Shure GLXD16 vs. GLXD14: Which Wireless Guitar System Is Better?

May the battle commence, two of my very favorite wireless guitar systems going head to head. The Shure GLXD16 vs. GLXD14.

Although there are multiple similarities between the two, there are a few differences that may make or break your decision between which of these are best suited for you.

I have carefully reviewed both of these systems while I’m still a current owner of the Shure GLXD 16. Confidently, I can say that neither of these top-of-the-line wireless instrument systems is necessarily better than the other. With their minor differences, the question is which of the two units is best for you and your situation. 

Shure GLXD16 vs. Shure GLXD14

Shure GLXD16

Benefits of Shure GLXD16

  • Pedal-board attachable receiver
  • The receiver is a Tuner as well
  • Solid metal build (Both transmitter and receiver)
Shure GLXD14

Benefits of Shure GLXD14

  • Charging port for Shure’s Lithium-ion battery located on the receiver

What’s New In The Shure GLXD16

While the GLXD14 has a table-top receiver that you must place on top of your amp or in the stage vicinity before using it, The Shure GLXD16 is designed to be attached directly to your pedal-board. This, in turn, decreases a set-up step every single show if you have extra room in your pedal-board.

Speaking of pedal-board room, another incredible feature that the GLXD16 has unlike the GLXD14 is it’s a 2 in one deal. Not only is it a flawless wireless system but also a reliable tuner pedal as well. At first, I was skeptical about how it worked as a tuner. I gave it a shot, and it worked just as good as my old $99 PolyTune 3 tuner. So instead of squeezing all of my pedals to make room for the GLXD16 receiver to fit, the receiver ended up taking the place of my old tuner.

The final new feature of the GLXD16 is that both the transmitter and receiver are made of pure solid metal. While they share the same robust metal transmitter as the pic below, the GLXD14’s receiver is made of plastic. 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 vehicle to stage, back from the stage to vehicle, or being tossed around dancing on stage. In terms of durability and longevity, the all-metal GLXD16 receiver takes a considerable advantage over the plastic GLXD14.

Both Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16 use this same transmitter

What’s New In The Shure GLXD14

The Shure GLXD14, unlike the GLXD16, has a battery charging port on the right-hand side of the receiver. The charging port is for the transmitter rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts 16 hours per charge and a total battery lifespan of 10,000 hours. Although both wireless guitar systems use these incredibly convenient lithium-ion batteries, only the GLXD14 has a charging port located on the receiver for optimal convenience. The GLXD16’s transmitter battery, on the other hand, must be charged by a USB connection to the transmitter.

Similarities Of The Shure GLXD16 And The Shure GLXD14

  • Reliability– Both systems are incredibly dependable with little to no dropouts. I personally have never experienced a single dropout with either of these units.
  • Range– Both systems range are Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)
  • Tone and Sound Quality- There is no noticeable difference in tone between the Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16 compared to a quality cable for any instrument type.
  • Longest Battery Life with Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery- All GLXD units have the highest battery life up to 16 hours using lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
  • Shure’s LINKFREQ intelligent frequency management technology– gives the receiver the ability to continuously scan for the best open frequencies.
  • Digital Transmission
  • Both operate at 2.4 GHz– 2.4 GHz frequency band is the only globally unlicensed, non-restricted, and most future proof frequency band used for wireless guitar systems.
  • Both are Compatible with active pickups
  • Both have all of the same tech-specs
  • Both are incredible for guitar and bass– some wireless guitar systems are not the best for bass, however, due to digital transmission full 20Hz-20kHz frequency response, and incredible 120dB dynamic range; both the GLXD14 and GLXD16 are incredible for bass guitars.
  • Both use the exact same transmitter
  • Both automatically connect the transmitter and receiver without a push of a button
  • Latency 4ms– non-noticeable latency

Shure GLXD16 And Shure GLXD14 Overview

Reliability- Do they have dropouts or signal interference?

It is very possible to find many current wireless guitar systems that can match quality cable tone. However, it is rare to find a system with zero recorded dropouts like the Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16. Personally, I have been through 5 wireless guitar systems other than the GLXD series by Shure. Every wireless system outside of the GLXD family dropped out due to signal interference. The Shure GLXD family is considered the most reliable wireless guitar systems from our research, reviews, and personal experience.

Each channel uses six different frequencies that continuously scan to monitor the frequency condition. After that, transmits the audio signal on the three clearest audio frequency of the six available. If one of the frequencies get interference or conditions deteriorate, it automatically changes to a backup frequency without interrupting the audio.

This is why GLXD systems have been raved about for signal clarity and reliability for years. They are both straightforward to set up since they automatically link the receiver and transmitter together. There is no need to set channels or mess with settings.

Convenience

Frequently needing to purchase disposable batteries ends up becoming costly, depending on how much you play out. Not only expensive but an inconvenience of continually stopping at the store to buy batteries and keeping up with them.

The Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16 are not only tied in the top 3 wireless systems for the longest battery life of 16 hours, but they also use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with a total lifespan of 10,000 hours. The GLXD 16 is charged by a USB connecting to the transmitter while the GLXD14 has its own charging port on the receiver. This ends up saving money and becomes far less of a hassle.

Another convenient factor that both of these systems offers is Shure’s state of the art LINKFREQ automatic frequency management and bidirectional communication that lets your transmitter automatically link to your receiver and follow any frequency changes. No extra set up buttons needed to find a clear open channel or connect the transmitter to the receiver.

In terms of convenience, there are 2 advantages the Shure GLXD16 triumphs over the GLXD14. The GLXD16’s receiver can be used as a reliable tuner pedal and the fact that the receiver is pedal-board attachable eliminating an extra setup step before every show.

Amazon Reviews For Shure GLXD16

Amazon Reviews For Shure GLXD14

Tone and Sound quality

There is no noticeable difference in tone between the Shure GLXD 16 and a quality cable. Like all of the GLXD series by Shure, the frequency response is at 20Hz-20kHz with a dynamic range of 120dB. The latency is low and unnoticeable at 4ms. Every review of all Shure GLXD series claims the same tone between the wireless system and a quality cable.

In this video, I tested the GLXD16 up against a high-quality Mogami cable for my bass. See if you can hear a difference in tone.

Shure GLXD 16 v.s High-Quality Mogami Cable Tone Test

 

The easiest way to charge the GLXD16

The most comfortable and convenient way to charge the GLXD 16 is to bring a USB charger to your gigs and charge it before the show. I attach my USB plug to my pedalboard and charge the transmitter after I’m done setting up. View the video below for an example.

What instruments are they compatible with?

Both the Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16 are compatible with just about any stringed instrument. Both units are entirely compatible with active pickups and electronics with inverse polarity as well.

How long does it take to charge?

Roughly 3 hours gives you a full charge for 16 hours of playtime. Hypothetically in a situation where your GLXD 14 or 16 is entirely dead while already at the gig, only 15 minutes of charge gives you 90 minutes of playtime. This definitely comes in handy for a bad situation.

Shure GLXD16 And Shure GLXD14 Compatible With Active Pickups

Some wireless guitar systems don’t work well or aren’t designed for active pickups. The reason is that the transmitter of individual 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.

Although it is challenging to find out which wireless guitar systems are 100% compatible with active pickups or electronics, I have confirmed with the engineers of Shure that both the GLXD14 and GLXD16 is entirely compatible with active pickups of any sort.

Shure GLXD16 And GLXD14 Are Incredible For Bass Guitar

On top of a high-quality, reliable wireless instrument system, there are two substantial factors that a wireless guitar system needs to be suitable for a bass guitar.

  1. A wireless guitar system needs to have a high dynamic range of at least 120dB.
  2. A wireless guitar system for bass must use digital rather than analog transmission. The companding effect of analog wireless guitar systems negatively impacts the tone of a bass guitar much more than other instruments in a higher frequency. A high-quality digital wireless system does not negatively impact a bass guitar.

Both the Shure GLXD14 and GLXD16 have a high dynamic range of 120dB with digital transmission making them dependable wireless bass systems. I can also confirm, as a bassist, by personal experience that they have no flaws for the bass.

Cons Of The GLXD16 In My Opinion

  • The rubber lid on the transmitter is annoying. I cut mine off, you really don’t need it. 
  • If I can think of any more or anything that happens in the future with my Shure GLXD 16, I’ll come back to update this.

Cons Of The GLXD14 In My Opinion

  • The rubber lid on the transmitter is annoying. I cut mine off, you really don’t need it. 
  • Plastic build receiver
  • Not pedal-board attachable for an added set-up step before every show

Final Thought

Whichever one of these wireless guitar systems you choose, you will not be disappointed by any means with the outcome. In my opinion, the Shure GLXD16 has the upper hand. Due to its ability to directly attach to your pedalboard for added convenience. Also, both the transmitter and receiver are metal for added durability and longevity. Lastly, its 2 in 1 deal being a tuner as well. Both systems are currently going for the same price on Amazon right now. Make sure to check the reviews below!

View another round of heavy hitters in the wireless instrument system world here, Shure GLXD 16 vs. Line 6 G70 vs. Line 6 G50.

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