Shure GLXD24R/B87A vs. GLXD24/SM58 vs. Rode RODELink: Wireless Microphones In 2.4GHz

The Shure GLXD24R/B87A vs. Shure GLXD24/SM58 vs. Rode RODELink digital wireless handheld microphone systems head to head.

One of the main reasons why we decided to compare these three systems is that they all operate in the 2.4GHz frequency band. This frequency band is the only globally unlicensed, globally available, and the most future proof to date.

Many people are scared of the 2.4GHz is because it operates in the same spectrum as wifi and Bluetooth claiming they have a higher chance of interference.

Although it actually may be valid for a low-budget wireless instrument or mic system in 2.4GHz. However, higher-quality wireless microphone systems typically have frequency-agile features that reject interference.

The Shure GLXD24R/B87A, Shure GLXD24/SM58, and the Rode RODELink Performer Kit all have excellent frequency-agile features that minimize interference. They are also all the most reliable digital wireless microphones operating in the 2.4 GHz band with little to no dropouts while maintaining all the benefits of the frequency band.

But first…

What Makes A Wireless Microphone System Good And Sustainable

  1. Reliability -Signal strength, little to no dropouts or interference 
  2. Durability- Able to last long and withstand vigorous touring conditions
  3. Microphone Sound Quality- How good is the sound quality of the microphone. Does the wireless negatively impact the microphone quality compared to a cord?
  4. Convenience- Battery life, battery type (disposable vs rechargeable), setup simplicity, how many compatible transmitters.
  5. Range- Able to have a strong signal to cover a big stage or perform/speak throughout the audience.
  6. Frequency Band- Does your wireless microphone have the globally unlicensed, globally unrestricted, and more future proof frequency band at 2.4GHz? If not, what are the restrictions, licenses in certain countries, or possibilities that your microphone frequency band is already or about to be banned?

We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Rode RODELink Performer Kit, Shure GLXD24R/B87A, and the Shure GLXD24/SM58 

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

Microphone System Shure GLXD24R/B87A Shure GLXD24/SM58 Rode RODELink Performer Kit
System Transmission: Digital Digital Digital
Simultaneous Channels: 9 4 8
Range: Indoors: 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: 65 ft. Indoors: 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: 65 ft. 330 feet
Microphone Type: Condenser Dynamic Condenser
Mic Polar Pattern: Supercardioid Cardioid Supercardioid 
Max SPL: 147dB 146dB SPL 140dB SPL
Transmitter Battery Life: 16 hours 16 hours 10 hours
Battery Type: 3.7V SB902 rechargeable Li-Ion 3.7V SB902 rechargeable Li-Ion LB-1 Rechargeable battery (2 AA optional)
Latency: 4-7ms 4-7ms 4 ms max
Dynamic Range: 120dB 120dB 118dB
Receiver Build: Metal Plastic Plastic
Transmitter Type: Handheld Handheld Handheld
Receiver Type: Rackmount Tabletop Tabletop
Frequency Range: 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz
Mic: Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz 50Hz-15kHz N/A
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz 20Hz-20kHz 35Hz-20kHz

Reliability And Signal Strength

Reliability and signal strength of a wireless microphone system is, in my opinion, the absolute most crucial factor in determining a good unit. You need to know that your microphone will not randomly cut out due to signal interference while performing or speaking live. When your wireless mic is more susceptible to dropouts, even if it’s as little as once every 3 events, you still have the “fear of uncertainty” in the back of your mind.

Shure GLXD24R/B87A and Shure GLXD24/SM58
Both of these systems are equally incredibly reliable as they both use the same frequency-agile features to dodge interference. Both of these systems feature Shure’s state-of-the-art automatic frequency management and bidirectional communication that lets your transmitter automatically link to your receiver and follow any frequency changes.

Rode RODELink Performer Kit
While the GLXD uses 6 simultaneous channels, the Rode RODELink Performer Kit uses 2. In my experience, I still have never had any instances of signal interference with this system. I still find it highly reliable. One of the channels finds the clearest signal as the other channel scan for the next most available signal as a backup.

Overall, the Shure GLXD series is the most reliable digital wireless system in 2.4GHz on the market. That goes for a wireless microphone, instrument, or headset system.

Durability + Longevity

The durability of a wireless microphone system is far more critical than we think at first. Wireless mic’s cost a fair amount of money. If it’s not durable enough and it breaks, you lose money. If you are a touring musician, you need a wireless microphone system made with a durable microphone and a metal receiver to withstand vigorous touring conditions. 

Shure GLXD24R/B87A 
If you use or plan on using rackmount, the Shure GLXD24R system is an excellent choice for you. The receiver is rack-mountable, which nearly guarantees is longevity and safety. On top of that, the receiver is made entirely of metal increasing the overall durability and longevity. The B87A  microphone is built very well and sturdy. Overall, this system is incredibly durable and roadworthy.

Shure GLXD24/SM58 
The SM58 microphone is exceptionally durable. It managed to survive “The Hammer Test” where the microphone was hit against solid ground about 15-20 times to test its strength and durability. After the test, the SM58 came out completely fine with no issues. However, the receiver for this unit is made out of plastic rather than metal. Plastic units are much less durable and able to withstand touring conditions than metal receivers.  

Rode RODELink Performer Kit 
The RODELink Performer Kit has a sturdy microphone that is able to withstand harsh environments. Unfortunately, this units receiver is made out of plastic as well.

Overall, the Shure GLXD24R/B87A is the most durable system with its rackmountable all-metal receiver. The other 2 systems receivers are made of plastic.

GLXD24R/B87A

Microphone Sound Quality

Even more so important for singers rather than speakers, it is crucial that your microphone delivers excellent sound quality. Microphones were not all made equally.

Shure GLXD24R/B87A 
Out of every single wireless microphone I have experienced first hand, the Beta 87A sound quality is second to none. There are a few reasons why this wireless microphone produces such an incredibly rich, detailed, and bright vocal response. The B87A that comes with this system is a supercardioid condenser microphone. In general, condenser microphones are typically used in the studio that is much more articulate and detailed. They tend to pick up all the nuances of your voice with the downside of picking up sound elsewhere. Contrary to that belief, I myself and most users of this mic claim there are no issues with picking up unwanted noise with the B87A mic while maintaining the positive benefits of a condenser.

Shure GLXD24/SM58 
The universal standard SM58 is a dynamic microphone that is incredible at rejecting background noise. With a frequency response of 50Hz-15kHz and over 120dB of dynamic range, the cardioid microphone has excellent sound quality. The SM58 being heavier but smaller than the Beta 87A has an interchangeable mic capsule as well for greater versatility. Overall, this microphone has a brighter midrange than the others.

Rode RODELink Performer Kit 
Like the Beta 87A, this microphone is also an articulate and accurate condenser microphone. It has a supercardioid polar pattern to reduce background noise. This microphone produces very good sound quality as well. With its 128-bit encrypted digital transmission, the audio clarity is extremely good.

In my opinion overall, the Shure GLXD24R/B87A has the best sound quality of the group while the Rode RODELink Performer Kit comes in 2nd.   

Range

The range is an essential factor for more reasons than just crowd surfing through the audience while singing your song. For bands or DJ’s who perform corporate events or weddings, the client will require you to provide sound support for any speeches or toasts. Of the 90+ events I have played with in the past four years, the client will typically walk throughout the venue during the speech or toast with your wireless mic.

Shure GLXD24R/B87A and Shure GLXD24/SM58 
While both GLXD systems are incredibly reliable, produce great sound quality, and are both very convenient and easy to use; Unfortunately, their greatest weakness is the range. They both have Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight and 165 ft. in ideal conditions. For singers or speakers who don’t need above 200 feet radius of range, both of these systems are an incredible choice.

Rode RODELink Performer Kit 
The Rode RODELink Performer Kit has an incredible range of 330 feet. While the majority of wireless microphone systems that have a range of 300ft+ are analog systems, it is quite remarkable that this system provides such an excellent range through digital transmission. The Rode RODELink Performer Kit is tied in 2nd place with the highest amount of range with 330 feet. The wireless microphone system with the most amount of range is the very pricey Sennheiser SKM 6000.

Overall, if you’re looking for range, the Rode RODELink Performer Kit with 330 feet is the choice for you.

Convenience

Convenience is not a common thought when first purchasing a wireless microphone system. In terms of battery life, how to charge or change the batteries, setting up the system before gigs, etc. an inconvenient wireless microphone system gets annoying fast. Not to mention, consistent battery purchases increase the annual overhead at a much faster pace than expected. Therefore, wireless microphones that either uses rechargeable batteries or have a much longer battery life is best.

Shure GLXD24R/B87A and Shure GLXD24/SM58   
The Shure GLXD family has the most extended battery life of any wireless microphone system of 16 hours. Better yet, it uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are conveniently charged by plugging the battery into the receiver’s docking port. Not needing disposable batteries ends up saving money and becomes much less of a hassle. The receiver and transmitter automatically identify the clearest open channel and connect with each other. Truly an effortless setup. In terms of convenience, the only difference between both of these systems is that the Shure GLXD24R/B87A is rack-mountable. Both are a straightforward setup as you only need to turn both the receiver and transmitter on.

Rode RODELink Performer Kit 
The RODELink Performer Kit is an easy setup by pressing the red button on the receiver, choose a channel on the receiver, then press and hold the red button on the transmitter. This system uses a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery as well. However, the battery life is not as long as the other two systems with 10 hours of playtime. This system uses auto frequency selection as well. It automatically picks the most available open channel.

Overall, all of these systems are relatively convenient. However, both GLXD systems are a much easier setup by merely turning on both the receiver and transmitter. The GLXD systems also have a longer battery life of 16 hours. However, if your planning on rack mounting your receiver, the Shure GLXD24R/B87A beats the rest.

Frequency Band

One of the more complicated subjects in the wireless music equipment realm, which frequency band for your wireless microphone system is the best choice? In short, 2.4GHz Digital Wireless is the all-around best frequency band choice for your wireless microphone system. 2.4GHz is globally available, globally unlicensed, and has more chance of a sustainable future. The majority of the other frequency bands are either unavailable outside of the US or Canada, need a costly/inconvenient license to operate in some countries or have an uncertain future with the FCC banning the frequency.

Luckily, the Shure GLXD24R/B87A, Shure GLXD24/SM58, and the Rode RODELink Performer Kit all operate in the globally available, globally unlicensed, and more future proof frequency band of 2.4GHz.      

Our Winner

Of the three digital wireless microphone systems in 2.4GHz, the Shure GLXD24R/B87A is, in my opinion, the winner. It has the best sound quality, durability, and the easiest to use and setup. Going with a wireless microphone system in 2.4GHz is a wise option. It has the highest chance of sustainability, globally unlicensed, and globally unrestricted. Many people, unfortunately, do not dig deeply enough into the technical aspects of a wireless microphone system. Considering that you’re here, I commend you. If you want to look around for more high-quality wireless microphone systems, see our top 5 digital mics here.

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