Cost: $88.99, new from Amazon
Thanks to the Donner Vine program, I was able to review this awesome wireless setup!
How it Works & Final Score: 7.5
The Donner Wireless system is a straightforward and accessible way to make your live guitar or bass rig wireless. With about 200 feet of reported range, the farthest I could physically get from mine was 50 feet and it still worked great (any further and I’d be outside across the street). The lithium battery in each boasts a 4.5 hour lifespan but can easily be recharged via a USB port. The set of transmitters come with a charger and durable carrying case that won’t take up a lot of space. With four channels, it can support up to four devices at once with one to one, one to two, or one to three transmission.
The sound quality overall was pretty true to the tone I get with wires, but it lost a noticeable amount of bass frequency. The volume, mids, and highs all seemed to be there, with volume being the most important for a live show. I was slightly discouraged by the lack of definition as I moved farther and farther away, but ultimately I felt I could rely on the sounds and just adjust my guitar or pedal’s control knobs as needed. I think for most players who would be interested in this price range for the product, it’s perfectly suitable and the best option on the market. With single coil pickups, I found a slight hum or buzz was emitted that was only noticeable when I wasn’t playing. If you don’t already, you may want to roll off all your guitar volume when you’re not playing when using this system.
Reliability gets a slightly higher score than sound for one reason, whatever the problems were, at least they were consistent. The hum and buzz only happened with my single coil guitars, and didn’t change based on distance from the amp. While the overall definition did change with distance, it took about 15+ feet for me to really hear a change, and I imagine most players who use this will not be rocking the main stage at Lollapalooza, meaning they likely won’t be much farther than that anyway. The reality is that this is a budget friendly model for amateur or young performing musicians. It’s absolutely consistent and reliable enough for open mic nights, small venues, or basement parties and I never had any signal loss.
While it isn’t a product on everyone’s wish list, it’s really nice to see a quality wireless system that is under $100. You may find many cheaper that have far more issues, and there are definitely way more expensive and high quality options, but the Donner System is the best for players who are new to live performances and need a reliable and affordable option. I look forward to testing it out in a variety of gigging situations and can already tell it will help clear some wires from the stage when needed. I think it’s absolutely worth checking out if you play live often and have been considering going wireless.