The best wireless guitar systems have come a long way from the over-ear models of the 1980s and 1990s. Today, traditionalists might still prefer a wired system, but there are plenty of options for those looking for a wireless connection.
If you’re considering adding a wireless guitar system to your collection, keep in mind that some systems are better than others when it comes to performance and features. This article will compare four popular options from Shure, Boss, Donner and Xvive.
Once we have reviewed some of our favorite systems, we dive into our buyers guide that gives more insight into how we chose these four and what set each digital system apart!
The 4 Best Wireless Guitar Systems
Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Wireless System
Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Wireless System with LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management technology intelligent lithium-ion battery and an ergonomic design.
The GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Wireless System is the brainchild of decades of research and development by the audio pioneers at Shure. It provides a simple, reliable wireless connection for guitarists using their pedals while performing on stage or in the studio.
The system features LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management technology that scans available RF channels, intelligently selecting the best one available to minimize RF interference, digital signal processing (DSP), automatic transmitter setup, frequency agility and a lithium-ion battery to provide 18 hours of performance time.
- LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management
- Operate Up to 8 Systems
- Top of the Line Wireless Pedal System
- High Quality Audio Clarity
- Shure Name and Reputation
- Only for Pedals
BOSS Wireless System (WL-20)
Featuring Plug & Play simplicity and easy setup, the BOSS WL-20 Wireless System is designed for use with any compatible H3 Gaming Headset.
This highly reliable wireless system is designed to provide low latency (2.3ms) and a 50ft wireless range. Using an interference-free 2.4GHz signal, it’s fully compatible with other Bluetooth devices while its broadcast power can reach up to 10 meters for maximum coverage in larger playing spaces!
There are also adjustable audio levels so you can zone in on your surroundings with precision (or block out distractions). You can also purchase a wl-t transmitter separately if you need it.
- BOSS Plug and Play Technology
- Super Low 2.3ms Latency
- 12 Hours of Continuous Play Time
- Dependable Stability
- Small Range (15m)
Donner Wireless Guitar System
The Donner Wireless Guitar System is a great option for the musician looking to play wireless especially on a budget. The UHF wireless ID pairing technology supports 10 channels of interference free play.
The Latency is a little slower than others on the list, specified at 3.5ms. It also will need to be kept closer than other options on the list with a somewhat limited range of 20 meters.
Working time on the Donner is about 5 hours, with another 1.5 – 2 hours of charge time. While not as nice as some of the other systems mentioned, the Donner is the best cheap wireless guitar system we’ve found!
- Great Value!!
- 2.5ms Low Latency
- 10 Channel Capability
- 5 Guitar Effects
- 20m Range
- Analog System
- Relatively Short Battery Life
Xvive U2 Guitar Wireless System
Last but not least, the Xvive U2 Guitar Wireless System is the next evolution of guitar wireless technology.
Small and lightweight, it features a clear signal transmission with 4.5ms latency for no lag or signal loss, and simultaneous broadcasting on 4 channels to provide the perfect mix of music for any guitar player.
The Xvive U2 Guitar Wireless System offers four wireless channels, and the 2.4GHz frequency is rarely used by normal devices around you, such as a microwave oven, TVs, or wireless routers so interference is not a problem.
The True sound technology on the U2 System also ensures that you get a clean tone that sounds exactly as it would coming from your amp. No compression or flattening of the output range!
- 2.4 GHz Digital System
- Huge Range of 120 ft
- Plug and Play
- Built to be very Durable.
- 4.5ms Latency
Wireless Guitar System Buying Guide
Wireless guitar systems have come a long way. In the past, they were not well-received because of their low sound quality and the tendency to cut out in the middle of performances. No guitarist wants to have a practice session or performance interrupted by faulty electronics! Thankfully, today you can find many great wireless guitar system options out there.
The benefit of using a wireless system vs traditional cables is the ability to use your guitar without the need for long, bulky cables. They also take up less floor space than traditional guitar stands and can be easily hidden.
However, there are drawbacks as well. The biggest problem with wireless systems is that lower quality ones do not transfer the exact same signal that a traditional cable does. When it comes to sound quality, only the best wireless systems compare.
Digital vs Analog
Wireless guitar systems come in two types, analog or digital. Analog systems have been around the longest, as technology advances digital systems are quickly overtaking analog ones. Each system has both advantages and disadvantages.
Analog wireless guitar systems are the most popular in the world because they are cheaper to produce and easier to use. The analog wireless guitar system consists of a transmitter that is connected by a wire to an amplifier or PA system, and a receiver (usually placed on your belt), that is connected by wire to a small speaker or earphones mounted on the receiver.
The digital wireless system, on the other hand, is quickly gaining popular thanks to advances in technology. These systems are less prone to interference from other devices, and they are easier to setup.
The digital wireless guitar system consists of a transmitter, placed in between your guitar and amplifier or PA system, that is digitally connected by cable to a small transmitter box with an output for audio (the box should also come with an audio input cable, if not you will need another cable for connection).
The last, and probably most important piece of information, is that the the best digital guitar system will retain the quality of the audio input better than any analog system can. This is why professionals are starting to switch to high-end digital units and use them exclusively.
What to Look for in a High-Quality Wireless System
So, why did we pick out the four models that we did? What makes a wireless system worth the investment? There are few characteristics that make a wireless system high-quality, but the ones we have found recently are:
Wireless guitar system have to be stable and reliable. A wireless system is an investment and when you are spending money on it, you want it to be as durable as possible. The Donner Wireless Guitar System is one of the top systems in the market because all of its components do not need batteries. This means you will never have to worry about your batteries running out during a performance.
Another factor that adds to the durability of a wireless system is the type of material that was used to make the components. Most strong wireless systems are built with metal, which means they can handle rough handling and will continue working after accidentally being dropped or hit. The BOSS Wireless Guitar System comes with a metal transmitter, which provides top-notch durability.
These systems should be easy to setup and use. This goes for both the transmitter and receiver. The Xvive U2 wireless guitar system is one of the top-selling wireless systems because it has very few buttons to press. The Donner Wireless Guitar System is also one of the best to use, as its receiver can be adjusted without having to mess with any knobs or switches, meaning there are no settings that must be changed.
Wireless guitar systems have to sound great. It is now common knowledge that digital wireless guitar systems sound better than analog ones. This is true of the BOSS Wireless Systems WL-20 and SL-8, which have had very positive feedback from many professionals.
Lastly, they should be as easy to transport as possible. The BOSS Wireless Guitar System has a lightweight transmitter case which is easy to carry around and store in a gig bag or backpack.
How Do You Use a Wireless System for Guitar?
Using a wireless guitar system is simple. There are four basic steps that apply to all systems. You may have a few additional steps, depending on the model you’ve chosen, but this will get you started!
- Connect the receiver to a speaker and plug in the amplifier or PA system
- Turn on the amplifier or PA system and receiver
- Activate the transmitter
- Turn on your guitar’s amp
Often, you’ll have to pair the receiver and transmitter to each other as you would many popular Bluetooth devices. This step usually only needs to be done once unless the unit goes completely dead.
The Final Note
A wireless guitar system is an investment. The best ones are durable, easy to use, sound great and are easy to transport. The good news is that they are also becoming more and more accessible to the public.
If you want to get started with a wireless system, we recommend that you carefully choose your wireless guitar system. We have given you four great picks here and armed you with the knowledge to shop for your own if you so choose!
Last update on 2021-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API