Top 9 Best Wireless Guitar Systems - All Under $500

Wireless Guitar

This guide was originally published on Mar. 21, 2017 and last updated on May 22, 2018.

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

To keep up with changing times, we have updated this guide to feature what the market currently considers as the best wireless guitar systems. This time around, we short-listed 23 of the most popular wireless systems at major online American music gear stores and examined over 4,300 review and ratings sources to bring you the highest rated options on the market.

Contents

Top 9 Best Wireless Guitar Systems - All Under $500

Line 6 Relay G10

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$180
Line 6 Relay G10

The Line 6 Relay G10 is streamlined wireless system that utilizes modern 2.4 GHz frequency. There's no need for any complex setup and menus, all you have to do is power up the receiver and plug-in the bug-type transmitter to your guitar. It has an operating range of 50' which is good enough for most applications, while the built-in battery of the transmitter runs for up to 8 hours per charge (200 hours standby time). Finally, charging the transmitter battery is as simple as plugging it into the receiver.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: G10 (Bug Type)
    • Battery: Built-in Rechageable Battery (Up to 8 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: None
    • Dimensions: 2" Long + Plug (Bug Type)
    • Weight: Not Specified
  • Receiver: G10
    • Antenna: Built-in
    • Operating Range: 50 Feet Line of Sight (as local conditions allow)
    • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
    • Frequency Response: Not Specified
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 3.5" x 4" x 4"
    • Weight: 3 lbs. (When Boxed)
  • Features: Streamlined design, Bug Type Transmitter charges on the receiver by simply plugging it into the receiver.

Pros

The main point of wireless systems is to replace clunky and high maintenance cables, and the Line 6 Relay G10 does this well while keeping operation as simple as possible. Its plug and play simplicity continues to win over users, while its sound quality impresses even experienced players. It's compact profile and the ability to charge the transmitter right on the receiver is also often complemented in reviews. Being affordable is another plus that makes users really happy with the Relay G10.

Cons

There are some who had issues with the receivers power adapter, which is a USB cable, much like the ones used for charging Android phones. There are reports of the cable being flimsy, and loosing contact after multiple setup and tear downs. Some recommend getting a better micro USB cable for improved reliability.

Overall

If you want a simple and affordable way to free yourselves from guitar cables, then the Line 6 Relay G10 is for you.

Shure BLX14

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$299
Shure BLX14

While they are mostly known for quality microphones, Shure is also a market leader when it comes to wireless systems. And the BLX14 is one of their more popular offerings, featuring a traditional combination of bodypack with specialized guitar cable and a single channel receiver. To simplify setup, Shure equipped the BLX4 with their "QuickScan" technology, which conveniently sets up the wireless system for you, in unused frequencies. Speaking of frequencies, the BLX14 is available in four variations, each one working on different bandwidths.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: BLX1 Bodypack
    • Battery: 2 X AA (Up to 14 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: WA302 (TA4F to 1/4")
    • Dimensions: 4.3" x 2.51" x 0.82"
    • Weight: 0.16 lbs.
  • Receiver: BLX4
    • Antenna: Fixed
    • Operating Range: 300 ft. Line of Sight
    • Frequency Range: 512 - 542 mHz
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
    • Dimensions: 1.57" x 7.4" x 4"
    • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Features: Single Channel Receiver, One-Touch Quick Scan, Up to 12 Compatible Systems per Frequency Band

Pros

Value for money seems to be its most praised attribute, but reliability also comes up often. There are even some users who report using their BLX14 system for many years without issue. Ease of setup is also complemented, along with the solid feel of both the receiver and bodypack transmitter.

Cons

Not many complaints reported, other than a few who rated it slightly lower, but still comment positively.

Overall

The Shure BLX14 is a budget-friendly wireless system from a reputable brand, heed market recommendations and check it out.

Shure PGXD14 Digital

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ 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 are also prominent mentioned, a testament to Shure's reputation for reliability.

Cons

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

Overall

If reliability is high in your list of considerations, then consider the Shure PGXD14.

Audio-Technica System 10 ATW-1101G

91
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$349
Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Guitar System

Audio-Technica decided to follow the latest trend in wireless connectivity with the ATW-1101G, utilizing the 2.4GHz frequency range which 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 are 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 are directed toward ease of use and quick setup. The unit's sound quality and clarity also get a lot of positive remarks from users, including non-guitar playing musicians like bassists, who find the quality of the sound to be more than adequate.

Cons

There are a few users who report interference issues, but repeating the pairing process helped. There are 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 GLXD14

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$449
Shure GLXD14

Shure's GLXD14 exemplifies how many 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 continues to exceed the expectations of many users, to the point that even experts find themselves in awe of its sound quality and real-world reliability. Many describe the sound as crystal clear and dynamic, while others are surprised to hear details and nuances that are usually lost with a wireless system. Also prominently reported is its quiet operation, which stands out for many users who have had bad experiences with other wireless systems.

Cons

Some professional musicians give this system lower scores because the receiver is not rackmountable. There are a few users who comment that the resulting sound is subtly brighter compared to when they are using cables, 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.

Shure GLXD16

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$449
Shure GLX-D16

Of the many wireless systems for instruments and guitars, Shure's GLXD series continues to be rated highly. This 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, is a superlative that many users use to describe the Shure GLXD16. Most users are impressed with its sound quality, to the point that some report it to be similar sounding to expensive guitar cables. The system's signal reliability and robust build are also complemented multiple times, by musicians who play different types of guitars, basses and other instruments.

Cons

There are 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 big-band settings complained of signal drop-outs, possibly due to the GLXD16's limitation of up to 8 per frequency band.

Overall

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

Line 6 Relay G55

93
GEARANK

93 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 another 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 said to be 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 describe the Line Relay G55 as an awesome wireless system, and it is a good adjective that summarizes of how many users feel about their unit. While most of the positive reviews are from guitarists, bassists also report no-hiccup performances with both standard electric bass and even upright ones. 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 are also prominently mentioned by those who have used the system for years.

Cons

There are a few users who are 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

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ 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 feature 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 is 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 comment that they enjoy using the Sennheiser EW 172 G3. Its ease of setup and signal reliability get the most commendations, while it's rugged build give many musicians one less thing to worry about. Sound quality also comes up a lot in reviews, while others thank Sennheiser for the extra tone shaping features they added.

Cons

There are some who reported that wireless system is noisy when specific pedals were engaged, but they did acknowledge that this could be a problem with the 3rd party pedal. A few others find 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.

Line 6 Relay G75

89
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$500
Line 6 Relay G75 Wireless Guitar System

Thanks to companies like Line 6, amp modeling technology continue to expand into other gear, including wireless guitar systems. Case in point is the Relay G75 with its Cable Tone Technology, which adds back the subtle high-frequency roll-off effect that real guitar cables add to the overall tone. But it's not just about cable modeling because it is well received for its tour ready hardware, modern 2.4GHz operation, and battery saving feature. Speaking of batteries, the transmitter runs on regular or rechargeable two AA batteries, which gives you over 8 hours of use, standby time is extended by the transmitter's smart power saving feature.

Specifications:

  • Transmitter: Relay TB516 G Bodypack
    • Battery: Built-in Rechageable Battery (Up to 8 Hours)
    • Guitar Cable: Locking Guitar Cable
    • Dimensions: Not Specified
    • Weight: Not Specified
  • Receiver: Relay G75
    • Antenna: Built-in
    • Operating Range: 200 ft. Line of Sight
    • Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
    • Output: 1 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Tuner)
    • Dimensions: 6.2" x 2.63" x 4.65"
    • Weight: 3.94 lbs.
  • Features: DCL signal protection, Extra Aux Input 1/4", Cable Tone Technology, 24-bit/48kHz Uncompressed Digital Transmission

Pros

Value for money comes up often in reviews, while others are impressed with its reliability. Most users are impressed with its overall build quality, with some even reporting that the Line 6 Relay G75 is the best wireless system that they have tried.

Cons

Ironically, there aren't many who report on Line 6's Cable Tone Technology, but there are no negative reports either so it's not much of a big deal. However, there are some who feel that the transmitter eats up batteries too quickly, they recommend investing on good rechargeable batteries for convenience and for long term savings.

Overall

Whether you're into Cable Tone Modeling or not, the Line 6 Relay G75's reliability and sound quality is well worth the investment.

Things To Consider When Buying a Wireless Guitar System

  • FCC 2020 Compliance

    On July 13, 2020, the FCC's new frequency use regulations will take effect, forbidding the use of 617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz, in order to meet increasing demand for wireless broadband services. This means that wireless systems that operate within the said frequencies will be illegal to use in the United States. So for this update, we only included those that operate within allowable frequencies, to ensure that they are compliant to FCC's new regulations. For further reading on this subject, head over to the FCC consumer guide.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    Best Wireless Guitar System Selection Methodology

    For this update, we looked at all top rated and popular wireless guitar systems that are sold by major retailers in the USA, and we ended up short-listing 23 and you can see most of them in the Music Gear Database. We then gathered over 4,300 relevant sources, which include the most current reviews, ratings, feedback, recommendations and more. All of these were then processed via Gearank's algorithm, resulting in scores that reflect current market sentiments. We used these scores to narrow down the list to the top 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 our processes see How Gearank Works.

    Comments

    The shura Glx 16 will not

    The shura Glx 16 will not work properly in a venue that has wifi
    We tried to use it in casinos and in bars and outdoors and it worked less than 50% of the time
    Sennheiser and audio technica worked great under same conditions

    Interesting point - but was

    Interesting point - but was it the actual system that made a difference, or was it because when you changed systems you also changed the frequency you were using?

    Could be, but I too have had

    Could be, but I too have had dropout issues using 2.4gHz wireless in high wifi areas like casinos, and my old Sennheiser G2 system has been flawless in those and all situations.

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