“Premium sound for everyday playing without the hassle of amps, pedals and computer interfaces”: With the Katana:GO, Boss has entered the headphone amp market with a bang

Boss's new Katana:GO headphone amp in action
(Image credit: Boss)

Though the series was only introduced in 2016, Boss's Katana amps have quickly risen to the top of the market. Indeed, we rate the Katana 100 MkII as not only one of the best guitar amps under $1,000, but one of the best guitar amps on the market, full stop.

Now, the Japanese firm has taken the Katana series to the next level with the unveiling of the pocket-sized Katana:GO headphone amp.

In Boss's words, the Katana:GO “puts authentic sounds from the stage-class Boss Katana amp series at the instrument’s output jack, paired with wireless music streaming, sound editing, and learning tools on the user’s smartphone,” and delivers “premium sound for everyday playing without the hassle of amps, pedals, and computer interfaces.”

Tone choice-wise, the Katana:GO features an even 10 amp models – among them clean, crunch, and the higher-gain Boss Brown type – along with a trio of bass-specific models. Both the guitar and bass modes provide access to Boss's formidable effects library, with further tweakability available via Boss's Tone Studio app.

Despite its small size, the Katana:GO doesn't slack in the controls department, offering a built-in tuner, a trio of memory bank functions, a “stage feel” control that itself features a trio of modes that allow the user to position the amp's sound in different places in the sound field, “giving the impression of playing with a backline on stage or jamming in a room with friends.”

Features and effects – wah, volume, and memory selection among them – can also be controlled via Boss's V-1-WL Wireless MIDI expression pedal and FS-1-WL wireless footswitch.

The Boss Tone Studio app allows Katana:GO users to create new presets, adjust preset memories, or import Tone Setting memories straight from full-size Katana amps, with more sounds accessible via access to the Boss Tone Exchange.

The app also gives users the ability to stream YouTube clips, and build loop sections, songlists, and set timestamps to have the amp switch memories automatically while playing with YouTube backing tracks.

Boss's Katana:GO headphone amp in action

(Image credit: Boss)

The Boss Katana:GO features a rechargeable battery that boasts up to five hours of continuous playing time. It's set for a full release later this month, and will retail for $119.

For more info, visit Boss.

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.