7 Popular Brass and Woodwind Wireless Systems: Saxophone, Trumpet, Clarinet, Etc

Whether you play Saxophone, Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone, wind instruments, or any of the brass or woodwind instrument in a live concert or corporate band setting, you will benefit tremendously from using a quality wireless system for multiple reasons.

I’ll never forget the most memorable saxophone player I have ever played within my life. It was for a wedding gig with my corporate band. Funny enough, he was the only horn player I have ever played with that used a wireless system for his saxophone. He was able to capture the emotion and attention of the audience on a deep level on every solo he took.

It was something that I had never seen before unless the artist was very famous. Yes, he was an outstanding player, but a more significant part of how he was continuously bringing the crowd to surround him during his solos was due to his incredibly appealing visual performance.

His freedom and ability to move his saxophone around to the music let him focus intently on the emotion he was trying to put forth in his solo. Without the wireless system, he would have had to focus on the aiming of his saxophone’s bell at the correct distance and angle into the stationary microphone.

This is something that I’m used to seeing at most of my corporate gig events. The horn section is typically glued to the stationary mic for there solo. In turn, this takes away from their focus of the music and visual appeal in comparison to those who have been freed by the wireless. I’ve learned a few things since I have joined the wireless music world. One of the most important things I have learned and benefited greatly from going wireless is that freedom significantly compliments creativity.

According to the Academy of Sciences of the United States of America study on Live Performance, visual performance is unconsciously more critical than the auditory to non-musicians during a live performance. Getting a wireless system for your instrument will significantly boost your performance by giving you the freedom you have never experienced before.

Before We Dive In: A Few Things To Keep In Mind For Brass and Woodwind Wireless Systems

All wireless systems consist of 2 units: The receiver which is typically set up near a power source anywhere on the stage you prefer, and the transmitter which is generally clipped on to your instrument shown in the picture above.

Some transmitters (the part that clips on to your instrument) is attached to a belt pack which you can connect to your belt, pocket, etc. Other transmitters have a more compact and convenient design where there is no extra bodypack needed. The more compact transmitters typically connect to the bell of your woodwind or brass instrument.

1. Shure PGXD 14/BETA98H-X8

Compatible with brass and woodwind instruments

The Shure PGXD 14/BETA98H-X8 is an incredible digital wireless system designed for brass and woodwind instruments. The mic is small and lightweight with a clip that easily attaches to your instrument. After clipping the mic to your instrument, it is easily adjustable to match what your instrument needs whether you use a clarinet, sax, trumpet, etc.

The receiver has an XLR output on the back that allows you to plug directly into the mixer. This will enable you to get the entire sound of your wireless mic without any extra preamps.

The Shure PGXD 14 receiver gives you true diversity for strong reliability and signal strength. At 24-bit/48kHz digital audio, this system gives you incredibly precise and accurate sound. The transmitter takes 2 AA batteries that give you 9 hours of playtime. For instruments with a higher output, the transmitter gives you the option to decrease 10dB.

To Get started For most wireless systems

  1. Attach the mic to your instrument (side of the bell)
  2. Plug the mic into your transmitter which will be in your pocket or strap it on (unless your transmitter is the mic itself)
  3. Turn the receiver and transmitter on
  4. Hit sync on the receiver
  5. Play

Tech Specs

Range:200 ft line of sight
System:Digital 
Transmitter Battery/Life:9 hours/2 AA
Latency:3.5 ms
Dynamic Range:108 dB
Gain Settings:10 dB adjustments 
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Plastic 
Transmitter Type:Bodypack
Receiver Type:Table Top
Frequency Range:900 MHz
Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz
Sampling rate48k
Simultaneous Channels 5

Pros

  • Clear and accurate sound using 24-bit/48kHz digital audio 
  • Reliable unit with little to no dropouts using digital true diversity
  • Good range at 200 feet

Cons

  • Made of plastic 
  • Uses disposable batteries (unlike Shure GLXD series)

2. Samson AirLine AWX

Designed for Brass and woodwind instruments

Samson AirLine AWX is a very convenient analog wireless system that gives you a phenomenal 300 feet of range. This is one of the more convenient wireless solutions for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, or other wind instruments considering the mic does not attach to an extra transmitter. In other words, the mic itself is the transmitter which decreases a setup step and is less of a hassle to carry around.

Disposable batteries become costly and annoying keeping up with them, to make this system even more convenient it uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This will save you not only money but time and hassle from constantly making stops to your store for batteries.

The AWX receiver uses true diversity to minimize dropout also giving you 80 different channels to choose from at 24MHz bandwidth. The HM60 condenser microphone uses a flexible gooseneck to adjust accordingly for your instrument. A rackmount kit is included with this purchase for an excellent choice for musicians who prefer to attach the receiver to a rackmount. This system all around is an excellent bang for your buck!

Tech Specs

Range: 300 feet
System:Analog
Transmitter Battery/Life:Rechargeable Lithium ion/8 Hours
Latency:none for analog
Receiver Build:Metal
Transmitter Type:Clip-on
Receiver Type:Rackmount
Frequency Range: 542-566 MHz (D band)
Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz
Simultaneous Systems: 8 per frequency band
Microphone Type:Condenser

Pros

  • Metal Receiver for durability
  • No bodypack is needed, giving you extra freedom
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (no extra battery purchases ever)
  • Incredible 300 feet of range
  • Rackmountable
  • True diversity (good for analog systems, does not apply to digital systems)
  • Able to mute the transmitter form the mic
  • Works best with saxophone according to some reviews

Cons

  • Charging cable is Samson designed, nothing else will work
  • Certain countries require a special license to operate some analog systems
  • According to reviews, picks up unwanted noise for trumpets.

3. Sennheiser XSW 1-908-A 

Compatible with Brass instruments

No need to worry about breaking the antennas while touring with the Sennheiser XSW 1-908. This system has integrated diversity antennas built in the metal tabletop receiver. One of the perks of this system is its durability as both the receiver and transmitter are made of metal. Primarily designed for brass instruments, its condenser mic with a cardioid pattern produces excellent sound quality. An easy to use system with auto frequency selection, this analog wireless system is very well priced at $349.

The back of the receiver contains a balanced XLR output, an unbalanced quarter-inch output, squelch, and power. The bodypack transmitter runs on 2 AA batteries and includes a mute switch on the top that very well comes in handy. Many musicians claim excellent sound quality for saxophone.

Tech Specs

System:Analog
Transmitter Battery/Life: 2 x AA
Channel select: Auto
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Both Metal
Transmitter Type:Bodypack
Receiver Type:Table Top
Frequency Range:548-572 MHz
Simultaneous systems: 10
Microphone type:Condenser

Pros

  • Internal antennas make it less susceptible to damage and easy to carry around
  • Both transmitter and receiver made of metal for durability and longevity

Cons

  • Diversity analog system (not true diversity which is a more reliable system less susceptible to signal interference
  • Many reviews claim high rates of popping and cracking sounds. (other reviews claimed great sound quality)

4. Shure GLXD14/B98

Compatible with Brass and Woodwind instruments

This unit is quite possibly one of the more professional wireless system of this list for multiple reasons. The Shure GLXD14/B98 gives you incredible reliability, clean audio, and flawless battery life at 16 hours with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Shure’s LINKFREQ intelligent frequency management technology gives the receiver the ability to continuously scan for the best open frequencies. If a frequency is getting interference, the receiver and transmitter together change over to the better open frequency. This change is completely unnoticeable do to Shure’s bidirectional communication technology.

This system has the longest battery life of 16 hours per full charge. Even better, it uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. To charge it, plug in a USB cable on the side of the transmitter. This ends up saving money and becomes far less of a hassle. Unfortunately, the transmitter is of a bodypack rather than no bodypack being required for some systems.

The receiver has an XLR output on the back that allows you to plug directly into the mixer. This will enable you to get the entire sound of your wireless mic without any extra preamps.

The Shure GLXD14/B98 frequency response is at 20Hz-20kHz with a dynamic range of 120dB. This system offers accurate and crystal clear audio.

Tech Specs

Range:Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)
System:Digital
Transmitter Battery/Life:16 hours/lithium ion rechargeable by USB
Latency:4 -7 (ms)
Dynamic Range:120dB
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Transmitter Metal, Receiver Plastic
Transmitter Type:Body Pack
Receiver Type:Table Top
Frequency Range:2.4GHz
Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz

Pros

  • Very reliable with strong signal strength
  • High battery life (16 Hours)
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries cutting battery cost
  • Battery charging port located on the receiver
  • Metal transmitter
  • A very accurate sound of the instrument
  • Auto setup between transmitter and receiver
  • Clear and clean audio
  • XLR output

Cons

  • Plastic receiver
  • Lower range than most wireless systems on this list.
    Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)

5. Nady Satellite SMHT-100

Compatible with Horns and Woodwinds

The Nady Satellite SMHT-100 is a compact wireless solution that is small enough to fit in a pedalboard for those who would rather such. It offers 100 selectable UHF frequencies with a staggering 300 feet of range. You are able to instantly sync the receiver and transmitter using the “IR Sync” button.

Operating at 900 MHz with True Diversity antennas, the scan feature automatically finds the clearest open channel overall making this system highly reliable for the price. Another impressive attribute of this wireless system is the high dynamic range of 120dB.

The Nady Satellite SMHT-100 microphone does not attach to a bodypack. In other words, the mic is the transmitter itself which makes this system very convenient.

Tech Specs

Range: 300 Feet
Dynamic Range:120dB
Transmitter Type:Clip on
Receiver Type:pedal/tabletop
Frequency Range: 900 MHz

Pros

  • True diversity
  • Very well priced for the product
  • Able to fit in pedalboard
  • Comes with a road case
  • 120dB Dynamic Range

Cons

  • Hard to see the LED display in sunlight
  • The clip is not wide enough for a stand-up bass
  • XLR Jack is not included with the receiver
  • Made of plastic

6. SD Systems LDM-94W – Sax Wireless System

A very high-quality wireless unit for saxophone and horn instruments on this list priced at $1,108. The SD Systems LDM-94W was designed specifically for loud horns using a dynamic mic attachable by the clip. No Body Pack is required for the transmitter is a part of the mic for extra convenience and freedom.

The receiver has an XLR output where you can plug directly into the mixer. This allows you to get the entire sound of your wireless mic without any extra preamps.

This analog system delivers incredible audio with a wide frequency response of 50Hz-18kHz using a high-quality dynamic mic.

Tech Specs

System: Analog
Latency:No latency for analog systems
Receiver Build:Metal
Transmitter Type:Clip-on
Receiver Type:Table Top
Frequency Range: 480-934MHz
Frequency Response: 50Hz-18kHz
Microphone Type: Dynamic

Pros

  • Reliable with strong signal strength
  • Flawless mic designed for loud horns
  • Clip-on transmitter, no extra bodypack
  • Direct XLR output on receiver
  • Integrated tripod style shock mount
  • Metal receiver for extra durability

Cons

  • Price is high at $1,108 (you get what you pay for)

7. AMT Q7-LS MINI 

The AMT Q7-LS MINI is used by a saxophone player in one of my corporate/wedding bands, William Hollifield. We have performed at multiple venues of all sorts for a few years. The wireless saxophone system has never in any way failed him once. It has never cut out, broke, or had signal interference in the years he has owned it.

The AMT Q7-LS MINI Uses Complete True Digital Diversity, meaning both antennas work independently to scan for the best open channel. If one antenna starts to get signal interference, the other antenna acts as a safety net. It also has 99 frequency channels to choose from. If one of the channels tends to have interference, you can manually change channels with a push of the button.

The AMT Q7-LS MINI’s sound quality gives the exact same representation of your instrument without any tone loss. The audio clarity is crystal clear without any buzzes, added distortion, or hums. With its multi-level narrow band filter technology, this system has a high-quality transient response, no background noise will be picked up, and no delay.

The AMT Q7-LS Mini’s transmitter does not have an extra bodypack. Instead, the Q7 clip-on mic that attaches directly to your instrument is the transmitter itself. This alone makes this system significantly more convenient than the majority of brass and woodwind wireless systems.

Details And Features Of The AMT Q7-LS MINI

  • Q7 transmitter is powered by 1 AA battery
  • The receiver is powered by a 12V power supply, optional portable use to power receiver with 2 AA batteries
  • Clip-on transmitter (no need for bodypack)
  • The receivers LCD display shows the channel, frequency, RF level, and AF level
  • 99 channels to choose from
  • Analog Transmission
  • Manual channel select
  • Transmitter and receiver IR sync via infrared
  • Frequency Deviation: 48KHz
  • Small enough to fit in horn-case for easy travel
  • Fixed antennas
  • Transmitter battery life: 10-12 Hours
  • True Diversity receiver
  • Dynamic Range: > 100 dB
  • PLL frequency stabilization system
  • 260 feet of range
  • 1/4in Output
  • Frequency Range: 900mhz (for the US or Canada) or 863-865mhz (for Europe and the UK)
  • Receiver sensitivity: -110dBm

Quick Recap

Here are The 7 Best Brass and Woodwind Wireless Systems

  • Shure PGXD 14/BETA98H-X8
  • Samson AirLine AWX
  • Sennheiser XSW 1-908-A 
  • Shure GLXD14/B98
  • Nady Satellite SMHT-100
  • SD Systems LDM-94W – Sax Wireless System
  • AMT Q7-LS MINI 

Final Thoughts

Before making your first purchase on a wireless system for your instrument ask yourself “Is this purchase going to be used to generate income?” If so, we highly recommend you to purchase a higher grade wireless system that is above $400. In most cases, it’s best to wait till you have the money before spending on gear that is not up to par with your playing ability or career.

Once you finally make the decision on your wireless unit, I truly hope you find the new freedom of performing live as I have. If you’re interested in a technique that boosted my life and music career, see How Wim Hof Breathing Significantly Boosted My Life & Music Career.

Do your research

look at reviews

find the system that’s best for you

and may you perform wireless happily ever after.

Tony Hossri