Boss has announced what's billed as the world's first totally wireless guitar amplifier. Though similar to the Spider V setup from Line 6, the Katana-Air can run on batteries – giving street musicians the ability to wander around while performing, with no risk of tripping over cables, while bedroom jam sessions are liberated from bothersome cable clutter.
Rather than make use of third party solutions, Boss has developed its own digital wireless technology for the cable-free connection between amp and guitar, and is promising ultra low latency and no signal drop-outs. What makes the Katana Air different from other wireless guitar/amp system is that the Air can run on battery power – eight AA-sized batteries to be exact – so players can go portable for about 7-10 hours (depending on selected battery type).
The Air features a 30 W stereo speaker system (which lowers to 20 W when on battery power) comprising two 3-inch full-range drivers, and has a sound engine that includes five amp tones and more than 50 guitar effects trickled down from its Katana performance amps. And there's memory storage slots for saving favorite setups on the amp itself.
The GT10-like transmitter plugs into the guitar's output jack for up to 12 hours of playing time from its cooked-in Li-ion battery, and can then be popped into the docking port on the amp when needing a top up. The transmitter includes motion-sensing technology that wakes up the amp from power-saving sleep mode, which means that players can leave the amp powered on and in sleep mode and then wake the system up just by picking up the guitar.
As you might expect, there's a companion mobile app, too, that caters for sound tweaking. Players can also jam along to tracks streamed over Bluetooth from a smartphone or tablet, or if you don't fancy playing along, the Air can be used as a Bluetooth speaker for music streaming. For non-wireless source devices there's an aux in port, while a headphone/recording out caters for quiet rocking or feeding the signal into music production hardware.
The price of entry is a rather steep US$399.99, and the Air will be available from March. The video below shows what to expect.
Product page: Boss Katana Air
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