Harley Benton is expanding its range of wireless transmitter/receiver products for musicians with another affordable system. The AirBorne 5.8 GHz instrument frees musicians from annoying cabling and gives you an option for a low-cost wireless system that’s designed for use on stage, at rehearsals or at home.
Harley Benton AirBorne 5.8 GHz Instrument
Harley Benton’s new AirBorne 5.8 GHz Instrument consists of a receiver and trasmitter pair, each with a rotatable, angled jack plug. That lets you hook up any instrument with a 6.3 mm socket, including electric guitars and basses. Although not all may be suitable, as we’ll see below.
The system looks a doddle to operate. It’s literally Plug’n’Play and up to four musicians can use their own AirBorne 5.8 GHz instrument system in the same room, as there’s enough bandwidth for four discrete channels.
5.8 GHz > 2.4 GHz
Just like the Airborne Pro, the new system uses the 5.8 GHz band (5.725 – 5.820GHz) to avoid interference with other devices such as Wi-Fi routers or Bluetooth devices. This should keep the signal of the connected instruments reliable during performances and practice sessions.
The other specs are also almost identical to the previous Pro version, with up to 35 m range with a latency of 5.6 ms. That is a pretty decent range, so you certainly could gig with the unit.
Depending on the use, the permanently installed 600 mA lithium battery lasts up to 4 hours. The charging time is a pretty reasonable two hours, so you haven’t got to wait long and off you go.
The price includes a case that stores both the transmitter and the receiver. A practical double-headed charging cable is also included. However, this is still Micro-USB, not Type-C, which is a pity as USB-C is a lot more common in 2021 and easier to work with.
No active pickups?
The total weight for the system including all the accessories is only 150 grams, so each plug is around 50 grammes or so. That makes for a super lightweight system. But if you have a guitar with active pickups, expect problems. The press release sent out explicitly states that the AirBorne 5.8 GHz Instrument is not compatible with active pickups. Whether this also applies to active preamplifiers or not is not mentioned.
Overall, for the money, the system looks decent. I would imagine that if you’re serious about gigging, then it may not hold up well for heavy duty use. I’m not a fan of integrated jack plugs, as if they get a bad knock that break’s the unit, the system is ruined.
It looks perfect for less heavy-duty work though, like home use, rehearsals or the occasional gig. It’s available now via our affiliate partner, Thomann.
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- Harley Benton AirBorne 5.8 GHz Instrument: Harley Benton
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