Best guitar wireless systems 2024: cut the cord and liberate your playing today

Man holding red guitar, with wireless system attached, puts his foot on his pedalboard
(Image credit: Boss)

Often viewed as a luxury item reserved for professional touring musicians, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the best wireless guitar systems are out of reach and not applicable to the everyday player. 

Well, the advantages of wireless systems extend further than one might initially think. Every electric guitar player, regardless of their playing level, stands to benefit from the universal advantages these systems bring. Countless musicians have experienced the frustrations of tangled cables, stumbling over them while on the move, or, worse yet, damaging their output jack by accidentally yanking out a cable with their foot. Embracing a wireless guitar system provides liberating freedom from cables, offering a solution to these common issues. 

If you don't have loads of cash to splash, budget systems are much better than you’d think. They’re... well, cheap, but the set-up is usually pretty simple. If all you want to do is play the guitar without any cables, then there’s really not an awful lot more to wish for - and in many cases, you just plug in, turn on and start playing. 

Brands like Line 6, Boss and Xvive all offer fantastic products at reasonably modest price tags. However, if you want to indulge yourself a bit, then names like Shure and Sennheiser have slightly more expensive options that may suit your preferences and requirements. 

On our list, we’ve included an option for every budget. Liberation from your lead is only a few clicks and a courier visit away…

Best guitar wireless systems: MusicRadar's choice

The Line 6 Relay G10S II might not be the cheapest option here, but it’s definitely one of our favourites. It's super easy to set up and carries some of the tech and the knowledge of Line 6's high-end touring gear in its DNA, so if you're playing smaller venues or you're the only wireless player, then it's really a no-brainer. If you are after a set-up that's easier to build out for larger shows or tours, then it might be worth investing in the slightly pricier Line 6 G55, that we’ve also recommended in this guide.

Meanwhile, in the upper pricing echelons of our guide, the Shure GLXD16+ compares favourably to the touring-grade options. It’s also pedalboard-friendly and even has an in-built tuner. Sure, you might outgrow it, but if all you want is a simple, rock-solid solution then it's hard to find something more suitable. The current iteration has an improved range of 60 metres, meaning you won’t have to upgrade this unless you start rocking stadiums. 

For players on a budget, the Boss WL-50 is another wicked low-latency plug-and-play option with a receiver that sits neatly on your pedalboard. The transmitter can deliver up to 12 hours of action per charge. 

Best guitar wireless systems: Product guide

Best guitar wireless systems: Line 6 Relay G10S

(Image credit: Line 6)

1. Line 6 Relay G10S

The best for convenience

Specifications

Range: Up to 130 feet line-of-sight
Latency: <2.9ms (RF2 mode)
Frequency response: 10Hz - 20kHz
Dynamic range: >112dB
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: 24-bit

Reasons to buy

+
Huge 130-foot range
+
Easy to set up
+
Rechargeable battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Built-in battery is inaccessible 

The Relay G10S II wireless guitar system is designed for integration with pedalboards, thanks to a rugged metal stompbox receiver and 9V power supply operation. Intelligent set-up features mean the unit should locate and lock onto the strongest available wireless frequency as soon as the transmitter is docked in the receiver. The system provides 24-bit audio quality with up to a 130-foot line-of-sight range. 

Around the rear of the receiver is a control to simulate guitar cable capacitance, plus XLR and 1/4-inch outputs and a USB connection. The included G10TII transmitter features a rechargeable battery that delivers eight hours of playtime on a single charge, so even if you're playing a marathon set, it should have you covered.

The only small criticism we can think of is the G10TII’s unremovable built-in battery. If you’re caught short on battery at a gig you can’t throw in a backup to get you up and running – recharging is required. Perhaps not ideal for those people who are forgetful of their chargers.

Best guitar wireless systems: Shure GLXD16

(Image credit: Shure)

2. Shure GLXD16 guitar wireless system

The best pedalboard-based system with built-in tuner

Specifications

Range: 60m
Latency: N/A
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Dynamic range: 120dB
Operating band: 2.4GHz/5.8GHz
Sample rate: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in tuner is a nice touch
+
Delivers a solid signal
+
Built to last
+
Dual-band frequency range

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most detailed user manual

A three-part package, this guitar and bass-friendly bundle includes the GLXD6 receiver, which sits on your pedalboard and has the added bonus of a built-in tuner, the GLXD1+ bodypack and the WA305 cable, which is used to connect the bodypack to your guitar.

There's automatic frequency management that's designed to deliver a reliable, rock-solid signal, while exceptional audio quality is also promised. You're looking at 17 hours of continuous use in the 2.4GHz range and 12 hours in 5.8GHz before the transmitter's built-in batteries need to be recharged. The transmitter itself is made of metal for extra durability. This is a comprehensive package, then, albeit one that costs more than some of the competition.

Best guitar wireless systems: Line 6 Relay G55

(Image credit: Line 6)

3. Line 6 Relay G55

The best touring-grade, user-friendly option

Specifications

Range: 300ft
Latency: < 2.9ms
Frequency response: 10Hz - 20,000Hz
Dynamic range: 117dB
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: 24-bit

Reasons to buy

+
Touring-grade
+
Amp-top or rackmount
+
Durable metal bodypack

Reasons to avoid

-
Not compatible with active pickups

With their smaller, pedalboard-sized systems, Line 6 have proved themselves to guitarists as a reliable option for wireless units, but they also have a larger line that includes pro-level gear.

Despite being cheaper than some of its competitors like the Sennheiser EW 500 series, the G55 is a rackable, touring grade solution that can be combined with other Line 6 wireless units and vocal systems, with up to 12 running at once.

Also, though it's admittedly probably a niche concern, in case you're worried that your tone will be affected by not having runs of guitar cable, the G55 can emulate the frequency rolloff you'd expect from a 25ft length of guitar cable.

Best guitar wireless systems: Boss WL-50

(Image credit: Boss)
The best plug 'n' play solution

Specifications

Range: 65 feet line-of-sight
Latency: 2.3ms
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Dynamic range: >110dB
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple power options
+
Up to 12 hours continuous use
+
Works with both electric and acoustic 

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter range than some
-
No battery level indicator 

Another pedalboard-based guitar wireless system, the WL-50 promises plug 'n' play operation and features a receiver that sits right on your pedalboard. Wireless connection is set automatically and we're promised low-latency, rock-solid performance and a decent operating range. There are also selectable cable tone simulation options: short, long and bypass. 

The transmitter can be used for up to 12 hours at a time and slots neatly into the receiver's docking port when you need to charge its battery. The receiver can run on two AA batteries or get its juice from the optional PSA-A adapter. Choose the latter option and its DC output can distribute power to one or more other pedals using an optional daisy-chain cable, which could prove useful.

Read the full Boss WL-50 review

Best guitar wireless systems: Sennheiser XSW 1-Cl1

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

5. Sennheiser XSW 1-Cl1

The best option from the mic specialist

Specifications

Range: N/A
Latency: 8ms
Frequency response: 50Hz - 16,000Hz
Dynamic range: N/A
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Use multiple systems simultaneously
+
Play for up to 10 hours
+
Charge status is displayed 

Reasons to avoid

-
Desktop receiver isn't for everyone

The XSW 1-Cl1 has the look of a more traditional wireless system, comprising a bodypack transmitter and desktop receiver unit. You can play for up to 10 hours, while automatic frequency management and sync via remote channel should make for easy setup. If you're playing in a large band, rest assured that you can use up to 10 of these systems simultaneously. 

Obviously, if you're looking for a receiver that sits on your pedalboard and a transmitter that plugs straight into your guitar then this isn't the product for you (a cable is supplied to connect your guitar to the transmitter, incidentally) but Sennheiser has been doing the wireless thing for many years now, so if you do plump for the XSW 1-Cl1, you can be sure that you're going with a brand that has a strong reputation in this area.

Best guitar wireless systems: Sennheiser EW 500 G4 Ci1

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

6. Sennheiser EW 500 G4 Ci1

The best pro option

Specifications

Range: N/A
Latency: N/A
Frequency response: 25 - 18,000 Hz
Dynamic range: >115dB
Operating band: GBW Band (606 - 678 MHz)
Sample rate: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Rackmount
+
Touring-grade
+
Built-in tuner 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Strong competition

Sennheiser doesn't need to oversell this unit. It looks professional because it is – and it has a price tag to match. At this level, a lot of the unit's concern is flexibility and expandability for larger setups and stages.

That means in terms of specs that there's ethernet for connecting to Wireless Systems Manager control software to coordinate frequencies in multi-channel setups, the ability to run banks of the units together and a wide variety of available peripherals, from rack mounts to both own-brand and third-party antennas and paddles.

If you're looking for a unit that can grow with your ambitions, then something at this end of the market is it.

Best guitar wireless systems: Xvive U2

(Image credit: Xvive)

7. Xvive U2 guitar wireless system

The best cheap system

Specifications

Range: ≥70 feet line-of-sight outdoors
Latency: <6ms
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Dynamic range: >103dB
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: 24-bit/48kHz

Reasons to buy

+
A great budget option
+
Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic-y build
-
Shorter battery life than some

It's got nothing to do with Bono et al, but the U2 could still be the guitar wireless system you've been looking for. Operation is simple: plug the transmitter into your guitar, the receiver into an effects pedal or amp, then turn them on. Once the two are talking to each other, you're good to go. The setup process is simple, then, and you're also promised high-quality audio performance, great tone and reliability. 

The U2 might be made out of plastic, but it promises to be pretty durable. The five-hour running time isn't as much as on some of the other systems, but that should still be more than enough to keep you roaming the stage for an entire gig. 

Best guitar wireless systems: Ibanez WS1

(Image credit: Ibanez)

8. Ibanez WS1

Best for easy setup

Specifications

Range: 30m
Latency: < 5ms
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Dynamic range: N/A
Operating band: 2.4GHz
Sample rate: 24-bit

Reasons to buy

+
A great price 
+
Automatic pairing for easy use 
+
Rechargeable battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may want something more professional 

Ibanez is the only guitar brand that has made our list - however, it is no surprise when you take a look at the WS1. The Japanese shred legends have created a super affordable, compact wireless system that is fantastic value for money. 

The WS1 is compatible with both electric and bass guitars with a generous range of 30 metres. The main attribute that sets it apart from other affordable competitors is its “cable-tone mode”. This setting is specifically designed for passive pickups replicating the tonal characteristics of a high-quality 10-foot guitar cable. This allows you to roam the stage as you please without compromising on signal. 

Other attractive features include 4-hour continuous use battery life, 24-bit audio quality, automatic channel selection, automatic power down and less than 5ms of latency. Altogether, this is a very feasible option for those wanting to test out the capabilities and awarded freedom of electric guitar without the cable.

Best guitar wireless systems: Buying advice

Best guitar wireless systems: Boss WL50 on a pedalboard

(Image credit: Boss)

How do guitar wireless systems work?

A guitar wireless system consists of two main parts: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter plugs into the 1/4-inch jack output on your guitar, and transmits (surprising, eh?) the signal from your guitar to your receiver.

In some instances - like with the Boss WL-50, for example - the transmitter is actually attached to the jack plug, so you have everything you need in one simple package. In other cases, the transmitter comes as a bodypack that clips to your belt or slips into your pocket. This pack is then connected to the 1/4-inch output on your guitar using a proprietary cable that comes with your unit.

Like we mentioned, your guitar’s output is then transmitted to the receiver. Some companies offer a receiver up as a pedalboard-friendly unit, while others offer a completely standalone unit that usually sits on top of your guitar amp, or wherever it feels most comfortable. The receiver features an audio output that can be plugged into your amp or anywhere else you might want to send it. For high-end touring level gear, it's common to find that units are installed into a standard 19" rack, although (and this is pretty frustrating) many don't include rack ears as standard.

Power options

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The transmitter in your guitar wireless system will be designed to run on battery power. Increasingly, these systems come with built-in rechargeable batteries, or they take standard batteries that can be changed as required.

Regardless of the power option you choose, if you head to a gig or practice fully charged, there's no need to worry about running out of juice halfway through; today’s guitar wireless systems can keep running for many hours without coughing and spluttering, so you can sleep easy knowing your 14-minute guitar solos won't be dampened by your fancy new wireless setup jibbing out on you.

How much range do I need in my wireless system?

One thing you will want to consider when purchasing a wireless system is its range. You may have noticed that the more expensive systems have a longer range, allowing you to play further away from the receiver. However, this may not always be necessary for your situation. You should consider where you are likely to be playing the majority of the time. 

If you, like most of us, are more likely to grace the stage of your local DIY venue then you don’t need to break the bank on a professional wireless system with a range of over 3 miles. Save yourself a bit of money and go with a more affordable option like the Xvive U2. Although, if you are on the up and have gained a spot on an international tour supporting Iron Maiden, then a system like the Line 6 Relay G55 will give you much more distance so you can gallop the stage freely. 

Do you lose tone with a wireless guitar system?

So, considering all the obvious benefits of a wireless guitar system, one might wonder if there are any downsides. Some argue that using a wireless system can affect your guitar's tone, but is this really true? Well, in our opinion, not really - especially if you choose the right product for your set-up.

Similar to a wired cable, anything that comes between your guitar and amplifier has the potential to influence what you hear. However, if you opt for a high-quality wireless system with the appropriate range for your gig, you won't notice any difference in audio quality compared to using a cable. While a cheap wired cable might cause issues like buzz and hiss, a low-quality wireless guitar system is also prone to breakage. However, these issues won't significantly impact your tone any worse than a guitar cable would. 

How we choose the best wireless guitar systems for this guide

Here at MusicRadar, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing, creating and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music gear related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides. 

When choosing what we believe to be the best wireless guitar systems available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are musicians, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best wireless guitar systems on the market right now.

Find out more about how we test music gear and services at MusicRadar.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

With contributions from