If the biggest and most demanding venue you play guitar to is your mom’s basement and you’re playing for your dog and three stuffed animals, you have probably never thought about using a wireless guitar system—why would you need to? But, if you find yourself on bigger stages, with cheering strangers shouting the lyrics to your songs back at you, you may be a tad frustrated with the immobility guitar cables commit you to. How much fun is it (for you or your audience) if you just stand in one place the entire time?
Music makes the audience want to dance—why shouldn’t you be able to join in with them? With the cables out of the way, you can play your music and dance along to it, too! A guitar wireless system is the answer to all your twisted and tangled performance problems.
Read on to find the best wireless guitar system for your needs, so you can purchase one and start owning the stage like the true star that you are!
The Line 6 Relay G10 Digital Wireless Guitar System is a great system for a beginner to use! This is the most basic iteration in its class, and so it is naturally less expensive than some of the more sophisticated options. One great feature of this wireless electric guitar system is its rechargeable ability. It also has easy set-up features—just plug in and play! The frequency channel is already pre-established. It offers up to 8 hours of playing time per charge. The Line 6 G10 has a 50-foot indoor range, which means this would be a great option for a musician playing in smaller venues.
The next step up with this brand is the Line 6 G30. At a slightly higher price, this wireless system offers a 30-meter line-of-sight range, along with 8 hours of battery life. It comes with more frequency options than the Line 6 Relay G10, which means there is a lower chance for interruptions while you play! This Line 6 wireless system offers great sound quality to its users at a moderate price point.
The most advanced wireless guitar system of this line, the Line 6 G50 boasts up to a 200-foot line-of-sight range, along with an 8-hour battery life. The signal is very strong, and with 12 frequency channels to choose from, a clear sound should be attainable in any venue. If you’ve got a budget that will allow it, this Line 6 wireless guitar system is a great option for a musician who is playing live shows to moderately-sized crowds.
From one of the industry’s most trusted brands, the Shure BLX14-H9 comes with its own frequency and auto-scan channel search, ensuring the clearest frequency at any given location. While the auto-scan feature is a great option, this system also has a manual option for choosing a channel, so if you do run into interference, you can modify your settings with ease. This Shure wireless guitar system may be a basic version, but it boasts a 14-hour battery life on 2 AA batteries—great for those who play many shows in a short amount of time.
This model of the Shure wireless system offers a 200-foot operating range. It can successfully run for up to 8 hours of playing time. Because it has its own range of frequencies, it offers a consistently clear and even tone, with little to no interference. Beyond its technical capabilities, this model comes with everything you need to set up and play, along with a wireless microphone, a carrying case, an instruction manual, and your first set of batteries, so you can open it up, and play!
Shure has surely outdone themselves with this wireless system! The most advanced system in this list, this model comes with a built-in tuner, the ability to pair up to 8 compatible systems, and a 16-hour rechargeable battery. For a musician playing to large crowds, this is a great option. It has the auto-scan feature to find the optimal frequency for its location, sound quality indistinguishable from cables, and an incredible, unmatched range. For a musician whose budget will allow, this model is a Shure fit.
This guitar system is a solid choice for any musician. It has the auto-scan feature, allowing you to scan for the best frequency in any venue, and change accordingly. It emits a clear, even sound with virtually no interference with up to a 100-foot range. For a musician playing moderately sized shows, this system will certainly get the job done!
This wireless system is a basic model, great for beginners. It is made of a lightweight plastic, making it easy to carry onstage and easy to transport, and is surprisingly durable! It has one free-to-use frequency, so users may run into occasional interference. With about a 20-foot range, this little guitar system is great for home use or small, open venues.
This wireless system has been around for quite some time, and users love it. It has a 300-foot range, which is great for musicians playing large shows, and its battery life is upwards of 10 hours. It has the auto-scan feature, ensuring a clear sound on an uninterrupted frequency. One of the top brands in the industry, this model certainly lives up to its hype.
With a 500-foot range, the Nady U is a great, low-cost option for musicians with a big fan base, but a smaller budget. It has both an auto-scan and a manual feature, so if you run into interference, you can quickly find a new frequency. While the sound quality is not up to par with some of the higher-end models, this system packs enough punch for a great live show.
An inexpensive, but effective wireless guitar system, the Donner DWS-3 is great for newbies and those who want to play in small areas or around the house with no connections! It has a 100-foot range and a clear sound; however, its rechargeable battery life is only about 2.5 hours. This wireless system does have a 2.5ms latency period, but users say they do not even notice the lag. Beginners will love how easy it is to use—simply plug and play!
One of the more basic models, the Xvive U2 Rechargeable is a great wireless system for beginners—just plug and play. It does have a 6ms latency period, but it is hardly a noticeable lag. It has a 4-5 hour rechargeable battery and operates in a 70-foot range. It is made from a lightweight plastic, which is less durable than some of the more advanced wireless systems. The Xvive U2 guitar wireless system offers multiple frequency channels, making it less likely to run into interference.
How Does A Guitar Wireless System Work?
First things first: how does a wireless instrument system work? It’s actually pretty simple! You will plug a wireless device into the slot in your guitar where you would normally plug in your amp. Turn the system on, and match radio frequencies (just like when you’re using a walkie-talkie!) and just like that, your melodies will be ringing through your speaker.
Wireless systems run on frequencies. You plug the transmitter into your guitar, and the transmitter will then send signals to the receiver, which will play through the amp. Because all systems must be on the same frequency to allow this process, having flexible frequencies is crucial to avoiding interference from other systems, and static. Several guitar wireless systems come with multiple frequency channel options, which allows the musician to find the clearest and most efficient channel at any given time, in any given place.
While some products simply require the purchase of the wireless instrument system, other products will require you to purchase additional licensing to gain access to the radio frequency you need to emit music. The upside to buying a wireless instrument system that requires licensing is that you will never find your music interrupted by someone else on your frequency.
On the free-to-use products, it is more likely that you may hear occasional static or interference from others using the same (free) frequency.
What Makes A Good Wireless System?
There are lots of great wireless systems on the market. The question is, what is most important to you? There are quite a few factors that play a part in what you are looking for: range, battery life, durability, sound clarity, ease of use, and frequency flexibility, just to name a few. Depending on your skill level and what kind of use you expect to get out of your wireless guitar system, you will find that there are many options to choose from.
For beginners: Being that this is likely one of your first guitar wireless systems, the ease of use is probably a very important factor for you. As you read, you will find that there are many wireless systems that are simple to use—simply plug and play! As you become more experienced and learn the advanced workings of a wireless guitar system, you may find that this particular factor will become less important to you.
Some of the basic versions have a smaller range and lower battery life, but for someone who is just learning, it is unlikely that you would need to be able to play to a huge arena or for hours on end. Many wireless guitar systems come with rechargeable batteries, but even for those that do not, you can purchase rechargeable batteries and use them for your wireless system.
For experienced musicians: You probably already know how a wireless guitar system works, and you may even be familiar with a few of the wireless guitar systems listed here. A few key factors you should consider are range, sound clarity, and frequency flexibility.
Range is extremely important for musicians who are playing shows regularly. You need a clear idea of how big your venues typically are so you can make sure you purchase equipment that caters to it. If you play to large crowds, you certainly do not want a wireless guitar system that has a 50-foot range.
Sound clarity is another important factor for those who are playing live shows and recording their music using their wireless guitar system. If it is going to be recorded, you want it to be your best sound, so make sure you are paying close attention to this factor.
Frequency flexibility plays a big part in the sound clarity that a wireless guitar system can offer you. The ability to change the channel if you run into static or interference is a powerful one—it can change the sound of your entire performance. Auto-scan is a great feature because it allows the wireless system to find the clearest and least interrupted frequency in any venue or new location you take it to.
A great wireless guitar system looks different for different musicians. It is about what you want to use it for, how often, and your own personal preferences.
Guitar Wireless Systems vs. Guitar Cable Systems
The major technical difference between a wireless guitar system and a cable guitar system is the absence of the cables themselves. The cables provide an insulation and a direct connection from the instrument to the amp, which allows the sound to be distributed with no lag whatsoever, and with perfect clarity. There is no need for a frequency channel, which means there will be no interference from other systems running on the same frequency. It is a direct, uninterrupted connection. For those who play and stay in one place, or those who are in the process of recording, cable guitar systems are great options to get the best sound with the least interruption.
Some musicians argue that guitar wireless systems can never emit the true, pure sound that guitar cable systems can; however, most musicians agree that cables are not always the most efficient solution. For musicians performing on stage, mobility is a crucial part of the “performance”. Being able to run around the stage, jump off the stage, and move freely allows them to connect with their audience more personally, and allows them to enjoy their moment to its fullest. The energy that comes with a live audience is hard to keep contained by a cable—not to mention the danger that comes with loose cables lying all over a stage. It just isn’t practical.
Whether the sound is exactly as pure through a wireless guitar system as it is through a cable guitar system will probably always be up for debate, but most will agree that the minor sound difference is worth the major advantage to being mobile.
For some musicians, it isn’t even about being onstage! Even home musicians don’t always want to be held back by cables. Pets and children are prone to becoming tangled, unplugging, chewing, and breaking cords—but a wireless guitar system fixes all those problems! Cables can sometimes just be in the way, so a wireless guitar system can step in and save the day.
Of course, many musicians make it easy and simply own both types of systems. This way, they can use the cable guitar system in instances where it is more necessary, like recording or home practice, and use the wireless guitar system at live shows and when cables feel paralyzing.
How Much Should You Spend On A Wireless Guitar System?
How much you should spend on a wireless guitar system is dependent entirely on what you are looking to get out of your system. As with all things, you get what you pay for, so you must pay close attention to those little details that are important to you, and make an educated decision based on what features you simply cannot live without.
The most basic wireless guitar systems average in price from about $70-$200. These wireless guitar systems generally have a lower distance range and fewer frequency channels to choose from. Their battery life may run a little shorter than the higher end models, but many offer rechargeable batteries to make up for it. It is also possible that these basic models will have a small latency period, meaning it may take a few milliseconds for the sound to reach the amp from the time you play it. However, most people say that they hardly notice the lag. These baseline guitar wireless systems most likely will not have any of the fancier features, like built-in tuners, or system compatibility, but they will certainly produce a consistent and clear sound.
The mid-grade wireless guitar system run anywhere from about $200-$400. These wireless systems usually come with multiple frequency channels, allowing musicians to switch between frequencies depending on location, venue, and interference. They will typically have a bit longer distance range, allowing for medium sized shows without issue. They also have a bit longer of a battery life, so there are no worries about dying halfway through a set! The latency period with these wireless guitar systems is virtually non-existent.
The most advanced wireless guitar systems run anywhere from $400-$600. These are great for advanced musicians who play to large audiences regularly. Most of these wireless guitar systems have the auto-scan feature, making it an easy process to find a clear, uninterrupted frequency channel at any new venue. Many of these wireless systems are compatible with other wireless systems so that there is no interference in a performance setting. These are very durable and have a fantastic sound quality. The ranges on these can run anywhere from 300-500 feet and their battery lives are reported anywhere from 10-16 hours. For musicians who are working with a budget that will afford it, these are the best wireless guitar systems on the market.
What you should spend on your wireless guitar system depends entirely on what you are looking for and where you are in your musical career. There are options for any budget, so figure out which factors are most important to you!
A wireless guitar system is a great solution to all those pesky cable guitar system problems! No more tripping or staying in one place—a wireless guitar system gives you the freedom to roam around while you play, while still providing that flawless tone you are used to hearing. While cables allow you a direct, flawless connection, a wireless guitar system allows you to jump, dance, and run around while your audience jams right along with you.
Knowing what you want out of your wireless guitar system is the first step to purchasing the perfect one. Consider the line-of-sight range that you want to get out of your wireless system. Consider also how long you would like your battery to last, and is it important that the battery is rechargeable? Think about how important it is to you that you can change the frequency channel in order to find the clearest sound with the least interference. Decide if you want all the bells and whistles, like a built-in tuner or auto-scan for frequencies. Know all the important factors before you start looking, so you will know exactly what you are looking for, and you will know when you find it!
With models available for beginners all the way to models made for rock stars, a wireless guitar system can be a great addition to any musician’s equipment collection, and there is an option for everyone! From spending under $100 to spending over $500, wireless guitar systems come with many different options. For any musician who is thinking about getting mobile with their guitar, a guitar wireless system is right for you!