Are Cables Finally Going Extinct? Shure Pushes Further Into Wireless Systems With SLX-D

Photo Credit: Mason B

Photo Credit: Mason B

More artists than ever are turning to hassle-free digital wireless systems for their live performance needs. Now, Shure is looking to revolutionize the sphere with its SLX-D release.

Pivoting away from cable-based stages seems like a good idea. But for many musicians, efforts to go wireless have been fraught with headaches, to the point that many are resigned to cluttered, wired-clogged stages. That’s frustrating for companies like Shure, which are moving to advance wireless staging systems, especially since the quality and ease-of-use associated with wireless has improved dramatically in recent years.  Systems like the Shure’s SLX-D — which we’ll be taking a look at in this article — take moments to configure, are highly compatible with existing equipment, and, as a result, stand to benefit most performing artists. 

To be sure, wireless guitars and mics have already gained serious traction across the contemporary live-entertainment landscape, and full-stage wireless-system setups are bringing these instrument-specific options together into a single, all-encompassing package for artists. Now, we’re joining forces with Shure to help performing musicians elevate their on-stage wireless capabilities.

Shure’s been in this space for quite some time, though they’ve designed the SLX-D with a far broader audience in mind. That includes the varied preferences and professional needs of pretty much every performer, including those who don’t tour heavily.

With channels priced at $699 apiece, the SLX-D supports up to 32 systems per ultra-high frequency (UHF) 44 MHz band, in addition to as many as 10 systems per 6 MHz TV channel and 12 systems per 8 MHz TV channel. 

The Shure SLX-D digital-wireless system.

The Shure SLX-D digital-wireless system (photo credit: Shure)

Plus, the unit delivers 24-bit digital audio (with a greater than 120 dB dynamic range) and runs for eight hours on two double AA batteries or, alternatively, Shure’s add-on SB903 Li-ion rechargeable batteries. In terms of setup specifics, the SLX-D boasts comprehensive rack hardware, and utilizing RF scan and IR sync requires just the press of a button. 

Bearing these features in mind, the SLX-D represents a major step up from the analog SLX, which can accomodate a comparatively modest 12 systems per band. SLX is best-suited solely for mid-size performances and events – while the SLX-D can handle installations. And as added bonuses, the SLX-D has increased the dimensions of the SLX’s LCD screen and gained a precision-minded rotary knob control. 

Worth briefly mentioning is that Shure’s QLX-D (priced at $973 per channel) comes complete with VHF, 1.X GHz, and ISM/90 frequency bands (besides UHF, of course), supports up to 67 systems per 64 MHz band, runs up to nine hours on two AA batteries, and features AES-256 standard encryption option. 

A comprehensive comparison of Shure digital-wireless systems. 

A comprehensive comparison of Shure digital-wireless systems (click to enlarge)

Evidence suggests that crowd-based live entertainment’s long-awaited return is poised to arrive sooner rather than later. Ahead of this “new beginning” for concerts and music festivals, performers have nothing to lose and everything to gain from researching new touring equipment and upgrading their hardware, aiding their careers – and the fan experience – in the process. 

2 Responses

  1. Jimmy Smith

    You don’t know squat unless you hauled a B3 and a Leslie up a flight of stairs to play a $50 cover gig.

  2. Nebulon 4

    Cables aren’t going anywhere. Not ever. Never. Trying to connect wirelessly with more and more frequencies flying through the air is going to be trouble. You watch.