Music Gear Guides

These guides are designed to help you find the most highly rated options when you're buying music equipment. Every item presented has its Gearank and the number of online reviews, ratings, and discussions that have been analyzed then summarized by our gear experts.

The Best Cheap Electronic Drum Set For Beginners

The Highest Rated Electronic Drums Under $500

Electronic drums are a heck of a lot of fun to play with, but more importantly they're the best way to learn, practice and improve your chops without making all the noise associated with acoustic drums - just slip your headphones on and you're good to go!

The Best Passive PA Speakers Under $1000

The Highest Rated Passive PA Speakers

Passive PA Speakers are designed to work in conjunction with an external power amplifier.

Since the amplifier is not included in the speaker cabinet, passive speakers are generally lighter, and are easy to maintain and troubleshoot. This setup also allows for easier expansion as long as you stay within the limits of your amplifier.

The Best Condenser Mics Under $100 - XLR & USB

The Highest Rated Condenser Mics Under $100

When budget is limited, it is best to find gear that squeezes the most value for your money. This applies to condenser mics in the sub $100 price range, where you're mostly looking for an all-in-one budget friendly mic. This guide serves that demand, featuring condenser microphones that have proven themselves to be valuable additions to home studios.

The Best Guitar / Instrument Cables

The Highest Rated Guitar Cables

Guitar cables can't make you sound better, but bad ones can make you sound bad, if not totally cut off your sound. This results in uninspiring and often awkward experiences that musicians try to forget. To avoid this we present the best guitar and instrument cables, covering a wide price range so you can choose one that fits your preference and budget.

The Best Portable / Compact PA Systems + Battery Powered PAs

The Highest Rated Portable PA Systems

Portable PA Systems are designed to provide convenient sound reinforcement that can be easily setup, packed away and carried for transportation.

If you're unsure about exactly what a 'portable' PA System is that's probably because there is no standard definition, so we have defined them in the Methodology section of this guide.

The Best Delay Pedals - Analog & Digital

The Highest Rated Delay Pedals

 
Delay is a unique effect in that it has a place in every genre. Whether you’re looking for dry country slapback chunk or the smooth “filling out” effect you hear in metal. Essentially, if you play guitar you will want to pick up a delay pedal at some point.

The Best Acoustic Guitars - Between $100 & $2000

The Highest Rated Acoustic Guitars

For this 2019 updated guide we short-listed 88 guitars available from major online American retailers and examined more than 8,600 rating and review sources in order to find the highest rated ones to recommend.

The Best Capos For Guitar & Ukulele - Up To 12 Strings

The Highest Rated Capos

A capo is a must-have accessory for any guitarist. The ability to play different chords in a variety of positions (for example, playing a C chord with a capo on the second fret makes it a D chord) is an invaluable asset to any vocalist or finger-style musician.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups - Active & Passive

Acoustic Guitar Pickups

Gigging with an acoustic guitar can be a headache if you don’t have an acoustic guitar pickup, and if you don’t get the best acoustic guitar pickup for you you’re never going to get the tone you want. So rather than go in blind, check out our recommendations!

The Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners - Expert Advice

Guide to Guitars for Beginners

When you don’t really know anything about the guitar, finding an instrument that will make learning fun is a pretty tall order - so we've put this guide together for anyone buying their first acoustic guitar or for those buying a beginner guitar for someone else.

The Top 12 Best Powered PA Speakers

The Highest Rated Powered PA Speakers

Powered Speakers, also known as active speakers, are loudspeakers with amplifiers built into their enclosures. This combination results in improved versatility, making powered speakers more and more popular among musicians, sound engineers, and DJs.

The Best Mic Stands for Stage and Studio

Microphone Stands

This guide is designed to help anyone who wants to get some new full-sized microphone stands either for stage or studio use.

The Best Guitar Straps - Acoustic, Electric & Classical

The Best Guitar Straps - Gearank

Here we feature the best guitar straps for electric and acoustic guitars. We also include top rated strap button adapters and classical guitar straps, to better accommodate different guitar types.

The Best Multitrack Recorders - Digital

multitrack digital recorder

This guide is about digital multitrack recorders that have everything you need built-in for recording, mixing, and producing music - if you're looking for handheld multitrack recorders then please read our Handheld Recorder Guide.

The Best Microphone Pop Filters + Budget Option

The Highest Rated Microphone Pop Filters

For this 2019 update, we have analyzed nearly 10,000 review and rating sources to bring you the highest rated pop filters available on the market today. This includes new entries and consistent favorites with high reviews.

The Best Nylon / Classical Guitar Strings

The Best Nylon / Classical Guitar Strings

Nylon has been the material of choice for flamenco, classical, and many fingerstyle guitarists for decades. First introduced as an alternative to the gut strings used prior to the material’s introduction, nylon has proven itself to be a best option due to its affordability and resilience.

The Best Stage Monitors Under $500 - Powered & Passive

Guide to the Highest Rated Powered & Passive Stage Monitors

Stage monitors allow performers to hear themselves and others on stage. Without stage or floor monitors it can be very difficult to stay in time and sing in tune.

This guide features the highest rated powered and passive options currently on the market.

The Best Guitar Amps Under $500 - Combo

The Highest Rated Combo Guitar Amps Under $500

The sub $500 price range is the sweet spot where you can find many guitar amps with good value and overall quality. Here we look at the best of these market leading combo amplifiers, to help you in your pursuit of great guitar tone and functionality.

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

Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps

A battery powered guitar amp 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 is a valuable tool for guitarists. 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.

The Best Small / Low Watt Tube Amps - Combo & Amp Heads

Low Watt Tube Amps

The days of your average guitarist’s set-up including a full-stack Marshall or a giant Fender tube amp are long gone. As audio equipment has advanced, the demand for ever increasing levels power from an amp has decreased proportionally. You just don’t need a huge amp to fill a venue with sound anymore.

The Best Guitar Amps Under $100 - Combo Models

Budget Guitar Amps

Guitar amps are an integral part to your sound, but a lot of musicians just can’t justify dropping hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on a guitar amp. If you’re looking to get a great tone for as cheap as possible, check out our list of this guide.

The Best Classical & Nylon String Guitars - $140 to $1000

The Best Classical & Nylon String Guitars

This guide covers all the main types of guitars with nylon strings including classical, flamenco, hybrid and both acoustic and acoustic-electric models.

It also provides advice on topics such as Tonewoods, Scale Length, Nut Width, Action / String Height, Acoustic and Acoustic-Electric options.

The Best Cheap Guitar Amps Under $200

Budget Guitar Amps

This guide is designed to help anyone who is currently looking for a good inexpensive guitar amplifier. We have only included combo amps which you can take out of the box and start using immediately without having to buy an additional speaker cabinet.

The Best Earplugs For Musicians - Singers, Drummers, Guitarists & More

Earplugs for Musicians

Hearing protection is probably one of the most overlooked types of gear for musicians. Long term exposure to the average concert at around 100db or more can permanently damage our eardrums, reducing our ability to hear. Even worse than hearing loss is developing tinnitus, which is a constant ringing of the ear that doesn't go away.

The Best Modeling Amps for Guitar - Up To $1000

Modeling Guitar Amplifiers

We have decided to sift through what's available to present you with the best modeling amps for guitar, divided into price brackets that fit the average budget. In addition, we've included important features and noteworthy feedback from both experts and users, to give you a good overview of how well each one is received.

The Best Solid State Guitar Amps - $90 to $1000

The Best Solid State Amps

Solid state amplifiers offer a lot of advantages and there are a ton that sound amazing. They’re (generally) cheaper, more durable, don’t have to warm up/cool down, and are significantly easier to transport than most tube amps.

The Best Electric Guitars for Beginners - Full Size & Short Scale

Beginner Electric Guitars and Bundles

The quality of your electric guitar will greatly affect your overall playing experience. Bad ones will make practice painful, boring or both - ultimately leading to disinterest. On the other hand, good guitars will make playing more enjoyable, resulting in more productive practice and fun jamming.

The Best MIDI Pad Controllers

MIDI Controller Pads

For the modern electronic musician, performing goes beyond playing keyboard MIDI controllers and tweaking knobs. Songs arranged in the studio can now be performed and altered live. Sounds, samples or even entire sections of music can be triggered with the help of dedicated MIDI pad controllers assigned to specific functions in a DAW.

The Best Cheap Electric Guitars Under $200

The Best Cheap Electric Guitars

This guide is primarily meant to help beginner guitarists in getting good affordable guitars. And it is also a good resource for experienced players who want a cheap guitar to modify and experiment with.

The Best USB Microphones for Recording

The Best USB Microphones

The number one barrier to entry towards having a great microphone is that most of them require an audio interface for recording. Major manufacturers now offer some of their models as USB mics with built in analog-to-digital converters to address the needs of people who simply want a good microphone for recording without an audio interface.

The Best Electric Guitars Under $500 - Solidbody

Best Electric Guitars Under $500

For solidbody electric guitars, the $200 to $500 price range is where things start to get serious - quality is good enough for mid to advanced level players, while the prices remain beginner friendly. This guide aims to help you narrow down the options to only the most popular and top rated ones, so you can confidently and conveniently pick what suits your playing style.

The Best Drum Practice Pads - Single/Snare + Set

Drum Practice Pads

If you're serious about improving or maintaining your drumming skills, practice shouldn't end the moment you step away from your drum kit. Training with drum practice pads keeps your skills sharp while helping you notice small things to improve because you're no longer bombarded with high decibel sounds.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Cases & Gig Bags

The Best Acoustic Guitar Cases and Gig Bags

While good guitar cases are not cheap, investing in them will save you more in the long run, especially when considering the cost of repair or replacement. More importantly, you can't put a price on peace of mind, so please heed our advice - do not skimp on your acoustic guitar's protection and storage.

The Best Drum Machines - Electronic Hardware

The Best Hardware Drum Machines

While the widespread availability of software emulations has made it more convenient for musicians to sequence beats, there has been a recent rise of musicians using hardware drum machines for studio and live use.

The Best Cheap Bass Guitars - Electric Under $300

The Best Budget Basses

Here we look at top rated 4-string bass guitars in the sub $300 price range, great for students of the instrument and for guitarists who want to have an affordable bass on hand for recording. Be it for yourself, or for a special someone who's learning the ropes, these bass guitars are market proven to provide satisfactory sound, performance and value.

The Best Bass Preamp Pedals + Rackmount

The Best Bass Guitar Preamps

Looking for a portable and affordable alternative to your expensive and bulky bass amplifiers? Or are you simply looking for a way to improve your sound? If yes, then this gear guide is for you, featuring the best bass preamps available.

The Best USB Audio Interfaces - 4 / 8 / 16 Channel

The Best USB Audio Interfaces

As you take your home recording to the next level, you will outgrow your 2-channel audio interface. This guide is designed to help you with this expansion, featuring the best stand-alone audio interfaces that have 4 to 18 channels.

NB: We have separate guides devoted to 2-Channel and iPad audio interfaces.

The Best Looper Pedals - Compact & Multiswitch

Loop Pedals

Looper pedals have become indispensable to musicians, thanks to their ability to create clones which you can use as virtual backup musicians and singers. Here we look at what the market considers as the best looper pedals, divided into two categories - Compact & Multiswitch.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Amps - Under 50W, 100W & 100W+

Acoustic Guitar Amps

If you have an acoustic guitar with pickups you need a specialized acoustic amp if you want to bring out the natural tone of your instrument.

These amps aim to be transparent so they are also good at amplifying vocals - this means that many of these amps are also designed to work well as small PA systems.

The Best In Ear Monitors for Musicians - Wireless FCC Compliant

Wireless In-Ear Monitors

Hearing yourself well can often spell the difference between mediocre and inspiring performances.

In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) let you do just that, by feeding personalized sound directly to your ears while blocking out ambient sounds on stage.

The Best Channel Strips Under $500

Great sub-$500 channel strips

Channel strips provide a high degree of control over the input signal before it reaches your audio interface by providing better mic preamps and more control such as compressor / limiters to prevent exceeding the input limits on your interface.

The Best Overhead Mics For Drums - Matched Pairs

Setting up Overhead Drum Mics

While many of us are infatuated with gear, your sound when recording is only as good as the equipment you use to record. Finding the best overhead drum mics can be a challenge, so rather than go in blind check out this guide.

Best Acoustic Preamp Pedal Guide

Best Acoustic Preamp Pedal Guide

Preamps for acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments are great for bringing out a more natural and clear sound. Every kind of acoustic pickup has it's trade-offs and good preamps help emphasize the acoustic tone, add warmth and make the sound more realistic as well as reducing any unwanted frequencies.

The Best DI Boxes

DI boxes

The main job of a DI Box is to convert your instrument lead (1/4" TS) signal 'directly' into the microphone (balanced 3-pin XLR) inputs that a mixing console typically has. Unlike a simple headphone adaptor (1/4" to 1/8") it has to convert the differences in impedance and voltage between the two sides of the connection.

The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors

The Highest Rated Guitar Muliteffects Pedals

Demand for multi-effects continue to rise, thanks to their ever improving quality and practicality. In line with this, we present you with what the market considers as the best guitar multi effects pedals, covering everything from beginner friendly compact units, to advanced flagship models

The Best Volume Pedals for Guitar

Volume pedal on pedalboard

A volume pedal is a must-have piece of gear for many guitarists, facilitating control over gain as well as advanced techniques like volume swells. However, because there are so many options available it can be hard to figure out the best volume pedal for a given situation.

The Best Keyboard Amps - $90 to $1000

The Highest Rated Keyboard Amps

Keyboard amplifiers tend to be quite versatile with many able to amplify a wide range of input sources from keyboards and synths to vocals, electronic drums, acoustic guitars, bass, drum machines and backing machines. Some of the multi-channel options can even be used as small PA systems ideal for practice sessions or performing in small venues.

The Best Acoustic Electric Ukuleles up to $300

Acoustic-Electric Ukuleles

The ukulele has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in recent years. It’s trademark bouncy and uplifting tone has proven to be an asset to the modern singer-songwriter as well as acoustic focused musicians, and judging by the last few years its prevalence won’t diminish anytime soon.

The Best Concert Ukuleles - Up To $300

Concert Ukulele

The ukulele has experienced a resurgence in popularity, and with that has come a huge wave of people trying to figure out which ukulele is right for them. If this sounds like you, check out our recommendations,

The Best XLR Cables

XLR Cable

Balanced XLR Cables are used to connect microphones and other balanced output music gear into mixing consoles. They continue to be the industry standard for both recording and live performance because they can shield your signal from interference, and transfer your audio over longer distances.

The Best Live Vocal Mics - $40 to $1000

Live singing microphones

This gear guide is focused on the best microphones for singing and rapping live as opposed to mics best suited to speaking conferences or making announcements over PA systems.

All of these mics are great for vocals, but some can also be used on instruments, and some are also handy studio mics.

The Best 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

Whether you're a pianist looking for something in the MIDI controller arena, or you're looking for a DAW controller and want a full sized keybed, this updated guide has you covered.

The Best Condenser Mics - $100 to $1000

The Best Condenser Mics - $100 to $1000

Over a century after it was first introduced, the Condenser Mic continues to be an indispensable tool for music production, be it in studios or live performance settings.

Here we look at market favorites, divided into four popular price ranges, to better help you find a good quality condenser mic that fits your budget.

The Best Practice Amps / Small Guitar Amps

The Best Practice Amps / Small Guitar Amps on Gearank.com

A reality of being a guitarist is that you can’t always play at full volume. If you live with other people, especially in an apartment complex, you have to keep your volume at a reasonable level. Thankfully, there’s a solution available: practice amps. To find the best practice amp for your situation, check out our recommendations.

The Best Studio Mics For Vocals - $100 to $1000

The Best Studio Mics For Vocals on Gearank.com

This gear guide will help you find the right studio recording microphones for your budget and needs.

The focus is on top rated condenser and dynamic mics that are currently being used to record vocals in home recording and professional studios.

The Best Reverb Pedals for Guitar

The Highest Rated Guitar Reverb Pedals

Here we present you with a detailed look into what the market considers as the best reverb pedals, along with important pointers to keep in mind while choosing which one to get.

The Best Cheap MIDI Keyboards Under $100

The Best Cheap MIDI Keyboards Under $100

MIDI controllers have been fundamental tools for producing music due to their versatility and portability. They provide control over a computer software sequencers and virtual synthesizers, as well as external sound modules. This guide covers highly rated affordable keyboard controllers, with options ranging from 25 to 49 keys.

The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

49 Key controllers hit the sweet spot for many musicians and music producers. They are much more of a playable instrument than their smaller 25-Key siblings, yet still compact enough to be reasonably portable and not take up too much valuable space in a home recording studio.

The Best 25 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

The Best 25 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

The great thing about 25 key MIDI controllers is their portability and the small amount of space they take up. They're not designed to replace a full size keyboard, but rather to offer convenience - that said some of the higher-end options are packed with an impressive range of features these days.

The Best Studio Monitor Stands - Desk & Floor

The Best Studio Monitor Stands - Desk & Floor

To make the most out of your studio monitors, you'll want to pair them up with top quality stands that are designed for studio use. In addition to positioning and securing your speakers, these stands prevent cabinet vibration from transferring to your floor or desk, which results in improved sonic clarity.

The Best Travel Guitars - Electric & Acoustic

The Best Travel Guitars - Electric & Acoustic

Here we look at the best travel guitars on the market today, covering both acoustic and electric models, all of which are smaller and lighter to make your journey more comfortable.

Best Vocal Effects Pedal / Processor Guide

The Best Vocal Effects Pedal / Processor Guide

From subtle reverb and compression, to robotic and alien sounds, vocal effects let you improve, tweak and even transform your voice. At first, this was achieved through post processing, but technology has made it possible for on-the-spot effects application and adjustments while performing - even realtime pitch correction is now possible...

The Best Bass Amps - Combo Under $500

The Best Bass Amps - Combo Under $500

65 combo bass amps analyzed for this guide covering all of the information that you’ll need in order to make an informed purchase, and we’ve recommended some great amps in case you don’t feel like scrolling through scores of different options trying to figure out which one will work best for your situation.

The Best Headphones for Recording / Tracking - Closed Back

The Best Headphones for Recording / Tracking - Closed Back

Closed headphones are essential for any recording setup to prevent spill into live microphones while tracking. These recommended headphones are all circumaural and are designed specifically for use in recording rather than for standard consumer applications, although audiophiles will appreciate their high level of performance.

The Best Guitar Compressor Pedals

The Best Guitar Compressor Pedals

Compressor pedals are the unsung heroes of many musicians’ rigs. This type of pedal is used to remove a portion of a signal’s dynamic range. Depending on how you set the pedal, it either makes quiet notes louder or loud notes quieter (or both).

The Best Cheap Ukuleles Under $50 - Perfect for Beginners

The Best Cheap Ukuleles Under $50 - Perfect for Beginners

Here we look at what the market considers as the best cheap ukes you can get for under $50. We've included bundled packages that have extras like carry bags and tuners which help make them suitable for beginners.

The Best Acoustic Electric Guitars - Under $300 & Under $500

The Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars

Anyone who has ever gigged with an acoustic guitar can tell you what a lifesaver acoustic pickups are. The days where guitarists had to carefully position their instrument in front of a microphone are long gone, because acoustic guitars have become plug and play instruments.

The Best Guitar Patch Cables & Pedal Couplers

The Best Guitar Patch Cables & Pedal Couplers

A guitar rig is only as strong as its weakest link, so it pays to get the right patch cables for the job. Here we present you with what the market considers to be the best guitar patch cables, covering a variety of price ranges and bundles. Our list of recommendations includes detailed descriptions of each one, along with noteworthy feedback from real world users.

The Best Open Back Headphones for Mixing and Mastering

The Best Open Back Headphones for Mixing and Mastering

Open-back headphones are commonly identified by their vented or mesh-covered enclosed earcups. This design promotes a more natural sound that minimizes internal reflection and standing waves making them much better suited to mixing and mastering compared to closed-back headphones.

The Best Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar - $99 to $1,500

The Best Microphones for Recording Acoustic Guitar - $99 to $1,500

The acoustic guitar has long been, and continues to be, the most accessible music instrument available.

Having the right mic to record this prolific instrument is critical to a good recording setup for any musician or studio.

The Best Cheap Studio Headphones Under $100

The Best Cheap Studio Headphones Under $100

You can get some surprisingly good studio headphones for less than $100 these days, however not all types of headphones are available in this price range so we explain what the different types of headphones are and provide you with the information you need to get the best option for your situation.

The Best Dynamic Microphones - Over 30,000 Ratings!

The Best Dynamic Microphones

With their ability to handle high sound pressure levels and reject background noise, dynamic microphones continue to be vital in both live performances and recording. We have analyzed the most current reviews and ratings of the many dynamic mics on the market, to bring you a list of the top ones deserving of your consideration.

Best Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $200

The Best Cheap Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $200

We have examined over 2,300 review and rating sources in order to present you with the highest rated acoustic-electric guitars that you can buy with a budget ranging from $100 to $200.

The Best 500 Series Compressors

The Best 500 Series Compressors

This guide is for anyone looking for a new compressor for their 500 Series rack.

For this June 2018 update we expanded our short-list and examined reviews and forum comments from around the web to produce a new set of ratings for all eligible 500 series compressors.

The Best Portable Keyboards - Under $500 w/ MIDI

The Best Portable Keyboards - Under $500 with MIDI

Unlike standard MIDI keyboards, a portable keyboard has built-in speakers so you can play anytime without having to plug in additional equipment. The keyboards included in this guide have built-in speakers plus they have MIDI so you can also use them with your computer.

The Best Drum Mic Kits

Drum Microphones

As part of our June 2018 update we've expanded this guide to include smaller mic kits in addition to 7 mic kits. We made this change because although 7 mics are the minimum you need to properly mic a standard 5-piece drum set, many of our readers already have some mics and don't need a full 7 mic set.

The Best Cheap Audio Interfaces Under $200

Budget audio interfaces

Gearing up for recording has never been easier, all you need is your computer, instrument, microphone, and a good audio interface. With so many cheap audio interfaces available, we taken it upon ourselves to present you with a reliable list of current market favorites, updated for 2018.

The Best Tube Amps for Guitar - Combo $100 to $1000

Guitar Combo Tube Amps

Guitar amplifiers don't just amplify sound, they also shape and color the sound. This is especially true for tube amps, and is the reason why amps are considered as vital to tone as guitars themselves. Here we feature the best tube amps that fit the average guitarists' budget, based on actual user feedback and market sentiment.

The Best 61 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards

Guide to 61 Key MIDI controller keyboards

61-Key MIDI keyboard controllers are big enough for complex two hand playing, while still retaining compact and portable profiles. As such, they are ideal instruments for Keyboardists who are looking for a controller that can be used both in the studio and for live performances.

The Best iPad Audio Interfaces

iPad Audio Interfaces

With the right audio interface, you can turn your iPad into a full featured recording studio. Unfortunately, it can can tricky to work out which audio interfaces works best wit the iPad. So to help you find the best audio interface for your iPad, we have scoured the market for ones that actually work with the iPad and get good reviews, ratings and recommendations.

The Best Wireless Guitar Systems - All Under $500

Wireless Guitar

Getting a wireless system for your guitar can free you up from being tied to your amplifier and reduce cable clutter on stage.

We short-listed the 23 most popular systems at major online American music gear stores and examined over 4,300 sources to bring you the highest rated options on the market.

The Best Guitar Amp from the Top 10 Guitar Amp Brands

Top Ten Guitar Amp Brands

This is different to our other guitar amp guides in that we have first determined which brands have the highest average ratings via analysis of 20,403 review and rating sources, then we have selected the highest rated amp by each brand

The Best MIDI Keyboard Controllers - Up To $1000

MIDI Keyboards

As the title suggests, this list features the best of what the sub $1000 market has to offer, divided into three popular price brackets for your convenience, the sub $200, sub $500 and sub $1000. This way, you can narrow down your selection to the best ones that you can actually afford.

The Best MIDI Interfaces - $30 to $150

MIDI Interfaces

Whether you're looking to get your first good MIDI interface, or if you're looking to upgrade so you can plug more MIDI devices simultaneously into your computer, then this guide is for you. Note that many of these interfaces are class compliant so you'll also be able to use them with iOS or Linux as well as Mac and Windows.

The Best Portable Digital Audio Recorders - Handheld

Portable digital recorders

Portable audio recorders are versatile devices that are used for recording rehearsals, live shows, and field recordings.

This guide is for you if you want to purchase a recorder to capture better quality audio than you can with a phone app.

The Best Powered / Unpowered Pedalboards

Guitar Pedalboard

In addition to keeping your stompboxes organized, pedalboards address clutter, storage, gear protection and transport needs. Here we take look at which boards are considered the best by users and experts, including those with and without a built-in power supply.

Best Studio Monitors - Under $200 - Under $300 - Under $500

Studio Monitor

When you need to work on your recorded music you need to hear exactly how it sounds, warts and all.

Generally speaking, multimedia and hi-fi speakers are not suitable for the task because they tend to color the sound. This is where good studio monitors come in...

The Best Guitar Tuners: Clip On, Pedal, Rackmount & Handheld

Guitar Tuners

Whether you play Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic-Electric Guitar or Bass, we've got you covered when it comes to choosing your next tuner. In fact, we short-listed 52 tuners and analyzed over 23,000 sources to bring you what we believe is the most comprehensive guitar tuner guide currently available.

The Best Wireless Microphone System Guide - Handheld

Wireless Microphone Systems

Wireless systems are great because they free you up from being stuck in one spot.

Today's wireless systems are relatively free from interference and drop outs, so if the fear of these things happening has been holding you back then there's no longer any need to worry - just ensure you get a system with the range you need.

The Best DIY Guitar Kits - Electric - All Under $250

Electric Guitar Kits

Building your very own personalized guitar has never been this easy, thanks to DIY (Do-It-Yourself) guitar kits. Here we look at what the market considers to be the best of them, covering a good variety of guitar shapes and styles.

The Best Electronic Drum Amps / Drum Monitors

Drum Amplifiers

If you're looking for an amplifier to use with your electronic drum set then this guide will help you decide which one is best to get for your situation.

Note that there are other types of amps which can also be used with electronic drums, so read the "Things To Consider" section if you would like to know about the alternatives.

The Best Guitar Amps Under $300 - Combo

Guitar Amps Under $300

The $200 to $300 price range has some nice amps with serious tone and flexibility. Since tone quality inspires better and longer playing, and sonic versatility allows for exploration of other musical styles, these amps are ideal for first time buyers, and for experienced players who want something compact.

The Best Keyboard Workstations - Budget & Professional

Keyboard Workstations

Keyboard workstations are versatile electronic instruments that integrate a keyboard with a sound module and sequencers. They are pretty much a "studio in a box" since they let you play and record ideas right away, practical and convenient for those who perform or create original music.

The Best Keyboard Stands From $25 to $360

Keyboard Stands

A solid and reliable stand is a must not just to help with playing, but also to protect your precious keyboards and synthesizers. This article focuses on stands primarily designed for 49 key instruments and up - if you need a stand for a mini or micro keyboard then you should probably consider getting a music laptop stand or something similar.

The Best Electronic Drum Sets - Under $500, Under $1000, Under $2000

Electronic Drum Sets

We sought to make this the most comprehensive guide to electronic drums by conducting a detailed survey of the most popular and highly rated electronic kits at major online American music gear stores, which led to us short-listing 34 kits for detailed analysis for which we examined over 3,100 reviews, ratings, videos, and forum posts.

The Best Digital Pianos - Under $500 & Under $1000

Digital Pianos

There's just no replacing the feel and sound of acoustic pianos, but they are not always practical when considering real world space and budget restrictions. This is where we come in with our feature on the Best Digital Piano keyboards, featuring market favorites in the sub $1000 price range that have impressed student and professional pianists alike.

The Best Guitar Headphone Amps - $40 to $300

Guitar Headphone Amplifiers

To enjoy your instrument without testing the limits of people's noise tolerance, you'll want a good guitar headphone amplifier.

The Best Beginner Drum Sets - $399 to $559

Beginner drum sets - Pearl & Gretsch

If you go to many of the major online retailers you'll find well over 100 options priced under $750 listed in their drum set categories which can be very confusing if you're just starting out.

This guide simplifies the process of buying a beginner drum set and tells you what you need to know to avoid some of the pitfalls in buying drum kits online.

The Best Microphone Preamps - All Prices up to $1000

Mic Preamps

Stand alone mic preamps are a great way to enhance the quality and character of your microphone recordings as well as allowing you to add extra mic enabled channels to your setup. Ordinary preamps built into audio interfaces and mixing desks are usually solid performers but dedicated preamps can add that extra warmth and clarity.

The Best Cheap Microphones Under $50 - XLR & USB

With so many low quality mics in the entry-level market, getting a good one can be quite daunting. To help you out, we present you with the highest rated microphones that you can buy for under $50.

The Best Studio Headphones - An Open and Closed Case

Studio Headphones

A great pair of headphones can make all the difference in producing quality studio recordings and overall listening satisfaction. This goes especially for home recording environments where proper acoustically treated rooms are less common, often limiting the accuracy of open air speaker systems.

The Best Studio Monitor Subwoofers

Studio Monitor Subwoofers

Studio subwoofers free up your main monitors to better handle the mids and highs - the end result being better overall sound quality and clarity. This guide tells you what you need to know to add a subwoofer to your studio monitors along with a list of the best studio subwoofers currently available.

The Best Stage Pianos - All Prices up to $5000

Stage Piano

Stage pianos are great instruments built for live use by piano players. They tend to have the necessary components that a travelling musician needs. Given that they have a slimmer and more compact build, transporting and setting them up is easy.

The Best Audio Mixer Consoles - Powered & Unpowered

Mixing console

This guide is primarily focused on mixing consoles used for live sound, although some of the passive mixers we recommend also work quite well in a recording context.

The Best PA Subwoofers - Powered & Passive

PA Subwoofers

If you're a DJ, musician or live sound engineer, the first thing you will have noticed when looking for professional PA subwoofers is that the market is extremely crowded with an almost endless number of options - this guide will help you decide which subwoofer to get by showing you the highest rated ones currently available.

The Best Overdrive Pedals - $50 to $240

Overdrive Pedals

Overdrive is an incredibly useful effect. To start with, it gives you familiar rock guitar tones, from subtle grit to crunch. On more complex setups, it can be used to add girth to an already distorted sound, and give your lead the cutting boost to take your solos to the next level. If you’re looking for the best overdrive pedals, check out our recommendations!

The Best Distortion Pedals - $50 to $300

Distortion Pedals

Because distortion is such a widely used effect, most guitarists’ first pedal ends up being a distortion box. Most guitarists start out with something simple, like the famed Boss DS-1, but over time invest in a pedal with more controls and flexibility (and a higher cost).

The Best Soprano Ukuleles - Regular & Pineapple Shaped

Ukuleles

Just like any other instrument, ukuleles come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. And in order to find the best ukulele for you, you have to know what it kind of you tone you’re looking for. So if you’re not sure which ukulele is going to work best for you, check out our recommendations!

The Best Budget Guitar Pickups - Singles & Sets Under $200

Electric Guitar Pickups

Guitar pickups impact your sound in a big way, and this is why many who are looking to improve their tone choose to replace their pickups. Here we present you with the best guitar pickups that you can get for under $200, covering both single coil and humbucker size.

The Best Synthesizer Keyboards - Up To $1000

Synthesizer Keyboards

This guide presents a range of synthesizers for those who are interested in choosing their first hardware synth and for musicians who are looking for a unit to add to their collection.

The Best Guitar Humidifiers & Case Hygrometers

Guitar Humidifiers & Hygrometers

Humidifying your guitar is an important part of maintaining your instrument. So to protect your precious instrument from damage, you’re going to want to find the best guitar humidifier for your situation. Check out our recommendations to see which will work best for you!

The Best Guitar Stands - Acoustic, Electric & Bass

Guitar Stands

Guitar stands are kind of like a belt. They’re cheap, and you’re not going to see a lot of people debating the pros and cons of different models on forums, but if you don’t get a good one you’ll end up regretting it. So rather than trying to search through scores of different models through online retailers, check out our recommendations.

The Best Drum Sticks + Brushes & Mallets

Drum Sticks, Mallets and Brushes

Finding the best drum sticks can be a challenge. There’s so much that goes into how they’re designed, and if you don’t get the right type for your needs and skill level you’re not going to get the tone or response you want.

The Best Bass Guitar Strings - 4 String Sets

Bass Guitar Strings

Finding the best bass guitar strings can be a challenge. With so many different materials and approaches to bass string design, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which is going to work the best for you and your style of playing.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings - 6 String Sets

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

When it comes to acoustic instruments, a huge part of your tone is decided by the strings you use. The gauge, the material they’re made from, and their design can all transform your tone; for better or worse. Make the most out of your instrument, equip it with the best sounding acoustic guitar strings - check out our recommendations!

The Best Drum Thrones - Round & Saddle

The Best Drum Thrones

Your playing experience is decided just as much by your accessories as it is by your actual instrument, and there’s no better example of this than drum thrones. If you’re looking for the best drum throne, check out our recommendations!

The Best Harmonicas for Blues - Top Blues Harps

Harmonica for Blues

Harmonicas have gained various nicknames, including blues harp, tin sandwich, pocket piano and mouth harp. Its handheld and rectangular design, along with its ability to produce a range of tones, are the reasons for why the harmonica has earned these names

The Best Chorus Pedals - All Price Ranges

Chorus Pedals

Chorus is one of the most pervasive effects in the industry, used in dozens of the most famous records ever released. However, like other modulation effects the factors that decide a chorus effect’s overall quality are shrouded in technical jargon. So rather than go in blind, take a look through the pedals we’ve collected.