In a time when we can easily listen to music without wires, you should be able to enjoy a guitar system without cables too. You may have bandmates who are stuck in their old-school ways.
Guitarists who believe we should remain in the Sixties, even if it means having to deal with cables attached. Thankfully, technology has moved on, if some guitarists have not
There can be fewer more excruciating experiences than playing with a crackly guitar cable, especially for a big show on a huge stage.
Just as you are ready to deliver that crushing guitar solo… nothing. Silence.
The band knows what has happened because they have suffered the same fate during rehearsals.
That dodgy guitar cable has cut out. Again. While your audience should remember the show for your band’s performance, all they can recall is the awkward silence.
Going wireless can be truly liberating and technology has advanced significantly. You can get a high-quality wireless guitar system which is affordable too.
No more tripping over cables, no more cables cutting out, and you are free to enjoy the expanse of the stage. In this guide, we will look at the best wireless guitar systems around.
Our Best Wireless Guitar System Reviews
Best For Easy Set Up – Shure BLX14 Bodypack Wireless System
For an intuitive interface and effortless setup, you can do no better than the Shure BLX14 Wireless System. The brand is well known for top-quality microphones yet their wireless systems are garnering praise.
With good reason too, the conventional combo of bodypack with a specific guitar cable works well. As does the single-channel receiver.
If you have decided on a wireless system that you want to use out of the box then this is an excellent choice. We really liked the QuickScan technology for its convenient method of selecting unused frequencies.
Easy to use and precision built, the receiver and bodypack transmission both have a durable feel for long-lasting performance.
- Precision Built – Consistent performance comes from a precision-built piece of kit
- 14 Hours Playing Time – Two AA batteries produce a sizable 14 hours of playing time
- QuickScan Technology – Straightforward setup as the technology will equip the system in unused frequencies so you do not have to find one
- Durable Design – Both the receiver and bodypack transmission have a solid feel that comes from a durable design
- Compatible With Specific Frequency Bands – You should check if the wireless frequency band you choose works in your environment
- Restrictions – There is a note that while you do not require a license for the wireless system, operating without one comes subject to certain restrictions including operating at a low power level
Also available directly from Shure
- Before purchasing, please ensure that the wireless frequency band you select works in your area.
- Includes BLX1 bodypack transmitter, BLX4 single-channel receiver, guitar cable, power supply, 2 AA batteries, and user guide
- BLX1 wireless bodypack transmitter works for up to 14 hours on two AA batteries (included)
- Features WA302 instrument cable for guitar/bass connects a 1/4" jack to a 4-pin mini-connector (TA4F / TQG) for bodypack transmitters
- 300 feet (91 m) operating range (line of sight)
Best For Sound Quality – Sennheiser EW 100 G4-Ci1
For a musician or band that needs to take that step up, they require more from their wireless guitar system.
More power than a regular system can allow which is where the Sennheiser EW 100 G4-Ci1 wireless system comes in.
With an easy setup, you can soon expect sound clarity to impress your audience. That includes Fast Frequency Allocation and a setup that prevents other wireless systems from interfering with that signal.
The operating range of 300 feet should help you take that next step up too, which we liked in our testing.
Sennheiser is well-known for its microphones and audio gear, with the EW 100 G4-Ci1, you can expect excellent sound quality here too.
- LCD Display – The intuitive LCD display gives you full control in an accessible format
- Infrared Synchronization – Enjoy the close yet flexible interaction between transmitter and receiver
- Fast Frequency Allocation – Linking functionality means you can program up to 12 receivers quickly
- 300-Feet Range Transmission Range – Enough for rehearsals and large stages
- Excellent Sound Quality – No matter the venue or the style of music, you should enjoy the clear sound quality
- Possible Interference – There have been reports of some occasional interference yet this can be fixed
Also available directly from Sennheiser
- Rugged all-in-one wireless system for Guitar and bass
- Transmission range: up to 100 meters/ 300 feet
- Easy and flexible wireless synchronization between transmitter and receiver via infrared
- State-of-the-art live sound on a lightweight aluminium transmitter with integrated mute switch
- Up to 20 compatible channels
Best For Pedalboard Integration – Line 6 Relay G10S
Guitarists love their pedalboards, for enhancing their own sound that piece of kit is an essential part of their setup.
With a durable metal stompbox receiver and a tidy 9V power supply, the Line 6 Relay G10S is an ideal wireless guitar system for those used to a pedalboard.
The Plug and Play feature is really handy to allow the receiver to select the strongest wireless frequency it can.
Functionality to recharge the battery when you plug it in and a battery life indicator were both plus points in our experience of this product.
Then there is the sound quality. 24-bit, lossless digital audio and a range from 10Hz to 20kHz. If you want to be heard, you should be heard well.
- Plug And Play Feature – Simply power up the unit and get playing as it will have already locked onto the strongest unused wireless frequency
- Excellent Sound Quality – Enjoy lossless 24-bit digital audio quality using the full range of 10Hz to 20kHz
- Automatically Charging Transmitter – When docked, the G10TII Transmitter charges automatically
- Battery Life Indicator – An LED indicator lets you know when the battery life is low
- Rechargeable Battery – When ready to recharge, simply plug the unit into the receiver
- Possible Interference – There are reports that the signal may drop if you stand between the transmitter and the receiver
Also available directly from Line 6
- Plug and Play - No setup required
- 1/4" and XLR outputs
- 130' line-of-sight range
- Up to seven hours playing time, 170 hours in standby
- Auto or manual channel selection
Best For Power Distribution – Boss WL-50 Guitar Wireless System
Another Plug and Play pedalboard option worth considering is the Boss WL-50 Guitar Wireless System.
Boss are well known for their audio performance and a latency of just 2.3 microseconds goes far in your enjoyment of the wireless system. Especially with limited lags and no drop-outs.
The Plug and Play functionality is also a feature to boast about. Dock in the transmitter with the receiver and after just ten seconds plug it into your instrument.
The best wireless connection has already been set during the docking which we liked in our testing.
You should also find yourself playing all day with 12 hours of continuous playing time available. Then there is the Boss PSA-S adaptor which can power the rest of your pedals.
- Snug Fitting Stompbox Sized Receiver – The receiver should sit well alongside the rest of your pedals
- Boss PSA-S Adaptor – DC output which is really useful if you want to distribute power to the pedals in your pedalboard
- Boss Quality Audio Performance – Super low latency of a mere 2.3 microseconds for a great sound with limited lags
- 12 Hours Continuous Playing Time – Functionality for a rechargeable battery is kept in the transmitter but you can expect a full 12 hours of continuous playing time
- Possible Clicking Noises – There are some reports of audible clicking noises on certain acoustic-electric guitars
Also available directly from Boss
- Plug-and-play wireless system in a stompbox-size format for pedalboards
- Optimum wireless connection set automatically, with no complicated setup required
- Newly developed BOSS technology delivers premium audio performance with rock-solid stability, ultra-low latency (2.3 ms), and 65-foot/20-meter range (line-of-sight propagation)
- Built-in rechargeable battery in transmitter provides up to 12 hours of continuous playing time
- Plug the transmitter into the receiver’s docking port for charging and automatic wireless setup
Best For Value – XVive U2 Wireless Guitar System
A lot of wireless guitar systems fit snugly in your pedalboard yet one that triumphs on value is the XVive U2 Wireless Guitar System. You will get high-quality 24-bit, 48 kHz digital audio.
There is still a relatively low latency of 5 microseconds and a solid five hours performance from a rechargeable lithium battery.
You can even find the right colored finish to suit your style, which we liked in our testing. The receiver can be plugged into any pedalboard, effect pedal, or effects unit which is helpful.
There is also a sufficient range of over 70 feet which for small gigs may be ideal. For the price and ease of setup, if you do have a budget this is an ideal option.
- Compact Design – The dongles are lightweight and compact for all your guitars and other instruments if required
- High-Quality Audio – A full 48 kHz of 24-bit digital audio will make your output sound clear enough
- Low Latency – Just 5 microseconds of latency
- 107 dB Signal To Noise Ratio – Do not fear losing your tone with a significant signal-to-noise ratio
- Range of Colored Finishes – Choose from black, carbon, silver, gold, redwood, blue, or red for a finish that suits your style
- Cumbersome Design – Dongles may get in the way which is not ideal for a wireless guitar system
Also available directly from XVive
【2.4GHz Clear Signal Transmission】2.4GHz band is optimal for guitar wireless,Compared to 5.8Ghz with uncompressed wireless signal transmission, low noise, low latency and other excellent features, approved for worldwide use.
【Less Than 4.5ms Latency and Last Longer】no lag or no signal loss. effective range is about 120 feet outdoors, router through walls well,Line-0-site, supports simultaneous broadcasts on 4 channels.Built-in rechargeable lithium battery, working time is up to 7 hours after fully charged, and comes with a USB cable for convenient recharging, which ensures good performance for your every show.
【Workmanship and Widespread Use】 220° rotatable plug design, Use great chip, high grade materials，Drop and 5000+Pull-in test；available for most electric guitars, bass, keyboard, electric music instruments, and other musical instruments with pickup.
【Plug and Play】Take it out of your case or pocket, plug it in, turn on the power, Long press the signal key to match transmitter and receiver at the same time, and play. That's how simple it is.
【12 Month Warranty】30 days money back and 1 year warranty, any question clicks in "YOUR ORDER" options click the “contact seller".
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a wireless guitar system. One of the most important elements for your guitar playing is the latency.
The lower, the better if you want to find it easy to stay in time with the rest of the band. The dynamic band should also be taken into consideration as long as the AD/DA converters are top-quality.
Without the full freedom to roam the stage, there is not really much point in going wireless. Finding a system that allows for at least 70 feet of physical range is ideal though you may want even more.
Along with that freedom, you want to sound great and the audio quality should be 24-bit. The frequency range should be around 10Hz up to 20kHz for great coverage.
You should also ensure that the battery life is up to scratch. While on tour, you should not have to be carrying boxes of batteries.
Nor should you be recharging the lithium batteries at every stop. Rechargeable batteries with a playing time of around eight hours should be enough.
Ensuring that the guitar tone you produce is maintained should be a key aspect of your decision-making.
In a wireless guitar system, the signal in your guitar switches from analog to digital once it hits the transmitter.
This is typically called an A to D converter and once it is sent over the operating band to the receiver it is converted back to analog (or D to A). The important thing to consider is that the full dynamic range of the signal is preserved.
You should check the quality of the AD/DA converters, if they are top-end, high-quality then the original guitar tone will be maintained.
This is where the digital format of the wireless guitar system comes in as the 1s and 0s in the digital signal cannot be affected by interference.
As long as the latency is low enough, you should have a natural guitar sound and can keep in time with the rest of the band
Without cables, you need a decent range to make any worthwhile use out of your wireless guitar system. This means being able to use the freedom of the stage without losing any performance.
You should consider a wireless guitar system with a range of at least 70 feet. That should be enough for large stages to allow you to move without fear of your guitar dropping out.
While you should be concerned about the signal from your guitar being picked up, the audio quality is also important.
A lot of wireless guitar systems tend to use 24-bit lossless digital audio which is certainly a decent benchmark. The frequency response is also essential and the bigger, the better.
A range from 10Hz to 20kHz should cover most bases, though some ranges may start at 20Hz and others may only go as far as 18kHz so it is worth checking out.
The latency is a feature you should consider when opting for a wireless guitar system. For a guitarist, this is the amount of time (measured in microseconds) between hitting a string and hearing that sound through the amp.
An analog guitar system using cables has almost no latency at all, certainly not a perceptible one. However, a cheaper wireless guitar system can have a higher latency and you may notice it.
The higher the latency, the more likely you will sound out of sync with the rest of your band. This delay can even mean you struggle with the timing and your performance would suffer too.
If you can ensure a latency as low as 2.5 microseconds, that should still ensure a great performance that is in time.
Wireless Frequency/Operating Band
There are two operating bands that wireless guitar systems use. Those are 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz and there are subtle differences between the two.
The 2.4GHz operating band is used by other electronic devices such as cordless phones, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
You can still expect the system to operate though it may suffer some interference. Alternatively, the 5.8GHz operating band is far less likely to struggle as fewer devices use that
Available Playing Time/Battery Life
The available playing time is judged by the battery life as wireless guitar transmitters tend to use batteries.
Of course, rechargeable lithium batteries mean you do not have to keep shelling out for new batteries. However, you should ensure a recharging system that works for you.
Essentially, one that recharges as soon as it is plugged in so you do not have to worry about finding a plug socket at short notice.
Battery life indicators are also useful for quickly telling you if you need to charge them. This is especially important before a gig and should be something to check, certainly during the soundcheck.
If you are to consider the battery life then three hours of playing time may not be enough and that will have you recharging them regularly.
There are systems that boast eight hours of playing time and even 200 hours in sleep mode which can save on the battery life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Wireless Guitar Systems Make Sound Without The Use Of Cables?
There are two parts to a wireless guitar system. Instead of onerous cables, you have a transmitter and a receiver. With a quarter-inch output jack, you can connect your guitar to the transmitter which will send a signal to the receiver.
One of the main aspects of finding the right wireless guitar system may be in the form of the transmitter. You can find dongles, though you can also find a pack that is attached to your guitar strap or belt.
The receiver can be sat on your amp or in your pedalboard and has an output that is sent via a cable to the amp’s input. Et voilà, we have sound.
Should A Wireless Guitar System Affect The Tone?
A lot of guitarists are worried that switching to a wireless guitar system will impact their tone. After all, the quality of their guitar tone is one of the most precious aspects of their playing.
For some guitarists there is a purism towards cables, that going with wires is strictly the way it should be. Thankfully, technology has moved on and this is no longer an issue.
Granted, Bluetooth speakers generally have a way to go to catch up yet wireless systems are wholly reliable. As long as the latency is low, there should not be a perceptible difference in your playing.
A few guitar effects pedals may behave differently yet that is a slight concern.