The Best Wireless Guitar Systems Under $500

Wireless Guitar

Getting a wireless system for your guitar can free you up from being tied to your amplifier and reduce cable clutter on stage.

We short-listed the 20 most popular systems at major online American music gear stores and examined over 2,600 sources to bring you the highest rated options on the market.

Contents

The Best Wireless Guitar Systems

Gearank Sources Street Price
Samson Concert 99 Wireless Guitar System 90 20+ $280
Audio-Technica ATW-1101G Wireless Guitar System 91 30+ $300
Shure PGXD14 Wireless Guitar System 90 40+ $349
Audio Technica ATW-1501 Wireless guitar System 90 50+ $350
Shure GLXD16 Wireless Guitar System 93 225+ $449
Shure GLXD14 Bodypack Wireless Guitar System 94 50+ $449
Line 6 Relay G55 Wireless Guitar System 90 100+ $450
Sennheiser EW 172 G3 Wireless Guitar System 93 175+ $500

Best Wireless Guitar Systems

Samson Concert 99 Wireless Instrument System

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$280

Samson is known for providing quality gear at very reasonable price points, and the Concert 99 is a shining example at how they balance quality, features and cost. At the core of this wireless system is the feature packed CR99 receiver, which comes in a compact table top friendly form factor that can be rackmounted via the included mounting kit. With its Group Scan feature, the receiver can pick the best frequencies to operate with. This pairs well with the IR Sync function, which wirelessly synchronizes the system. The Transmitter comes with variable gain in case you want to tame or boost the signal. Finally, auto-mute stops unwanted noise in case the transmitter is out of range or is turned off.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: CB99 Beltpack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 8 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: GC32 with Locking Connector
    • Dimensions: 3.7" x 2.4" x 0.7"
    • Weight: 0.2 lbs.
  • Receiver: CR99 Rackmount (0.5U Half Rack)
    • Antenna: Detachable
    • Operating Range: 300 ft. Line-of-sight
    • Frequency Range: Multi-Band UHF
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 5.9" x 7.8" x 1.6"
    • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Features: Group Scan, IR Sync, Variable Gain, 1-Touch Mute

Pros

Many reviewers consider the Samson Concert 99 as the best when it comes to value for money. Reliability came up a number of times, surprising many users who found that the system felt more solid than other expensive systems. Guitarists and technicians alike found the LCD display and interface to be very intuitive, making setup painless and hassle free. Finally, many reported on the Concert 99's impeccable clarity and sound quality.

Cons

No consistently reported complaint was mentioned, other than a few users who wanted an updated version that operates within the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

Overall

The Samson Concert 99 Wireless Guitar System is a reliable system that you can get without extending your budget.

Audio-Technica System 10 ATW-1101G Wireless Instrument System

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Guitar System

Audio-Technica decided to follow the latest trend in wireless connectivity with the ATW-1101G, utilizing the same 2.4GHz frequency range that most modern wireless devices use. The System 10 receiver scans for the best available frequency (or open channel) to avoid interference, and configures the transmitter accordingly. As proof of its intuitive design, there's no extra controls on the front panel, other than buttons for pairing. The system also lets you label pairings with different numbers so you know which is which in case you have multiple System 10's running at the same time. Note that the operating range for the ATW-1101G is shorter at 100 feet, but it should still be more than enough for most stages and setups.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: Bodypack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 7 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: Hirose 4-pin to 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 2.76" x 4.21" x 0.98"
    • Weight: 0.22 lbs.
  • Receiver: Table Top
    • Antenna: Fixed
    • Operating Range: 100 ft. Line-of-sight
    • Frequency Range: 2.4GHz
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 7.48" x 1.82" x 5.06"
    • Weight: 0.64 lbs.
  • Features: Up to 8 Channels, True-Diversity Operation, Auto Frequency Scanning

Pros

Most of the compliments were directed toward the system's ease of use and quick setup. The unit's sound quality and clarity were also commended by many users, which included non-guitar playing musicians like bassists, who found the quality of the sound to be more than adequate.

Cons

There were a few users who had interference issues, but repeating the pairing process helped. There were also some concern over the transmitter's battery life, specifically when using NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Overall

If you're looking to go the digital wireless route without spending too much, then the Audio-Technica ATW-1101/G wireless system is ideal.

Shure PGXD14 Digital Wireless Guitar System

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$349
Shure PGXD14 Digital Wireless Guitar System

There's no denying Shure's dominance in the wireless market, thanks to their reputation for both quality and reliability. So it's not surprising at all to find their brand securing multiple slots in this list, which include the PGXD14, a digital wireless guitar system that operates in the UHF frequencies, and streaming 24-bit/48kHz quality digital audio. To be specific, this system operates in the 900 MHz range, with up to 5 compatible channels per frequency band. Speaking of channels, the streamlined interface lets you select your preferred channel, or have the unit pick one for you via the sync button. The receiver has two fixed antennas that allow for true digital diversity signal reliability. The transmitter has its own antenna and a mute button.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: PGXD1 Bodypack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 9 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: W302 (TA4F to 1/4")
    • Dimensions: 4.25" x 2.52" x 0.75"
    • Weight: 0.28 lbs.
  • Receiver: PGXD4 Table Top
    • Antenna: Fixed
    • Operating Range: 200 ft. Line-of-Sight
    • Frequency Range: 900 MHz
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 1.6" x 7.125" x 4.1"
    • Weight: 0.64 lbs.
  • Features: Up to 5 Channels Per Frequency Band, One-Touch Sync, Auto Frequency Selection, True Digital Diversity, Gain Adjustment

Pros

Many guitarists rated the Shure PGXD14 highly because of its sound quality. And it's not just limited to standard 6-string guitars because some of the positive reviews were written by satisfied bassists. Heavy duty build and reliability were also prominently mentioned, and it's not surprising given Shure's reputation for durability.

Cons

There were a few users who wanted the receiver to be rackmountable. And some find the price to be a bit on the high side, although they still gave high ratings.

Overall

If reliability and durability are your priorities, then your top consideration should be the Shure PGXD14.

Audio Technica ATW-1501 Wireless Guitar System Pedal

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$350
Audio Technica ATW-1501

Audio-Technica designed the ATW-1501 for guitarists and bassists who prefer their wireless receiver in stompbox form. This configuration allows for handsfree muting/tuner operation, and lets you fit your wireless receiver into your existing pedalboard, to keep your gear organized. It carries over the same features as the table top version of System 10, with the main difference being its compact stompbox profile and footswitch control. You can use the footswitch to either mute the sound, or toggle between the two outputs, which allows you to switch between two different amps or even rigs. While other wireless systems only feature Space Diversity via the two receiver antenna, this pedal adds Time Diversity (send signals in multiple time slots) and Frequency Diversity
(sends audio on two frequencies) to prevent interference and drop outs.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: Bodypack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 7 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: Hirose 4-pin to 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 2.76" x 4.21" x 0.98"
    • Weight: 0.22 lbs.
  • Receiver: ATW-R1500 Stompbox
    • Operating Range: 60 ft Radius (Open Range Environment)
    • Frequency Range: 2.4GHz ISM Band
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
    • Output: 2 x 1/4" TRS
    • Dimensions: 3.98" x 1.73" x 5.12"
    • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
  • Features: Pedal Profile, Output Mode Selector, Multi-Pairing, Frequency, Time and Space Diversity

Pros

Reviewers have mostly good things to say about the ATW1501 Stompbox, and it has been reported to work well with electric guitars, acoustic-electric guitars and even bass. Many were impressed by its overall quality, reporting positive experiences with its sound and build.

Cons

There were some users who cautioned that the transmitter eats up battery quite fast, and recommends preparing multiple backup batteries before playing long sets.

Overall

The ATW-1501 is the most affordable pedal style wireless system that the market deems to be worthy of your consideration.

Shure GLXD16 Wireless Guitar System

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$449
Shure GLX-D16

Of the many wireless systems for instruments and guitars, Shure's GLXD series holds the best ratings. This series includes the GLX16, with its pedal shaped wireless receiver. The receiver operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band and allows for up to 8 compatible systems simultaneously. It utilizes Shure's LINGFREQ technology, which identifies open channels and configures the system accordingly. Since the transmitter automatically links to the receiver, setup is quick and convenient. It also has a nifty built-in tuner that you can engage via the foot switch. Speaking of the transmitter, the GLXD1 bodypack is powered by Shure's 3.7V Li-Ion Rechargeable battery, and it can run for up to 16 hours when fully charged. If you're worried about the charge time, the company assures that 15 minutes of charging will give you roughly around 1.5 hours of operation, more than enough for the typical gig.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: GLXD1 Bodypack
    • Battery: 3.7V Lithium-ion Rechargeable (Up to 16 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: WA305 (TA4F to 1/4")
    • Dimensions: 3.56" x 2.54" x 0.9"
    • Weight: 0.95 lbs.
  • Receiver:GLXD6 Pedal
    • Operating Range: 65 ft Line-of-Sight (200ft. Ideal Conditions)
    • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
    • Output: 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions:1.8" x 3.7" x 5.2"
    • Weight: 1.11 lbs.
  • Features:Built-in Tuner, LINKFREQ Auto-Frequency Management

Pros

Flawless came up a number of times in the reviews, and is a good one word description of how the market feels about the Shure GLXD16. Most users were impressed with its sound quality, to the point that some even found the sound comparable to their expensive guitar cables. The system's signal reliability and robust build were also complemented multiple times, by musicians who play different types of guitars, basses and other instruments.

Cons

There were a few who felt that the transmitter guitar cable is a bit flimsy, while others found the cable to be too long for bodypack use. A few guitarists who play in a big-band setting complained of signal drop-outs, possibly due to the GLXD16's limitation of up to 8 per frequency band.

Overall

The GLXD16's high rating and Shure's reputation is a sure win combination, worth the investment for those who want the best pedal wireless guitar system.

Shure GLXD14 Bodypack Wireless Guitar System

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$449
Shure GLXD14

Shure's GLXD14 currently holds the highest score in this list, which means that musicians prefer simplicity and quality over extra features when it comes to wireless guitar systems. The GLXD4 receiver is as straightforward as it can be, sporting a familiar table top profile that's free from bells and whistles. It's only purpose is to wireless connect your guitar to your rig, and it does so via Shure's LINKFREQ technology, which automatically syncs the transmitter and receiver to open channels. The Instrument friendly GLXD1 transmitter is powered by Shure's rechargeable Li-Ion battery, which allows for up to 16 hours of use. Both the receiver and transmitter seamlessly change channels when needed, without having to breakup your signal and your performances.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: GLXD1 Bodypack
    • Battery: 3.7V Lithium-ion Rechargeable (Up to 16 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: WA305 (TA4F to 1/4")
    • Dimensions: 3.56" x 2.54" x 0.9"
    • Weight: 0.95 lbs.
  • Receiver: GLXD4 Table Top
    • Antenna: Fixed
    • Operating Range: 65 ft Line-of-Sight (200ft. Ideal Conditions)
    • Frequency Range: 2.4GHz
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 1.6" x 7.2" x 4.6"
    • Weight: 0.63 lbs.
  • Features:LINKFREQ Auto-Frequency Management

Pros

Shure GLX-D exceeded the expectations of many of its users, even experts found themselves in awe of its sound quality and real-world reliability. Many described the sound as crystal clear and dynamic, and were surprised to hear details and nuances that they thought would be lost with a wireless system. Also prominently mentioned is its quiet operation, which stood out for many users who have tried other wireless systems.

Cons

Some professional musicians deducted some points because the receiver is not rackmountable. There were a few users who commented that the resulting sound was subtly brighter, but this maybe due to more sonic details going through.

Overall

If you want what the market considers as the best wireless guitar system, then get the Shure GLXD14.

Line 6 Relay G55 Wireless Guitar System

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$450
Line 6 Relay G55

Drawing from their digital audio processing expertise, Line 6 continue to produce reputable wireless systems that are specifically designed for guitars, of which the Relay G55 secured them a spot in this list. This wireless system features the 4th iteration of the company's wireless technology, utilizing the 2.4GHz bandwidth at 24-bit digital conversion. It also features DCL (Digital Channel Lock) Technology which improves signal clarity and stability by blocking out third-party signals like, Wi-Fi routers, mobile devices, laptops and more. The dynamic range, and frequency response of this system is also tweaked to better accommodate guitars and basses. There's also a nifty feature called "Cable Tone" which emulates the high-frequency roll-off characteristics of physical guitar cables.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: TBP12 Beltpack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 8 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: TA4M to 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 4.7" x 6.4" x 2.9"
    • Weight: 1.1 bs.
  • Receiver: Rackmount
    • Antenna: Detachable
    • Operating Range: 300 ft. Line-of-Sight
    • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 1.75" x 7.5" x 8.2"
    • Weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • Features: Digital Channel Lock, Cable Tone, Powered Half-wavelength Antenna

Pros

One reviewer described the Line Relay G55 as an awesome wireless system, and it is a good one-word summary of how most users felt about their unit. While most of the positive reviews were from guitarists, bassists also reported no-hiccup performances with upright and electric bass. One user put the G55 system to the test by running the system on a parade, and it passed with flying colors, considering that there would've been a lot of interference as they moved through streets. Durability were also prominently mentioned by those who have used the system for years.

Cons

There were a few users who were concerned about the guitar cable, and one even recommended buying a back-up cable from Line 6 just to be on the safe side.

Overall

With its high ratings and great durability feedback from actual long-time users, it's hard not to like the Line 6 Relay G55 Wireless Guitar System

Sennheiser EW 172 G3 Wireless Guitar System

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
Sennheiser EW 172 G3

Sennheiser joins this list with the EW 172 G3, carrying over the benefits of their wireless microphone technology but tweaked for guitarists to enjoy. Notable guitar friendly features include a guitar tuner, equalizer, and cable emulator. The guitar tuner by itself can replace an entire pedal, while the 5-band EQ and cable emulator allows you to better fine tune your sound, ideal for those who want more control over the resulting sound. Automatic frequency scan and wireless synchronization (via infrared) make setup quick and convenient, while the "Auto-Lock" feature prevents you from making accidental changes to your settings when performing. Signal reliability are improved by automatic frequency scan and its true diversity reception (dual antenna). The SK100 G3 bodypack transmitter features RF mute, charging contacts and has its own easy to read graphic display.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: SK 300 G3 Bodypack
    • Battery: 2 x AA (Up to 8 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: 1/8" to 1/4" (3 Ft. Cable)
    • Dimensions: 3.23" x 2.52" x 0.94"
    • Weight: 0.35 lbs.
  • Receiver: EM 100 G3 Table Top (rackmountable)
    • Antenna: Detachable
    • Operating Range: 300 ft. (Ideal Situation Line-of-Sight)
    • Frequency Range: Multi-Band UHF (516...865 MHz)
    • Frequency Response: 25Hz-18kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 7.48" x 8.35" x 1.69"
    • Weight: 1.99 lbs.
  • Features: Autoscan, Pilot Tone Squelch, Built-in Tuner, Built-in EQ and Soundcheck mode

Pros

More than merely satisfying their connectivity needs, many users enjoyed using the Sennheiser EW 172 G3. Its ease of setup and signal reliability got the most commendations, while it's rugged build meant one less thing to worry about for many musicians. Sound quality also came up a lot in the reviews, with some thanking Sennheiser for the extra tone shaping features.

Cons

There were some who reported that wireless system would be noisy when specific pedals were engaged, but they did acknowledge that this could be a problem with the 3rd party pedal. A few others found the tone shaping element to be more of a complication than a good addition.

Overall

If you're looking for a reliable wireless guitar system that allows for more control over your sound, then check out the Sennheiser EW 172 G3.

Things To Consider When Buying a Wireless Guitar System

  • Digital vs Analog

    • Analog Wireless Systems are still commonly used, thanks to their range, practicality and accessibility. They transmit your analog guitar signal via VHF(30MHz to 300MHz) or UHF(300Mhz to 3GHz) frequencies, much like analog radios would. Since VHF frequencies are being used by TV and Radio stations, they are more susceptible to interference, which means that they can only be viable in areas with low VHF interference. On the other hand, UHF is less crowded and allows for more wireless systems to operate simultaneously. Still they are limited by the various location-specific UHF frequency regulations.
    • Digital Wireless Systems are considered industry standard, because of their secure digital encryption and improved resistance to interference. It also helps that most of them operate on globally unlicensed frequencies, much like Wi-Fi routers (although there are still some digital wireless systems that operate in UHF). They are easier to setup and use with their automatic frequency detection and grouping features. On the flip side, digital wireless systems are more expensive, but they are getting more affordable as production and market competition increase.
  • Frequency Allocation and Interference

    While wireless systems now use frequencies more efficiently, there will still be a limit to how many wireless systems can work together within the same frequency range. This is important when setting up multiple wireless systems that work simultaneously. Thankfully, some analog systems are produced with different frequency bands, to ensure they don't clash with other systems. Digital systems can be configured to choose clear channels to avoid this problem, but there are specific limitations to how many you can use simultaneously.

    You also have to consider other radio emitting devices that may introduce interference to your system, this include TV, microwave ovens, radio communication devices and more. To help with this, some wireless systems can scan the frequencies and use ones with the least interference.

  • Range/Distance

    Based on the specifications, analog systems have more range, which means that you can move further from the receiver. Still, the range offered by digital systems are usually more than enough to cover even big stages. Note that solid objects between the receiver and transmitter can decrease the range. We have included the ideal maximum range of each wireless system, to help you find one that suits your need.

  • Form Factor

    Wireless receivers come in three form factors - table top, rackmount and pedal. You'll want one that will integrate easily into your existing rig. Best to have one in pedal form if you don't have other rackmount gear, and the reverse is true if you tour professionally and want the security and reliability of rackmount gear. Some table top wireless systems are convertible to rackmount via optional mounting kits. Transmitters mostly come in belt/body pack form, and they connect to your guitar via a short cable. There are bug-type transmitters that connect directly to your guitar, but they did not rate highly enough to make it into this list.

  • Sound Quality

    Ideally, sound difference between using a cable and a wireless system should be negligible, but this is not always the case as we've seen on some reviews. For this reason, some wireless systems come with tone shaping elements, emulating guitar cables by subtly trimming the high frequencies. While sound quality in general is subjective, review ratings can be a good indication of good quality.

  • Transmitter Guitar Cable Handling

    While gathering review data, we found that the transmitter guitar cable is usually the weakest link in wireless guitar systems. And since they are mostly specialized cables which you can't just buy off the shelf, you'll want to take good care of them while in use, and store them properly.

  • Guitar Friendly Features

    While these are not necessarily important, having extra features can add value to the wireless system, and even allow you to let go of some of your existing gear. Common guitar friendly features include built-in guitar tuner and mute.

    Methodology

    We looked at all top rated and popular wireless guitar systems that are sold by major retailers in the USA, and short-listed 20 from them. We then gathered relevant data and reviews from over 2,600 sources, which included retail store feedback, expert reviews, video reviews, forum posts and more. We then processed the data via Gearank's algorithm, and got the scores that we used to narrow down the list to just the top 8 wireless guitar systems. Finally, we arranged the list by price, and added important descriptions, specifications and noteworthy pros and cons for each of the wireless systems that made the list. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

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