Focus on: Shure SLX-D wireless systems

We take a close look at the DUAL receiver option in SLX-D (digital wireless), which will be perfect for presentation, and a karaoke king.

Even better, the set up is super simple and rechargeable batteries make this system a great choice for repeated use in auditoriums.

Digital Wireless with Shure SLX-D

There’s a lot more to Shure SLX-D wireless systems than ‘just’ being both the Prince of Presentation and King of Karaoke.

To prove that good things did happen in 2020, Shure SLX-D range of digital wireless systems and components was launched. SLX-D will be here for a long time to remind us that clear audio and reliable wireless performance can be not only achievable and affordable, it should be expected every time you need to call on it.

A favourite reinvented as Digital Wireless

Shure’s original SLX (analogue) wireless series was a long-time Factory Sound favourite, ticking a number of boxes: solid RF performance, removable antennae, metal chassis for the receiver, rackmount hardware kit included. All of this was bundled into a healthy price:performance ratio. In short, a very reliable workhorse.

So why replace SLX with SLX-D?

There are a number of reasons why Digital Wireless has advantages over Analogue Wireless. Put simply, all wireless microphones have some kind of conversion happening – where the audio signal is companded/compressed/converted to enable effective wireless transmission. At the receiver end, the ‘decoding’ takes place and the resulting analogue signal is then sent to the mixer input, via the output connector.

With Digital wireless, the signal is ‘basically’ converted into 1s and 0s, rather than the continuously variable wave that is transmitted within the allowable RF (wireless) bandwidth – as done in analogue wireless systems. The resulting difference is that a digitally encoded audio signal arrives at the receiver with a bigger dynamic and frequency range, offering ‘better’ audio – evenn more clear – than what we hear with similarly-priced analogue wireless.

Other than greater dynamic range and frequency response, digital wireless can generally pack more channels of wireless into the same space occupied by analogue wireless – which is pertinent, given the reduction of allowable spectrum (following the digital dividend) and the larger amount of wireless systems in the community, thanks to increased affordability and advanced reliability over the past decade.

Battery life also appears to be better (ie; longer) when using digital wireless. Let’s look more closely at SLX-D battery options.

Rechargeable batteries, simplified

There’s no question that brand-specific rechargeable batteries are a great choice for wireless systems. If you want to look further, we did some rough sums in our Batteries for Wireless: Rechargeable vs Single Use article.

It just so happens that SLXD series also has a great solution for recharging. When you add the SB903 rechargeable lithium-ion battery into your transmitter, you unlock real-time battery life and battery health features for SLX-D Digital Wireless transmitters.

Used in conjunction with SBC203 dual charging dock (which can be used to recharge up to two handhelds, two batteries, two bodypacks or any combination of one or two things you need for your application, the SB903 battery pack makes a great addition to your wireless inventory.

The SLX-D recharging components make it simple for after the show – drop your transmitters into the slots, and they’ll be back to 100% charge (providing approx 8 hours run time) in around 2 hours, 30mins. It’s especially useful for a ‘house rig’ situation – which could be a school auditorium, conference facility, karaoke venue, group fitness centre, while still offering a totally valid solution for your PA hire or production inventory, and a robust mic for a singer to carry around.

If you’re looking for something a little more compact for recharge duties, there is the ‘battery-only’ charge dock, being Shure SBC10-903, with the downsides being: less current = longer charging times (over 5 hours to get to 100%); can’t slot transmitter straight in (need to remove SB903 from the transmitter); and it’s single battery only.

We like the dual slot SBC203. It’s worth it.

SLX-D = Streamlined Setup

The first thing we noticed when unboxing SLX-D is just how simple it is to set up a clear channel. Make sure the transmitter is turned off, enter the Guided Frequency Setup via the receiver, and you’ll be taken on a very quick journey. Even when you’ve got two receivers linked (via an Ethernet cable), the setup and Group Scan is quick and very effective.

You should only need to do this initially at your permanent venue, whether its a conference centre or home karaoke lounge, but it’s always important to scan at every performance when you’re a production provider or travelling entertainer.

Check the quick (3 1/2 min) video below to see just how simple it is:

SLXD4D – the DUAL receiver

This is a great option – either add a dual receiver to your SLX-D set up down the track, or buy a bundle to start with – like SLXD24DB58, which includes the dual receiver and 2x handheld transmitters with Beta58 capsules.

The benefit to having a dual receiver, rather than two single SLXD4 receivers side-by-side is that you reduce the amount of antennae required in your rack, while increasing the amount of channels you can link with a single Ethernet cable – once you get more than two receivers in a rack, you’ll need to add a network switch to enable the easy-yet-sophisticated Guided Setup and Group Frequency Allocation features.

Any SLX-D system (or receiver component) includes all rackmounting accessories required to prepare the receiver for addition to a standard 19″ rack.

Perfect for presentation

If you’re running a conference venue or reception centre, the above dual receiver (as featured in the SLXD24DB58) is a perfect choice. Simple installation, reduced amount of antennae, extra-easy set up and crystal clear, interference-free wireless audio. The two handheld transmitters include Beta58 capsules (dynamic, supercardioid). While the Beta58 is dead-set star for singers around the world, it also provides a high-class solution for something a little more delicate – like the spoken word.

King of Karaoke

We love helping out with karaoke. Not the singing part, just the gear. We totally understand how important the quality of sound is. Rest assured, our very first thought when we unboxed the SLXD24DB58 was “whoa, we know who is going to love this!”

Now in stock

Don’t forget, we pride ourselves on being wireless experts. Whatever application you have – live performance, touring, school, house of worship, corporate breakout space – you can be sure that you’ll get looked after at Factory Sound.

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