The pocket-sized Boss Katana:Go headphone amp doubles as an audio interface

There are many there are portable headphone amplifiers plugs directly into instruments like electric guitar and bass, but the Boss has taken things up a notch. The company announced Katana:GO headphone amplifier and his annoyingwith a combination of features that I have never seen in one small box.

Like competing products, this thing plugs into the input jack of your preferred instrument and includes a headphone jack to hear what’s going on. Guitarists can choose from ten amp models, while bass players get three amp models, each powered by an amp. pre-existing Katana line of modeling amps. Boss Katana amplifiers are primarily known for their surprisingly large tonal selection, and it seems that the company has managed to squeeze the same models into a headphone amplifier. Competing products are certainly comfortable, but they don’t always sound as good.

There are 60 effects to choose from, including all the reverbs, delays and, of course, choruses that musicians have come to expect from the Boss. These are also the same effects featured in larger and more expensive combo amps.

So there are good boost tones and a powerful set of effects. What sets the Katana apart from, say, the Mustang Micro? First of all, there’s the built-in tuner, which is always a welcome addition. Katana:GO also includes spatial audio technology to mimic a live setup, further enhancing its usefulness as an experience enhancer. It remains to be seen how realistic it sounds, but Boss says it allows users to place the virtual amp in different locations to create the impression of playing on stage or “jamming in a room with friends.” I’ve used many of these amps before and found the “in your face” nature of the headphone signal much more appealing, so I was very interested in this feature.

The amp has 30 preset slots to create and maintain unique tones and integrates with the company’s Tone exchange service. It allows users to trade for pre-set items such as Pokémon. Okay, not like Pokémon, but you get the point.

A guitarist using a mobile app. A guitarist using a mobile app.


Katana:GO even works as an actual USB audio interface. Simply plug it into a computer, smartphone or tablet and record directly into your DAW. Finally, there is a dedicated mobile app that lets you listen to songs from streaming sites or your personal library. It’s especially handy for getting into your daily workout session, and has a loop feature for nailing tricky segments.

Like other headphone amps on the market, it folds neatly and fits easily into a standard gig bag. The Boss Katana:GO is priced at $120 and by the way, it’s the same price as the Mustang Micro, which doesn’t double as an audio interface or include a built-in tuner. It is available for purchase now.

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