When you have kids or parents around, you might want to be mindful of your amplifier volume. The best mini amplifiers, also known as micro mini guitar amps, are a great choice in such a case. They come in handy when you don't have enough space in the house or when you need a practice amp to use with your guitar on the road.
Their small footprint is a benefit rather than a drawback for being portable and providing a wide range of tones at incredible volume levels. With these small guitar amps, you have a great way to write and practice music and jams without blowing the windows out.
Luckily, you have the option of choosing the battery powered type, which is perfect for traveling or a small head amp that you can pair with cabinet speakers for home use. Other applications include recording on a PA system, not forgetting that they are good small guitar amps for beginners who want to learn.
We have reviewed seven best mini amplifiers and provided you with a buyer's guide so that you can finally play at reasonable and acceptable volume levels.
Table of Contents
Best Mini Amplifiers Comparison Table 2020
Fender Mustang I V2 [Overall best]
7.6 x 15.5 x 14.5 inches
17.1 x 9.2 x 10.4 inches
7.6 x 5.6 x 4.3 inches
7.9 x 13.8 x 15.8 inches
12 x 9.1 x 12.6 inches
12 x 12.2 x 8.3 inches
We all know how it feels to have an average amplifier which is why we’ve put our expertise to help you choose the best mini amplifier for your stereo system. Luckily, in this day and age, there are many smaller options that are becoming popular with music lovers who prefer something with a small footprint. We will take a look at seven best small amps in 2020 to help you find the best compact options out there.
How We Put Together This List
Just like other amps, you will have different options when you are searching for a mini-amp. Choosing one model over the other can be challenging considering that the features are quite similar. The hardest part is figuring out the best mini-amp for your needs. Fortunately, this article will give you all the information before you make that crucial decision.
We conducted a thorough research from trusted studies and reports on the best mini amplifiers brands. We also gathered helpful information from product experts and that’s what guided us on what features to look for in a small footprint amp. We ended up with a list of seven top-rated brand and regardless of whether you want a practice unit for studio or for stage performances, you’re going to find fit in our review.
Let’s get started!
1. Fender Mustang I V2
Fender Mustang I V2 has set the standards for a modern guitar amp in terms of clean sound, versatility, and secure USB connectivity. It delivers outstanding performance for such a compact and portable design. I V2 is a perfect small guitar amp for guitarists who are not familiar with digital recording. It has made it easy for them to record, edit, store, and share their music.
Fender Mustang I V2 Key Features and Benefits
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Our verdict- Fender Mustang I V2 is inarguably one of the most popular mini amps on the market today thanks to the Fender FUSE Software. Its main selling point is its balance in price and quality features. The included AUX input and headphones out makes this piece of equipment a good all-in-one practice amp.
Try Fender Mustang I V2 for a versatile mini amp under $200.
2. Yamaha THR10X
Yamaha THR10X has been designed to sound great over a wide range of music genres. It offers quality sound, whether played with a clean tone or with a dirty tone. It delivers exceptional performance, especially for guitarists who are not playing live. This model is also invaluable to a musician who wants more distortion, more gain, and the unmatched response of a full-sized model.
Yamaha THR10X Key Features and Benefits
Our verdict- Yamaha THR10X will offer you great value for money and above all the amp is fun to use. It produces incredible recorded tones while the USB connectivity makes it put down some excellent and rewarding sounds.
Yamaha THR10X is a perfect practice amp for music playback and quiet practice. Get one on Amazon.
3. Blackstar Guitar Combo Amplifier FLY3
FLY 3 is the perfect mini amp for your guitar or phone. It is advantageously compact and plays with a big tone even when playing at low volumes. It comes with an emulated output jack for the headphones and MP3 Input jack which allow you to connect to your MP3 player, laptop, mobile phone and more. It has an optional battery operation and a set of custom speakers which means that you can take this amp wherever you go.
Blackstar Guitar Combo Amplifier FLY3 Key Features and Benefits
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Our Verdict- Straight from the box, you have a mini amp with both clean and overdrive channel that will provide you with an incredible array of sounds. When you combine these sounds with the inbuilt tape delay, you've got high-quality sounds at your disposal.
Blackstar FLY3 is a perfect mini amp for beginners, guitarists, and students on the move.
4. Orange Crush20RT
The Crush 20RT features two-foot switchable channels and a shared EQ. It also comes with separate overdrive gain and volume controls. This design enables it to provide you with gigantic tones that will satisfy your craving for overdriven and distorted sounds. It will also offer you quality sound that is rich in harmonic overtones. Orange Crush20RT comes with a pair of 8-inch speakers which enables the amplifier to provide mind-blowing tones.
Key Features and Benefits of Orange Crush20RT
Our verdict- Orange Crush 20RT works well when it comes to practicing and recording. It is also perfect for a small venue, for small performances. With the inbuilt chromatic tuner and reverb, this amp sounds equally great at cranked up band level or bedroom level.
With Orange Crush20RT, there's no excuse for not getting cool tones regardless of your taste or age.
5. Roland Micro Cube GX 3W
This compact and highly portable amplifier comes with a set of limited but usable effects. It makes a fantastic practice amp, especially when used together with a nice electric guitar. It is also popular with buskers due to the durability part of it. This amp has only 3 watts of power, but it is surprisingly loud for even a full band.
Roland Micro Cube GX 3W Key Features and Benefits
What we liked
Our Verdict- Roland Micro Cube GX 3W is a versatile mini battery/AC powered amp with plenty of useful features. The top panel is straightforward and easy to use. It displays a level of functionality that allows you to play various styles of music, whether you want metal distortion or clean jazz sound.
Micro Cube GX 3W is an excellent choice if you like playing around with different amps effects and sounds.
6. Monoprice 611705
611705 is a tube mini amplifier from Monoprice which features a stable, durable open backed cabinet. This cabinet is responsible for keeping the cubes cooled. Also, it has separate volume and tone controls, which makes the circuitry less complicated and easy to use. In addition, it comes with an 8-inch Celestion speaker, which is a versatile and durable option for small amps.
Key Features and Benefits of Monoprice 611705
What we liked
What we didn’t like
Our verdict- The Monoprice 611705 provides you with natural tones in a practice-friendly package. It has met the necessary standards enabling it to produce all-rounded sounds with amazing distortion features. It is also important to note that the amp features an ergonomic design, which makes it easier to carry around.
Monoprice 611705 is a perfect low-consumption, grab and go amp for those on a budget. Buy one on Amazon.
7. Boss Katana-Mini
Boss Katana-Mini is in a class of its own when it comes to delivering a commanding range of vibrant and full tones. It does this with a warm ambient delay that would slice through any band setup. The innovative power control and unique design make this amp excel in home playing. It also features seamless Bluetooth connectivity; all you have to do is plug the included transmitter into your guitar and enjoy inspiring sound at low volumes.
Boss Katana-Mini Key Features and Benefits
Our verdict- Boss Katana mini offers very useful and neat options to play around with which includes five customizable presets. These presets can be modified to provide a range of tones that will ensure that you can play any styles of music.
Boss Katana mini has been designed to rock right from the box.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Mini Amplifiers
If you have still not made up your mind on which mini amplifier to buy, this section will provide you with all of the information you'll need to help you choose the best mini stereo amp that is going to fit your needs.
Below are essential features that you should consider if you intend to take your music career to the next level.
i. Compatibility with Essential Equipment
A good mini amp should at least feature a headphone-out and an AUX-in to help you use essential external pieces of equipment. A headphone-out allows you to play via headphone, especially if you want to play silently. The AUX-in, on the other hand, will enable you to connect the amp with different equipment and have its audio transmitted via the speakers.
The whole essence of having a mini amplifier is the ability to carry it with you anytime and anywhere. It should be compact and small in size so that you can take it comfortably during travel. As long as you pair it with 8-inch speakers or less, it should remain relatively portable.
Most mini amps come with two switchable channels
inform of the clean channel and dirty channel. The clean channel is used to
play clean sound while the dirty channel allows you to play with distortion
sound effects. A good mini amp should enable you to flip between the two
channels efficiently providing you a wide range of tones that you can produce.
iv. Built-in Effects
Best mini amplifiers should have presets of standard effects. The presets enable you to have basic settings for everything from distortion, delay, overdrive, and modulation. However, this is going to be determined by what you intend to do with the amp. For example, if you will be juggling between different music genres, then an amp with these built-in effects will be invaluable. You can, however, can opt for a simple model if you don't plan on using these effects.
v. Speaker Size and Power Rating
The power rating of an amplifier will determine how powerful the unit is. It will also determine its ability to produce quality sound. As such, the higher the power rating, the louder the amp and vice versa.
When it comes to speakers, the sound produced by the amplifier will vary depending on the size of the speakers. Generally, small range speakers struggle to produce low-end frequencies. Besides, they make the amp produce thinner sound when compared to that produced from giant speakers. However, as the size of the speakers increase, the amp gets heavier.
The benefits of having the best mini amplifiers for your speakers are countless. The obvious one is that you can go anywhere with them. As such if you are in constant motion and you require an amplifier that you can carry along for your practice or stage performance, the best bet is getting a mini amp.
These mini amplifiers come in different sizes while the prices vary depending on what the amp has to offer. Some are relatively big, making them suitable for home use while others are suited for quieter performance.
Most of the use both batteries and AC adapters and as such you don't have to worry about the power source. They relieve you the weight of your massive amplifiers that requires a defined power source. The choice is yours. Whichever model you go for, make sure you select the one for your needs.