REVIEW: Shure ULX-D Handheld Wireless System + KSM11 Wireless Capsule

Shure ULX-D Handheld Wireless System

Shure KSM11 Wireless Microphone Capsule

If a microphone company is going to make a wireless setup, they already have a leg up on any young upstart that don’t have the history and heritage behind them. When that company is Shure, the quality and reliability of a cable isn’t just the standard, it’s the starting line.

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For a half-rack unit, there’s a lot going on here with the ULXD4 receiver, ULXD2 digital handheld transmitter and KSM11 wireless capsule setup we recently tested. Rack adapter hardware is supplied, but our test setup arrived in a nice foam lined Gator bag, and it’s a nice example of how to use this setup without having to deep-dive into a hard rack situation. The front panel’s large LCD display is bright enough to see on a dark stage, and features a small bank of buttons, as well as a multi-function wheel for navigating settings easily. LED meters provide level information at a glance, as well. The rear panel features two connections for the included 1/2” wave antennas, 1/4” and XLR inputs as well as an Ethernet connection for networked connectivity.

The big thing with wireless units is making sure the transmitter and receiver sync up, and don’t run into any interference. Shure’s ULX-D system has an intelligent scanning system that links everything up via IR, and getting setup for us took a matter of seconds. For security, there’s an encryption function that can make sure nothing gets hijacked en route. When there is an interference, the front panel can alert the user for any issues. The ethernet connection allows multiple units to be connected for a larger, more complete system.

Line of sight is key when using wireless units, and the receiver has a 300-foot range, which is plenty for most stages. Connection and setup were a breeze, and the overall fidelity is quite strong and very present. One big complaint we hear a lot when it comes to wireless systems is a strong high-end presence or sizzle. This was certainly not the case here, with a full-rounded response coming from the KSM11 microphone that had plenty clarity and depth.

Again, for our testing purposes Shure paired the ULXD4 Receiver with their ULXD2 handheld transmitter, fitted with their KSM11 capsule, but it can be paired their wireless body pack for instrument applications as well, and the ULXD2 is available with a variety of their most popular capsules. The KSM11 was an excellent companion to the kit; it’s a cardioid condenser capsule that has a full-range frequency response.

For us, it was the overall “presence” of the capsule that grabbed our attention. For some reason, we’ve been left feeling a bit flat with some wireless units as of late, but the KSM11 really livens things up, making a live voice sound like an actual live voice, and not a tinny reproduction.

It is also extremely road worthy, with a hardened steel grille, and an isolation system that acts like a shock absorber to prevent handling noise. The overall package was quite robust and was kind of shocking to realize that this lil half rack unit and mic was delivering such high quality.

The complete setup as we tested is pro level all around when it comes to features and fidelity, for a price that most working bands can swallow without breaking the bank. For performers who want to be untethered and demand top-shelf quality, this is a serious one-two punch for cutting the cord.

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great range, ease of connectivity and adjustability, excellent fidelity



STREET PRICES: (as tested)

  • ULXD4 Digital Wireless Receiver -$1127
  • ULXD2/58 Digital Handheld Transmitter –  $609
  • KSM11 Wireless Cardioid Condenser Vocal Microphone Capsule – $899
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