Best Mini Guitar Amps – Big Sound In a Small Package

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Last updatedLast updated: January 15, 2024
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Back in the day, music equipment brands were more interested in making big and loud amps. The bigger and the louder, the better. But this wasn’t a suitable option for gig musician pros and those who preferred to jam with their friends.

This demand brought a trend of mini guitar amps best suited for such projects. But the question is, are these mini guitar amps just boy toys, or is there anything that serious musicians can benefit from these mini devices?

These mini guitar amps are truly convenient because they are plug-and-play. They are smaller, so anyone can use them whenever and wherever they want.

We have developed a list of the best pocket amp for the guitar to assist you in finding the best options when you are looking to jam with your buds. So, let’s get on with the reviews.

1.

Blackstar FLY3Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Type: Solid State
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Total Power: 3W
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 3″
  • Effects: Yes
  • Power Source: 6.5V DC power supply (sold separately) / 6 x AA batteries
  • Weight: 1.98 lbs.

Other features: 3-watt 2-channel 1×3″ Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier with Infinite Shape Feature, MP3/Line Input, Emulated Headphone Output, and Tape Delay Effect

We recently got our hands on the Fly 3 by Blackstar, a compact guitar amp that packs a punch despite its small size. At just 3 watts, this little amp is perfect for practicing at home or on the go. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the features of the Fly 3 by Blackstar and share our thoughts on its performance.

Firstly, let’s talk about the design. The Fly 3 by Blackstar is incredibly compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport. We appreciate the sleek black exterior with gold accents, which gives it a stylish look. The amp is powered by 6 AA batteries or an optional power supply, which means you can use it anywhere without needing an outlet.

We were pleasantly surprised by the Fly 3 by Blackstar regarding sound quality. Despite its small size, it delivers a surprisingly full and rich sound. The amp has two channels, Clean and Overdrive, which allows you to switch between a crisp, clear tone and a heavier, more distorted sound. We found the Clean channel worked well for playing acoustic or clean electric guitar, while the Overdrive channel was perfect for rock and metal tones.

One of the standout features of the Fly 3 by Blackstar is its built-in tape delay effect. This effect adds a subtle echo to your guitar sound, which can help to create a more dynamic and atmospheric tone. We found the tape delay was easy to use and sounded great, adding a professional touch to our playing.

Another handy feature of the Fly 3 by Blackstar is the MP3/Line In jack, which allows you to connect your phone or other music devices to the amp. You can play along to your favorite songs or practice with backing tracks. We found this to be a useful feature for improving our playing and making practice more enjoyable.

Regarding drawbacks, we noticed that the Fly 3 by Blackstar can struggle to produce a loud enough sound to play with other musicians or perform in larger spaces. However, we feel that this is to be expected given the amp’s small size and low wattage. The Fly 3 by Blackstar is an excellent choice for a portable, versatile guitar amp that delivers great sound quality.

What makes it stand out?

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great sound quality
  • Two channels for versatility
  • Built-in tape delay effect
  • MP3/Line In jack for practicing

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Limited volume output
  • No built-in rechargeable battery

2.

Boss Katana MiniAn Excellent Lightweight Powerhouse

Features
  • Type: Solid State
  • Total Power: 7W
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 4″
  • Effects: Yes
  • Power Source: Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 6
  • Weight: 2 lb. 11 oz.

Other features: multi-stage analog gain circuit and three-band analog tone stack, tape-style delay for warm ambiance, 3-band EQ

We have also tried out the Katana-Mini, a compact and portable guitar amp that delivers an impressive tone despite its small size. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the features of the BOSS Katana and share our thoughts on its performance.

The BOSS Katana is incredibly lightweight when talking about design, making it easy to transport. We appreciate the robust carry handle, which makes it easy to take on the go. 6 AA batteries power the amp, so you can use it anywhere without needing an outlet.

In terms of sound quality, we were blown away by the BOSS Katana. Despite its small size, it delivers a surprisingly big and rich sound. The amp has three selectable voicings, Clean, Crunch, and Brown, which allows you to switch between a wide range of tones. We found that the Clean voicing worked well for playing clean electric guitar, while the Crunch and Brown voicings were perfect for rock and metal tones.

One of the standout features of the BOSS Katana is its built-in delay effect. This effect adds a sense of space to your guitar sound, which can help to create a more dynamic and atmospheric tone. We found the delay effect was easy to use and sounded great, adding a professional touch to our playing.

Another handy feature of the BOSS Katana is the speaker-emulated output, which allows you to practice silently with headphones or connect directly to a recording device. We found this useful feature for improving our playing and recording our performances.

Regarding drawbacks, we noticed that the BOSS Katana could struggle to produce a loud enough sound to play with other musicians or perform in larger spaces. However, we feel that this is to be expected given the amp’s small size and low wattage. Additionally, an optional AC adapter is required for those who do not want to rely on AA batteries.

What do we love it for?

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Speaker-emulated output for silent practice
  • Three selectable voicing
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Built-in delay effect

What were we disappointed with?

  • AC adapter not included
  • Reduced volume output

3.

Orange Micro TerrorBest for Versatility

Features
  • Type: Solid State
  • Total Power: 7W
  • Speaker Size: 1 x 4″
  • Effects: Yes
  • Power Source: Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 6
  • Weight: 2 lb. 11 oz.

Other features: multi-stage analog gain circuit and three-band analog tone stack, tape-style delay for warm ambiance, 3-band EQ

The Micro Terror guitar amplifier head is a small but powerful hybrid amp that delivers classic British tones, perfect for gigging or practicing at home. With a 12AX7 preamp tube and a solid-state power amp, it produces warm tube-like characteristics and has a surprisingly loud output of 20 watts.

The compact size and rugged all-metal construction make it easy to take on the go. You can practice quietly with the headphone output or play along with your favorite songs using the MP3 player input. Overall, the Micro Terror guitar amplifier head is a versatile and impressive amp that delivers a big tone in a tiny package. We highly recommend it for guitar players who want a small yet powerful amp for practice or gigs.

The Micro Terror’s simple layout and controls make it easy to dial in your desired sound, whether you’re looking for clean chimes or meaty crunch. The amp’s distinctive British character shines through on every setting, delivering that classic Orange tone that guitar players love.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Micro Terror is its portability. Measuring just 5.3″ tall and 6.5″ wide, this amp head is one of the smallest on the market, but don’t let its size fool you. With its rugged all-metal construction and 20-watt output, the Micro Terror is built to last and delivers a serious attitude.

Whether you’re practicing at home or gig around town, the Micro Terror is a versatile amp that meets various needs. The 1/8″ line input lets you plug in an MP3 player or other external device, so you can jam along to your favorite tunes or learn new songs. If you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, the 1/4″ headphone output allows for silent practice.

In terms of sound quality, the Micro Terror does not disappoint. It delivers a rich, full tone perfect for various styles, from blues and rock to metal and punk. The 12AX7 preamp tube adds warmth and depth to your sound, while the solid-state power amp ensures that your tone remains consistent and reliable.

What makes it stand out?

  • Compact size
  • Classic British tones
  • Versatile for practice
  • Rugged all-metal construction
  • Portability for gigging

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Limited tone-shaping options
  • No built-in effects

4.

Fender Tone Master MiniBest Price

Features
  • Type: Solid State
  • Number of Channels: 1
  • Total Power: 1W
  • Speakers: 2 x 2″
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs.

Other features: Battery-powered 1-watt Guitar Combo Amp with Two 2″ Speakers

Master Mini by Fender Tone offers pure portability for musicians on the go. Its petite size and lack of required electrical outlet make it an excellent travel companion. We recommend it exclusively for electric guitars. The one-by-eight-inch headphone output jack is perfect for those who wish to practice in silence. With Gain, Tone, and Volume controls, players can explore a wide range of tones, from crunch to clean.

Master Mini by Fender Tone features a metal tilt-back leg, allowing players to kick the minicab back for easy access. Despite its small size, this miniaturized version of the classic Tone-Master offers a glorious tone in a tiny package. This tiny version of the Tone-Master boasts some pretty great tones for such a small amp. With 1 watt of power and 2 x 2″ speakers, Master Mini by Fender Tone is perfect for practice sessions.

The Fender brand has established a worldwide influence that extends from the studio to the stage. Everyone has used Fender instruments, amps, and gear, from beginners to the most acclaimed artists, making the company a global cultural symbol.

Fender’s reach transcends instruments and accessories, encompassing a range of innovative digital experiences that fuel musical expression and serve players at every stage–on every stage. As a result, Master Mini by Fender Tone offers excellent value for its size and quality.

Overall, Master Mini by Fender Tone is a fantastic little amp that offers great tone, portability, and convenience for players on the go. We recommend it for any Fender fan looking for a high-quality practice amp that delivers great sound in a compact package. With its metal tilt back leg, Gain, Tone, and Volume controls, and one-by-eight-inch headphone output jack, this mini amp packs a big punch in a small size.

What stands out?

  • Great tone for a small size
  • Excellent for travel and practice
  • Easy-to-adjust controls
  • Authentic looks and sound
  • Fender brand quality

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Only for electric guitars
  • Limited volume capabilities

5.

Vox amPlug 2Best Value for Money

Features
  • Type: Solid State
  • Number of Channels: 1
  • Effects: Yes
  • Height: 1.22″
  • Width: 3.39″
  • Depth: 3.15″
  • Weight: 0.09 lbs.

Other features: Headphone Bass Guitar Amplifier with 3 Gain Modes, 9 Selectable Rhythm Patterns, Speaker Cabinet Emulation, and Aux-in Jack

Looking for an easy way to practice your bass guitar at any time and place? The amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 headphone bass guitar amplifier is an excellent choice! This tiny device offers an improved analog circuit, providing an exceptionally clear and present tone. Plus, with the 3 gain modes, 9 onboard rhythm patterns, and an aux input for jamming along with any audio player, you have everything you need to practice and improve your bass skills.

The amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 headphone bass guitar amp is perfect for players of all levels. Whether a beginner or a seasoned musician, this device can help you get the most out of your practice sessions. With the improved analog circuit, you can achieve a massive low-end bass tone that will inspire your playing. Plus, with the 9 selectable rhythm patterns, you can find your groove and practice more effectively.

One of the best things about the amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 is its size. It occupies virtually no space, making it easy to take wherever you go. You can play anytime, anywhere, with up to 17 hours of battery life. The foldable plug mechanism rotates 180 degrees, allowing it to fit any bass guitar.

The device provides the AC30 top boost sound, offering nine selectable effects with three types Chorus, Delay, and Reverb. Each model provides three amp modes, providing you with even more tonal variety. Five amp models are available – Bass, Blues, Classic Rock, Clean, and Lead, allowing you to switch things up as you play.

One of the cons of the amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 is that it may not be suitable for playing in a band or live performance. It’s for practicing only, and its output may not be sufficiently heard over other instruments.

Overall, the amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 headphone bass guitar amplifier is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to practice their bass guitar at any time and place. With its improved analog circuit, 9 onboard rhythm patterns, and 3 gain modes, you have everything you need to improve your bass skills. Its small size and long battery life make it a great option for on-the-go playing. We highly recommend the amPlug 2 by Vox Bass G2 for anyone looking for a portable and convenient practice solution.

What are its best features?

  • Portable and compact size
  • Improved analog circuit for clear and present tone
  • Offers tonal variety with 3 gain modes and 9 rhythm patterns
  • Up to 17 hours of battery life
  • AUX input for jamming along with any audio player

What could be improved?

  • It may not have enough power for performance settings
  • The bass response may not be sufficient for some players

Things to Consider

Looking at some important features before you finalize your decisions is important. And we have developed this buying guide for you to help out effectively. We will answer most people’s questions when buying these mini guitar amps.

Features to Consider Before Buying a Mini Guitar Amp

Are you looking for the best mini guitar amp for your needs? If so, you have come to the right place! When selecting a mini guitar amp, there are many factors to consider, so let’s dive right in.

When shopping for the best mini guitar amp, consider the type of music you play, the size and portability of the amp, the power output, the tone, and sound quality, the controls and features, the brand and reputation of the manufacturer, and your budget.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can find an amp that meets your needs and helps you achieve the tone and sound you desire.

Size & Weight

Think about the size and portability of the amp. Mini guitar amps are compact and easy to transport, but some models are smaller than others.

If you plan on taking your amp on the road or to gigs, you may want to look for one that is lightweight and easy to carry.

The Fly 3 by Blackstar and the Boss Katana are extremely lightweight models, and you can use them wherever you want and carry them wherever you want.

Volume & Power

Consider the power output of the amp. It is another crucial factor you must remember when looking for a mini guitar amp.

Wattage refers to the amount of power that the amp can produce. Higher wattage amps will be louder and more powerful. However, this can come at the cost of portability and battery life.

A lower-wattage amp may be more suitable if you need an amp for practice or small gigs. On the other hand, if you need an amp for larger venues or outdoor performances, a higher-wattage amp may be necessary.

Mini guitar amps come in various wattages, ranging from less than 1 watt to over 20 watts. The higher the wattage, the louder the amp and the more power it will consume.

If you are looking for more power, the Micro Terror by Orange is the right option, as it has a total power of 20W. But if you’re looking for a single-watt device, consider going for the Fender Tone Master. The Fly 3 by Blackstar comes with 3W, and Boss Katana has 7W power.

Effects

Effects are an important aspect of any guitarist’s sound, and mini guitar amps offer a variety of effects in a compact and portable package. Common effects found in mini guitar amps include distortion, overdrive, reverb, delay, chorus, and tremolo.

Some mini amps offer more advanced effects, such as modulation and pitch shifting. Many mini guitar amps have built-in effects, while others allow external pedals to be connected. For example, the Fly 3 by Black Star comes with these inbuilt effects, like the Boss Katana and amPlug 2 by Vox.

Additionally, some mini amps offer adjustable EQ controls to fine-tune the tone to a player’s preference. Effects can greatly enhance a guitarist’s sound and creativity, and mini guitar amps provide a convenient and versatile platform to experiment with different effects.

Amp Type


There are three types of these mini guitar amps. The first one is modeling mini guitar amps, which use digital technology to simulate the sound of different types of amps and effects, offering a wide range of tones in a small package. Most of the mini amps that we have reviewed above are solid-state devices.

The second type is solid-state mini guitar amps that use transistors to amplify the signal, providing a clean and consistent tone. They are typically more affordable than tube amps.

The third type is tube mini guitar amps that use vacuum tubes to amplify the signal, producing a warm and natural tone that many guitarists favor.

However, they are often more expensive and require more maintenance than solid-state amps. Each type has unique characteristics and advantages, allowing players to choose the one that best suits their needs.

Music Type

It’s important to consider the type of music you play. Different genres and playing styles require different features from a mini guitar amp.

For instance, if you play heavy metal or hard rock, you will need an amp with a lot of distortion and gain, while if you play acoustic music, you may want an amp with a built-in microphone or EQ. For example, the Boss Katana comes with an inbuilt 3-band EQ.

Tone & Sound Quality

You must also evaluate the tone and sound quality of the amp. This is perhaps the most important factor when selecting a mini guitar amp. Look for an amp with a clean, clear sound that accurately reproduces the tone of your guitar.

Number of Channels

Another factor to consider is the number of channels on the mini guitar amp. A channel refers to the different inputs or sound settings on the amp.

For example, a two-channel amp like the Fly 3 by Blackstar may have one channel for clean tones and another for overdrive or distortion. If you play a variety of genres or styles, you may want to choose an amp with multiple channels to give you more flexibility and versatility.

Controls & Features

Apart from that, examine the controls and features of the amp. Does it have built-in effects such as reverb or chorus? Can you adjust the EQ settings to fine-tune your tone?

Some mini guitar amps even have built-in drum tracks or metronomes, which can be useful for practicing. The ones we have mentioned above and reviews all come with their inbuilt controls.

Brand Reputation

You also have to consider the brand and reputation of the manufacturer. Some brands are known for producing high-quality, reliable amps, while others may have a reputation for producing lower-quality models.

Do your research and read reviews from other musicians to find a brand you can trust. Brands like Boss and Fender Tone are some trustworthy brands.

Budget

Don’t forget to consider your budget. Mini guitar amps come in a wide range of prices, from less than $50, like the one by Vox and Fender Tone, to several hundred dollars, like the ones by Orange. Determine how much you are willing to spend and look for an amp that fits your needs and budget.

mini ampSome Additional Features

Input & Output Options:

Look for mini guitar amps with a variety of input and output options. This will allow you to connect to different types of devices.

Battery Life:

If you plan on using the mini guitar amp on the go, you will want to consider its battery life.

Durability:

Make sure that the mini guitar amp is built to last. Look for amps that are made with high-quality materials and have sturdy construction.

Versatility:

Consider how versatile the mini guitar amp is. You may want an amp that can be used for more than just a guitar, for example, as a speaker for your phone.

Connectivity:

Look for mini guitar amps with various connectivity options, including Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary inputs.

Weight:

The weight of the mini guitar amp is also essential. Look for amps that are lightweight and easy to carry.

User Reviews:

Lastly, read user reviews of the mini guitar amp you are considering. This will give you an idea of the experiences of other users and help you make a more informed decision.

FAQ

 
 

The smallest stereo guitar amp on the market can vary depending on the specific model and brand. However, some of the smallest options include the amPlug 2 by Vox, the Micro Terror by Orange, and the Fly 3 by Blackstar.

These amps are designed for portability and ease of use, making them great for small gigs, practicing at home, or on-the-go playing.

The amPlug 2 by Vox is a 3-watt portable amplifier with 11 built-in effects and multiple amp models. It includes a microphone input and a built-in tuner, making it a versatile option for a small amp.

The Micro Terror by Orange is a 20W amp with a single channel and a built-in tuner. It features Orange’s signature tone and a headphone output for silent practice.

The Fly 3 by Blackstar is a 3-watt stereo amp with two channels and a built-in digital tape delay effect. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack and can be powered by batteries, making it ideal for travel.

The smallest stereo guitar amp will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, these three models are great options for those looking for a compact, portable, and easy-to-use guitar amp.

Mini amps, also known as mini amplifiers, are compact, portable amplifiers used to boost the volume of an audio signal. They are popular for musicians, as they are small enough to fit into a guitar case or backpack.

But powerful enough to amplify the sound of a guitar or other instrument. They are commonly used as part of a larger sound system, for example, as an amplifier for a pair of powered speakers.

In addition to amplifying audio signals, mini amps may include features such as tone controls, built-in effects, and a built-in power supply. Some mini amps are specifically for guitars, while others are suitable for various instruments or applications.

They are often favored for their portability and ease of use, and they can be a great choice for musicians who need a compact, reliable amplification solution.

However, it’s important to note that they may not have the same power or versatility as larger, more traditional amplifiers, so choosing the right mini amp for your specific needs is essential.

If your amplifier is too small for your speakers or your sound system, it can cause several issues that may impact the quality of your sound.

An amplifier that is too small may not be able to provide enough power to your speakers, which can result in distorted, muffled, or even nonexistent sound.

One of the main issues that can occur with an amplifier that is too small is clipping. This happens when the amplifier tries to deliver more power than it can, which can cause distortion and damage to the speakers.

Clipping can cause various issues, from a subtle loss of sound quality to actual damage to the speakers, so it’s important to ensure that your amplifier is properly matched to your speakers.

Another issue that can arise when your amplifier is too small is that you may not be able to achieve the desired volume or sound quality that you are looking for.

It can be particularly problematic if you are using your sound system for a performance or event, where the quality and volume of the sound are crucial.

Overall, if your amplifier is too small, it can lead to a range of issues that can impact the quality and performance of your sound system.

Choosing an amplifier that matches your speakers or sound system is essential to avoid these issues and ensure the best sound quality.

A mini amp can be used as a speaker, but it’s not explicitly for that purpose. Mini amps are primarily designed to amplify an audio signal, not to reproduce sound independently.

While they have a speaker inbuilt, the speaker works with the amplifier to provide a full, high-quality sound. However, a mini amp can be a good option if you need a portable speaker for listening to music or other audio.

They are typically small and lightweight, making them easy to carry with you wherever you go. Batteries or an AC adapter can power them, so you can use them in various settings.

When using a mini amp as a speaker, it’s important to remember that it may not provide the same level of sound quality as a dedicated speaker.

The speaker built into a mini amp may not be optimized for reproducing sound on its own and may not have the same range or clarity as a larger, dedicated speaker.

However, if you need a simple, portable solution for listening to music or other audio on the go, a mini amp can be a convenient and cost-effective option.

It is a small, portable amplifier designed to be used with an electric guitar. It amplifies the guitar’s sound and allows the player to adjust the tone and volume of the sound.

Mini guitar amps are commonly used for practicing and playing in small venues or at home. The sound quality may not be as good as a dedicated speaker, and you may need to adjust the settings to get the best sound. It’s generally best to use a mini guitar amp for its intended purpose – amplifying the sound of a guitar.

The main advantage of using a mini guitar amp is its portability. These amps are small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around and use in a variety of settings. They also provide a more natural and authentic guitar sound than a guitar with a built-in speaker or headphones.

When buying a mini guitar amp, you should consider its size, power output, type of amplifier, sound quality, effects, controls, input/output options, battery life, price, brand, durability, versatility, connectivity, and weight. These factors will determine the quality and usability of the mini guitar amp.

They are primarily for practice and small venues and can also be used for live performances. However, you may need to connect multiple mini amps to get the desired sound and volume, and you may also need to use external speakers.

You can connect your mini guitar amp to your computer or other devices using various input/output options, such as Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary inputs. Check the user manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on connecting your mini guitar amp to your preferred device.

Solid-state mini guitar amps use transistors to amplify the sound, while tube amps use vacuum tubes. Tube amps provide a warmer, more natural sound, while solid-state amps are more durable and less expensive.

Our Verdict

When choosing the best mini guitar amp, it’s essential to focus on your specific needs. While regular-sized amps can be clear-cut or versatile, miniature amps tend to be less versatile.

The Fly 3 by Blackstar is a dual-channel solid-state device that comes with 3W power, and it also comes with inbuilt effects. It comes with its power supply, and you can also power it on double A batteries.

The Boss Katana is a more powerful solid-state device with built-in effects and can run on six double batteries. But the device is also lightweight and comes with 3-band EQ.

However, if you are looking for a hybrid option, consider the Micro Terror by Orange. This device comes with a 20W total power and runs on a DC power supply. The single-channel device is a top choice for smaller applications if you want to jam with your friends.

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