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.
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.