Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set vs. Boss WL-60

Two of the more recent and very unique wireless guitar systems head to head, the Boss WL-60 vs. Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set. I have been keeping an eye out on both of these systems since hearing about their release. I am honored to share my review with you. 

In short, I was pleasantly happy by both the Boss WL-60 and Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboards performance. They are excellent choices for entry-mid level wireless guitar systems. However, both have their advantages and disadvantages as one may be a better choice for you than the other. It highly depends on what type of wireless guitar system you’re looking for and your situation.

But first…

What Makes A Wireless Guitar System Good? (Top 5)

  1. Reliability -Signal strength, little to no dropouts 
  2. Durability- Able to last long/withstand touring conditions
  3. Tone- Does it negatively affect the tone of your instrument compared to a quality cable
  4. Convenience- Battery life, setup simplicity, easier instrument change, pedalboard attachable 
  5. 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 Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set and the Boss WL-60

Before We Get Started: Tech Specs and Details Of Each Wireless

Wireless System: Boss WL-60 Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
System: Analog/Digital: Digital Digital
Range: 65 ft 250 ft. 
Transmitter Battery Life: They claim 25 hours. 10 hours of continuous use 5 hours
Battery Type: 2 AA Rechargeable Lithium-ion
Latency: 2.3 ms 3.9 ms
Transmitter Type: Body-pack Combination plug
Channel Selection: Auto Auto
Receiver Type: Pedal Pedal
Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz
Frequency Response: 20 Hz-20 kHz 10 Hz – 18 kHz

Reliability And Signal Strength

Reliability and signal strength is probably the most critical factor when determining a good wireless system. Your instrument mustn’t cut out due to signal interference. Not only can signal interference with a cheaper wireless system ruin a song, but it can even possibly ruin your entire show’s experience.

Boss WL-60
The digital wireless Boss WL-60 operates in the globally unlicensed and unrestricted frequency band of 2.4GHz. It automatically scans 14 separate channels after hitting the channel scan button on the receiver. It then picks the clearest and most available channel with the least amount of interference. However, this wireless system did experience a few dropouts. Typically wireless systems in this price range do not have proper frequency agility features to dodge interference. Keep in mind that these dropouts were relatively rare and only lasted a half-second. What I love about the Boss WL-60 is the LCD screen on the receiver shows wireless strength. If you see the wireless strength diminish, you can press the channel scan button to find the next most available channel.

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
The Sennheiser XSW-D also operates in the globally unlicensed and unrestricted frequency band of 2.4GHz. It uses digital diversity, meaning both antennas work together to hold the connection with the transmitter. If one of the antennas gets hit with signal interference, the other antenna still holds the connection. While this system has rare cutouts as well, in my experience, it was less than the Boss WL-60.

Unfortunately, both wireless guitar systems do experience RF signal interference from time to time. Overall, if you want a wireless guitar system that will not drop-out at all, I highly recommend taking a look at Top 6 Wireless Guitar Systems For Pros here.

Durability + Longevity

Metal wireless instrument systems are significantly more “roadworthy” than plastic units. They also tend to last much longer. 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 thrown around dancing on stage.

Boss WL-60
For the Boss WL-60, The battery case on the transmitter is highly susceptible to damage. I highly recommend getting a Neotech wireless pouch to protect your transmitter. Unfortunately, the transmitter is made of plastic making it more vulnerable to damage than metal transmitters.

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
One of the most significant longevity risks with the Sennheiser XSW-D is the rechargeable lithium-ion battery is not replaceable. This increases the chance of needing an entirely new transmitter every 2-4 years once the lithium-ion battery dies. The transmitter that comes with this system, unfortunately, is made of plastic, making it much more susceptible to damage than metal units.

Overall, neither of these systems are the most durable units considering both transmitters are made of plastic.

Tone

A wireless system must be able to capture the full and accurate tone of your instrument compared to using a quality cable. 

Boss WL-60
The Boss WL-60 produces the full frequency response of 20 Hz-20 kHz, which is the entire audible spectrum. It operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band providing digital transmission for greater dynamic range and clarity. Boss definitely upgraded the sound quality with this wireless system compared to their previous systems. The receiver features 2 separate cable tone simulations, short and long. I was actually a bigger fan of these cable simulations than the last wireless system by Boss (WL-50). The long cable tone simulation cuts out some of the highs for a slightly warmer sound. There is a very slight noticeable difference of tone between a quality cable and this system; however, it is very minimal. The Boss WL-60 has extremely low latency at 2.3 ms, which is abnormally low for digital wireless systems.

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
The Sennheiser XSW-D produces a frequency response of 10 Hz-18 kHz. The latency is slightly more than the WL-60 at 3.9 ms. However, I was unable to tell the difference. Both have unnoticeable latency to my ears. The XSW-D produced surprisingly good clarity. The difference in tone between this wireless instrument system and a high-quality cable was very minimal. In my opinion, it does not hurt the tone of the instrument.

Overall, both wireless guitar systems produced roughly equal tone compared to a quality cable. If I had to say which of the two produced better sound quality, I would go with the Sennheiser XSW-D by about 0.005%. However, they are both great choices in terms of sound quality.

Convenience

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.

Boss WL-60
The boss WL-60’s receiver is compact that’s designed to fit directly in your pedalboard. Pedal receivers like this one are significantly more convenient considering it reduces a setup step before every show as tabletop receivers do. On top of the pedalboard attachable receiver, it is also an easy setup. The receiver locates the clearest channel after pressing the channel scan button. After that, you match the transmitter to the receiver’s channel. However, one of the only things that make the WL-60 inconvenient is its need for disposable batteries. The consistent purchases and hassle with keeping up with AA batteries get annoying. The receiver can either be charged by the preferable DC output or AA batteries for portability.

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
The Sennheiser XSW-D is a plugin-and-play system with no manual setup. Not only is the receiver designed to fit nicely within your pedalboard, but Sennheiser XSW-D has a built-in tuner as well! In case your pedalboard is running out of room, you can replace your current tuner with the XSW-D receiver. As you use the wireless receiver as your new tuner, you can then sell your old tuner for some cash. What makes the Sennheiser XSW-D even more convenient to use is its lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This eliminates consistent battery purchases saving you money down the road. Unfortunately, the transmitter only gives you 5 hours of continuous playtime per full charge (half the amount of boss WL-60). A DC output charges the receiver.

Overall, both wireless systems are relatively convenient. They both automatically link together without any extra buttons to push after being powered on. They both attach directly to your pedalboard, which decreases an entire setup step before use. However, the Boss WL-60’s advantage is its more extended battery life of 10 hours. The Sennheiser XSW-D’s strength is its integrated tuner and rechargeable by a USB lithium-ion battery.

Range

Although the 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, then range becomes an essential factor.

Boss WL-60
The Boss WL-60 has a range of 65 feet. In my experience, 65 feet of range is definitely enough to cover a big stage. However, if your planning on taking your instrument deep within the crowd for a solo, the Boss WL-60 is not the pick for you.

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set
One of the Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard wireless guitar systems’ greatest strengths is its remarkable range of 250 feet. Imagine nearly an entire football field of roaming with your instrument. The Sennheiser XSW-D has one of the highest amounts of range for a digital wireless guitar system with 250 feet.

Overall, if your more interested in the range of a wireless instrument system, the Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard is the choice for you.

Extra Features

Boss WL-60

  • The receivers LCD screen shows battery life, wireless strength connection, and channel
  • Extra input for cable in case of emergencies

Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set

  • The series includes a flexible array of compact plug-on transmitters and receivers, enabling compatibility with lavalier mics, handheld mics, and instruments.
  • Integrated tuner within the receiver

Similarities Between The Boss WL-60 and Sennheiser XSW-D PEDALBOARD SET  

  • Digital transmission
  • Globally unlicensed and unrestricted 2.4GHz frequency band
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To Sum It Up

Both wireless guitar systems are outstanding entry-level systems that are exceptionally reliable, produces exceptional sound quality, and are both relatively convenient. They are both good wireless systems for the price range. While Sennheiser XSW-D Pedalboard Set may be an overall slightly better wireless guitar system, it costs about $120 more than the Boss WL-60.

However, if you’re looking to make a one-time purchase on a top-of-the-line system that will not in any way, shape, or form let you down for possibly decades; I highly recommend you to check out the wireless that I currently gig in the article directly below. Our Top Pick For 2019 here.

If you’re interested in a coffee grinder with various settings, see our top choices here.