3 Best Wireless Systems For Bass (Active or Passive)

What are the 3 best wireless bass systems for either active or passive pickups and why?

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.

Below is a list of the top 3 wireless guitar systems that are best for bass players. All of these systems use digital transmission, have the full frequency response of at least 20Hz-20kHz, and all have the incredible dynamic range of 120dB.

Here Are The 3 Best Wireless Guitar Systems For Bass

  • Shure GLXD 16
  • Line 6 Relay G70
  • Shure GLXD 14R

Keep in mind that all of these systems are tour-ready, reliable, compatible with active pickups, convenient, and do not negatively affect the tone of your bass. I, as a bass player, will not recommend half-ass quality cheap gear that will break or consistently cut out to fellow bass players.

If you’re wondering why many big-name wireless guitar systems did not make our list, it’s due to the lack of dependability with many cut-outs or durability where they break too often and easily.

1. Shure GLXD 16

As the current owner of this system for the past two years, I firmly believe it is unbeatable in many vital areas. The Shure GLXD 16 was picked for our Best Wireless Guitar System Of 2019 and rightfully so. This system is a 2 in 1 deal that’s not only a wireless system but a tuner as well.

  1. Reliability -Signal strength and reliability is unbeatable 
  2. Durability- Able to last long/withstand touring and climate conditions
  3. Tone- No difference when tested against a Mogami cable
  4. Convenience- Auto setup simplicity, never need to change channels or sync it after 1st use, pedalboard attachable. 
  5. Battery- The best battery life of every single wireless guitar system series at 16 hours. Uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery charged by USB on the transmitter.
  6. Absolute Best Bang For The Buck- According to our extensive research and personal experience, we were unable to find a system nearly as efficient as the Shure GLXD-16 for the price at $449 on Amazon

Reliability

It is very possible to find many current wireless guitar systems that can match quality cable tone, yet it is rare to find a system with ZERO recorded dropouts like the GLXD 16. I personally have been through 5 wireless guitar systems, the only system that has never dropped out on me ever (25 months) is my current wireless, the Shure GLXD 16. 
This unit is considered the most reliable wireless guitar system from our research, reviews, and personal experience.

Each channel uses 6 different frequencies that continuously scan to monitor the frequencies condition. Then it transmits the audio signal to 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 and reliability for years. This system is very easy to set up that automatically links the receiver and transmitter together. There is no need to set channels or mess with settings.

Tone

I’m going to let this video speak for itself:
Shure GLXD 16 v.s High-Quality Mogami Cable

There is no noticeable difference in tone between the Shure GLXD 14 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 which is excellent for bass players.

Every review of all Shure GLXD series claims the same tone between the wireless system and a quality cable.

Convenience 

The Shure GLXD 16 is of very few wireless guitar systems that are a 2 in one deal. This system is not only flawless wireless, but also a reliable tuner pedal.

As 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, and it worked just as good as my old $99 PolyTune 3 tuner. I then had to return my old tuner to the local music shop for cash.

Battery life and type of batteries a system uses becomes part of what makes a system more or less convenient as well.

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

Luckily the Shure GLXD 16 is not only tied in the top 3 wireless systems for the longest 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 far less of a hassle.

The GLXD 16 tuner has worked out great for me ever since. Literally works just like a tuner without having to set anything up. Stomp the pedal, the instrument mutes, tune, stomp the pedal again, play.

Durability

The Shure GLXD 16 transmitter and receiver is made out of solid metal for durability and longevity. Keep in mind, the majority of wireless transmitters are made of ABS plastic, which is far less roadworthy.

For complete protection of your transmitter for any wireless, you decide to get, make sure to add the Neotech Wireless Pouch. Metal alone will not necessarily protect your transmitter from moisture/sweat.

Range

All of the Shure GLXD systems greatest if not only weakness is that the range is not as far as many of the wireless guitar systems. 
Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)

All though it is clearly more than enough to cover the biggest of stages, if you’re looking to take a solo deep within the crowd at a massive stadium, this may not be the best wireless choice for you. I personally have never once had a single problem with range. The guitarist and I in John Pagano Band also do a solo battle within the crowd at most of our shows and it never once cut out due to the range or signal interference since I’ve had it a little over a year and a half.

Features

LINKFREQ automatic frequency management and bidirectional communication lets your transmitter automatically link to your receiver and follow any frequency changes.

On top of a built-in tuner, the Shure Glxd 16 is able to 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.

Details/Tech specs

Range:200 feet radius 
Transmitter Battery/Life:16 hours/lithium-ion rechargeable by USB
Latency:4 (ms)
Dynamic Range:120dB
Gain Settings:-20 to +12 dB
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Metal 
Transmitter Type:Body Pack
Receiver Type:Pedal
Frequency Range:2.4 GHz
Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz

Pros

  • The Tone Is Flawless- I tested it between my Mogami cable and the wireless, no difference.
  • LINKFREQ intelligent frequency management quickly identifies the best open channels
  • Durability– Most units I used to own died by sweat damage, or the transmitter will break from either impact or touring conditions. The transmitter and receiver are made of metal then add the Neotech Wireless Pouch to protect it from moisture/more impact/sweat for completion. 
  • Signal Strength/Reliability- ZERO DROPOUTS. For the 17 months, I have had it, big stage, small stage, tall stage, bar, brick, cold weather, etc ZERO DROPOUTS. This system is considered most reliable from our research and personal experience (If that changes on any of my upcoming shows I will come back to correct this)
  • Transmitter automatically follow receiver frequency changes  using bidirectional communication
  • Convenience- GLXD 16 is a tuner and does auto-sync between transmitter and receiver. When I bought this I returned my $99 PolyTune 3 tuner. Works just as good, a 2 in one deal. Fits perfectly in the 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.
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries- eliminates consistent disposable battery purchases.
  • Rare Combination/Competitive Price – Usually mid-high level grade wireless units lack 1 or 2 of the following. Especially for the price.
  • Globally-unlicensed 2.4GHz frequency band, 4 compatible systems able to operate at the same time, 8 in ideal conditions.
  • Compatible with Active Pickups
  • A Digital wireless system that operates on 2.4 GHz band

Cons

  • 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 happens in the future with my Shure GLXD 16, I’ll come back to update this.

2. Line 6 Relay G70

The Line 6 G70 is 5 different pedals in 1. 

  1. Wireless Guitar System
  2. Tuner
  3. ABY Switcher
  4. Direct Box
  5. Gain Pedal

There is no other wireless guitar system on the planet with this combination. To get into tuner mode, you must hold down the stomp button for 2 seconds. By just clicking the stomp button, you change channels. You are able to switch between multiple transmitters by tapping on the pedal when changing channels as well.

There are 2 ways to power the receiver, either a USB or a DC 9V that most pedal power supplies have. The receiver has an XLR output and a ground lift on its top head. On the right side of the receiver is an extra aux-in jack that may save you in a bad situation. If the receiver does not sense the transmitter in a bad signal area, it will automatically use the aux in for the input for all the patches.

The receiver shows the battery playtime left in hours and minutes on its front screen. However, if your using rechargeable batteries, like Tenergy, it tends to make the battery reading inaccurate for this system.

When opening the transmitter by pressing the buttons on the side while pulling it vertically, within gives you the option to change channels, change batteries, a switch to put the transmitter into sleep mode, or attaching a USB for updates.

Reliability

For minimizing dropouts, the receiver has a built-in quad-antenna array with advanced dual receiver topology for signal reliability and strength. Most wireless guitar systems do get signal interference/dropouts. According to some reviews dropouts do rarely occur with the Line 6 G70. However, In most cases, only for half a second. Thus, The Line 6 G70 gets four stars out of 5 on reliability.

Tone

The Line 6 G70 operates on the latest generation of 24-bit/48kHz uncompressed digital transmission. In other words, the tone is flawless. You will hear no difference between this system and a high-quality cable. With an incredible 120dB of dynamic range, this system has also been raved about for its abnormally low latency of 1.48 (ms).

In the settings of the receiver, it gives you the option to simulate cable length anywhere from 5-100 feet of length, or you can just turn cable simulation off. The gain setting allows you to increase up to +12dB or decrease to -18dB where you can set the gain to an output of your choice.

Durability

The Line 6 G 70’s transmitter and receiver are made of rugged metal, it is designed for longevity and to withstand the harsh environments of touring. This system gets 5 stars for durability, but adding the Neotech wireless pouch will be very beneficial to extra protection.

Convenience 

The line 6 G70 and the Shure GLXD 16 are both the most convenient wireless guitar systems for professionals. This is because they are both attachable to your pedalboard, eliminating an extra set up step. Most wireless guitar systems must be sat on top of an amplifier or attached to a rackmount. This system is already there waiting for you in your pedalboard.

Range

The line 6 G70 gives you 200 feet of range, which is pretty good for a digital wireless guitar system. 200 feet gives you significantly more than enough to go well into the crowd whether you decide to crowd surf, walk the crowd, etc.

Features

  • The line 6 G70 is the only wireless guitar system that has all of these features in 1; Tuner, ABY switcher, direct box, and gain pedal.
  • Of the 16 different channels on this system, you can set up and customize each of them in any way you prefer under the “Add Scene” Tab in settings. You can customize and name each channel in various ways including gain, cable length simulator, or change the LCD brightness/colors for each channel.
  • In the settings of the receiver, it gives you the option to simulate cable length anywhere from 5-100 feet of length, or you can just turn cable simulation off. The gain setting allows you to increase up to +12dB or decrease to -18dB where you can set the gain to an output of your choice. 

Details/Tech specs

Range:200 feet
System:Digital 24-bit/48kHz uncompressed
Transmitter Battery/Life:2 AA – 8 hours
Latency:1.48 (ms)
Dynamic Range:120dB
Gain Settings:-18dB Up To +12dB
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Rugged metal
Transmitter Type:Body Pack
Receiver Type:Pedal
Frequency Range:2.4 GHz
Frequency Response:10Hz-20kHz

Pros

  • 5 in 1 deal wireless guitar system, gain pedal, ABY switch, Tuner, and Direct box.
  • Made of Metal for durability and longevity 
  • Made with Studio quality DAC and ADC converters
  • Abnormally low latency at 1.48 milliseconds
  • Extra aux-in jack
  • Output C (XLR direct in) gives you the ability to send a balanced or full ranged signal with 120dB 
  • Great Tone 
  • 24-bit/48kHz uncompressed digital transmission
  • Built-in quad-antenna array with advanced dual receiver topology for signal reliability and strength
  • Gain setting allows you to increase up to +12dB or decrease to -18dB
  • Ground lift switch attached for DI
  • Receiver shows transmitters battery life
  • Compatible with active pickups

Cons

  • The metal clip on the transmitter for attaching to your guitar/bass strap has many complaints. To fix this, get a Neotech wireless pouch.
  • Many reviews claim dropouts occur, although some claim its rare, others claim frequently.
  • Low battery life (8 hours) compared to Shure GLXD 16 (16 hours)
  • 2 AA disposable batteries needed
  • Does not work well with rechargeable batteries
  • Reviews claim tuner doesn’t work well with banjo
  • Some claim the possibility of extra noise

3. Shure GLXD 14R

The Shure GLXD14r has the same flawless reliability, signal strength, incredible tone, best battery life using rechargeable batteries, and metal build for durability and longevity just like the older brother, Shure GLXD 16. What makes this system different is that it is rack-mountable. Those who prefer to rackmount their wireless receiver rather than putting it in there pedalboard or on top of their amp will benefit with the Shure GLXD 14r.

The Shure GLXD14r is the best wireless guitar system for bass players who want to rackmount the receiver. This system has a charging port located on the right-hand side of the receiver for the lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Like the entire GLXD series, each lithium-ion battery for this system lasts 16 hours per full charge. The whole lifespan is 13,000 hours. Each lithium-ion battery costs $29 on Amazon.

Reliability 

The Shure GLXD family is superb in terms of reliability. 
Each channel uses six different frequencies that continuously scan to monitor the frequencies condition. After that, it 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. This system is a straightforward set up that automatically links the receiver and transmitter together. No need to set channels or mess with settings.

Tone

There is no noticeable difference in tone between the Shure GLXD 14 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 which is excellent for bass players.

Every review of all Shure GLXD series claims the same tone between the wireless system and a quality cable, including me with my GLXD 16.

Durability 

The Shure GLXD 14R’s receiver and the transmitter are made of metal giving this system five stars for durability and longevity. For more protection for your transmitter from impact, dust, humidity, and sweat, we highly recommend adding the Neotech wireless pouch from Amazon at $15. As a matter of fact, we recommend that pouch for all wireless transmitters.

Convenience 

The Shure GLXD 14R is the all-time most convenient wireless guitar system for a musician who wants to rackmount his receiver. Tied for 3rd in the most extended battery life of 16 hours with the GLXD 14 and GLXD 16, this system also eliminates disposable battery purchases. The lithium-ion battery that comes with purchasing this unit is recharged in the receivers charging port, making this system that much more convenient.

Range

All of the Shure GLXD families greatest and only weakness is that the range is not as far as most of the wireless guitar systems on this list. 
Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)

All though it is clearly more than enough to cover the biggest of stages, if you’re looking to take a solo deep within the crowd at a massive stadium, this may not be the best wireless choice for you. I personally use the Shure GLXD 16, which has the same range as the GLXD 14 and 14r, and I have never once had a single problem with range.

Features 

  • Up to 9 compatible systems simultaneous channels (11 in ideal conditions)
  • Ability to charge the battery in receivers charging port
  • Rackmountable
  • Comes with Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries up to 16 hours of use per full charge and 13,000 hours total. Extra Shure SB902 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery for GLX-D sold separate.
  • Automatic Frequency Management by Shure’s GLXD family is used for clear audio easy auto-setup.
  • Transmitter and receiver automatically change through frequencies together using bidirectional communication
Tech specs/details
Range:Indoors: Up to 100 ft. Line-of-sight (200 ft. max); Outdoors: Up to 65 ft. Line-of-sight (165 ft. ideal conditions)
System:Digital 
Transmitter Battery/Life:16 hours/ rechargeable lithium-ion
Latency:4-7. 3 ms
Dynamic Range:120dB
Receiver/Transmitter Build:Both metal
Transmitter Type:Bodypack 
Receiver Type:Rackmount 
Frequency Range:2.4GHz
Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz
Sampling rate:44.1k

Pros

  • A very reliable wireless guitar system (little to no dropouts)
  • High battery life (16 Hours)
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries cutting battery cost
  • Battery charging port located on the receiver
  • Metal transmitter and receiver (longevity and durability)
  • Unnoticeable tone difference compared to quality cable
  • Auto setup between transmitter and receiver
  • Clear and clean audio
  • Rackmountable for musicians who prefer a rackmount

Cons

  • More expensive than the Shure GLXD 14 and 16
  • Higher latency than other wireless units 4 – 7.3 ms, yet still unnoticeable
  • Lower range than most wireless guitar systems on this list

To Sum It Up

These 3 wireless guitar systems are all field-tested tour-ready wireless guitar systems that will not let a bass player down. Again, my personal favorite is by far the Shure GLXD 16 due to its convenience, outstanding reliability, sound quality, durability/longevity, and its 2 in 1 deal of being my tuner as well.

We are well aware that the wireless systems on this list are not in the less expensive range as many units are. However, in my experience cheaper units are only a waste of money as they break far too easily or make a fool of you while they consistently cut out during a show. It’s best to wait till you have the money rather than getting a cheaper wireless.

Trust me.

Shirts for Saiyan Bassists