Headrush MX5 VS Line 6 HX Stomp (Comparison)
Our pick: Line 6 HX Stomp
While the MX5 is significantly cheaper than the HX Stomp, the MX5 also doesn't meet the same quality standards established by Line 6. The MX5 doesn't sound as good and is built cheaper than the HX Stomp. If you want to save some money, the MX5 will do, but between them, we think the HX Stomp is still the better value.
We've done a lot of comparisons with the HX Stomp, and it rarely loses. Even against the Headrush MX5, which is significantly cheaper, the HX Stomp sounds better and is built tougher, enough to make it the better value option of the two.
If your goal is primarily to save money, than the MX5 will do a decent job for you.
But we think the HX Stomp is enough of an improvement over the MX5 to make it worth the additional $200.
We'll compare the two pedals on this page and look at some of the most important details.
If you have questions, leave them in the comments section below and we'll answer there.
Headrush MX5 VS Line 6 HX Stomp: Simple Comparison Table
Use this simple comparison table to see pricing and a list of basic specs. For a more expanded list of specs, we've built a second table below with a lot more detail, but this one gives you a quick look at how the two pedals compare. Use the compare buttons to see more info and use the Sweetwater buttons if you want to look at full product pages. Note that these buttons help support our site, but at no extra cost to you.
Line 6 HX Stomp
Watch the Comparison
Watch a simple bullet-point highlight video of this comparison, in less than two minutes.
Video Demo Comparison
Specs Sheet (detailed)
While raw numbers aren't the only consideration here, we should note first that the MX5 has less effects and amp models than the HX Stomp. We would also argue that the HX Stomp's algorithms sound better and that the device itself is built much stronger than the MX5.
Multi-effects and amp modeling
Multi-effects and amp modeling
126 user presets
Number of effects
150 Helix, 77 Legacy
Distortion, Dynamics, Modulation, Reverb, Delay, FX Loop, Expression
80+ amps, 40+ cabinets
46 x Amp Models, 15 x Cabinets, 10 x Microphone Emulations
2 x 1/4" (L/mono,R), 2 x 1/4" (L/R, aux in)
1 x 1/4" (instrument), 1 x 1/4" (FX return), 1 x 1/8" (aux)
2 x 1/4" (L/mono,R), 1 x 1/4" (stereo send)
2 x 1/4" TRS (L/mono, R), 1 x 1/4" (FX send)
2 x 1/8" (In, Out/Thru)
Summary and Conclusion: Which one is better?
If you want a bargain, the Headrush MX5 provides a lot of functionality at a decent price tag.
But there's no question: The HX Stomp is the better of the two boxes.
We like the algorithms, the tone, the variety, and the construction of that pedal enough to pay the extra $200, compared to the MX5. It'll depend on your budget, but right now Line 6 pretty much runs the show when it comes to multi-effects processors and amp modeling.
In this comparison, they easily have an edge over the Headrush offering.
Written by GC Editorial on Pedals and Comparisons
Rob Clark says
As an owner of both units, I have to respectfully disagree with this assessment. If you are comparing out of the box sounds, Line 6 is the clear winner. In all other respects the HeadRush unit is superior. The build quality seems equal if not superior on the HeadRush unit. If you have the patience to build your own presets, the amps are arguably better and the effects are undoubtedly better. As for the UI, there is no comparison. For those of us who perform live, this is paramount. On that same note, no other floor unit at any price point offers preset to preset spillover; also invaluable in live performance. When you factor in the built in expression pedal, which negates the need for a board to hold everything together, the convenience is unmatched. Having used both live extensively, the MX5 is head and shoulders above anything in this form factor and many larger units as well. Thanks so much for the time you’ve put into your review, and especially for allowing constructive comments. Cheers!
Took the words out of my mouth. The headrush is superior
Chris walker says
Paying for the touch screen? That would be like saying I’m paying for anything that wasnt justified by opinion.
Like why do I need three types of phasers when I only need the particular one I need? That is not a good rebuttal …that is ignoring a better interface at a lower price.
When it comes down to it..tones are the meaning of it all and that is opinionated at best.
What’s wrong with sharing opinion? If you’re reading something I wrote, it stands to reason that you’re getting my opinion.
Not sure why that’s controversial.
I like the HX Stomp better, but you can make your own judgements.
As I said: “If you want a bargain, the Headrush MX5 provides a lot of functionality at a decent price tag.”
As devoid of facts, and as full of unsubstantiated bs and opinion as a non-review could be. (I own both, btw).
The MX-5 is far, far more capable as a modeling device with far less limitations in terms of chains of amps/efx. Don’t know where the “build quality” opinion came from, but I don’t see it-at all.
And the “reviewer” left out perhaps the most important factor, to me anyway. The user interface (UI). The superiority of the MX-5 in terms of speed and ease of constructing your own signal chains, and the fact that, even onstage in the heat of performance, two touches of your finger (or feet in hands-free mode) gets you to the parameters you need to tweak. The UI of the Hx stomp is analogous to MS-DOS; the UI of the MX-5 is more like that of a current Apple OS. (Meaning the MX-5 is head and shoulders more functional, quicker, more foolproof than the L6; I can create, then tweak, 5x as quickly–and get to the relevant menu items/parameters faster and more accurately).
No mention of the MX-5’s onboard expression pedal either, which is both excellent in construction and feel, and requires an a la carte expression pedal expenditure for the HX.
So yeah, the HX with expression pedal is ~$749, the MX is ~$400. MX has more processing power, sounds GREAT (if you have enough of an ear to build your own presets), much, much more powerful UI with fast touchscreen, and better IR file management. But hey, if you think the HX is in the same league, buy it.
Unsubstantiated opinions should not be mistaken for empirical truth, which is a far wider problem today than it used to be, but BS is still BS; WHAT DATA did you access/generate to arrive at the conclusion that the MX build is not as robust as the HX? Or that the sound quality is “better”, or the algorithms are truer, on the HX?
My primary contention with the MX5 is that you’re paying for the interface – for the touchscreen – which is something I’d prefer not to focus on in a multi-effects pedal. Let’s be fair though – this is all given as opinion – not empirical truth. At least that’s the intent. Sorry it seems to have aggravated you so much. Either way, thanks for chiming in.
Ahh, I wasn’t aggravated. I can build great sounding and very diverse rigs on either, but the endpoint is the same. I just don’t think the HX is demonstrably “better” in terms of tones, algorithmic accuracy, build quality-and certainly not UI. And if it were, evidence, rather than “pronouncements”, should be provided (did someone drop 100 ea units off a 3 story building onto concrete, and many more MX-5s failed afterward than HXs did?)
I own both units and I agree the HX Stomp is superior in Tone/effects, but MX5 isn’t too far behind. But we deal in tone so the better tone always wins.
The only issue I have with the HX Stomp is the DSP power. If I try and use two AMP/CAB combos in the same patch, it very quickly runs out of DSP power. This is my one gripe so I have to use only amp models and share cab. Also the Mission Engineering Inc TT2 External Footswitch allows you to add 2 extra footswitches on the HX Stomp. I haven’t seen this work in the MX5 as of yet..
I like both, but prefer to gig out direct to PA with HX Stomp.
Hey Francis – thanks for sharing.
Which unit has more DSP power? Also, imho, I heard Pete Thorn get a beautiful clean tone out of the Headrush, and I have not heard that out of the Stomp.
Plenty of great clean tones in both. As for DSP power, it honestly depends on what you mean by that, because processor power (maybe you mean speed?) shouldn’t be weak in either pedal. If I’m misunderstanding you, let me know.