Shure SLXD35 wireless audio system review: This system offers reliability and versatility

With a durable design and reliable transmission, the Shure SLXD35 combo turns any XLR microphone into a wireless microphone system. We tested out both the Shure SLXD3 plug-on transmitter and SLXD5 camera-top receiver to find out if the setup is truly as reliable and easy to use as Shure claims. Read on to find out what we discovered.

What is the Shure SLXD35?

Designed for field video production and broadcast applications, the Shure SLXD35 portable wireless system consists of two components. The first is the SLXD3, a plug-on transmitter that connects to a microphone or other audio via XLR. The second component is the SLXD5, a slim camera-mountable wireless receiver. Together, the system can convert any XLR microphone into a wireless microphone system perfect for walk-and-talk interviews and on-location video work.

It’s important to note, however, that the SLXD35 system does not include a microphone. That’s something you’ll need to buy separately. Luckily, though, the standard XLR connection means you may already have a microphone you can use.

Key features

With the option for 48V or 12V Phantom Power, the SLXD3 works with both dynamic and condenser microphones. The single-channel wireless receiver is suitable for either on-camera or audio bag use, making it more flexible than previous rack-mount units in the Shure SLXD line. The system can capture 24-bit audio with up to 118 dB of dynamic range.

The SLXD35 transmits over the UHF band — a less crowded band with less potential for interference compared with the 2.4 GHz band. The system features a 44 MHz tuning bandwidth and can scan across 1,760 frequencies to find a clear channel. For even better reliability, the SLXD35 features digital predictive signal diversity, which automatically switches to the antenna with the strongest signal.

After selecting a channel, it’s easy to pair transmitter and receiver using IR sync. If there are a lot of microphones operating at once in the same area, the SLXD5 offers a Multi-Mic Mode. This mode helps coordinate the different microphone systems so they are not competing over the same frequencies. This mode also allows you to monitor the output from different transmitters without interrupting the main signal. The receiver supports simultaneous use of up to 32 compatible systems.

Build and battery

Both the SLXD3 transmitter and the SLXD5 receiver feature a durable metal housing and a bright OLED screen. There’s also an external power switch on both units. The transmitter comes with a pair of AA batteries, a carrying pouch and a leather protective sleeve. The receiver also comes with batteries and a carrying pouch as well as a cold shoe adapter for camera mounting.

The system can be powered either with the included AA batteries or with Shure’s optional SB903 rechargeable batteries. You can expect around eight hours of battery life for the transmitter and five and a half hours for the receiver. Both units will display the remaining battery life in hours and minutes when using Shure’s rechargeable batteries.

Field tests

To test transmission distance and quality, we tested out a few different scenarios. First, we paired up our transmitter and receiver and walked around 300 feet away, keeping a direct line of sight. Then, as we walked back, we weaved in between a row of parked cars to see how the signal was affected. For our final test, we walked to the other side of a building 300 feet away. In this test, we wanted to see what a significant obstacle would do to the signal.

As Shure promised, the transmission was still clear 300 feet away from the receiver as long as there was a clear line of sight. However, after around the 200-foot mark, transmission was unreliable as soon as anything came between the transmitter and receiver. The signal dropped in and out as we walked between cars two to 300 feet away. With a significant obstacle — a building — between the transmitter and receiver, the signal was lost.

Perks and quirks

As promised, the Shure SLXD35 wireless microphone system was easy to set up and use. We had the same experience, regardless of connection type. Connecting the mic was easy while also providing a sense of security. The SLXD3 both clicks into the XLR input and has a locking mechanism for a reliable connection.

We also appreciated the system avoids the crowded 2.4 GHz band while still offering digital transmission. Plus having external on/off switches on both transmitter and receiver means there will be less unintentional eavesdropping while also extending the battery life.

Finally, we loved the robust build quality and metal construction of both units. For a system that is designed to expand with your needs, it’s important that each individual component can stand the test of time.


Together, the Shure SLXD35 transmitter and receiver pairing comes in at $730. If you just need the receiver, you can get the SLXD5 single-channel portable digital wireless receiver alone for $380. The price for the SLXD3 plug-on transmitter is $350.

Besides the Shure SLXD35, there are a couple of other options to consider when shopping for a plug-on transmitter or camera-mounted receiver. First up is the Sennheiser SKP 100 G4 transmitter, priced at $300. This slightly cheaper plug-on transmitter offers a lot of the same features and a similar frequency range. This can be paired with the $350 Sennheiser EK 100 G4 receiver to match the SLXD35 setup at a final price point of $650.

Another option is the Sony UTX-P40 and Sony URX-P40, both priced at $350 each. Again, the Sony system offers similar functionality at a slightly lower price point. Choosing between these three systems will likely come down to how you prioritize specific features and what already has a home in your wireless audio ecosystem.

Final thoughts

The Shure SLXD35 portable wireless system is both easy to use and reliable. With its durable metal construction and bright OLED screen, it’s a good option for field video production and broadcast applications. Plus, the system can be paired with a variety of microphones and can be expanded to support more complex microphone setups. Overall, the Shure SLXD35 is a versatile and reliable wireless microphone system.


  • Easy setup and use
  • Robust build quality
  • Digital transmission, but not in the 2.4 Ghz 
  • External on/off switches on both transmitter and receive

Tech specs

Wireless technologyDigital UHF
Number of RF channel frequencies1840
Included transmitters1x plug-on
DiversityTrue digital diversity
RF frequency bandJ52: 558 to 602 MHz / 614 to 616 MHz
RF bandwidth46 MHz
Frequency step size25 kHz
RF channel scanningAuto-scan
Max operating range328′ / 100 m
Max transmitters per band32
Built-In recorderNo
Timecode supportYes
Mobile app compatibleNo
Sample rate/resolution24-bit
Latency3.2 ms
Dynamic range118 dBA (typical)
THD<0.02 %
Receiver typeCamera-mount
Mounting options (receiver)Shoe-mount (with included hardware)
Antenna (receiver)2x 1/4 wave flexible whip, fixed (front-mount)
Number of audio channels (receiver)1
Audio I/O (receiver)1x 1/8 inches / 3.5 mm TRS female balanced mic/line output
1x 1/8 inches / 3.5 mm TRS female unbalanced headphone output
Gain range (receiver)0 to +12 dB (3 dB steps)
Pad (receiver)12 dB
Audio output level (receiver)1/8 inches / 3.5 mm output:
+15 dB (line level, balanced)
Phantom power protection (receiver)No
Frequency response (receiver)20 Hz to 20 kHz +1/-2 dB (dependent on mic)
Network I/O (receiver)No
USB/Lightning connectivity (receiver)1x USB-C female (bus power, charging)
USB class-compliant (receiver)No, USB charging/power only
Standalone audio interface capable (receiver)No
Impedance (receiver)1/8 inches / 3.5 mm Output:
450 Ohms (Balanced)
Approximate RF sensitivity (receiver)-97 dBm
Spurious (receiver)Rejection: >75 dB
Power requirements (receiver)Battery, bus power (USB)
Battery type (receiver)2x AA (included)
1x Shure SB903 (not included)
Approx. battery life (receiver)5.5 hours
Display and indicators (receiver)OLED (AF Level, Battery Status, Channel, Frequency, Group, Menu Navigation, Metering, Multifunction, Output Level, RF Level, Sync, Transmitter Battery Status)
Housing (receiver)Aluminum
Operating temperature (receiver)0 to 122°F / -17 to 50°C
Storage temperature (receiver)-20 to 165°F / -28 to 73°C
Dimensions (receiver)2.7 x 4.2 x 1 inches / 68 x 107 x 25.3 mm
Weight (receiver)0.4 lb / 182 g
Transmitter typePlug-on
RF output power1 / 10 / 30 mW
Audio I/O1x XLR 3-pin male balanced input (locking)
Included cable connectorNo
Phantom power+12 V
+48 V
MutingOff/on switch
Audio input level+20.5 to -3.5 dBV
Auto-level controlNo
Gain range0 +21 dB
Signal processingNo
Frequency response20 Hz to 20 kHz (dependent on mic)
Sync methodIR
Power requirementsBattery
Battery type2x AA (included)
1x Shure SB903 (not included)
Battery charging time1.25 to 5.5 hours
Approx. battery life8 hours (lithium Shure SB903)
USB/Lightning I/ONo
Display and indicatorsOLED (Battery Status, Channel, Group)
Operating temperature0 to 122°F / -17 to 50°C
Storage temperature-20 to 165°F / -28 to 73°C
Dimensions1.6 x 5 x 1.6 inches / 41 x 126 x 41 mm
Weight7.1 oz / 200 g
Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse is a professional writer and a curious person who loves to unpack stories on anything from music, to movies, to gaming and beyond.

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