Updated by Bobby
Updated on April 24th, 2023
Made a few updates to the copy and article formatting. Made sure links and information were correct.
Line 6 Helix VS Helix LT (comparison)
Our pick: Line 6 Helix LT
Since the primary methods of cost-cutting in the Helix LT are advanced i/o connections and the front panel's LED labels, we think the Helix LT is a far better value. All of the presets, effects, amp models, and core functionality are still intact. Go with the Helix LT and save yourself $500.
Some of the most complete and functional multi-effects pedals on the market come from the Line 6 Helix series. In this comparison, we're looking at the flagship Line 6 Helix and the Helix LT, which is kind of like the "lite" version of the Helix.
But what are the differences between the two?
The Helix is usually about $500 more than the Helix LT, but is it worth the added expense? What does the Helix LT leave out?
More importantly, which one is the right choice for you if you're trying to decide between them?
Up front, it's important to mention that the Helix LT isn't at all "lite" in the way we think of it. It has almost all of the same core features that make the Helix great, but strips away some bells and whistles that we don't think you'll really miss. Our advice is to save the $500 and go with the Helix LT.
But if you don't want to take our word for it, we'll cover the comparison in detail and give you all the info that we have.
Line 6 Helix VS Helix LT Comparison Section
Use the comparison tool and table below to get a quick look at how the Helix and Helix LT differ.
Compare More Pedals
If you want to compare more pedals to the Helix and Helix LT, you can search our database here, then add products to the compare bar at the bottom of this page. We don't have everything but we have a lot.
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Detailed Specs Side-by-Side
With multi-effects pedals, we're primarily looking at presets, effects, and amp models. In the Helix and Helix LT, those are essentially the same.
1024 (8 setlists with 32 banks x 4 presets)
1024 (8 setlists with 32 banks x 4 presets)
Number of effects
Distortion, Delay, Reverb, Modulation, Pitch shift, Synth filter, Compressor/Limiter, Wah
Distortion, Modulation, Delay, Reverb, Pitch/Synth, Filter, Wah, Volume
Over 100 Amp, Cab and Mic Models (latest firmware)
Over 100 Amp, Cab and Mic Models
1 x XLR (mic), 1 x 1/4" (guitar), 1 x 1/4" (aux), 4 x 1/4" (return)
1 x 1/4" (guitar), 2 x 1/4" (returns)
2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 4 x 1/4" (Send)
2 x XLR (main out), 2 x 1/4" (main out), 2 x 1/4" (sends)
Line 6 Helix Details
One of the biggest areas of difference between the Helix and Helix LT is on the back panel, where the Helix has a lot more in the way of i/o options, which you may or may not need.
Here are a few connections present in the Helix that are not present in the Helix LT:
- Microphone input (XLR)
- Multiple send/return connections
- Aux Input
- Multiple expression connections
Another significant difference is on the front panel, where the Helix provides LED labels for each bypass switch, and the Helix LT does not. However both Helix control panels are essentially the same.
The Helix houses over 1000 available presents, 200 effects, and 100 amp/cab models.
Line 6 Helix LT Details
The same number of presents, effects, and amp/cab models are available in the Helix LT. You can also verify - simply from looking at photos - that the front Helix control panel is exactly the same.
Note the absence of the LED labels on each switch. It's somewhat less convenient, but personally I would just use a strip of masking tape and marker once I had all my presents chosen.
As I mentioned when covering the Helix, the Helix LT does most of its cost-cutting on the back panel, which you can easily see here:
Having said that, there's nothing absent from the Helix LT's back panel that we really miss from the Helix. The LT has two effects loops, XLR i/o, instrument i/o, and MIDI connections.
It honestly has everything that I could want in a multi-effects pedal and then some.
The Helix, as good as it is, doesn't give you enough value to warrant the extra $500 for what is already an expensive floor pedal.
For this reason, we recommend the Helix LT over the regular Helix.
Summary and Conclusion: Which one?
If Line 6 priced the Helix lower, perhaps $200-$300 over the Helix LT, we might be more inclined to go in that direction. But the bottom line is that Line 6 does a really good job with the Helix LT, giving you a discount option that strips away bells and whistles without impacting core functionality.
For us, that makes it a fairly easy decision.
We recommend going with the Helix LT and not losing any sleep over it.
If you have questions about the Helix or the Helix LT, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.
We check those often and will help out as much as possible.
If you've owned the Helix or the Helix LT we'd love to hear your war story there as well.
See you in the comments.