Best Keyboard Amps – Get The Best Sound From Your Keyboard

By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: November 24, 2022
Prime Sound is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Being a performing keyboardist, finding the best keyboard amplifier is tough, no? Overwhelming options are available, and things can get tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for.

What size and wattage should you pick? Should you go for a powered or a passive keyboard amp? What are the input/output options available? All these questions have to be answered before you finalize your purchase.

We have developed this guide to discuss this matter in detail. Plus, we will discuss various features you need to consider before buying the best keyboard speakers.

1.

Behringer Ultratone KXD15Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 15″, 1 x 1″ Tweeter
  • Total Power: 600W Class D
  • EQ: 7-band graphic EQ
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR, 8 x 1/4″, 1 x RCA (Stereo), 1 x 1/4″ (Footswitch)
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/4″ (Stereo Link), 1 x 1/4″ (Sub Out), 1 x 1/4″ (Headphones)
  • Height: 19″
  • Width: 4″
  • Depth: 7″
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

Other features: 7-band Graphic EQ, FBQ Feedback Detection System, and a Klark Teknik Effects Processor with 100 Presets

This keyboard amp is a decent size that measures 19 inches in height, 22.7 inches in width, and 14.7 inches in depth. Its overall weight is around 50 lbs. This 600W unit has a 7-band graphic equalizer, so you will have plenty of control over what it gives.

Thanks to its wattage, this unit can produce a high-quality sound that is an excellent option for the studio or live performance. So, the versatile unit is essentially your all-purpose keyboard amplifier. Apart from that, a wide variety of input-output options come, and that’s what we loved the most about it. Your input options on this unit are an XLR, an RCA, a footswitch, and 8 ¼-inch switches. The available output options include a couple of XLRs, a couple of ¼-inch switches along with the one featuring a Stereo Link, a sub out ¼-inch, and a ¼-inch for headphones.

With the FBQ feedback detection system, this unit is extraordinary, as it will pick up even the slightest sound from your keyboard to deliver high-quality tunes. The unit has an effects processor with around 100 presets that you can use in your music.

If you are a keyboardist looking for the best keyboard amp overall, we highly recommend it. Not many keyboard amps on the market come with such a type of EQ, and preset options are available in this wattage range.

But we would still say that the unit could have come bigger. If you are looking for a unit that works for you on a grander scale, other options are available in bigger sizes and with higher wattage.

Why did it make our list?

  • Equipped with an inbuilt feedback detection system
  • Comes with a 7-band equalizer
  • Preloaded 100 effects of use for processing
  • A wide variety of input and output options

What is not ideal about it?

  • Wattage is still not at the pro level

2.

Roland KC-600Improved Bass Reproduction/Travel

Features
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 15″, 1 x 1″ horn tweeter
  • Total Power: 200W
  • Number of Channels: 4
  • EQ: 3-band EQ
  • Inputs: 8 x 1/4″ (L/mono, R), 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4″ (stereo link), 2 x RCA, 1 x 1/8″ TRS (aux), 1 x 1/4″ (headphones)
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (L/mono, R), 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4″ (stereo link), 1 x 1/4″ (sub out)
  • Height: 25″ (including casters)
  • Width: 25″
  • Depth: 56″
  • Weight: 63.8 lbs.

Other features: Horn Tweeter, XLR Mic Input, and Stereo Link

This keyboard amplifier by Roland comes with a bigger price tag, and we all know why it is that so; It’s Roland. Roland is highly regarded for its quality equipment, and this one is no different. It comes in the same size as the one by Behringer that we have just reviewed above. But suppose you are truly looking for a unit that is an excellent traveling option and delivers perfect bass reproduction.

You need to remember this unit has a pretty low wattage. It’s limited when it comes to music production options. Still, this unit features a horn tweeter, and with the level of bass reproduction you can manage, this keyboard amp is a good buy.

The unit has 4 different channels and comes with a 3-band equalizer. Now, that is quite obvious due to the overall size of this amp. However, what lags in size and power covers the number of options available for input and output. There are 8 different ¼-inch switches, an XLR, a ¼-inch switch for Stereo Link, an RCA, a TRS ⅛-inch aux, and a ¼-inch headphone option. Its output includes a couple of ¼-inch switches and XLR switches with a ¼-inch Stereo Link and a ¼-inch sub out.

Of course, this unit is an ideal option for your studio use, and it won’t be able to deliver much when it comes to your live performances. But due to its size, if you do a lot of traveling, you can conveniently carry it wherever you go. It’s a top choice for anyone looking to make some tunes on the go.

Still, we think that this unit should have come with better wattage. We understand that Roland is emphasizing the “on the move” aspect with this product, but wattage is why it’s not heading our list.

What makes it special?

  • Boasts a horn tweeter
  • Comes with a base reproduction feature
  • Excellent for use on the go
  • A wide variety of I/O options

What cons did we find?

  • Wattage is on the lower side
  • It’s an expensive unit

3.

Motion Sound KP-612SBest Value for the Money

Features
  • Speaker Size: 2 x 12″ Eminence Beta-12A
  • Total Power: 2 x 250W RMS, 650W Max
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • EQ: 2 x 3-band EQ
  • Inputs: 8 x 1/4″ (L/mono, R), 1 x XLR
  • Outputs: 1 x speakON, 2 x XLR (balanced L/R), 2 x 1/4″ (line, sub)
  • Frequency Range: 50Hz-18kHz
  • Enclosure Material: Ultralight MDF
  • Height:5″
  • Width: 26″
  • Depth: 16″
  • Weight: 49 lbs.

Other features: Volume, 3D Expander, Bass, Mid, and Treble Controls, Master Volume and Low Bass Controls, V-shaped Cabinet, and Eminence Speakers

The keyboard amplifier by Roland is one of the more experienced ones. But if you want decent wattage and true value for money, then perhaps you should consider buying the Motion Sound’s KP612S. This unit has an even bigger wattage than the one by Behringer. Comparatively, it is not as expensive as Roland. This unit is 18.5-inch high, 26-inch wide, and 16-inch in-depth, and it weighs slightly less than the one by Behringer, at 49 lbs.

Its 650W keyboard amp does come with a 3D expander and bass reproduction features. Therefore, you can make your tunes much more interesting with these features. There are treble and mid controls along with low-bass controls.

However, despite being one of the top products regarding wattage, this unit doesn’t feature many channels. There might be two sets of 3-band EQs you can use on it, but the number of channels is on the lower side. This option is good if you want an amp suitable for live performance.

Another concerning aspect of the unit is that it comes with not many I/O options. It only comes with 8 different ¼-inch and an XLR for inputs and has a couple of XLR, a speakON, and a couple of ¼-inch switches for line and sub.

But this one seems to be a good choice if you don’t do much studio work and need a good quality live performance unit with high wattage. It might not be that much of a smart option for a recording keyboardist, but it works well for dishing out some tunes live.

Why are we impressed?

  • High wattage that handles quality sound
  • Features a 3D expander and bass reproducer
  • Treble and mid controls are there as well
  • Excellent value for money

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • Not many I/O options are available
  • It's a 2-channel keyboard amplifier

Features
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 12″ Eminence coaxial woofer, 1 x 1″ titanium mid driver, 2 x 6.5″ Eminence side speakers
  • Total Power: 700W Class D
  • Inputs: 2 x 1/4″ (Hi -10dB), 2 x 1/4″ (Lo +4dB)
  • Outputs: 3 x XLR (left, right, sub), 3 x 1/4″ (left, right, sub)
  • Frequency Range: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 116dB SPL
  • Height: 29″
  • Width: 17″
  • Depth: 16″
  • Weight: 65 lbs.

Other features: Tri-amped Active 3D Stereo Speaker with Patented CPS Technology

Aspen brings you its top-notch premium quality keyboard amp right at the top of all others in terms of features and price. It is the most expensive unit on this list, and it’s all about quality. This unit measures 29 inches in height, 17 inches in width, and 16 inches in depth and weighs 65 lbs. So, this one is ideal if you are looking for pro-level equipment.

Whether you are looking to record your tunes in your studio or are planning to go live and perform in front of your audience, this unit delivers the goods. It comes with an eminence coaxial woofer and a titanium mid-driver. However, what makes it stand out from the rest of the items on this list is its Wattage, Class D 700W. So, you can draw out some massive power in your sound.

But we think it should have come with more input and output options, especially considering the price you are paying. It only features a couple of ¼-inch Hi switches with a couple of ¼-inch Lo switches. The output features three XLR and three ¼-inch switches for a sub, left, and right. That’s why we recommend you only use it to connect your instruments for a recording or a performance without much customizability.

If you are not looking to customize your tunes much, this might be a good choice for recording and performance. Those who prefer more originality in your music will be highly impressed with this keyboard amp.

Besides, this unit is an excellent option for all your production. It is highly durable, but you will need an extra pair of hands to carry it from one place to another.

What stands out?

  • Equipped with a 3D active stereo speaker
  • Maximum power of 700W
  • Excellent for both recording and live performing
  • Premium quality construction

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Not many connectivity options are available

5.

Peavey KB 4User-Friendly Design

Features
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 15″, 1 x Tweeter
  • Total Power: 75W
  • EQ: 2-band EQ
  • Inputs: 12 x 1/4″, 1 x XLR
  • Outputs: 4 x 1/4″, 2 x XLR
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Enclosure Material: MDF
  • Height: 24″
  • Width: 18″
  • Depth: 3″
  • Weight: 79.9 lbs.

Other features: Keyboard Amplifier and Stereo mixer with 2-band EQ and Effects Send/Return

Just like Roland, Peavey is one of the most reliable brands on the market, which has been the case for a long time. If you are looking for performance and reliability, you should consider this unit. It measures to be 24-inch in height, 23.8 inches in width, and 18.3 inches in depth, while it weighs around 80 lbs. It’s a heavy unit and is certainly not the best option for traveling.

You will notice that this unit doesn’t come with extraordinary wattage and power. It’s only a 75W unit, and a few other options are available as well. If you are not looking for higher wattage and are more focused on your routine studio drills, we highly recommend you go for this unit.

It comes with a 2-band EQ, with few input and output options. The good thing is that you can connect various instruments with it. It comes with 12 ¼-inch switches and an XLR for inputs and has 4 different ¼-inch switches with a couple of XLRs for outputs.

This unit does come with a stereo mixer, and you can add a wide range of effects to your music. So, it is an excellent option if you are looking for a unit that works in a studio.

If you think this unit doesn’t have enough power, it is available in other wattage options. So, you always have a choice with Peavey, which is why it is one of the most reliable brands.

What stands out?

  • A decent bit of connectivity options
  • An excellent choice for studio setups
  • Comes with an in-built stereo mixer.
  • The unit features inbuilt sound effects

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Not great when it comes to overall wattage
  • Slightly on the heavier side

Things to Consider

As we have mentioned above, a wide range of options is available if you are looking for keyboard amplifiers. Finding the right option for you can become overwhelming if you don’t know what to do.

Features to Consider Before Buying a Keyboard Amp

Whether you are looking for a unit for your live performance or for recording in a studio, you will find the right option.

You can find a quality keyboard amp for traveling even if you are tight on budget. Just understand your needs and requirements, and you can find the best one that meets all your preferences.

Before buying a keyboard amp, let’s look at some important features.

What is a Keyboard Amp?

For those who haven’t heard of a keyboard amp, it’s an electronic amplifier with a loudspeaker encased within a speaker cabinet.

It is for amplifying electronic instruments such as keyboards. However, some of these devices are less compatible with instruments like a guitar.

This piece of equipment helps you in amplifying the sound of your keyboard. With its help, you can produce precise and crisp sounds without distortion using your keyboards.

They come in handy, particularly when you are playing your keyboards in a band because they can help boost the sound of your piano.

You might think that a keyboard amplifier is just like a guitar amplifier. But keyboard amps are different from guitar amps because you can connect more than one keyboard simultaneously with your keyboard amp.

Wattage & Size

The equation is very simple here – your keyboard amp will produce a much louder sound with more wattage and size. This power is measured in wattage, but the wattage ratings differ for different units.

Traditional amplifier manufacturers use Class A, Class B, and Class AB ratings and these units usually refer to RMS (root mean square) power. You will get a precise picture of a unit’s performance with that rating.

Power consumption is another aspect that is associated with this rating. Of course, with higher wattage, units will consume more power. However, most of this power is turned into heat, so a more powerful unit will warm up quickly.

Class D amps are available on the market and can turn on/off at rapid speeds. The resulting pulses are then filtered to reproduce the audio. These units are highly efficient and don’t need heat sinks or transformed ones.

For these Class D amps, RMS measurements are meaningless. There are other rating methods for these amps. But as a rule of thumb, you can divide the traditional RMS power equivalent by 4 to get the power rating of a Class D amp.

These Class D amps, such as Behringer Ultratone KXD15 and Aspen Pittman Stereo Spacestation, are pretty good for traveling due to their lightweight design, and you won’t have to compromise on the overall power and performance.

Active vs. Passive PA system

For a larger venue, you must be looking to use your keyboard rig with a PA (house public address) system. This is because even those bigger keyboard amps won’t be able to deliver the sound quality in such a scenario.

However, you will need a quality device for private practices or smaller concerts. It will enable you to control your sound and work as your monitor fully.

Now, there are two different options available when it comes to PA systems. You can either go for active or for passive systems. An Active PA speaker can power itself or through some plug-and-play option. It will feature an amp and a speaker inbuilt, and some units might feature aux connections and EQs.

On the other hand, a passive speaker will need a connection with a power amp that will serve as its power source. So for a simpler setup, you should go for an active PA system because setting up a passive PA speaker will cause a few problems because you will have to have a power outlet to run it.

There are various options available for different speakers, but at an initial stage, you can go for a few speakers. Active PA systems come with XLR connections, as with all the keyboard amps mentioned above on our list.

Active speakers come with their amplifier inbuilt, so they are heavier than passive systems. Therefore, an active seeker is an ideal option for small events. On the other hand, for larger venues, you need to go for passive speakers.

These units don’t have inbuilt components. Therefore, they are more robots; you don’t need to repair them that often. But due to their large size, they are usually placed and not moved around that much.

Inputs & Outputs

The number of inputs and output switches on your keyboard amp entirely depends upon how many audio sources you have. Maybe the model you are considering only works well for a single keyboard.

You must decide based on how many devices you want to connect with your keyboard amp. There is a wide variety of options available here.

For example, Behringer KXD15 comes with a wide range of input and output options. Roland KC600 features a wide range of I/O options and the other three we have reviewed in our list above. It is all up to you what you want to connect with your keyboard amp.

PA System vs. Keyboard Amp

PA systems and keyboard amps are similar in terms of their features. But the main difference between them is wattage. Most keyboards tend to range between 20W to 400W.

PA systems are much more powerful than that. These PA systems are better suited when you want to address an audience at a longer distance. Keyboard amps are better for your private endeavors.

Speakers

Larger units can handle more power, and they can also deal with lower bass frequencies. You won’t have to tackle any distortion with these larger units. However, they do tend to favor lower frequencies.

Therefore, a large bass or a midrange speaker is usually called a woofer. For example, the Aspen Pittman Stereo Spacestation is paired with a small treble speaker called a tweeter.

This way, you can cover the entire range of your instrument. Some larger units might come with an extra midrange speaker.

Channels

Keyboard amps usually come with different channels, and you can connect multiple keyboards or other instruments. So, your amp can control all audio types for performance and practice.

Each channel must come with other controls, such as EQ and FX, besides its volume control, for more inbuilt or preset effects.

The Behringer Ultratone is a good example, as it comes with 4 different channels and 7-band EQ. So, you have plenty of options when it comes to connectivity and customize your music accordingly.

Weight

More powerful units need larger speakers, and the cabinets should also be pretty strong. Tube amps tend to be bulkier than solid-state models if you compare them in terms of wattage.

Class D amplifiers such as Behringer Ultratone and Aspen Pittman Stereo Spacestation are much lighter and produce less heat. But if you are looking for portability, a small amp with an extension speaker would be a good option.

DSP

An inbuilt signal processor can come with various digital effects. There are different options available if you are looking for these features.

Units like Peavey KB4 and Behringer KXD15 are extraordinary if you look for these effects. It will enable you to explore more options and customize your music in an effective manner.

FAQ

 
 

It entirely depends on what you are looking to achieve. Keyboard amps amplify your instrument’s sound, and you can hear yourself at any sound level.

These amps don’t have the classic status that a guitar amp has, but for any professional keyboard player, these amps are pretty handy.

You can use them for your private endeavors, but some bigger units can help you reach out to an audience of any scale, depending upon the unit’s wattage and power level.

A wide range of keyboard amps is available for small events, but for larger venues, you should consider going for PA systems.

Yes, keyboard amplifiers are different from bass or guitar amplifiers. Most guitar amplifiers are used with a single guitar. But the keyboard has multiple connectivity options, and you can use them to connect with different keyboards.

This is because most band performers prefer to use multiple keyboards simultaneously. Therefore, these keyboards come with multiple options, and you can connect more than one keyboard simultaneously.

You can certainly do that if you consider using your keyboard amp with a guitar. However, remember that these amps are not designed to work with guitars.

Those mid-range frequencies a guitar produces are quite different from what a keyboard produces. So the ones that you will produce using your guitar will be quite different and more colorless, to be precise.

Moreover, these keyboard amps are flatter and produce a far clearer signal than the guitar amp. So, technically you can use a keyboard amp with a guitar amp, but it won’t have quality.

It entirely depends upon the kind of environment you are playing in. For larger venues, you will have more power and wattage. On the other hand, a smaller wattage unit can work for you if you are playing in an enclosed space.

Bigger units are suitable for those live performances where the sound from your keyboard has to travel a longer distance. This way, the unit can produce a much clearer sound.

If you are playing within a studio or at some small corner where the sound doesn’t have to travel for long, you should consider going for a smaller unit with lower power.

Our Verdict

The best keyboard amp and our Editor’s Choice award goes to Behringer Ultratone KXD15. It’s an amp that you can use for a variety of applications. This unit is extraordinary as it has myriad connectivity options and has 7-band EQ. And as it’s a Class D amplifier, it is relatively small and lightweight, so you can use it on the go too.

Another option you can consider is the Roland KC600 which comes with 4-channels and 3-band EQ along with a range of different input and output options. It is one of the premium quality devices too.

The second runner-up on our list is the Motion Sound KP612S. This unit is a good choice for traveling purposes and can handle mid to large-scale venues pretty well. It has a decent set of I/O options, and this unit is also pretty lightweight.

It is best to understand your needs and demands before you go shopping for a keyboard amp. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by the options available. Just focus on what you need from your keyboard amp and narrow your options according to your requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.