Shure GLD16+ Guitar Wireless System Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
When I set it up I wasn't expecting the bonus of a tuner in the pedal, which is an awesome feature that I'd now have trouble going without in another wireless set. It was also very easy to set up, after looking a little intimidating when I first unboxed it. But it's clearly a professional-grade wireless system, and worked flawlessly, sounding no different (to my ear) than a high-quality instrument cable.
About the Author
Guitar Chalk’s Founder and Editor · Bobby has developed guitar and music-related content and worked with a number of companies including Guitar World, Sweetwater, Paul Reed Smith, and Seymour Duncan. Get in touch via email.
When I unboxed this unit I was a little intimidated by the setup, which was probably a bit naïve on my part. Because, as it turned out, getting everything up and running was incredibly easy. I charged the unit the day before I tested, then just plugged in the pedal and connected the pack. From there, all I really had to do was turn on the wireless pack. The pedal can mute your signal, at which point the tuner engages and stays on until you unmute. All told, this is just a fantastic guitar wireless setup, certainly a major cut above the smaller (but cheaper) Xvive and Line 6 fobs.
Compare to smaller unit
We don't do ratings or comparison tables for wireless units, but you can check the specs on Sweetwater from here. Ultimately, they all do the same thing, but there are definitely some perks with the higher-quality Shure units.
Xvive Wireless Unit
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Noise, sound quality, distance
The unit was dead quiet, with any noise coming from what was already there in my rig (my fault). I have a couple cables that are a little touchy, but the GLXD16 actually seemed to quiet things down a bit, and mellow out the signal when I wasn't hitting the strings. As I pointed out in the opening paragraph, I didn't notice any difference in sound quality between my shielded Monster cable connection and the wireless pack. When testing at church, I walked it to the back of the sanctuary and didn't have any break in signal. Overall, there's nothing to complain about here.
Ease of use and setup
Setup was pretty easy. I just plugged the included WA305 cable into the wireless pack, and the other end (an instrument connection) to the guitar like a regular cable. After that, the pedal goes in front of your signal chain. The instrument input on the pedal is for practice and rehearsal without having to use the body pack, which I'm assuming is to save battery before you actually need it. But once you place the pedal, you'll just run the output to the next effect in your signal chain (or your amp if you don't have any), and then unmute the Shure pedal whenever you're ready.
The battery life is listed as 12 hours, but I didn't test that. If I'm playing guitar for 12 hours straight, you should probably have an ambulance standing by. But from a more practical standpoint, I made it through a couple one-two hour church services without any issues. Note that the pack uses a rechargeable 3.7V lithium-ion battery and the pedal uses a 12V power supply (included).
Price and value
When I reviewed this system it was retailing around $500. For a bodypack wireless setup, this is pretty much middle-of-the-road. For units that use a rack-mounted transmitter, you're likely going to eclipse $1000, so using one like this with the pedal setup is a good compromise. It's certainly more capable and professional than the smaller Xvive fob-style wireless units, which are a single receiver and transmitter. If you want something with a pack that you can clip to your guitar strap and offers you more control, this is a better option. The tuner and mute feature on the pedal push the value up as well.
Wrap Up and Questions
This is an investment in a serious rig, certainly for players that are performing in some capacity. I've always found wireless packs to be difference makers on stage, even if I'm working with a smaller space. But if you're not playing shows, it would be better to go with something cheap like the Xvive wireless system.
But overall, I have no complaints about the Shure GLXD16+ given the price tag. It's a fantastic investment in your rig.
If you've got questions about my review, feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.
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