Review: Boss Katana-Air Guitar Amp

(Image credit: Boss)

The concept of a guitar amp with a built-in wireless receiver seems so obvious that it’s hard to imagine that no one else thought of manufacturing one before now. Yet, here we are more than 40 years after the first mass-produced wireless systems for guitar were introduced, and Boss announces the Katana-Air amplifier, promoted as “the world’s first totally wireless guitar amplifier.” In addition to the way-cool factor of its wireless operation, the Boss Katana-Air is an impressive compact, portable amp for practice and recording, loaded with features like five different amp models, 58 different types of built-in effects, stereo audio streaming via Bluetooth, battery or AC power and the ability to control, edit and program the Katana-Air via an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet with the free Boss Katana-Air app. With its wireless design, compact, lightweight packaging and ability to operate with batteries, the Katana-Air offers guitarists the ultimate experience in play-anywhere power and convenience.

FEATURES Thanks to its elongated rectangular shape and carrying handle, the Katana-Air looks like a micro amp head, but lo-and-behold I discovered that a pair of three-inch speakers are mounted below the controls behind the front panel’s black metal grill. When powered by AC, the amp delivers 30 watts of output, which drops down to 20 watts when the amp is powered by batteries to conserve battery life.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.