Wire or wireless

Hello bassists,

I just go my first amp. A blast !

As I have no cables (shops are closed) to plug my bass, I borrowed the wireless system that my son uses with his guitare … and wowwwww … that’s great !

So here I am with a new question : should I buy cables ou airplug system ? … What do you think ? What are the pros ans cons of each solution ?

Happy bass day,

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For many years I just used cords, as it was what I learned to use. This year, however, I wound up buying a very inexpensive consumer grade wireless connection. It’s great for bedroom practice. No issues with sound quality, though it does cut out occasionally for about a second at a time. Given the price, and the freedom from getting twisted around a cord brings, I happily make that tradeoff. A pro level system probably wouldn’t do that, but then again it would be much more expensive.

I would still use a cord to record with, as I’d hate to lay down a perfect take only to have it cut out on me.

This still requires me to use an amp (or a computer, or whatever) to hear the sounds produced, which is fine. I had to get another cheap wireless system for my earbuds so I could hear with them and still have the mobility that came with having a wireless bass system.

It’s a very slight hassle to make sure that all four units (send/receive for both) are charged and ready to go. Battery lasts a decent amount of time, but I’ve forgotten to charge them or accidentally left one on. Good thing to have a cable as a backup unless you don’t mind waiting for it to charge.

Long story short, can’t go wrong with a cable if you have to choose only one. Wireless is fantastic, but still good to have a cable backup.


Well Ill use my wireless system 99,99% of the time, have only ever had a cut-out when the system tries to tell me: Charge me :wink: It mutes the sound a tiny bit for ½ sec or so every 10min when its down to around 10% power. Below 5% it does this every 1min or so.
But thats after servel hours of joy (or pain acording to my wife) with no hassel wireless fun with the bass.

Ill use Xvire U2.


I use cable when I’m sitting down and play but when I’m practicing for an upcoming gig or rehearsal I’ll go wireless the whole way. I have a wireless for my bass and another for my In Ear Monitors. When that happens I usually strap up and walk around for the entire set. I just want to make sure if I’m going to experience any failures on the units, it’s at home and not on stage, :joy:


I have tried a similar approach, but just don’t like the way I need to store all those transmission devices on my body!


No cable management
Can sit/stand anywhere

For cable it is basically the opposite pro/cons of wireless. These days I use wireless because of my amp, but I have used cables for years.


Additional cons:

  • sometimes short sound interruptions, especially at 2.4Ghz (not so much at 5Ghz)
  • depending on device, tone quality can be compromised
  • depending on device, higher latency

That said, I have the LEKATO MS-1 for monitoring and the Harley Benton AirBorne 5.8GHz Instrument for my bass and am quite happy, as I can sit on the balcony , look at the birds and the traffic - and enjoy playing…


If you use wireless at gigs I would recommend 5GHz. For home practice 2.4 is fine. I never exp this issue myself with my Boss wireless.

I read somewhere that the latency is better with wireless compared to a long cable?

I hope someday we will have Bluetooth with 0 latency :relieved:

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That’s not possible, as there is some processing (A/D => D/A) involved. Even for analog transmitters/receivers I would say that there is latency added due to modulation.

If the cable is thousands of kilometers long (is it?) the story might be different ^^

EDIT I worked for a German cable company for a quite while, and here we talked about the “meh” factor for different types of broadcast.
This is about latency in broadcasts, ie when Holland plays against Germany in a soccer match, and you stand on your roof terrace, listening when Holland scores one of their many many MANY goals.

You can here all the neighbouring Germans crying “Meeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhh!”, when our wonderful Dutch team once more humiliates the German “Mannschaft”…

But funny thing: not everybody “mehs” at the same time:

  • First you here the Germans meh-ing that have analog TV. No A/D & D/A required.
  • Then you hear the digital cable customers. Only A/D & D/A, rest goes via cable.
  • Then you hear the analog satellite customers meh-ing. This is due to the “double hop” => cable => sat => cable
  • After that you hear the digital satellite customers meh-ing. Same as analog satellite, but with A/D & D/A.
  • Then you hear digital terrestrial customers meh-ing.
  • Last but not least you hear the IPTV customers meh-ing.

Latency can be up to a few minutes, depending on hops and signal conversions…

PS This was a few years ago. Now, with digital sources, the order is likely different for the analog reception use cases.

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Haha yeah sometimes I hear ppl cheering while I was still waiting for the goal :joy:

I’m no expert on cable and latency. I would also think it is the other way around, just like all wired and wireless devices.

For me wireless is more about looks and convenience.

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I think, with the distances involved, the issue is more in the processing of the signal. Less processing = less latency.

So: nothing “faster” than analog cables!


I would think that anything under 5ms latency isn’t going to be perceptable to the human ear, eh? Looking at them, most of the better named brands should be safe to use, especially at the 5.8 GHz band.

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No, except when you’re a super hero :slight_smile:

5.8Ghz should be safe - 2.4Ghz can s#ck though, especially if everybody and a kite has all kinds of wireless devices, like all those criminal neighbour hackers I have ^^

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WiFi would be the way to go for me. Self generated WiFi is so stable, not to mention expensive, :joy:


Depending on the distance, if it’s long over 50-75 feet you’ll need a signal booster. On stage it doesn’t take much to reach that length.


This is indeed one of the main reasons DI’s use balanced signals over XLR and not just TS.


on the consumer level, i think the general rule is wireless is fine in the bedroom but the little cheap-o ones on amazon probably are a little too glitchy for stage use. for that you probably need to step up to a more pro-ready, robust (i.e. expensive) setup.

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most of the stages i am around are barely big enough for a drum kit :grin:


I’m not talking about stadium size one either. Cables need to rest flats or sometimes route around things that takes up length, lol.

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Roskilde is useing wireless for some setups !