Squier Sonic Stratocaster HT review – Fender's classic beginner electric guitar just got better

Squier's new entry-level Strat brings Leo Fender's most famous creation to the masses and begs the question: is there a better beginner electric guitar on the market?

Squier Sonic Stratocaster HT
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

For first-time players or anyone looking to add a Strat to their arsenal without breaking the bank, it really doesn’t get much better than this in this price range.


  • +

    Holds its own against pricier instruments.

  • +

    All the classic Strat tones are on the menu.

  • +

    Tidy build and finish.


  • -

    Slightly stiff control pots.

  • -

    You might want to upgrade the pickups over time.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Squier Sonic Stratocaster’s predecessor made quite the name for itself back in 2021 when Mike Rutherford revealed he’d been lugging a Squier Bullet Strat around for Genesis’ farewell tour (indeed, he’s one of of a number of pro guitarists who play cheap guitars). Is the Bullet Strat’s successor arena-worthy? Well, with a bit of a setup, we see no reason why not. 

It’s snappy, vibrant and resonant, and the Torino Red poplar body (used over the standard alder) gives it a lighter, airier vibe that really suits unplugged playing. The maple neck is a comfortable C profile that feels familiarly playable. The guitar also held its own when plugged into a Fender Blues Junior.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.