Top 10 Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers – When You Want To Practice On The Go

The-Best-Portable-Guitar-Amps-1

Last Updated: November 19, 2019
With a few changes in the portable amp market, we decided to reflect them in a chart refresh. We removed a couple, such as the Blackstar Fly 3W, and added three new models to expand the chart. These additions included the awesome Boss Katana Mini, the cool VOX MINI3 G2, and the tiny NUXMighty Lite BT.

Whether you are a street performer or want a convenient amp for your travels, chances are you don’t want to lug your favorite $500 amp in and out of cars, planes and trains.

Fear not – this is why portable battery-powered amps exist, coming in a variety of different shapes, sizes and flavors. Some of them are big and powerful enough for performance, while others are better for quieter practice on the road.

Portable amps are usually affordable, with some coming in at the price of a few pizzas, while others are amps in the region of $300. Whatever the cost, the models we have highlighted in the following chart are undoubtedly some of the best amplifiers when it comes to travelling around. Let’s get started.

Top 10 Mini Guitar Amps:

Image Guitar Amplifier / Rating Summary Check Price
+ - Roland Cube Street Roland Cube Street

Total of 4.72/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

Performance-worthy portable combo amp with big flexibility.

+ - Boss Katana Mini Boss Katana Mini

Total of 4.83/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

One of the most portable serious amplifiers around!

+ - VOX MINI3 G2 VOX MINI3 G2

Total of 4.83/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

An impressive portable amp loaded with models and effects!

+ - Roland Micro Cube GX Roland Micro Cube GX

Total of 4.85/5   4.9 out of 5 stars

A tiny portable powerhouse that brings the full might of modeling technology.

+ - NUX Mighty Lite BT NUX Mighty Lite BT

Total of 4.82/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

A tiny but mighty combo with added digital functionality.

+ - Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Total of 4.88/5   4.9 out of 5 stars

An extremely versatile and powerful amp for both home and road use.

+ - Pignose Legendary 7-100 Pignose Legendary 7-100

Total of 4.58/5   4.6 out of 5 stars

A very simple, very potent and overall impressive little portable guitar amplifier.

+ - Marshall MS-2 Mini Am Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Total of 4.80/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

A micro stack that brings the core tone of its full-size cousins.

+ - Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Total of 4.78/5   4.8 out of 5 stars

The essence of AC30 packed into a super portable and versatile package.

+ - Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Total of 4.70/5   4.7 out of 5 stars

A great looking, fairly powerful and decent sounding portable solution from Fender.

Roland Cube Street

Roland Cube Street

Controls:4.8 out of 5 stars
Features:4.7 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Topping our list is an amp you may well recognize if you live in a big city, as it is the partner of so many street performers. And it’s no wonder – the Cube Street has such a portable construction and performance-worthy tone.

This solid-state battery-powered combo amp features two 6.5” speakers offering 5 watts of power, which is more than enough for home practice and small performances, while there’s great versatility with two channels for both mic and guitar.

It also features good EQ controls, eight different COSM amp models and six built-in effects, so no lugging around extra pedals is needed. Check out the complete Roland Cube Street review for all the details.

Boss Katana Mini

Boss Katana Mini

Controls:5 out of 5 stars
Features:4.8 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.5 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars

The Boss Katana Mini is an ultra-compact 7-watt amp that you really can take anywhere. Powered by AA batteries (giving you up to nine hours battery life) and weighing in at under 3lbs, it's easily one of the most portable guitar amps we have seen.

Despite all this incredible portability, its real value is in the tones it produces. This is no toy amp – this delivers serious Boss tone for whatever style of music you enjoy.

Features include three switchable types of amp style (Brown, Crunch, and Clean), flexible EQ controls, and an impressive built-in delay effect. You can read more about this impressive amp in our full Boss Katana Mini review.

VOX MINI3 G2

VOX MINI3 G2

Controls:4.7 out of 5 stars
Features:4.9 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars

As this page demonstrates, there are a ton of portable amps on the market nowadays. One that really shines brightly when versatility is required is the MINI3 G2 from Vox.

This cool vintage-style portable amp is simply one of the most impressive units that we have seen in this category. The level of performance you’ll get from the myriad of amp models and effects (yes, models and effects on a portable amp!) are a step above the competition.

Powered by batteries (although a mains adapter is included), the MINI3 G2 packs a lot into its relatively small package, including both guitar and mic inputs. Take a look at our complete review to see everything on offer.

Roland Micro Cube GX

Roland Micro Cube GX

Controls:4.9 out of 5 stars
Features:4.9 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Roland's Cube series have been at the very front of modeling amp category designed for practice and home use. Their Micro Cube GX represents one of the smallest models from the series, and it is absolutely awesome.

Unlike most of its directcompetition, this amp brings on the full might of modeling technology. There are eight different amp emulations to choose from, six effects including both emulation and reverb/delay, and finally the ability to store presets.

For a tiny little amplifier like this one, those features make it extremely powerful. On top of that, you can run this thing using both the adapter and a battery. In terms of pure performance, Roland Micro Cube GX is a true powerhouse.

NUX Mighty Lite BT

NUX Mighty Lite BT

Controls:4.7 out of 5 stars
Features:5 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars

In the world of small amps, it doesn’t get much more portable than the NUX Mighty Lite BT. Thankfully, this three-watt desktop combo doesn’t sacrifice tone or versatility for that small size.

As we highlight in our full review, the Mighty Lite BT has three channels ranging from clean to crunch, and harder overdrive. The included reverb and delay add depth to your sound. The amp also includes nine drum tracks and a metronome to sharpen your rhythm playing.

When not plugged in, this combo can run on AA batteries or USB power. The flexibility makes this perfect for both home or outdoor playing. When not playing guitar through it, the amp can also play music via Bluetooth.

Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Yamaha THR10C Classic Combo

Controls:4.9 out of 5 stars
Features:4.9 out of 5 stars
Performance:5 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars

Yamaha is known for many things, but amplifiers aren't one of them. Even so, they have managed to produce one of the most versatile and powerful compact packages on the market.

Yamaha THR10C brings the versatility of a full fledged modeling unit along with the tone of a proper tube amp. With over 6 different guitar amp emulations available, the user also has access to a bass amp, acoustic amp and mic simulation preset.

In other words, this is your one-stop shop for home recording. What makes it a great portable amp is its still reasonable size and the fact that it can run on batteries for a pretty respectable amount of time. All in all, a powerful choice.

Pignose Legendary 7-100

Pignose Legendary 7-100

Controls:4.2 out of 5 stars
Features:4.3 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars

When it comes to portable amplifiers, you will hardly find a more unique and deceptively basic setup than the Pignose Legendary 7-100. This amp is the epitome of simplicity.

There are no controls aside from the one volume knob, while everything else is done using nothing more than what your guitar comes equipped with. Even so, its 5 Watts of power and a quality voiced 5 Inch speaker give it an almost tube-like aesthetic.

This line of portable amplifiers has become so popular over time, that numerous popular guitar players have decided to record some of their songs using nothing more but a Pignose unit. That type of value and legacy is pretty hard to find in this price range.

Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Marshall MS-2 Mini Am

Controls:4.7 out of 5 stars
Features:4.7 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:5 out of 5 stars

Marshall MS-2 Mini guitar amplifier is one of the smallest, yet best sounding amps you can get. When mobility is a requirement, the device's super compact form allows you to experience the core of Marshall's popular tone on the go.

The power rating of this amp is limited to 1 Watt. Even so, it is more than capable of giving you the volume necessary for a good practice session. MS-2 comes with two channels and is powered by a single 9V battery.

They have designed it to look like one of their classic stacks, which makes it one of the better-looking models in the portable category. If you're looking for a mobility on a budget, Marshall MS-2 Mini is the answer.

Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Vox amPlug 2 AC30

Controls:4.6 out of 5 stars
Features:4.8 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars

Vox amPlug 2 AC30 belongs to the family of headphones guitar amplifiers. As such, it packs a lot of heat compared to its immediate competition. Not only do you get the essence of one of the most legendary tube amplifiers ever made, but Vox has also built in a whole lot of effects into these little amps.

You get three different effects, each with three different modes. Battery operated, Vox amPlug 2 AC30 will give you almost 20 hours of continuous work time on a single charge.

Add to that the ability to plug in your smart device, and you have a pretty great practice rig that can also be used to for casual jamming to your favorite tunes.

Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Fender '57 Mini Twin Amp

Controls:4.6 out of 5 stars
Features:4.6 out of 5 stars
Performance:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars

Fender is a brand known for producing just about everything and anything guitar related. As such, everyone expected them to design a decent portable amplifier. Fender '57 Mini Twin is what we got and it is pretty decent.

The power output you are looking at here is 1 Watt being distributed to not one, but two 2 Inch speakers. In terms of versatility, this amp comes with a clean as well as overdrive channel, both of which can be pretty loud.

What makes it so practical is the fact that you can power it either by using a battery or a power adapter. On top of all that, it just looks fabulous even though that is not all that important.

What’s the Benefit of a Portable Guitar Amp?

The most obvious benefit of having a portable guitar amp is the fact that you can take it anywhere with you – car, train, plane, beach, street… or even just around the house. Having one allows you to leave your more expensive/heavier/more fragile amps at home, but still be able to hear yourself play.

The fact that they are battery-powered means that you don’t need to find somewhere to plug in, allowing you to practice (and sometimes perform) anytime, anywhere.

What Style Should You Go For?

With so many styles on offer, it can be difficult to decide what portable amp you actually need. As always, it will depend on your budget and aspirations.

Do you just want something to chuck in your guitar bag so you can practice when you’re on vacation or travelling around? If so, one of the smaller amps coming in at under $50 are excellent. You don’t get a great deal of power, tone or control, but they give your guitar a decent voice on the road and it’s better than playing unplugged!

However, if you are planning to do some busking or performing with others, you’ll need something with a little more power and tonal control. Just be aware that the more power and control you ask for, the more you will have to spend.

The Final Word

As we’ve mentioned, finding the best portable guitar amp for your needs will essentially depend on what you want from the amp. Define your purposes, then check out some of the amps on our chart for inspiration. Good luck with your new travel amp!


Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. GREGORY DORRELL says

    speak my mind ,ok
    when is there going to be an amp that gives tones and allows backing tracks and maybe even vocals to a standered that is decent as of now i cant find anything that im happy listeng to
    there just not good enough
    when they do ill buy one

  2. Andre says

    What about the Roland Mobile Cube? Smaller than the Cube Street, and more flexible than the Micro Cube. Stereo (two 4inch speakers), 5 watts, instrument and mic inputs, good basic effects and takes pedals well. I’m not a performing musician. My needs are portability, decent sound and instrument/vocal flexibility. If I could only keep one of my amps. This just might be it.

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *