The Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps - $65 to $400

Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps

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Having a big rig is great for gigging and practice but isn't always the most practical for spontaneous, plug and play situations.

Why do you need a battery powered amplifier?

Battery power gives you the freedom to play on the go. Inspiration can also hit you from the most unexpected of times so an amp that is ready to play anywhere can be a valuable tool. Instead of taking time to fire up your entire rig just to get ideas down, a portable battery powered guitar amp can get you going right away. Whether you’re busking, taking your guitar to a friend’s, or going to a lesson, a truly portable an amp is a great tool for these common situations.

To make it easier to pick out the right amplifier for you, we have selected only the highest rated amplifiers for our 2019 update.

The Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps

Blackstar Fly3 Combo Amp - 3W

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$65
Blackstar Fly3 Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amplifier 3W

Blackstar’s Fly 3 Battery Powered guitar amp is a micro-practice amp, perfect for guitarists who are looking for portability. Despite its small size, the amplifier is versatile enough for creative use with its onboard effects. The Fly 3 comes with an emulated tape delay (which on lower levels can be used to somewhat simulate reverb), an onboard overdrive, and the ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control. With the ISF control, you can take on various different amplifier tonalities to suit what type of music you feel like playing.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 3-Watts
  • Battery Life: Up to 50 Hours at Lower Volumes
  • Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 3”
  • Controls: Gain, Volume, Overdrive, EQ, Delay Level, Delay Time
  • Input(s): ¼”, MP3
  • Output(s): Headphone
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 6.6” x 5” x 4”

Pros

Reviewers generally liked the tonal quality coming from the amplifier. Despite its small size, some found the amp sounded larger. The onboard effects were also seen as a plus as well as the ability to be a speaker for a music player or laptop.

Cons

Quality control issues swayed some users away from this product. Hit-or-miss durability due to reports of units breaking down with normal use.

Overall

The Blackstar Fly3 is a good option for those who want to play along to backing tracks since the amp also doubles as a portable speaker. Since the amp includes flexible tone shaping as well as onboard effects, it works great as a coffee table or desk amp. It is more at home indoors than being carried around outdoors.

Blackstar Fly 3 Bluetooth - 3W

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$95
Blackstar FLY 3 Bluetooth 3W Guitar Combo Amplifier

Blackstar’s Fly 3 Bluetooth is largely similar to its non-Bluetooth sibling with the exception of the capability of connecting to devices and an extension speaker (sold separately) by Bluetooth. As with the regular Fly 3, it features tape delay, overdrive and the ISF control for tone shaping.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 3-Watts
  • Battery Life: Up to 50 Hours at Lower Volumes (Bluetooth off)
  • Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 3”
  • Controls: Gain, Volume, Overdrive, EQ, Delay Level, Delay Time
  • Input(s): ¼”, MP3
  • Output(s): Headphone and extension speaker out
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 6.6” x 5” x 4”

Pros

Users note it to be a great companion amp on the go and found the convenience of the Bluetooth capability a big selling point. Being able to add an extension speaker for stereo operation (sold separately) was a big plus for those looking for a dual purpose device.

Cons

Quality control still may need improvement as reported by a few. Battery life is shorter than non-Bluetooth variant after a user's comparison.

Overall

The Blackstar Fly3 adds connectivity and stereo operation with an extension cab to the original Fly3. This makes it a great option for those looking to have both great sounding speakers and the ability to just plug in and jam along to their favorite tracks.

Boss Katana Mini Combo Amp - 7W

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
Boss Katana Mini 7W Combo Amp

The Boss Katana series is generally well received by critics and professionals with the larger 100-watt variants getting a lot of stage and studio time. Boss aims to continue this stellar performance with the Katana Mini: a 7-watt portable combo amplifier. The amp comes with three different voicings adopted from its larger siblings: brown, crunch, and clean. Brown is a modified "British" voiced high gain amp, crunch features a lower gain setting, and clean is a based off Roland/Boss' experience with solid state clean tones. Onboard delay rounds out the amplifier.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 7-Watts
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 Hours with Alkaline batteries or up to 9 Hours with rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
  • Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 4”
  • Controls: Gain, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Delay Time, Delay Level
  • Input(s): ¼” Instrument, ⅛" Aux
  • Output(s): ⅛" Headphone / Rec
  • Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz
  • Dimensions: 9.06” x 7.12” x 4.6”

Pros

Many users found that the amp has an excellent high gain sound which is great for modern styles like metal. While offering fewer options in terms of tones, owners of the larger Katana amps mentioned that the feel of the Katana mini is close, if not equivalent to their larger amplifiers.

Cons

Some found that the Katana Mini didn't have enough volume for their liking when compared to other battery-powered amps they owned. Due to the construction, users felt that the tone sounded boxy despite feeling great.

Overall

If you're a fan of high gain modded "British" tones, the Katana series, or both, the Katana Mini is the amplifier to get. It may not be as loud as other battery-powered amps but loudness isn't a priority if you're buying a battery powered amp for home use.

Roland Micro Cube GX Modeling Amp - 3W

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$160
Roland Micro Cube GX 3 Portable Guitar Modeling Amplifier

Roland has decades of experience when it comes to digital modeling. They’ve always been innovators in the field, and the modeling products produce by the brand get praise from even the harshest of critics. With the Micro Cube GX, Roland has taken their famed modeling technology and put it into a portable package.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 3-Watts
  • Battery Life: 20 to 25 hours
  • Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or AC
  • Speaker: 5”
  • Controls: Amp Type, Memory, Tuner, Gain, Tone, EFX, Delay/Reverb, Master
  • Input(s): ¼”, AUX-IN
  • Output(s): REC out/Headphone
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.7” x 6.7” x 9”

Pros

With 8 amp models, tuner, modulation, and reverb, many users claim that the Micro Cube GX is their ideal portable amplifier. Versatility is also a key point which made some buy this amplifier.

Cons

Some found the sound to be thin and too quiet. App felt unintuitive for others especially when most of the added functionality and features can only be accessed there.

Overall

The Roland Cube series has always been a go-to amplifier for people who want a versatile amp with different sounds, effects and functionality. The Micro Cube GX continues Roland's stellar reputation for dsp-powered effects by managing to somehow cram a lot of features into a small, battery-powered package.

Yamaha THR5A Combo Amp - 10W

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
Yamaha THR5A Battery-Powered Combo Guitar Amplifier 10W

Yamaha’s THR5A is an acoustic-focused battery powered guitar amp. While other THR series amplifiers have varying amp models, on the THR5A, these have been replaced with mic models. Many guitar players dislike the sound of most undersaddle piezo pickups because of their tendency to sound "brittle" when amplified. The THR5A rectifies this by simulating the more natural sound of a miked up soundhole. A blend knob enables you to mix the simulated mic sound with the direct piezo tone to achieve a balance of attack and body. The "EG Cln" model on the other hand simulates an electric guitar clean tone and the blend knob becomes a gain knob.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Battery Life: 6-7 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 8 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 2 x 3”
  • Controls: Mic Type, Blend/Gain, Master, Tone, Effect, Delay/Reverb, Volume, Tap Tempo/Tuner
  • Input(s): ¼”, AUX-IN, USB
  • Output(s): Headphones
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.7” x 6.5” x 4.7”

Pros

For recording acoustic guitar, users found the mic models to be a great tool for making their tracks sound better. Users with the Yamaha Silent Guitar say it pairs well with the THR5A. Others have used the headphone out to feed the mic simulated output and effects into the P.A. for live use to great success. Audience members have told one user that his tone through the THR5A into the P.A. sounded big and inspiring.

Cons

Users who enjoyed the amp wished that it had an XLR out for live use.

Overall

You're probably wondering why you'd need a small amplifier for use with acoustic guitar. The answer lies in the microphone models and stereo effects built into the amplifier. Hearing your guitar sound as though it was processed through a pro studio rig with mics and effects adds a layer of excitement to playing. Not to mention having all these tone shaping tools at your command for recording makes it a winner for songwriters.

Yamaha THR10C Stereo Amp - 10W

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Yamaha THR10C Battery-Powered Stereo Guitar Combo Amplifier - 10W

The Yamaha THR10C is the “boutique hand-wired combo" variant of the THR series. The design ethos behind the THR series, as stated by Yamaha UK's Julian Ward on a piece at NewsAtlas is: ”a lot of players are looking for what they think an amp sounds like rather than what it actually sounds like”. Because of this, the approach behind the speaker design, amplification and modeling come from a more hi-fi, studio recorded route than a regular amplifier. For the THR10C, the tones are centered around the best low-gain sounds modeled by the company's proprietary, component-level modeling.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Battery Life: 6 to 7 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 8 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 2 x 3”
  • Controls: Amp, Gain, Master, Bass, Middle, Treble, Effect, Delay/Reverb, Output, USB/AUX output, Memory, Tap Tempo, Tuner.
  • Input(s): ¼”, AUX-In, USB
  • Output(s): Headphones
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14.1” x 7.2” x 5.5”

Pros

Users note it to be a great sounding alternative to firing up their loud main amplifiers. Because the model is specific to low-gain amplifier types, users love the feeling of accessing high-end tones from boutique amp makers.

Cons

Some found the switch and other plastic parts to be flimsy compared to the metal parts. Others note it didn't sound as good as some of the Youtube videos. This is because some of the videos made with the amplifier are actually through the USB recording feature and not miked up in front.

Overall

The THR10C produces the general vibe of the amps it models (Fender 65’ Deluxe Reverb, Matchless DC30, Fender Blues Junior, Marshall Bluesbreaker, DR Z Mini). The Yamaha THR10C also comes with a host of onboard modulation effects including chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, reverb, and delay. With a USB connection and the included software, you can also use compression and even change the emulated cabinet for each amp voicing. Get it if you're looking for a portable amplifier that goes where your big rig can't.

Yamaha THR10X Modeling Amp - 10W

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 400+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Yamaha THR10X

The THR10x is the high-gain variant of Yamaha's THR series and it goes to 11. You want a wall of stacks in your bedroom? The THR10X has got you covered. Like it's lower gain counterparts, it includes onboard effects.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Battery Life: 6-7 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 8 x AA Batteries or AC
  • Speaker: 2 x 3”
  • Controls: Amp, Gain, Master, Bass, Middle, Treble, Effect, Delay/Reverb, USB/AUX output, User Memory, Tap Tempo, Tuner
  • Input(s): ¼”, AUX-IN
  • Output(s): USB, Headphones
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14.1” x 7.2” x 5.5”

Pros

User reviews generally note how the tone sounds "big" without it being loud. This is in part due to the way the amplifier presents tone as a high fidelity studio recorded tone rather than forcing a blistering tone through small speakers. Users also mention they liked the feel on the amp models.

Cons

Low end can get muddy depending on your guitar as noted by one critical user review. Others found the default tones to be outdated as the mids are more scooped than they preferred.

Overall

If you're a fan of high gain guitars, the THR10X is an excellent piece of gear. While most amps sound like a high gain amp going through ratty speakers, the THR10X sounds like a well-recorded studio tone which makes it great for jamming along to your favorite rock and metal tracks.

Roland Cube Street - 5W

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Roland Cube Street Battery Powered Guitar Combo Amplifier 5W

Roland presents the Cube Street as "The ultimate amp for traveling musicians". While the Cube Street was designed with buskers and street performers in mind, it also works well for musicians who want a good backstage or home amplifier that they can plug both their guitar and vocals into. The amp has a channel for guitar as well as an XLR in for microphones. The guitar channel models five different amps, including Roland’s own Jazz Chorus, a vintage Fender-style amp, a Vox amplifier, a Marshall amp, and a voicing for acoustic guitars. Both channels have an individually controlled EQ and output level, and the microphone channel features a bass and treble equalization control. The amp also comes with modulation effects, including chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, and reverb.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 5-Watts
  • Battery Life: Up to 15 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 6 x AA Batteries or DC
  • Speaker: 2 x 6.5”
  • Controls: Channel Select, Volume, Bass, Treble, Delay/Reverb, Tuner, Type, Gain, Guitar Volume, Guitar Bass, Guitar Middle, Guitar Treble, Effects, Delay/Reverb
  • Input(s): ¼” / XLR, ¼”, AUX-In
  • Output(s): Headphones
  • Weight: 13 lbs 1 oz
  • Dimensions: 16 3/8” x 11 5/8” x 9 7/8”

Pros

The Cube Street's favorable reviews praise it for being "rugged" and "roadworthy". For most reviewers, the amp is loud enough for outdoor performance within a certain radius which is usually the case for busking and street performance. The addition of a microphone input is something that users didn't see in other battery powered amplifiers which led to them getting the Cube Street.

Cons

Users note that the amplifier lacks bass response, which is important for instruments like acoustic and bass guitar. Having a strong fundamental note is important for these instruments. Another user noted that the batteries must be removed before plugging into a wall socket as his unit's batteries leaked.

Overall

If you're looking for a portable amplifier with a microphone input for busking and performance, the Cube Street is a solid pick.

Yamaha THR10 Modeling Amp - 10W

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 700+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Yamaha THR10 Modeling Combo Amplifier

The Yamaha THR10 was the first of the Yamaha THR series. The "THR" stands for "Third" according to Yamaha. They intend it to be your "third amp" where your first would be your main, second would be a smaller home amp and the THR will be your go-to portable solution for when you're not gigging or rehearsing. The THR10 comes with Fender, Vox, and Marshall voicings as well as a high gain mode. The THR10 also comes with voicings for bass and acoustic guitars, as well as a “flat” setting for non-guitar sources such as an MP3 player. It includes a 2-way USB interface for playback and recording in stereo.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 10-Watts
  • Battery Life: 6-7 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 8 x AA Batteries or AC
  • Speaker: 2 x 3”
  • Controls: Amp, Gain, Master, Tone, Effect, Delay/Reverb, Volume, Tap Tempo/Tuner, User Memory
  • Input(s): ¼”, AUX-In
  • Output(s): Headphones, USB
  • Weight: 10.7” x 6.5” x 4.7”
  • Dimensions: 4.4 lbs

Pros

Users were generally happy with the tone and versatility of the amp and fact that it also doubles as an audio interface. On the tone specifically, users love that the amp sounds more like a well-recorded guitar amp and effects through a set of hi-fi speakers than a boxy practice amp. This is as Some also love the aesthetic of the device.

Cons

There was an issue with the power supplies on the earlier runs of the models which accounts for the few negative reviews it got. The company however fixed it in the second run. Some found it a bit expensive for a practice amp.

Overall

What began as a collaboration between the Musical Instrument and Hi-Fi research teams at the company turned into one of the most versatile home amplifiers in the market. With onboard effects, tuner and the ability to plug into a laptop and record on the fly, the Yamaha THR10 is a worthy addition to your guitar arsenal.

Roland AC-33 Acoustic Amp - 20W/30W

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
Roland AC-33

Roland’s AC-33 is a portable, battery-powered amp designed for acoustic guitar. The amp is designed to amplify the sound of your acoustic guitar while making it sound as natural as possible. The amp also features a Mic channel with an independent EQ and volume control. It also features modulation, reverb, feedback suppression, and a built-in 40-second looper.

Features:

  • Power Rating: 20-Watts (On Batteries) / 30-Watts on AC
  • Battery Life: 8 Hours
  • Power Source(s): 8 x AA Batteries or AC
  • Speaker: 2 x 5”
  • Controls: Mic Volume, Mic Bass, Mic Treble, Mic Chorus, Guitar Volume, Guitar Bass, Guitar Middle, Guitar Treble, Guitar Chorus, Reverb, Anti-Feedback, Looper
  • Input(s): XLR, ¼”, AUX-In, Foot Switch, Looper
  • Output(s): Headphones, Line Out
  • Weight: 10 lbs 6 oz.
  • Dimensions: 12 9/16” x 8 13/16” x 9 5/8”

Pros

Users with guitars equipped with Piezo pickups love the amp for its natural sounding tone without bringing the "brittleness" that some amps have when paired with the pickup type. The feedback control is said to be well implemented and does not affect the guitar's tone in a negative way. The amp's light weight makes it a great companion amp for traveling and touring.

Cons

A few commented that the mic input is slightly weak so less sensitive mics may need additional gain. This may present a problem for noisier venues since the added gain will also amplify noise. The lack of phantom power was also an issue for some users with condenser microphones. IT may not be loud enough for larger venues even for stage monitoring, in which case one user recommended its higher wattage equivalents in the lineup. Some wanted a footswitch to be included to make most of the amp's many features.

Overall

Though the inherent power limits the size of the venues it can be used at, The Roland AC-33 Acoustic amp is great for coffee shop gigs or small outdoor events where you won't need to be loud. Because small venues like cafes are prone to acoustic feedback, the anti-feedback control does a great job of avoiding ear-splitting microphonics during performances. The built-in 40-second looper enables harmonies and layering; a feature not found on other amplifiers in this class though you will need to purchase a separate footswitch to operate it during playing.

Things to Consider When Buying a Battery Powered Guitar Amp

  • Battery Life

    As features and power rating increase (power rating is the wattage of the amplifier) battery life is going to decrease. So amps that model effects are going to have a shorter battery life, and the louder the amp the less time the battery is going to last.

    However, this also depends on the type and amount of batteries used. While a more feature rich amp may consume more power, you may also get good battery life. Bear in mind that more batteries make the amp heavier, making it less convenient to travel with.

  • Speaker Size

    Speaker size has a huge impact on your tone. The smaller the speaker, the brighter and more focused it sounds. Larger speakers will sound fuller and warmer. Most battery powered amps have a smaller speaker, but many actually have a depth of tone that’s incredibly impressive for the relatively diminutive size. Do take into consideration that larger speaker sizes may make the amplifier weigh more especially when approaching the 12" speaker territory.

  • Built-In Effects

    Many amps come with built-in effects. The most commonly found built-in effect is distortion, however, many battery-powered amps come with a delay, chorus, and reverb to name a few. Again, having these additional features comes at the cost of battery life.

  • Weight/Portability

    Battery powered amplifiers are usually lighter than their larger counterparts. But no matter how portable an amp claims to be, you still have to consider how portable you want your gear to be. For example, bringing an amplifier made for busking / street performance to a one-on-one guitar lesson may become a chore when you could use a lighter amplifier instead.

  • Which is the Best Battery Powered Amp for Busking?

    For just playing guitar at low volume we recommend the Roland Micro Cube GX, however if you want to use a microphone as well then your best option would be the Roland Cube Street for low volume or the Roland AC-33 if you need a bit more power.

  • Which is the Best Battery Powered Acoustic Amp?

    The highest rated option is the budget priced 10 watt Yamaha THR5A, however if you need a bit more volume then we suggest you go for the 20 watt (when using batteries) Roland AC-33.

Best Battery Powered Guitar Amp Selection Methodology

First published on Jan. 30, 2018 written by Mason Hoberg and last updated on Jul. 11, 2019 by Raphael Pulgar.

We started by looking at popular and top-rated combo guitar amplifiers that can run on batteries (we excluded micro stacks like the Marshall MS-4). After looking at relevant reviews, ratings, forum discussions and recommendations, we gathered over 7,300 review and rating sources. These sources were then processed via the Gearank Algorithm to produce the scores that we used to select amps that reflect the market's sentiment as the best. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

Comments

small battery powered amp for

Small battery powered amp for 3hr street performance with 3 microphone inputs & costs

Looking for a portable

Looking for a portable lithium powered amp for acoustic guitar - preferably with at least a 6" speaker size (one)... likely not made (yet) lol... tx ~ S

For regular battery use, just

For regular battery use, just invest in the latest generation "eneloop" type rechargeable batteries, like Energizer Universal 8 for $20-25. They run 1900mAH, hold a charge in storage for a long time. Just charge two sets, then you have a spare set along with you. You can run mini-amps off a plug-in as well, but note it usually is NOT charging the internal batteries, so you need a separate charger for them. Still a cheap investment for regular players.

Why do they all run on AA

Why do they all run on AA batteries? I want an amp with serious power that will run on my rechargeable drill battery pack.

The Roland Mobile Cube is a

The Roland Mobile Cube is a good amp and we have previously recommended it in our guide to Guitar Amps Under $200 - here's a direct link to the Mobile Cube information.

We did consider the Mobile Cube for this guide, but there were many battery powered amps with higher ratings, so we chose to recommend the more highly rated amps instead.

The Roland Mobile Cube is still on our short-list and will be considered for inclusion when we publish our next major revision of this guide.

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