Boss Katana Mini Review – The Greatest Home Amp for a reason?


Finally, we are reviewing what is considered to be the most popular lineup of amps—the Boss Katana! However, we are focusing on the one that not many people spend time on: the Boss Katana Mini! The smallest and most affordable of the lineup, but does that mean it doesn’t have a place? Launched in 2016, the Boss Katana range has become a much-loved and hugely popular practice and gigging amplifier. I even gigged with one for a bit!

However, as mentioned, we aren’t reviewing the full 50W or even 100W Katana. We are doing the tiny 7W Boss Katana Mini! A super affordable and easy-to-use practice amp with some awesome features! This amp will surprise a lot of people with just how usable it is!

Boss Katana Mini Amp

Boss Katana Mini - Desk View
Fit perfectly on any desk, Doesn't take up to much room and is ready and waiting for when it is needed!

By now, I think everyone is aware of the Boss Katana line. However, I think the Boss Katana Mini goes under the radar a bit, as a lot of people don’t see a need for it or think it isn’t any good! I am here to prove you wrong! So, for anyone who doesn’t know about the Boss Katana Mini, let us run through it a bit.

The Boss Katana Mini is the smallest amp in the Katana lineup, with just a 7-watt output powering a custom 4” speaker in a custom enclosure. Designed for home use, warm-ups, or anything you need an actual amp for but not the volume. The Katana Mini uses the same technology as the full-size Katanas but scaled down and stripped of some features. This allows for two things: a small form factor and a low price!

More on the Boss Katana Mini Amp

The Boss Katana Mini is a 3-channel amp with Clean, Crunch, and Brown channels, which can be changed with the flick of a switch. It also contains a simple yet effective delay effect with two controls. Speaking of controls, what controls does this desktop amp have?

Looking at the top panel from left to right, we have the input, where you plug your guitar in. Then we have the gain control, a three-way switch to control the “amp type,” the volume knob, and the 3-band tone stack with bass, middle, and treble controls. We then have the delay controls with knobs for time and level, and lastly, the power switch.

On the back of the Boss Katana Mini, you have three inputs: an aux in for playing music through the amp, a phones/rec out with a cab-simulated output for use with either headphones or direct out for recording, and the DC power input for powering the device (or you can use 6 AA batteries).

The Boss Katana Mini runs on 6 AAs or a 9V power supply. Using this amp on batteries (which I imagine most of us will do), you can expect to get around 7-9 hours of runtime depending on usage and battery type! On its own, the Boss Katana Mini weighs 1.2kg. Super light and built very well!

The Sounds

For sounds, I knew I was going to be picking up a new guitar (more on that soon), so I created something knowing I was going to record it using the new guitar. This came out very thrash metal and ’80s metal sounding. All the sounds you hear on the demo song come from the Boss Katana and are a mix of the cab-sim output and mic’ing the amp.

Afterward, we run through a few sounds you can get using the amp both with a mic and direct with various guitars and pickup choices!  We will go through a lot of sounds you can get and the various controls on the amp and show you what sounds you can expect to hear from the little Boss Katana!

What are my thoughts?

Boss Katana Mini - Front Right
The look of this amp lines up with the rest of the line up! You can tell even without the logo that it is a Katana!

Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way first! This is a Boss product, and we all know that Boss products are built like tanks! The Boss Katana Mini is no exception! Although it is mostly made of plastic, it will hold up well to any drops or hits it might sustain. If you are throwing it in your bag for a practice amp or in the boot of your car on the way to a gig, you can be sure that it won’t get damaged in the process.

So what about sounds? Well, the Katana Mini has you covered! With its three channels, it covers a range of different sounds—from crystal cleans, slightly broken-up, classic rock, and full-on distorted. This amp sounds good and full throughout all of them! Notice how I said full! Remember those old mini amps you used to get? Looked cool but always sounded thin and hissy? The Boss Katana Mini is nothing like that! Pumping out not only a loud but a full-frequency sound with a surprising amount of low end for the size of the unit. Lovely mids and crystal clean highs!

Anything Else?

Do you know you are playing a desktop amp? Of course! It won’t feel or react like a full amp and speaker, but it does the job it was intended to do perfectly. However, as you can hear from the cab-sim output, this is capable of a lot! More on that to come soon!

What is it like to play? Well, not too bad, to be honest! The gain structure is really responsive not only to the gain knob but also to guitar volume and pick intensity! Also, this amp is not just perfect for home use but can be used in many locations. It has a good amount of volume! It can get loud (in regard to its size).

As far as effects go, it isn’t nearly as feature-packed as its full-size big brothers. The only effect you get is delay (which is basic at best). The delay sounds good and is very usable; however, you only get two options: time and level. So how fast or slow the delay is and how loud you want it. This is okay and perfect for home jamming; however, the only way to switch it off is to turn the level right down. There is also no control for feedback and repeats. If I am honest, I would have preferred a reverb effect rather than a delay. I would have used a reverb a lot more than I use the delay! However, still a nice touch to add.

Final Words

I want to talk about the output on the Katana Mini. Because it is a cab-simulated output, what is surprising is that for the size and price of this amp, the cab-sim is decent! Very usable! If you were stuck for an amp for a gig or rehearsal, you could use the output and go straight to desk! Would see you through the gig! For headphone playing, it sounds fantastic, and for taking it and putting it into a desk, it can sound amazing! I am very surprised at how good the cab-sim sounds!

To round off, not only is the Boss Katana Mini a fantastic sounding practice amp, but could also be used as a blast minute back up amp! It is small, light and run for a good amount of time on batteries! All of these for a low and affordable price. 

If I coldly redesign the amp, I would make a few changes. I would swap out the Delay for a reverb, I feel most people would enjoy it more. I would also put a un-simulated Speaker out, so you can connect it to any cab! Apart from that, there isn’t much I don’t like about this little amp. It is fantastic at what it does!

Boss Katana Mini - Controls
A simple panel layout for a amp this small! Easy to alter and change if needed!


So, that’s our review of the Boss Katana Mini guitar amplifier. A proper useful and usable home guitar amp that has a multitude of uses (thanks to the cab-sim output). I think if you play guitar at home or need a small amp for warm-up, something that you can throw in a backpack and is affordable, then this is perfect! Honestly, if you mainly play at home, with quiet volumes, then this could be all you need! It works with pedals and sounds wonderful!

One thing I did notice is that due to having the Katana Mini on my desk, I would often practice more often just because I don’t need to set anything up. Reach over, plug it in, and away you go! Even though they have just released the MKIII series of Katana, they haven’t updated the Mini. Let’s hope they don’t forget about it! If you want to pick one up for yourself, you can buy one using our affiliate link below. Do you want to see more desktop and home amps? Let us know over on our Instagram which ones you want, and we will see what we can do!

We hope to review more plugins soon, we have a few lined up and In Testing so if you can think of any you want us to try please let us know over on our Instagram!

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