BOSS Waza-Air Bass Review (Best Headphone Amp System?)

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BOSS Waza-Air Bass Review (Best Headphone Amp System?)
VERDICT
Boss Waza-Air Bass Guitar Wireless Headphone Amp is a high-tech amplification system with premium components, practice-friendly features, and forward-looking technology. It is impressive, no doubt, but only if you are willing to cough up $450. 
Build and Design
9
Features
10
Technology
10
Performance
9
Sound
9
PROS
It can hold a charge like it's nobody’s business
Features excellent build-quality and cutting-edge technology
Abundance of features create a fully immersive experience
CONS
A bit pricey and certainly not suited for beginners
9.4
OUR SCORE
  • BOSS’ Waza-Air Bass is an extremely immersive and cutting-edge headphone amplifier system
  • But, is the unequaled bass practice rig all it claims to be?
  • Read on for our honest, uncut review.

Hot on the coattails of Waza-Air (Guitar), BOSS introduced a headphone amplifier system specifically designed for bass players.

About time, I say.

A decade ago, bass players would give an arm and a leg (okay, not an arm) for a portable practice rig with built-in effects and amps.

But imagine that with the feel of moving air through a bass amp, onboard drum patterns, streaming backing tracks from your phone, and much more.

Yet, here we are – high-tech headphones in hand – talking about gyro sensors that track head movement, proprietary 3D algorithms, and a laundry list of features in a product that promises to be the ultimate headphone rig every bass player covets.

But is Boss Waza-Air Bass the unequaled bass practice rig all it claims to be? And, how does it weigh up against the asking price, which – by the way – is nothing to sniff at.

There was only one way to find out. An honest, uncut review revealing what we discovered!

Boss Waza-Air Bass: Verdict?

Boss Waza-Air Bass Guitar Wireless Headphone Amp is a high-tech amplification system with premium components, practice-friendly features, and forward-looking technology. It is impressive, no doubt, but only if you are willing to cough up around $450.

For the price, you get a fantastic, feature-packed product with wireless connectivity, superlative fidelity, and a cable-free experience.

The comprehensive list of features will elevate your bass playing experience whether you are a hobbyist or a professional bass player.

In short, BOSS Waza-Air Bass is an elegant, immersive, and uniquely useful bass practice rig, one worth having on your wish list.

The concise setup is a huge draw considering you do not skimp on, but enhance, the sound quality. And, nothing else on the market truly competes with it.

Boss Waza-Air Bass Review

Boss Waza-Air Bass

Waza-Air Bass’ studio-quality headphones and low-latency WL-T wireless transmitter offer unmatched audio quality, and its innovative 3D algorithms inject life and space back into your headphone practice sessions.

Why We Love It:
  • Excellent build quality
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Clarity with plenty of headroom
View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

Build and Design: 9/10

The Waza-Air Bass is a compact Bluetooth-enabled digital system. It features wireless, over-ear headphones with a transmitter (WL-T).

The product ships with an owner’s manual and a micro USB cable to use with a standard USB AC adaptor (> 5 V, 0.5 A).

It weighs a humble 320 grams (12 oz.) with an additional 42 grams (2 oz.) for the transmitter.  You can buy the two optional add-ons: Boss CB-WZ-AIR case and EV-1-WL expression pedal.

Build-wise, the headphones are made of plastic and metal parts with black and chrome plating. The unit is rugged with a wide headband and a two-way folding design.

The over-ear cups feel comfy, everything is luxuriously padded, and the clamping force results in a snug seal.

The headphone speakers feature custom-designed drivers with powerful 50mm magnets. The right cup sports a volume knob and buttons to toggle stored presets.

On the left cup, you will find LED lights for the on/off status and an indicator for the transmitter and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Boss Waza-Air Bass has a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery with power supplied from the DC IN 5 V port.

Speaking of which, this thing can hold a charge like nobody’s business. But you need the same cable to charge the transmitter and headphones.

The whole thing folds down compact for flat storage. It is sturdy enough to store in an instrument bag.

Although, it is best to spend an extra $30 on the carry case. I also recommend an additional USB cable to charge the headphone and transmitter simultaneously.

Features: 10/10

The Boss Waza-Air headphone amp system boasts spatial sound technology, amps and effects, an accompanying APP, and onboard memory slots, among other things.

Throw in that Boss EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI expression pedal and you are up for parameter-wizardry of all sorts.

A gyro sensor in the Boss Waza-Air Bass tracks head movements, making subtle adjustments to retain an immersive experience as you play or practice.

Notable features include onboard drum patterns or Bluetooth connectivity for playing backing tracks through a smart device.

You can control BPM in the app and access a metronome with 32 rhythm variations, including 5/4, 7/4, and other time signatures.

There are numerous practice-friendly features built into the headphones or accessible via the app.

For the simple stuff, you only need to plug the wireless transmitter into the bass output jack, turn on the headphone, and grin at the bass sounds the headphones whisper into your ears.

However, there is a learning curve to appreciate all the features on offer.

Technology: 10/10

Do not write off the spatial technology and 3D algorithms as marketing mumbo jumbo.

You can choose between three modes or virtual environments – Surround, Static, and Stage – to create vivid but varying spatial feels of an amp and a room interacting with your playing.

The Surround mode, the most immersive of them all, aims to recreate a true studio experience.

The algorithm really kicks in with the Static mode, altering the sound of the amp and room based on your (head) movement.

Lastly, Stage mode recreates the feel of a concert or performance with a steady and powerful backline to monitor your playing.

In other words, you can toggle between the spatial ambiance of a recording studio, stage, or open space.

The first-rate spatial feel is something demos or reviews cannot relay to a reader. It is, without doubt, the USP of these headphones that vindicate the price tag.

You get six memory slots to store the patches you like. Plus, you have a toggle button on the ear cup to cycle through them.

There is a rabbit hole awaiting you at the intersection of the Tone Studio app, the MIDI expression pedal, and the headphone system.

Performance: 9/10

For those who value portability, it is a blessing to have amps, effects, and a metronome or backing track from a single slip-on and slip-off device.

The Waza-Air Bass allows you to do that while traveling light and without being tethered to cables.

The distance from unboxing to grooving is a matter of minutes.

The battery life is five hours of headphone playtime + 12 additional hours with the transmitter. Smartly designed features further enhance the battery life. For instance, the headphones go into auto-standby after a few minutes of inactivity.

You can get back to where you left off with the wake function. It prevents unnecessary battery drainage. Props for that. More importantly, the Boss Waza-Air Bass is a cable-free experience that is easy to set up in a variety of ways.

You can edit and organize things wirelessly from any iOS or Android mobile device. The Tons Studio app, although simple to use, requires some effort to discover its true capabilities.

You may encounter the occasional pop ‘n crackle while the WAZA tries to (intelligently) locate the perfect channel and frequency. It can also – very rarely – clip due to interference. Nevertheless, the ‘smart technology’ pulls through to resolve these issues without any hassles.

Sound: 9/10

The Boss Waza-Air Bass system is the epitome of amp-less practice bass players. The headphone speakers render detailed sounds with rich lows, plenty of headroom, and great overall clarity.

The spatial technology feels like you are playing in a room with a real amp.

The gyro sensor and 3D tech of the Waza-Air Bass result in an impressive spatial/ambient experience.

The ‘Stage’ mode feels like a virtual backline and the ‘ambiance’ can be tweaked to taste. The amps sound expressive and the effects are on the money.

There is a LOT to cover so we cannot get into the weeds of every modulation effect and the impressive tweaking options.

In a nutshell, the bass-specific effects of Boss Waza-Air offer everything from bread-and-butter to far our madness. Yes, ring mod away!

BOSS Tone Studio APP

‘Boss Tone Studio’ is the accompanying app that turns this system into a full-blown bass rig. The GUI is clean and does not detract from the experience.

It only takes a few minutes to learn how to navigate it. The app gives you access to ‘Tone to sculpt your sound using 5 bass amps.

It includes five useable flavors of a tube, clean, driven, or punchy amp sounds for your bass. You can access the BOSS Library to explore 30+ bass-specific effects and a handful of presets.

You can edit each amp for Volume, Gain, and 3-band EQ and fool around with the parameters of the bass-specific effects.

If you are pleased with your tone, there are six memory slots to save for quick recall. You need the app to save or load presets and customize the amps and effects.

You can access a metronome, drum patterns, and 30+ rhythm variations in standard and odd time signatures.

Combine that with the ability to play bass backing tracks from another device and you have everything you need for a productive practice or jam session.

Boss Waza-Air Bass

Waza-Air Bass’ studio-quality headphones and low-latency WL-T wireless transmitter offer unmatched audio quality, and its innovative 3D algorithms inject life and space back into your headphone practice sessions.

Why We Love It:
  • Excellent build quality
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Clarity with plenty of headroom
View Price On Guitar Center View Price On Sweetwater

Summing Up

Boss Waza-Air Headphones consistently creep up in all our discussions of how to practice guitar or bass quietly.

Whether you use it to practice bass at night or to kill time on a tour bus, it is the next best thing to moving air through a bass amplifier.

For $449, the Boss Waza-Air Bass can feel like a leap of faith. But from a cost-value perspective, it is a one-stop practice rig with a rugged build and dynamic performance.

It’s hard to pass on such a do-all headphone practice rig if you have the cash to indulge.

If not, it is still a solid investment when you take advantage of the cool features, portability, and tech. But given the price, it is not a toy for weekend amusement or to store away in the closet.

FAQ’s

Can you use boss Waza-Air as normal headphones?

Yes, you can use Waza-Air as normal headphones to listen to music. Using Bluetooth audio, you can stream tracks to play along.

But you can also use this feature to listen to music from a tablet or phone (Android and iOS) on your way to work as you would with normal headphones.

Can I record with Waza-Air?

You cannot record bass using the Waza-Air or get it to output. The Waza-Air is a headphone amplification system, not intended for recording purposes.

There are online hacks to achieve this. But we advise against modifying the unit and risking damage or voiding the warranty.

How do I connect my phone to Waza-Air?

Follow these steps to connect your phone to Waza-Air headphones –

  1. Download the Boss Tone Studio on your phone or tablet.
  2. Power the headphones.  
  3. Press the Bluetooth button on the right ear cup to enable Bluetooth.
  4. Open the app and tap ‘Bluetooth MIDI DEVICE.’
  5. You will see ‘Waza-Air MIDI’ in the list.
  6. Pair the app with it – back out and press ‘Connect’.
  7. Wait till the app shows the two are connected.

How do I play music through boss Waza-Air?

You can play music through Boss Waza-Air headphones using Bluetooth audio. Pair the headphones with a phone as described above. It will pair the devices and allow you to use the Waza-Air as normal wireless headphones.

Is Boss Tone Studio free?

The Boss Tone Studio app is free to download on iOS and Android devices. The application allows you to remotely edit, save, and assign patches to memory slots.

It also offers additional content for Boss Waza-Air Headphones.