The epic showdown between our top 4 favorite budget-friendly wireless guitar systems has arrived. Donner DWS-3, Line 6 G10, Xvive Audio U2, and Nux B-2; Each of these entry-level wireless guitar systems all have unique benefits in their own ways.
After extensive research, personal experience being a previous owner of these systems and a longtime owner of 1 of them, reviews, and the help of some of my musician buddies who own these units, we formulated an in-depth comparison between the four wireless instrument systems.
But first off…
What Makes A Wireless Guitar System Good? (Top 5)
- Reliability- Signal strength, little to no dropouts
- Durability- Able to last long/withstand touring conditions
- Tone- Does it negatively affect the tone of your instrument compared to a quality cable
- Convenience- Battery life, setup simplicity, easier instrument change, pedalboard attachable
- Range- Able to have a strong signal to cover a big stage, or perform in the crowd
We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Donner DWS-3, Line 6 G10, Xvive U2, and Nux B-2
Before We Get Started: Tech Specs and Details Of Each Wireless
|Wireless System||Donner DWS-3||Line 6 G10||Xvive U2||Nux B-2|
|Range:||50 ft.||50 ft.||100 ft.||50 ft.|
|Transmitter Battery Life:||6 hours||8 hours||5 hours||6 hours|
|Battery Type:||Rechargeable (By USB)||Rechargeable (By USB)||Rechargeable (By USB)||Rechargeable (By USB)|
|Latency:||2.5 ms||2.9 ms||6 ms||5 ms|
|Receiver/Transmitter Build:||Both Plastic||Both Plastic||Both Plastic||Both Plastic|
|Transmitter Type:||Combo Plug (Foldable)||Combo Plug||Combo Plug (Foldable)||Combo Plug (Foldable)|
|Receiver Type:||Combo Plug||Table-Top||Combo Plug||Combo Plug|
|Frequency Band:||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz|
Reliability And Signal Strength
Reliability and signal strength is probably the most critical factor when determining an excellent wireless system. Your wireless instrument system must have minimal dropouts. Although some wireless guitar systems in the higher budget range have roughly no dropouts at all, entry-level units like these will have cutouts from time to time. However, the reliability and dependability of these four systems are not equal.
Donner DWS-3 – The Donner DWS – 3 can either have incredible signal strength with no dropouts or the opposite depending on your location. In a frequency busy area, you must be very close to the receiver or dropouts will occur. However, the Donner has four channels to choose from, and changing channels on this unit is easy. Where 1 of the 4 channels loses connectivity, one of the other three may do the trick.
Line 6 G10 – I owned this system for about one year as I toured throughout the southeast. In that year cutouts did occur, however, very rare. Each drop out will only last about a second. The reason why dropouts were so rare with the G10 was that the system automatically locates the clearest channel. It uses an auto encoded Digital Channel Lock which helps to lower the risk from frequency interference. For the price range, the Line 6 G10 is very dependable. Of every wireless on this list, the Line 6 G10 is the most reliable with the least cutouts.
Xvive Audio U2 – In terms of how reliable the Xvive Audio U2 is I’m torn. Many reviews claim cutouts occur frequently. Other reviews claim it never loses connection. In my experience, I have had maybe 1 or 2 mini cutouts that lasted less than a second. Yet, I also have not used this system at many gigs. Considering these units are all budget-friendly, they do not have frequency interference agility true diversity features such as the higher budget systems. Therefore, a significant factor of signal interference and dropouts has to do with your location. If anything, it’s best to test out this system and if it doesn’t work like how you want it to in your area, return it.
Nux B-2 – At first, the Nux B-2 works just fine. Unfortunately, signal cutouts begin happening more and more frequently as time progresses.
Side Note: If you want a wireless system that will not cut out at all but you have a bigger budget I highly advise you to check Our Top Wireless Guitar System Pick For 2019 here.
Durability + Longevity
Metal units are significantly more “roadworthy” than plastic units. Your music equipment is consistently being tossed around when you are touring from state to state. Whether it is from the van/bus, back into the van/bus, or being tossed around dancing on stage. Unfortunately, in order to keep all of these systems at a budget-friendly price, they are all made of plastic.
Donner DWS-3 – Not as flimsy as the Xvive but still made of plastic.
Line 6 G10 – The line 6 G10 receiver and transmitter are made of plastic. I actually had an instance where the USB plug of my G10’s receiver broke. Unfortunately, I had to buy a new receiver. Later on, my transmitter ended up breaking mid-show by sweat/water damage. That will only affect you if your an extreme sweater like me while performing. To best keep this system from breaking, be careful with the receiver’s USB port and bring a towel if you sweat a lot.
Xvive Audio U2– This wireless guitar system is the flimsiest of the four. It consistently hangs from the instrument flopping back and forth while playing. I do not recommend this unit for musicians who dance, headbang, or show any high energy movements while performing. On the flip side, the transmitter stays plugged into your instrument very well once plugged in.
Nux B-2 – Not as flimsy as the Xvive but still made of plastic. A few reviews claim the battery life shrinks over time.
A wireless system must be able to capture the full and accurate tone of your instrument compared to using a quality cable. We only sound as good as our tone and some of these systems have better sound quality than the others.
Donner DWS-3 – The Donner DWS-3 is the only wireless guitar system that is compatible with active pickups and active circuitry on this list or in this price range. The sound quality is very good with little to no noticeable difference in tone compared to a cable. It has over 110dB of dynamic range.
Line 6 G10 – This unit produces a very clear sound quality. There is no added fuzz, distortion, or hum in your sound. However, there is a minor difference in tone between a cable and this unit. The difference is very subtle, though. It has over 110dB of dynamic range as well.
Xvive Audio U2– The Xvive produces very good sound quality. I and many others were unable to tell the difference between a cable and this wireless. It provides 24-bit uncompressed digital audio, a full frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, mildly low latency at 6 ms, and a decent dynamic range of 103dB. In my opinion, the audio clarity is crystal clear with no added unwanted distortion or fuzz. However, a few reviews claimed minor added distortion. Unfortunately, the unit is not compatible with active pickups.
Nux B-2 – This wireless provides the best tone and sound quality of the rest. This is due to its rare 32-Bit/48 kHz uncompressed digital audio with a full frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. However, this unit is not compatible with active pickups or active boost electronics. If you use passive pickups and you care strongly about your tone, this unit may be the one for you. Be sure to check the reviews below. It has over 110dB of dynamic range.
Convenience is not a common thought when first purchasing a wireless guitar system. In terms of battery life, how to charge or change the batteries, setting up the system before gigs, etc. an inconvenient wireless guitar system gets annoying fast. Not to mention, consistent battery purchases increase the annual overhead at a much faster pace than expected. Luckily, all of these systems use a rechargeable battery which eliminates costly disposable battery purchases. However, there is one clear winner below for most convenient wireless guitar system.
Donner DWS-3 – The DWS-3 makes it easy to change channels, operate, and turn on and off. Like all combination plug receiver and transmitters, You must charge both of them by USB before use. Unfortunately, the battery life is claimed to be 6 hours, in my experience its roughly 5 hours.
Line 6 G10 – The Line 6 G10 is the most convenient wireless guitar system on the planet. The receiver is small enough to be attached to your pedalboard. The transmitter is charged by simply plugging directly into your receiver. The transmitter also lasts 8-hours of continuous playtime. The G10 is abnormally suitable to change instruments considering there are no menus, settings, on and off buttons, or channel settings. Back when I used the G10 during my 4-hour gigs, I loved the fact that I could recharge the transmitter at the break by a simple unplug from my bass to plugging it into the receiver.
Xvive Audio U2 – Although very compact, the Xvive Audio U2 is not the most convenient wireless guitar system. Like the typical combination plug transmitter and receiver, both units must be charged by USB. This wireless system only has a battery life of 5 hours. Fortunately, it does not require disposable batteries, which definitely increases the convenience of this unit compared to systems that require disposable batteries. The Xvive audio U2 is compatible with any instrument type besides instruments with active pickups and doesn’t fit in an Ibanez SR505 bass.
Nux B-2 – The Nux B-2 is actually pretty straightforward to use for a combination plug transmitter and receiver. The reason why is because the channel selection process is pretty easy. However, both units are charged by a USB, and it only comes with 1 USB connector. It provides 6 hours of battery life.
Although a certain wireless “technically” covers 100 ft hypothetically, it may not have the strongest signal or increased latency at 80 ft. If your the musician that dances across the entire big stage or takes the solo into the crowd, the range becomes an essential factor.
Donner DWS-3– This unit provides 50 feet of range. In some cases, it’s a bit less.
Line 6 G10– This unit provides 50 feet of range. However, I believe I got more than 50 feet of range a few times. There is a video further below in the overview section that shows me performing with this system. You can tell in the video that the range seems more than 50 feet.
Xvive Audio U2 – This unit has the most extended range of the bunch with 100 feet. In my experience, the range is shorter if there are people or WiFi/Bluetooth devices between you and the receiver. However, the range is excellent if you’re out in the open.
Nux B-2– The Nux B-2 provides a solid 50 feet of range.
NUX B-2 Overview
Check out the NUX B-2 Amazon review
The Nux B-2 is a digital wireless guitar system that operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. With a rare 32-Bit/48 kHz frequency response, unlike many wireless systems in this price range, there is a higher chance of little to no tonality coloration. It has a wide dynamic range of 110 dB so you can hear full frequency whether you play bass or guitar. Many claim this unit delivers the same sound quality as a high-quality cable.
You can plug the Nux B-2 directly into your amp or pedalboard. This makes easy use for practice with your amp at home or for a show with your pedalboard. To recharge the units, you connect the USB cable to the transport-coupled transmitter and receiver. To set this system up, you choose the channel on the transmitter and match it with the receiver. The transmitter is adjustable to match your guitar’s build needs.
Line 6 Relay G10 Overview
Check out the Line 6 G10 Amazon reviews
Line 6 G10 operates on a 2.4 GHz digital transmission. It uses an auto-encoded Digital Channel Lock which helps to lower the risk from frequency interference. As a longtime owner of this unit and touring musician, I must say, there is no other wireless as convenient and easy to use as this one. The G10 is abnormally suitable to change instruments considering there are no menus, settings, on and off buttons, or channel settings.
The line 6 G10 eliminates unpleasant pops when plugging in or unplugging the transmitter. The unit is very easy to use, plug-in, and play wireless guitar system. It’s an excellent bang for the buck. It is compatible with all stringed instruments. Most transmitters will die within hours if you forget to shut them off. With the line 6 G10’s new technology, the transmitter automatically goes into sleep mode when it’s not in use after a few minutes. The extended battery life is up to 200 hours when the transmitter is not in use. During the long and dreadful 4 hour gigs, the receiver makes it easy to view battery status at just a glance.
Back when I used the G10 during my 4-hour gigs, I loved the fact that I could recharge the transmitter at the break by a simple unplug from my bass to plugging it into the receiver. From being a longtime owner of this wireless system, the sound quality is exceptional. In my experience, there is a minor difference in tone compared to a quality cable, but the convenience of this system for live performance is unbeatable. Unlike many wireless units under 200 dollars, the signal/tone is very pure with no distortion/fuzz/cracks, etc. Line 6 G10 is fully FCC compliant worldwide.
Bassist using Line 6 G10.
Donner DWS-3 Overview
Check out the Donner DWS-3 Amazon reviews
The Donner Dws-3 is a digital wireless system that has raving reviews on no loss of sound quality and very low latency of 2.5ms. Something that makes this system stand out compared to most on this list is that it’s compatible with active pickups! Unlike Donner’s previous version Dws-2, it has a much better battery life of 6 hours using rechargeable environmental friendly Li-ion batteries. The transmitter’s head can rotate 180 degrees for a comfortable fit for your instrument. The DWS-3 offers four channels to choose from. Therefore if another band member is using wireless, the four-channel choices may come in handy.
This system delivers your tone with zero compression with a response time very close to a guitar cable. The Donner Dws-3 is very convenient wireless for at home practice with an amp, to band practice/show with a pedalboard.
Xvive Audio U2 Overview
Check out the Xvive Audio U2 Amazon reviews
The Xvive Audio U2 Digital Wireless is an effortless setup and convenient wireless solution. It delivers a 20hz-20kHz frequency response meaning you will hear your guitar or bass tone in great detail with very little latency (6ms). With the ability to cover 70 feet of range without the signal dropping out, the Xvive Audio U2 Digital Wireless is rightfully so one of the most popular and affordable wireless systems. It is easy to use, with a receiver plugging directly into the amp or pedal board and the transmitter directly into your guitar with no extra cables.
The transmitter and receiver units are made with ABS plastic. ABS plastic is of the top 4 of most durable plastics, able to withstand harsh climate and well known for the low cost to manufacture. Without the extra cords, this unit is straightforward to use when switching instruments. The environmentally friendly Li-ion batteries charge with a USB cable that comes with the system meaning, no consistent purchasing of batteries!
Similarities Between The Donner DWS-3, Line 6 G10, Xvive Audio U2, And Nux B-2
- All of them produces digital transmission
- All of them operate on the globally unlicensed and globally unrestricted 2.4GHz frequency band
- All of them use rechargeable batteries eliminating consistent disposable battery purchases.
- All transmitters are combination plugs. A Combination Plug is basically a plug with a quarter-inch attached in which you plug directly into your instrument.
- All units are some of the best budget-friendly wireless guitar systems on the market.
If Your Instrument Has Active Pickups Or
The only wireless guitar system on this list that is compatible with active pickups is the Donner DWS-3. In other words, if you’re set on purchasing a wireless guitar system in this price range, look no further than the DWS-3. It is the only system below $100 that is compatible with active pickups on the market. The next cheapest wireless guitar system compatible with active pickups is the Line 6 G30 which is not on this list.
For those wondering if the famous Xvive audio 2, Nux B-2, and Line 6 G10 are compatible with active pickups, they are not. Although there are a few musicians who claim one or the other wireless system works for their active guitar, the manufacturers themselves said they are not compatible with active pickups. The majority of musicians who have tried the Xvive audio 2, Nux B-2, or line 6 G10 with their active pickups claim either a high pitch squeal or hum. The reason is that the transmitter of certain wireless guitar systems goes into Protection Mode that stops the transmitter from working correctly. This happens because some active electronics are wired with inverse polarity.
Our Winner Is……..
Our winner between the four wireless guitar systems is the Line 6 G10 for various reasons. For one, it is the most convenient wireless guitar system on the planet. It is also the most reliable of the bunch with the least amount of dropouts. It is the only system of these 4 I will trust to take on tour. It works great for any instrument type besides those with active pickups.
HOWEVER, if you have a bigger budget and you want a wireless guitar system that will never in any way shape, or form fail you, check out my current wireless that I use here. I will never use another wireless again.