Boss is preparing its new Katana-Air wireless 30-Watt guitar amplifier for launch at this year’s Winter NAMM Show. A completely wireless guitar amp, with no cables – is this thing for real?
There’s a lot going on here that seems genuinely cool. First, it’s wireless, meaning that it ships with a wireless transmitter that fits into the housing to recharge from the unit itself. You take it out and plug straight into your guitars output jack – a completely cable-free playing experience. Nice!
Yes, this amp is completely wireless. But what makes it really impressive is that it has 30 Watts of power on tap, no mean feat for a small amp which can run off battery power. If you run the amp from batteries, though, the power is scaled back to 20 Watts. Running off the mains gives you the full 30 Watts. The 8 AA batteries give you up to 12 hours of playing time on a single charge, Boss says. The plug-in transmitter is sensitive to motion, waking the amp up from the automatic standby mode when you pick up your guitar.
With five built-in amp tones included – Brown, Lead, Crunch, Clean and Acoustic – the Katana-Air has quite a lot of options available and could make for a great little home practice amp, in my opinion. Then you get 50 Boss effects to play with, which can be then be stored within any of the six built-in memory locations and these can also be organised via the Boss Tone Studio app (available for Android and iOS). In fact, all the amp’s settings can be edited on your phone, presumably transmitted over to the amp via Bluetooth. The amp will also stream backing tracks from your Bluetooth device. The I/O includes headphone and recording outputs, as well as Aux inputs.
Okay, this isn’t exactly the cheapest home desktop style practice amp, but it does appear to have some really cool features. I love the idea of not having to use cables to plug my guitar into it. So if it sounds as good as they say, I reckon they will sell loads of them. Definitely one to keep your eye out for when they hit stores this year.
RRP – GBP 429 inc power supply