Whether you perform on the streets or are in search of an amp that you can carry along with you as you travel for your on-stage performances, you don’t want to be carrying around a heavy amp in and out of planes, cars, and trains. But not to worry. Portable guitar amplifiers have been designed to enable you to take your guitar playing to the next level by letting you play at home, on the road or even at the beach.
Given the different shapes, sizes, flavors, and prices they come in, choosing the best portable guitar amplifier can be challenging, especially for first-time buyers. But it’s not an impossible task. That said, we’ve reviewed some of the best portable guitar amplifiers that you can get in the market today. Read on to see our choices of the best amps in the market.
1. Roland Micro Cube GX Guitar Amp
Roland as a brand have been known to create some of the best guitar amps that can be used for practice and home use. The Micro Cube GX is among the smallest amplifiers that is in the Cube series, and it is indeed an awesome device.
- Small in size making it easy to carrying around
- Boasts of a 5-inch speaker
- Operates on AC power or battery which means you don’t have to worry about power outages
- Comes in three different colors – red, black and white
- It has eight different amp emulations that one can choose from such as an Auxiliary input for CD players, tremolo among others
- The amp has the capability of storing presets
- Comes with an interface cable that offers a simple audio interface that is compatible with Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
- Comes with an adapter when you need to operate it on AC power
- Produces great volume
- Can be noisy in some FX settings
- Some users complain of the sound quality produced by this amp
2. Blackstar Amplifier Black FLY3
Although the Blackstar brand may not be as famous as other amplifier brands in the market, they still continue to produce some versatile portable amplifiers such as the Blackstar Amplifier Black FLY3. The amplifier is not only designed to produce the tone you want, but it’s also quite affordable.
- Enjoy quality performance that is close to that of a full-sized amp
- Quite powerful compared to some of the amplifiers in similar categories
- Comes in various styles and colors
- Designed with a versatile control cluster to allow you the freedom to choose what works for you
- Comes with a delay level knob as well as a channel select button that makes it possible to toggle between the overdrive and clean channel
- This portable amplifier is also designed with extension capabilities
- The tone from this amp sounds great
- It is a 3 watts amp
- The sound produced is loud making it suitable for your performances
- Powerful features given the size
- Doesn’t come with a cable so you will have to incur the extra cost of getting the cable
- Some users complain that when the tone is on high gain, the sound comes out a bit clunky
3. VOX MINI3 G2 Amplifier
Vox as a brand have been known for years to produce some of the best amps given their tone. And when it comes to the MINI3 G2 amplifier, they don’t disappoint.
- You have two power options; use the AC adaptor that is included in the package or AA batteries
- Comes with 11 amp models that all produce clear pristine tones and support various instruments
- It is a 3 watts amp
- Has eight enhanced quality effects including delay, compressor, flanger, chorus, reverb, and tremolo
- Enjoy a heavy quality sound with low frequencies
- Available in three different colors – classic, white and black
- Weighs only 3kg making it ideal for the guitarist that’s constantly on the move whether for a performance or for practice
- Has a quality solid build
- The amp gives you the ability to plug in external devices such as your phone or MP3 player and a microphone
- More expensive than other small-sized portable amps
- Some users have lamented about the amp’s tuner
4. Yamaha THR10C Mini Guitar Amplifier
If you ask most guitar players, Yamaha isn’t a brand that comes to mind immediately when talking about amplifiers even though it’s known for lots of other things. However, they have still managed to design one of the most powerful and versatile amplifiers available in the market.
- Powerful amplifier given the sound it produces
- Comes with five classic amplifier types including acoustic, bass and instrument modes
- You have the option of using batteries of AC power
- Designed with the Cubase AI recording software
- Has a recording interface and high-fi stereo
- Has a reasonable size thanks to its unique design that makes it ideal for home recording
- Comes with a three band EQ
- Has two effect knobs with one controlling the modulation effects and the other the temporal effects
- Ability to recall any tone profiles that you have previously stored using the five preset buttons
- It is a 10 watts amp which is higher than what similar sized amps have in the market
- Has two speakers that measure 8cm each
- Produces a great tone thanks to the VCM technology used to build this amp which makes the sound seem like it is from a tube amp
- Given the size, it may not be ideal for some guitar players although it’s still a pretty decent choice for the road
- Doesn’t give users the capability to change channels like other models
5. Roland CUBE Street Amplifier
The thing that makes the Roland CUBE street amp stand out is the size. This amplifier is designed for not just on the road use but for the street, stage and home use. And while you may enjoy all this versatile use, it doesn’t come cheap.
- You can use it for home practice or street and stage performance as well
- Comes with a guitar and mic input
- Enjoy a performance-worthy tone using this amplifier
- Uses 5 watts of power and has two 6.5-inch speakers
- Has good EQ controls – six inbuilt effects and eight COSM amp models hence you don’t need to add any extra pedals
- Its rugged design makes it durable
- The controls are straightforward and well-segregated
- Enjoy 15-hours of battery life wherever it is that you are practicing or playing
- It has two channels that feature an XRL and ¼-inch microphone input that lets performers play and sing simultaneously
- Ability to play different genres of music using this amp such as jazz, rock or metal
- Quite expensive
- Only uses batteries and not AC power like other models
- For its price, it’s not the loudest
6. Pignose 7-100 Legendary Amplifier
If you are looking for a brand of amplifiers that are on their own level, consider getting the Pignose 7-100 Legendary amplifier. They not only have a simple design, but they are also affordable and have been used by lots of famous guitar players around the globe.
- Enjoy an amplifier that has been used by a lot of famous guitar players worldwide
- Has a 5 watts power output
- Ability to produce a classical tone
- Has a 5-inch speaker
- Can operate on both AC adapter and batteries
- Very straightforward given that it only has the on/off switch and a volume knob
- Ability to shape the tone of your sound from your guitar
- Well-priced making it affordable
- Its simple design is what has made this one of the best portable guitar amplifiers to date
- The amplifier is not only powerful but also has quality speakers
- Can also be used as a recording amp
- Doesn’t come with an AC adapter
- It doesn’t have an aux to play any external devices
There are lots of benefits of having a portable guitar amplifier. One of such benefits is the fact that you can go anywhere with your amp. So, if you are a guitar player who is constantly on the move and wants an amplifier that you can take wherever for your practice, stage or street performance, your best bet is to buy a portable amp.
Portable guitar amplifiers come in different sizes, shapes, flavors and the price point for each amp varies depending on the amp you are getting. Some are big and powerful making them suitable for performances while others are best suited for quieter practice. Given that there are different brands of guitar amps, the prices vary. While others are a bit more affordable, others are a bit expensive.
Besides, having one means that you don’t need to constantly suffer under the weight of your heavy and more expensive amplifier. Given that most of them use batteries and AC adapters, you also don’t have to worry about a power source to plug in your amplifier when you need to use it. When it comes to buying one, consider your budget and your playing needs before buying one.