider the durability of the receiver and transmitter. One should look for options with all-metal construction to withstand any potential impacts or drops during a performance.

Finally, think about the size of the venues at which you'll be performing, as well as the number of instruments involved. This will help inform your ultimate decision with respect to how many channels your device of choice will need to handle.

A Brief History Of The Wireless Guitar System

One of the first conventional wireless guitar systems adopted by professional musicians was the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System, released in 1975 by American inventor Ken Schaffer. It was the first cordless solution to provide both reliable sound and freedom of movement, making more elaborate performances possible on multi-level stages and in large arenas. The device was eventually adopted by famous rock bands including The Rolling Stones and was adapted for use as a wireless microphone system in 1976. Schaffer also acted as publicist for such famous American rock stars as Jimi Hendrix and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, among others.

John Nady released his own wireless guitar system in 1976 called the Nasty Cordless. This device had the advantages of a lower price point than the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System, while being significantly easier to use than its predecessor. Nady's design also delivered an improved signal-to-noise ratio due to his newly-developed and patented companding technology. By the 1980s, Nady's invention was the popular choice of systems among many of the top-performing rock bands of the time.

Today, the digital wireless guitar system is considered the industry standard for professional performances, thanks to its capacity for signal quality preservation at extended ranges, as well as its capability for intelligent frequency management to ensure the highest quality and most authentic sound possible.



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Last updated on September 20, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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