Tired of feeling held back by cord length and tangles? You’re in the right place! If you don’t know what a wireless system for your guitar is, it’s a way to give you a bit of extra freedom on stage or even during casual use. You essentially ditch the cords which are replaced with a wireless transmitter and a receiver. In this post we review 5 great options to help you find the best wireless system for guitars.
Here’s our list of the 5 best wireless guitar systems.
If you’re trying to find a top-end system with no noise, dropouts, easy setup and battery life to last you’ve found your match. We’re big fans of the PGXD14 and we’re sure you will be too.
The transmitter is easy to use and comes in the form of a body pack and is easily clipped on to your guitar or clothing such as your belt. Battery life really isn’t a problem as you get up to10 hours usage from full. It’s worth noting you will need to purchase the 2 AA batteries separately. It’s nice and easy to set up with auto frequency selection and high reliability.
Shure BLX14 with WA302 Instrument Cable
If you’re looking for a high-end wireless guitar system, that’s quick to find the clearest frequency and channel regardless of location this is just what you’re looking for. With the BLX14 firmly at the top of our list, it’s safe to say we absolutely love it.
It comes with adjustable gain control and an impressive operating range of up to 300 feet, providing you remain in the line of sight. It’s nice and easy to set up at varied locations thanks to the ease and speed of its frequency matching. You get an indication of battery and power status thanks to the LED lights. You’ll be pleased to know that the batteries (2x AA) do come included.
Line 6 Relay G10
If you need a wireless system for your guitar that’s easy to set up but comes with a reasonable price tag the Line 6 Relay G10 is a really good option.
When it comes to getting up and running you get simple channel set up thanks to the fact it’s automatic. The transmitter can be charged by docking it on the receiver which is also useful. You get up to 8 hours playing time, with 200 hours of sleep time required per charge. The range is up to 50-foot while indoors. Another benefit is that audio is only passed when the transmitter is fully plugged in, meaning “pop” is muted.
If you’re looking for an entry-level system, we’d thoroughly recommend the Nady DKW-8U. You get big specs without a big price tag, perfect for beginners or those of you looking to make the plunge without breaking the bank.
This system works on a single channel at high band UHF giving you range and intervened performance. Designed to operate at between 150 and 300 feet providing you’re in its line of sight. With clear indicators through LED lights, you’ll know when your battery is running low. Speaking of battery you get up to 10 hours of life from a single charge.
This is a perfect system for those of you looking to rid yourself of the cables. Perfect for playing the guitar on your bed or a chair while hooked up to an amp a few meters away. Providing it’s in your line of sight. You’ll be pleased to hear It’s one of the more budget-friendly options on our list.
This system comes with Bluetooth technology and effective plug and plays functionality, allowing you to connect to numerous amps. You get a surprisingly clear yet long range transmission. It’s worth noting you might not get great performance if you’re too close to propagation from other wireless frequencies or signals such as wireless routers.
Finding a Wireless Guitar System
Wireless guitar systems operates by using radio frequencies to send wireless audio signals between instruments, receptors, and receivers. The radio frequencies that wireless guitar systems use transmit audio signals between instruments and receiving devices using radio waves that travel through analog or digital channels.
Analog Wireless Systems
Compress the input signal at the transmitter and then expand it again at the receiver. This process is also called “companding.”
Digital Wireless SystemsConvert analog audio into digital data. This process resolves the issue of companding by capturing the audio at the receiver and reconverting the signal to an interference-free analog signal.
Digital Wireless Systems
Digital Wireless Systems operate by cycling through a 4-step process.
Here are the steps that digital wireless systems take to transmit a cleaner sound than their analog counterparts.
1. Convert analog audio to digital data.
2. Digital data is captured by the receiver.
3. The receiver reconverts the audio into a pure analog signal
4. The signal is returned clear and free of radio frequency interference.
When it comes to making the choice between a digital or analog system, digital systems have become more popular as they provide superior audio quality and features. Analog systems fare better when there is a need for using additional channels. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between analog and digital frequencies later in this guide.
Why Use a Wireless Guitar System
Many musicians that are looking to enhance their interactive performance and stage presence are now opting to use wireless guitar systems. These innovative wireless systems are providing professional guitar players with an edge.
If you’re looking for freedom of movement without a bulky setup that includes heavy cables and cords, then a wireless guitar system is definitely an option for you to consider. Take a look at some of the benefits that this wire-free system has to offer.
- Eliminates the need for buying and maintaining bulky expensive audio cables.
- Provides musicians with access to a larger performance area for more complex performances.
- Guitarists who are interactive with their performances and crowds are free to move around the performance venue within the limits of their chosen wireless guitar system.
Pros and Cons
Have you been wondering why some musicians swear by wireless guitar systems while others steer clear of this increasingly popular cord-free system? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using these systems and how they measure up to their cable wired counterparts.
Wireless guitar systems provide more freedom of movement leading to more opportunities for audience engagement during interactive performances than cabled systems that can restrict movement to the length of the audio cables.
Using wireless systems prevents musicians from having to manage, navigate, and maintain costly and heavy audio cables and cords. This is a definite pro as professional guitarists can save time and money when setting up for their next performance by not having to manage the added burden of carrying and transporting cabled instruments.
Having greater freedom of movement on stage can lead to better overall performance for guitarist and entertainers who use wireless guitar systems. Without the restriction of heavy cables, musicians and guitarists are able to freely move around the stage and venue in order to heighten the effects of interactive performances.
Some of the frequencies that wireless guitar systems operate on require a license to use. Undesirable additional sound artifacts may occur during performances. The sounds produced when this occurs are to as breathing or pumping.
Some of the original audio signals can be lost during the transmission process resulting in reduced sound quality during performances when using analog systems. Analog systems are a simpler version of wireless audio systems than their digital counterparts. These basic systems don’t control for companding or radio frequency interference during performances.
What Makes The Best Guitar Wireless System
If you’re looking for a wireless guitar system to enhance the quality of your play, choose systems that have the best built-in features for your budget. Along with some of the features listed below, be sure to choose systems that provide easy set-up, self-help, support options, and tutorials in order to help you become accustomed to your new wireless setup.
Here are some Important features to consider when searching for the best wireless guitar system for your particular playing needs.
- Wide Variety of Channel Selections
- Automatic Channel Selection
- Limited TV/Radio Interference
Remember: The best wireless guitar systems are going to come with easy to use features and easy to follow instructions. Keep in mind that some frequencies require licensing to use. Be sure to check with your wireless system dealer regarding licensing and frequency compliance in your region.
Tips for Buying a Wireless Guitar System
The most important part of buying and operating a wireless guitar system is understanding the differences between analog and digital signals and how their radio frequencies affect your sound quality. Another important factor to know when purchasing a wireless guitar system is how the radio frequencies that they use actually work.
Let’s learn more about wireless guitar system radio frequencies and important features to look for when shopping for your next wire-free system.
Know Your Frequency
Some radio frequencies are prohibited for musicians to use, while others require special licensing to use. It is critical that you know what frequency you can legally use to avoid breaking the law. Take a look at some of the common frequencies that musicians use below.
Commonly Used Radio FrequenciesAnalog FrequenciesVHF – very high frequency 30 – 300 MHzUHF – Ultra High Frequency 300 MHz – 3GHz Radio and TV
Digital Frequencies900 MHz – Available only in the United States and Canada2.4 GHz ISM – Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Radio Bands
*The 2.4 GHz band is currently the most popular band used worldwide as it does not require a license and is prone to less interference than all of the other bands that have been previously mentioned here.
Automatic Channel Selection
Frequency Agility is a popular wireless guitar system add on feature that gives your wireless system the ability to automatically switch between radio channels to avoid interference. This feature prevents guitarists from having to manually select the correct frequency during playback by automatically selecting the correct channel with the least amount of interference that is available for use.
Systems that feature frequency agility are slightly more expensive, however, the convenience of having the automatic channel selection feature is well worth the added cost in the long run.
Final Thoughts on Wireless Systems for Guitar
Wireless guitar systems are a great way for professional musicians to add an edge to their onstage performances and increase their interactive audience engagement. These systems provide guitarists with fluid freedom of movement on and offstage and also save money and time on setting up and maintaining related audio equipment. If you’re looking for more fluidity on stage why not check out our guitar volume pedal review.
Be sure to refer to this guide when you’re ready to make your first or your next wireless guitar purchase!