Tech

Xvive U2 Wireless Transmitter and Receiver

  • By David Pakula @tonereport
  • November 09, 2016
  • 12 Comments

Going wireless is a freeing experience, provided you avoid any technical issues. Some constraints include batteries, specialized cabling, and large format transmitters and receivers. Xvive has an offering: its U2 system that removes some of the typical issues with a well thought-out new format.

 

When I saw the small box, I was surprised to learn that there was a wireless system inside. I opened it to find a small instruction manual, a “Y” USB power cable, and two items that looked more like individual earphones than a wireless system. When I pulled out the latter two items, I found one marked as a transmitter and the other as a receiver. They each have a power switch and a channel button, and folded underneath was a quarter-inch inch plug on a swivel. It seemed that Xvive had designed a twist on the bud-sized transmitter, and squeezed the receiver into the same format. Genius!

 

The Xvive U2 system offers four channel choices at 2.4 GHz, and up to 100 feet line-of-sight outdoors, so you can use multiple transmitters and receivers with multiple instruments in the same setting, or, as the nice folks at Xvive told me, you can assign multiple receivers to the same channel and use a single (or multiple) transmitters. And, unless you are playing on a football field-sized stage, you should be just fine in terms of distance for most venues.

 

How does the U2 system sound? I tested the system against a cable, as well as my larger format wireless system. There was no noticeable difference in the audio or the guitar response. I ran a rather unscientific test by recording a strummed A chord with a cable and with the U2 system into a computer recording rig. Charting the spectral results showed remarkably similar response. There seemed to be a slight reduction in low end, but at the level of 60 Hz, which is below the guitar fundamental, and this could be explained by a difference in the strummer (human error). As I said, not scientific at all, but just interesting to see that the measured results were similar to what I was hearing. All this is to say that the U2 system should give you response from your instrument that is very similar to what you are used to from a cable.

 

At any rate, the units are small and not the least bit cumbersome. They can be thrown into a gig bag or guitar case. Because they fold, they don't protrude when plugged into a guitar, amp, or pedal.  You won't need a special model based on whether you plug the U2 into the front of you guitar (a Strat, for example) as opposed to plugging into the side of your instrument, as you would on a Tele.

 

One of the great issues with wireless is dealing with batteries. One way of getting around the continuous expense and waste is to use rechargeable batteries. Still, you need to ensure that you have a set charged for the next gig or rehearsal. With the U2, you can use the included Y cable and plug into a USB outlet or power adapter, much as you would charge a mobile phone. The U2 offers up to seven hours of play time with a full charge, at least according to a number of online sources. I played through a three-hour rehearsal with no problem whatsoever—no batteries to change or charge. Just plug these in and they charge up quickly.

 

What we like:

 

The compact size and flexibility of both pieces of the system makes this extremely attractive. USB rechargeable units is a wonderful idea, and the sound quality is excellent.

 

Concerns:

 

For a select few, the 100 foot line-of-sight limitation outdoors could be an issue. Also, while it is nice that there are four channels to choose from, many of Xvive's competitor offer many more channels, so there is a chance that you could find that all your channels experience some interference. This is probably going to be a rarity, but it’s something to consider.

 

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12 Comments

  1. michael hodges

      i recieved the XVIVE wireless unit today.. .. it works without a problem with a fernandes sustainer which was a concern being that its active.. i figured it would work though as the sustainer is basically its own internal active circuit that operates via a passive system..
    i also have 2 guitars with active EMG`s in them, an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 85 in the neck.. the unit also works with these no worries even though it says it wont work with actives.. i guess it depends on the individual pickup and its frequencies/signals and whether or not they interfere.. it may be transistor amps only that have a problem and valves are fine..maybe going into pedals versus straight into the amp makes a difference..who knows with electrical signals…lol…. all i know is it works so im happy.. the only issue ive had is that it stops my wireless mouse from working if im very close to it but i doubt that will be a problem onstage…lol.. obviously my house is no where near as big as a stadium but i was able to walk all the way around and through it without any signal loss..
    so for future reference if anyone is wondering if it will work with a sustainer, you can now tell them, yes it will, no problems at all.. well atleast it did for me anyway… the rig or signal chain i went through is out of guitar into morley bad horsie wah into digitech whammy4 then into pod x3 live and out into a jcm 800…

  2. Tim Celano

    I cannot find anywhere how or if you can even replace the batteries in the Xvive U2?

  3. Erv Troyer

    Xvive U2 wireless guitar system has a squeal from the amp when used with the L. R. Baggs Lyric pickup in my Yamaha FG830 acoustic guitar. However it works great with my Fender Telecaster. Anyone else had a problem with this setup?

  4. Erv Troyer

    Followup to my previous post - I have one of these and it works great on my Telecaster. However, when I connected it to my acoustic guitar with the LR Baggs Lyric pickup (which uses an internal microphone) I got a loud squeal from the amp. I tried a number of different amps and different connections without success. I then contacted Xvive and got this reply from them:
    ******************************************
    My dear freind,we found that LR BAGG pick up is with MIC as well and our U2 dont support MIC,sorry,this is why the high pitch there!
    If u change the pick up,then it will be good!
    Nancy
    *****************************************
    I would assume that other systems that use a microphone (like the Fishman Blend) would have the same problem. This is not mentioned on their web site.

  5. Ed Ackman

    The XVIVE is my 4th attempt to find a wireless transmitter/reciever for my ukulele. It is the first that delivers in every department. It is clear, without interference, it is compact, due to the absence of batteries, I can recharge from my computer, it has a REAL 6 hour play time and yes, it works 100ft way from the amp.
    This is the one. My (expensive) search is over!

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  7. Johnny Shipman

    Does this also work on bass guitars

  8. Dutch

    Tim, No batteries. Rechargeable Li cell through microUSB.

  9. Tank

    my biggest concern with the pre-set channel is that I play in bands where there are wireless mics and both guitars and the bass also have wireless units. come to think of it the keyboard player too. Other than that, it sounds like a great unit. 100 ft. range is great for most venues. A person playing large venues where most of the rig is more than 100 ft away are going to be using seriously high-end gear anyway. for most people this sounds like the right way to go if they can lick the channel challenge

  10. Al V.

    Wireless lasted maybe 6 months, with avg 2 jobs per month, and that was it. I started getting weird sounds from my set-up (during a live performance), ruined 2 shows, was ready to spend a lot in having my amp serviced. Next show, I went back to my cable and lo and behold, all sounded great. I was hesitant to go wireless, gave it a try, but now choose to go back to the reliability of cables (or other option of spending a lot more money on wireless).

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