Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
Playing the guitar on stage can be a laborious process, particularly when it comes to setting up your gear. Cables can prove to be quite the limitation.
This is especially true if you’re the kind of guitarist that likes to move around on stage. You could very well end up wrapped inside of a tangled mess.
Here are some of the best Boss wireless guitar systems to help you avoid this possibility altogether.
WL-50 – Best Overall
Looking for the best wireless guitar system that can get the job done without issue? The Boss WL-50 is the best that money can buy when it comes to these systems.
This wireless guitar system utilizes a simple plug-and-play design with its transmitter and receiver. You won’t have all of the headaches associated with wireless systems of years past.
The WL-50’s receiver is effectively the same size as a guitar pedal. This allows the receiver to be stored on a pedalboard with the rest of your rig.
This system’s transmitter essentially just plugs into your guitar like a regular cable. Yet, the transmitter is small enough that it shouldn’t pose a problem when in use.
You’ll be able to pair the receiver and transmitter with ease. Simply connect the two, and the WL-50 will connect them together automatically in 10 seconds.
The WL-50 has an excellent line-of-sight range for a wireless guitar system. You’ll be able to walk away from your rig up to 65 feet and remain in contact with the receiver.
This system has a frequency range of 2.4 GHz, with a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz. The dynamic range of the transmitter is rated for more than 110 decibels.
Does The WL-50 Sacrifice Tone In Any Way?
For the most part, you won’t have to worry about any tonal issues when using the WL-50. This device actually has 2 different cable tone simulators built into the unit.
The cable tone simulation is designed to emulate the tone you get with a real guitar cable. Quite often, wireless signals can sound extremely digital.
You’ll be happy to know that your tone will be preserved with minimal changes. There is a bit of a dip in the treble EQ, but you likely won’t notice this negligible difference.
Boss has recommended that the WL-50 be used for instruments with passive pickups. However, some owners of active pickups have claimed they have used this without any issues whatsoever.
There is also very little latency to have to worry about. You will likely forget that you’re even using a wireless system until you decide to walk away.
How Is The WL-50 Powered?
Due to its quasi-guitar pedal design, the WL-50’s receiver is powered with a 9V DC 500mA power supply. These are essentially the same cables that are used to power any regular guitar pedal.
This makes it extremely simple to set up, especially if you have a pedalboard power supply. However, if you don’t, you can purchase a power supply separately, as it is not included.
It should be noted that this receiver can also be powered by 2 AA batteries. So, even if you don’t have a cable, your options aren’t completely limited.
What’s even better is that the WL-50 has a DC output that you can use to power another guitar pedal. This essentially means that you don’t have to sacrifice a power supply cable to use the WL-50.
The WL-50’s transmitter utilizes a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. This is easily charged by plugging it into the receiver in the provided space.
You can also charge the WL-50’s transmitter via a micro USB cable. Having this option is great, especially if you aren’t able to plug it into the receiver for the necessary duration.
On a full charge, the transmitter can last up to 12 hours of continual use. This is an excellent capacity for one single charge.
What Makes The WL-50 So Great?
The WL-50 is an excellent choice for a wireless guitar system for a few different reasons. The first primary reason has to deal with the price.
Compared with the budget model found later in this list, the WL-50 costs only slightly more. Even at this price, it is essentially affordable for any type of budget.
The second reason this is one of the best is due to its ease of use. This simple design is essentially fool-proof and can be used by anyone.
Thirdly, the fact that the receiver can fit on a pedalboard is quite special. It means you can attach it in one spot and easily transport it with the rest of your pedalboard.
Having the receiver powered by a guitar pedal cable also makes this a no-brainer. You won’t need anything special, as you’ll likely have the power capability already built into the board.
Some might be a bit inconvenienced by the pedalboard accommodations. This is because, quite often, pedalboard real estate is hard to come by.
However, if you can reason with yourself and justify the space, you likely won’t regret it. The DC power out means you can utilize it to power a pedal if you needed an extra power source.
Owners of the WL-50 absolutely love its performance capabilities. Take heed and consider this wireless system for your own rig.
Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
Package Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 3 inches
WL-60 – Best Premium
If you have a bit of a larger budget, consider checking out the Boss WL-60. As its name would suggest, this model is a step above the aforementioned WL-50.
Despite this, the WL-60 is very similar to the WL-50. However, you’ll find that the upgrades might make this more worth your time.
Like the WL-50, the WL-60’s receiver is the size of a guitar pedal. Unlike the WL-50, this receiver has quite a bit of an upgrade.
You’ll find that this receiver has an LCD display to show you the channel that you are operating on. This can really come in handy, especially if you’re in a room with other wireless systems in use.
The WL-60’s transmitter is also different from the WL-50. This model features a bodypack transmitter.
So, instead of plugging directly into your guitar, you can attach it to your strap or on a pants pocket. You will, however, need a small cable (which is included) to plug into the transmitter from the guitar.
This system is also unique in its pairing process. To pair, you’ll want to start out by pressing the scan button on the receiver.
What happens is that the receiver actually scans the room for the best channel to operate on. Once you’ve found a channel, simply tune the transmitter into the same channel. There are 14 total channels that you can operate on.
The WL-60 has 65 feet of line-of-sight connectivity with a minimal 2.3 ms latency. You won’t have to worry about your signal dropping out mid-performance.
This system’s frequency range is 2.4 GHz, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The dynamic range of the transmitter is rated for 110 decibels.
Does The WL-60 Sacrifice Tone In Any Way?
When you use the WL-60, you’ll have very minimal changes to your guitar’s tone. In fact, like the other products listed here, the WL-60 is equipped with cable tone simulators.
There are 2 different simulators within the WL-60. One is designed for a short-length cable simulation, while the other is a longer cable simulation.
These are provided to ensure your tone doesn’t take on the digital qualities that can often happen with wireless systems. In fact, these warm your tone slightly to deliver your tone in the best-preserved way possible.
What’s better is that the LCD screen on the receiver allows you to easily choose (and see) the cable simulator. There won’t be any guesswork involved at all during your setup.
How Is The WL-60 Powered?
Again, like the WL-50, the WL-60’s receiver is powered by a standard Boss PSA DC adapter. This is a standard power supply cable that is used to power guitar pedals on a pedalboard.
Having this makes it extremely simple to add to your pedalboard. Plus, it has a DC out so you can use it to power other pedals.
Even if you don’t have a power supply, you can power the receiver with 2 AA batteries. If using this method, you’ll get about 25 hours of use with the receiver.
The WL-60’s transmitter is completely different altogether from the WL-50. This transmitter is actually only powered by 2 AA batteries.
A fresh set of batteries in the transmitter will provide roughly 10 hours of use. Unlike the other models on this list, you can easily replace these batteries when they die.
What Makes The WL-60 So Great?
The WL-60 is an obvious step above the other systems mentioned on this list. However, Boss has done an excellent job in retaining the best qualities of each model.
One of the best things about this is by far the LCD screen on the receiver. You won’t have to guess as to what channel or cable simulation you’re using.
Another massive benefit is the fact that the transmitter is a bodypack, rather than plugging directly into the guitar. This keeps the transmitter well out of the way of the playing field and doesn’t look as tacky, either.
The next point might be debatable for some. However, having a transmitter powered with AA batteries is a plus.
On other models with a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, you cannot change the battery. Once it’s dead, it’s dead, and you have to replace it.
That is simply not the case here. This ensures the longevity of your equipment, despite the cost of batteries.
Having regular guitar pedal power supply capabilities for the receiver is a massive plus. Boss even ensures you can power a separate pedal with its equipped DC out.
The price of this system is also an excellent plus. Despite being our “Premium” pick, it’s still quite affordable for most budgets.
Item Weight: 13 ounces
Package Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 inches
WL-20 – Best Budget
When it comes to wireless systems, ease of use is often one of the top priorities. Quite often, a solution can present its own set of new problems to the equation.
With the Boss WL-20, you’re going to have a very easy time operating a wireless rig. This system is about as easy as it gets, which is great for beginners who are new to the technology.
To operate this system, plug the receiver into your amp or pedal, and the transmitter into your guitar. It’s about as simple as that.
Furthermore, pairing the two devices together is also a very simple process. Simply dock the two together, and within 10 seconds, each will be paired.
The WL-20 has the capability to transmit your signal up to 50 feet. This means you can essentially go wherever your heart desires without losing a connection.
Latency is often a concern with these devices. However, you’ll find that the WL-20 has minimal latency to have to worry about.
In terms of frequency response, the WL-20 has a range of 20Hz to 20kHz. Its operating frequency range is 2.4 GHz. The transmitter itself has a dynamic range greater than 110 decibels.
Does The WL-20 Sacrifice Tone In Any Way?
You’ll be pleased to know that if you’re playing with an electric guitar, your tone will remain safe. The WL-20 has cable tone simulation built into the device to replicate the sound of a cable.
In its capacity, this cable tone simulation is very comparable to the properties of a 10ft guitar cable.
Concerning your EQ, this does reduce a very small amount of treble. However, you should find that this is barely noticeable and won’t impact things much at all.
Boss has recommended that the WL-20 is best for electric instruments that utilize passive pickups.
How Does The WL-20 Charge?
The WL-20 is equipped with Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries. These are highly reputed for their sustainable and long-lasting lifespan.
Furthermore, the Boss WL-20 is very simple to charge, as you’ll likely have the necessary equipment on hand. Both the receiver and transmitter are charged by means of a micro USB cable.
This cable has a 5V/500 mA power rating. You will find that this device comes included with the necessary charging equipment.
One full charge will operate the WL-20 for up to 10 hours. Keep in mind that this rating is during continuous use.
Most guitarists do not perform for 10 hours straight. So, you’ll likely get a few performances out of one charge if you can’t charge it for any reason.
What Makes The WL-20 So Great?
This wireless guitar system is extremely affordable for just about any budget. It is priced similarly to what a beginner’s guitar would cost.
Having a low price means that this is an extremely low-risk entry into the world of wireless guitar systems. But, don’t let its low price fool you.
The WL-20 is primed and ready to go for any guitarist or bass player with passive pickups. Its extremely simple plug-and-play design makes this foolproof, which could not be said for older systems.
Also, the WL-20 has a pretty sizable range that should be more than enough for most gigs. Unless you’re playing in a large hall, this should be more than suitable.
The cable tone simulation is a nice added touch, especially for those with electric instruments. Your tone won’t sound as if you’re wireless, and there is minimal latency to make it apparent.
However, if cable tone simulation is not desired, but you like this model, there is still hope. The Boss WL-20L is essentially the same thing, minus this simulation aspect.
Overall, this is a choice pick for anyone looking for a simple and easy-to-use setup. Using this is just as easy as it would be to use cables. You can’t ask for much more than that!
Item Weight: 7.7 ounces
Package Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 2 inches
Top Boss Guitar Wireless Systems, Final Thoughts
Wireless guitar systems have evolved significantly since they were first introduced to the market. As the technology has been perfected the cost has become quite affordable.
While brands like Shure also do well, there is perhaps no better example of this than with these Boss wireless guitar systems. Try one out for yourself and see why so many guitarists love this cable-less approach to playing guitar.