Its been a long 6-year wireless journey. I have driven myself nearly insane to find the absolute perfect wireless guitar system that will never, in any way, fail me as a touring musician. After five wireless instrument systems, extra transmitters for each of those systems, continuous extensive research, recommendations from my bandmates and musician buddies, we have finally found the overall absolute best wireless guitar system.
The Shure GLXD 16 Digital Wireless System on Amazon is the absolute best all-around wireless guitar system period. I will never use another wireless again.
Bundle the Shure GLXD 16 with the $15 Neotech Wireless Pouch, then you are 100% ready to perform wireless happily ever after.
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 broke down each of these factors for the Shure GLXD 16 Digital Wireless System
Some Details of The Shure GLXD 16
- Globally-unlicensed 2.4GHz Digital Wireless
- Allows operation of up to 8 compatible systems
- LINKFREQ intelligent frequency management Identifies the best open channels
- The transmitter automatically follows the receiver frequency changes using Bidirectional communication
- Completely eliminates signal interference by continuously monitoring for the clearest signal than automatically changes for the best frequency
- Transmitter automatically links to the receiver for seamless frequency-changing
- Tied in the top 3 wireless guitar systems for longest battery life with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
- Range- up to 200 feet radius
- Pedalboard receiver that works as a tuner as well
- Receiver shows battery life
- Receiver and Transmitter entirely made of metal for excellent longevity and durability
- Auto links the transmitter and receiver. Never has to be linked again for eliminating an extra step to set up.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Dynamic Range: 120dB
Reliability and Signal Strength
Reliability and signal strength is probably the most critical factor when determining a good wireless system. All of the wireless guitar systems I have used in the past would cut out due to signal interference except my current Shure GLXD 16.
When a wireless system cuts out due to signal interference rather than cutting out from range, it is entirely different. You can be on stage, playing your life out with many potential fans. Suddenly, right when you’re at the climax of the song, your wireless guitar/bass cuts out. You know it’s not the range considering you’re 5-10 feet from your receiver. The buzz is killed, and your potential fans become slightly less of a possibility.
Video example: When one of my old wireless systems cut out due to signal interference. (I’m bassist on right)
This has happened to me on multiple occasions with every other wireless guitar system except for the Shure GLXD 16 since I’ve had it (18 months). Typically the dropouts by signal interference last about 2-5 seconds. In this scenario, it was a bit longer, so I went directly into my amp with a cable.
Part of me thought my wireless completely broke, yet I did have some minor signal interruption earlier in the set. The next day when I tested the wireless, it was fine. Which thus, brought me to the conclusion that the dropout was due to signal interference.
The Reason Why The Shure GLXD 16 Has Incredible Signal Strength And Reliability.
For those who just got really nervous from the previous video about purchasing a wireless guitar system, have no fear with the GLXD 16. Below is a list of the technical reasons for what makes this system so reliable where you will never have to worry about a single dropout.
- Digital wireless system that operates on 2.4 GHz band, which is legal everywhere on the planet. Many Analog systems need a costly license depending on where you travel to.
- Shure GLXD systems are the only systems that feature 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.
- Each channel uses 6 different frequencies that continuously scan to monitor the frequency condition. Then transmits the audio signal on the 3 clearest audio frequencies of the 6 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.
Durability + Longevity
The Shure GLXD 16 transmitter made of metal casing is built to last. 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’s getting thrown from the van/bus, back into the van/bus, or being tossed around dancing on stage.
Most wireless transmitters are made of ABS plastic, significantly less road worthy than of a metal casing. A very overlooked important factor of metal vs. plastic housings is that plastic casing not only breaks easier, but there is a higher chance that the battery department will come loose while your playing. When that happens, your transmitter loses battery and shuts off.
The GLXD 16 pedal receiver is also durable as well made out of rugged metal chassis. For one of my older wireless guitar systems, I had to purchase a brand new receiver for the minuscule fact that the charging port made of plastic broke.
For complete protection, make sure to add the Neotech Wireless Pouch. Metal alone will not necessarily protect your transmitter from moisture/sweat.
For metalheads, I highly recommend you not to jump from the stage into the pit with a plastic wireless unit. Use a metal transmitter for your metal shows. (;
Tone: Shure GLXD 16 vs. Top Of The Line Cable
A critical factor of what makes a good wireless system is the tone and audio clarity. A few crucial elements for systems tone is its frequency response, digital transmission, and the dynamic range. The Shure GLXD 16 has an incredible dynamic range of 120dB, a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, and 24bit-44k digital transmission with low latency of 4ms.
In this video, I tested the highest quality cable (Mogami cable) versus the Shure GLXD 16 to see if there’s a difference in tone. I also checked various pedals between the Mogami cable and the wireless.
My conclusion on tone difference between the high-quality Mogami cable v.s Shure GLXD 16. I was shocked to find out that I was utterly unable to tell the difference in tone/latency, between the highest quality cable (Mogami) and the Shure GLXD 16.
- No difference in tone/latency plugged directly into an amp (bypass all pedals)
- No difference in tone/latency using compressor and EQ pedal
- No difference in tone/latency with limiter, compressor, and EQ pedal
- No difference in Tone/latency using the POG Octave Pedal
- Slight difference in tone using my synthesizer pedal (Mogami cable worked better)
Convenience: Wireless Guitar System Plus Tuner Pedal
The Shure GLXD 16 is of very few wireless guitar systems that are literally a 2 in one deal. Not only is it a flawless wireless system, but also a reliable tuner pedal as well.
You may have already seen, the receiver of this wireless system is shaped like a pedal. It fits perfectly in just about any pedalboard. At first, I was skeptical about how it worked as a tuner. I gave it a shot, worked just as good as my old $99 PolyTune 3 tuner.
It actually worked out perfectly for me, considering I would have had to cram all my pedals together with my new wireless. Instead, I ended up taking my old tuner back to the store for a little exchange for cash, then put the wireless receiver in my old tuner’s place.
The GLXD 16 tuner has worked out great for me ever since. Works just like a tuner without having to set anything up. Stomp the pedal, the instrument mutes, tune, stomp the pedal again, play.
How To Set Up The Shure GLXD 16
- Attach Receiver to Pedal Board
- Attach Receiver to nearby Pedal using a patch cable
- Charge Receiver – via DC to wall or DC to the power supply used for your other pedals. (this works just like a pedal)
- Charge transmitter By USB
- Once charged, attach Transmitter to Instrument
- Make Sure Receiver and Transmitter are turned on
GLXD 16 Range Test + Able To Withstand Cold Temperature
You are rarely going to play a gig outside in 35 degrees Fahrenheit, and somehow, I ended up doing one. I decided to test the range before the concert started.
To be fair, at the time we filmed this video, it was in the lower 50’s. By the time we started later on in the night, it had dropped down to the mid-’30s. However, the wireless gave me no issues for the 3-hour freezing gig.
I guess it’s safe to say that the Shure GLXD 16 bundled with a Neotech wireless pouch is cold weather resistant.
In terms of range, I have never had a single problem with signal dropouts or interference, no matter how big the stage is.
Best Battery Life With Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries.
Most wireless guitar systems are kind of annoying in terms of keeping up with the transmitter’s charge. The vast majority use disposable batteries.
Frequently needing to purchase disposable batteries ends up becoming costly, depending on how much you play out. Not only does it eventually become expensive but an inconvenience of continually stopping at the store to buy batteries/keeping up with them.
Luckily the Shure GLXD 16 is not only tied in the top 3 wireless systems for the most extended battery life of 16 hours, but it also uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. It is charged by plugging in a USB on the side of the transmitter. This ends up saving money and becomes less of a hassle.
Hypothetically in a situation where your GLXD 16 is entirely dead, and you’re already at the gig, only 15 minutes of charge gives you 90 minutes of playtime. This definitely comes in handy for a bad situation.
The easiest and most convenient way to charge the GLXD 16 is to bring a USB charger to your gigs and charge it before the show.
I keep my USB plug in my pedalboard case. When I’m done setting up, I charge my transmitter by plugging it in my pedalboard power supply.
Doing this will save you some hassle so that you don’t need to remember to bring your transmitter inside of your home to charge it when you’re off. Video Example Below.
Compatible With Active Pickups
The Shure GLXD 16 is 100% compatible with active pickups or any type of instrument output. Not only does it work correctly on the active setting of my American Elite Precision Fender, but I also called the manufacturers of Shure to clarify which of their systems are compatible with active pickups.
While all of their systems were compatible with active pickups, the manufacturer then said without me even asking “In the process of making the GLXD series, the creators ran multiple instrument tests for compatibility between the wireless system and instrument active output.”
If you use active pickups or have a boost switch of any sort, you are entirely safe from hums, squeals, dropouts, buzzes, etc. with the Shure GLXD 16.
Add A Neotech Wireless Pouch For Completion
I probably mention the Neotech Wireless Pouch in nearly every article I have written. It’s because the pouch was literally the best $15 Investment in my entire life. I genuinely don’t want anyone to go through what I went through in my wireless journey.
In my earlier days, I have had wireless systems entirely break due to my own sweat. I have also had moments of my wireless falling off of my strap breaking through the electrical tape.
The pouch comes in 2 sizes: small and medium.
I use the medium size Neotech Pouch for my GLXD 16. However, some reviews claim that the small size fits better. Honestly, the medium works perfectly fine for me; I guess either one works.
Video Of The Neotech Wireless Pouch And How To Set It Up
List Of Which Neotech Pouch Size Is Right For All Wireless Guitar Systems
(according to reviews) Keep in mind, many wireless units work for both sizes.
- Line 6 relay G30
- Line 6 relay G50
- Line 6 G55
- line 6 relay G70
- Line 6 relay G90
- Sony DWZ
- AKG’s PT40 Mini wireless transmitter
- Shure PGX
- Sennheiser EW 172G3 transmitter
- Audio Technica System 10 ATW-T1001 UniPak transmitter
- Shure GLX-D16 (My personal Wireless System, I use a medium)
(according to reviews) Keep in mind, many wireless units work for both sizes.
- Line 6 relay G30
- Line 6 relay G50
- Shure GLX-D16 (my personal system, i use a medium but according to reviews a small works as well)
- Shure GLX-D1
- AKG WMS 40 Mini Instrument
- Audio-Technica ATW-T210
- Ghure GLXD14
Why you need a Neotech Wireless Pouch for any wireless
- Protects from sweat damage
- Protects from moisture damage (for those who play outdoor gigs near a beach or in high humidity)
- Protects from impact (Dear metalheads, once you leave the stage to play in the pit… if you forget your helmet….just know…..your wireless is a bit more protected)
- Stops the wireless from sliding/falling off
- Protects wireless from Dust
- Holds wireless firmly in place (All the behind the back solos you wish) Abnormally cheap for such a useful accessory
- Works With Just About any Strap
Easy Instrument Swap + Compatibility with multiple Instruments of any output.
The Shure Glxd 16 can support multiple transmitters at a time. If you have various instruments that all have different output levels, you can adjust the input signal level from (-20 to +12 dB). Each transmitter remains at the dB level you set it at.
This solves any problems for people who use multiple instruments with different output level during a live performance. Just make sure to take a day to set each transmitter for each instrument so that there roughly equal volume. You will then have the ability to switch instruments anytime with no additional volume adjustments needed. Additional transmitters are sold separately.
If you’re not willing to spend an extra $229 on each separate transmitter for each instrument, there is an easy and far cheaper solution for having a clean instrument switch during a performance.
The cheaper solution is to attach a Neotech Wireless Pouch to each instrument. The pouch makes it very easy to take the transmitter out then attach it to the other instrument’s pouch you’re going to use. Step by step instructions below.
- Stomp the Glxd tuner/receiver to mute your instrument.
- Take the transmitter out of your Neotech wireless pouch from the instrument you’re done with.
- Insert the transmitter into the Neotech pouch for the new instrument (all instruments should have their own pouch)
- Tune (if you want) hit the stomp again to unmute your instrument, play.
- But you better tune (;
Why The Shure GLXD 16 at $449 on Amazon Is Eventually Cheaper Than A $200 Wireless System.
If you think about it, the average wireless transmitter takes 2 AA batteries every 8 hours of use. In my real-life experience, I needed to change my batteries with my old wireless every two shows (this eventually turned to before every show). My sets were 2-3 hours, and by the 3rd show, the battery was too low that I did not trust it.
Now only if you get the very best deals in bulk of giant packaged batteries, you will lose 1 dollar every two shows — not including consistent trips to the store. If you play out twice a week, you lose roughly $50 a year. Now I honestly never heard of a $200 wireless that has ever lasted four years, but if it does after four years, you are $200 deep in battery cost at a total cost of $400 (to be conservative).
However, the even worse news is that you’re still stuck with a $200 wireless guitar system that lacks the reliability, durability, convenience, tonality, and longevity of the Shure GLXD 16 at $449.
With the Shure GLXD 16, you will eventually save money in the long run, whether it’s battery cost or your cheaper wireless system lacks durability and breaks.
Last But Not Least: The Rarest Combination Of All These Important Factors For The Price.
It is abnormally rare to find a wireless system with all of these phenomenal qualifications.
From Tone, reliability, signal strength and clarity, convenient pedal, 2 in one deal with tuner, compatible with active pickups, the longest battery life of 16 hours, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, both transmitter and receiver made of metal for durability, 200 feet radius range.
Even more so rare, is the price at $449 with all of these qualities.
As of today, there is no better bang for the buck for a wireless guitar system than the Shure GLXD 16. PERIOD
All The Reasons The Shure GLXD 16 is Our Top Pick For Wireless Guitar Systems for 2018 Summed Up
- The Tone Is Flawless- I tested it between my Mogami cable and the wireless, no difference.
- Durability– Most units I used to own died by sweat damage, or parts of the transmitter will break from either impact or touring conditions. The transmitter comes in a metal casing, then add the Neotech wireless pouch to protect it from moisture/more impact/sweat.
- Signal Strength/Reliability- ZERO DROPOUTS. For the 14 months, I have had it, big stage, small stage, tall stage, bar, brick, cold weather, etc ZERO DROPOUTS.
(If that changes on any of my upcoming shows I will come back to correct this) It has continuous interference monitoring and automatic frequency switching that eliminates signal interruption.
- Convenience- GLXD 16 is a tuner as well, when I bought this I returned my $99 PolyTune 3 tuner. Works just as good as it, a 2 in one deal. Fits perfectly in a pedalboard to eliminate an extra setup step prior to a show.
- Battery life- 16 hours of battery life per full charge, and 1.5 hours of continuous playing after 15 minutes of charge.
- Range- The range is 200 feet radius which is great for a digital wireless unit. Me and the guitarist have a part in our show where we do a solo battle in the crowd. There have been many times with the other units I had would cut out when I reach a certain point, it has not happened yet with the GLXD 16.
- Rare Combination/Competitive Price – Usually mid-high level grade wireless units lack 1 or 2 of the following. Especially for the price.
- Please don’t believe every article you read online, Check the reviews yourself for the Shure GLXD 16 here
The Perfect Bundles With The Shure GLXD 16
Neotech Wireless Pouch
As we mentioned earlier many times, you will need a Neotech wireless pouch to hold the transmitter perfectly in place so that it does not fall off. Plus this pouch will protect your $400 investment from impact, moisture, sweat, dust.
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4X4 Isolated Power Supply
Something I just recently learned, the GLXD 16 wireless receiver apparently needs 12 volts to work at properly. Oddly enough, I use the 9 Volt Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2. I have never had any power issues since using it. Other places throughout the internet suggest as long as it’s powered by 9-15 Volts it will work just fine.
Because I have been through far too much embarrassment onstage from my old wireless systems dropping out on my musical journey, I’m officially taking no chances. I just purchased the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4X4 Isolated Power Supply yesterday. In the next few videos I post on this website, you will see a brand new power supply. (:
Cons Of The Shure GLXD 16 (Personal 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.
The Bottom Line
Something that all musicians that play in an original band must read and must share with their bandmates.
The Science Behind why Stage Presence Is Vital To Gaining New Fans.
For those who only want to use a wireless guitar system for practice/low key gigs. ONLY FOR PRACTICE and LOW KEY GIGS!!!! AKA you have no intentions to be wireless outside of coffee shop shows.
Take a look at this Top 11 Wireless Guitar Systems under $200
Perform Wireless is written by musicians, not salesmen.
May all of you free the leash, find your true potential, and perform wireless happily ever after.