15 Best Mini Guitar Amps: The Ultimate List

Mini guitar amps run the gamut from the humble headphone amplifier to fully-featured modeling amps, capable of reproducing any era of guitar history. Discover the best mini guitar amps to encourage more practice, unlock creativity, and have more fun playing guitar.

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Mini Amplifiers vs. Mini Guitar Amp Heads

Not to be confused with mini guitar amp heads, which tend to be giggable, full-fat amplifiers that require  speaker cabinets to be heard, these little tone machines range from the one-watt, battery-powered desktop amp to full-fledged modeling amps, with headphone amps and Bluetooth amps falling somewhere in between.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from these is that they're fun. Even if you don't find your ideal guitar tone, messing around with these is just enjoyable for any tone chaser or recording hobbyist.

Choosing a Portable Guitar Amp

While combo practice amps tend to be fairly portable, they usually require power from the wall to function. True portability is only possible when you can use battery power wherever you are. This list focuses specifically on battery-powered mini guitar amps, and even includes a rechargeable option.

Since the concept behind these isn't earth-shaking power, running them on batteries is possible, which ultimately will encourage practice everywhere, including dorms, hotel rooms, backstage, and so on.

Additionally, amplifiers using normal mains power have heavy transformers in them which, together with the speaker, help account for their weight. Even loaded up with batteries, these amps are super light.

When choosing between these mini amps and a traditional practice amp, decide what your goals are. If your goal is encourage more practice, a mini amp may be the right choice for you. They're not loud enough to annoy anyone and most of them can be tossed into a gig bag.

That said, headroom is non-existant on most of these, so feel is certainly lacking. Moving up to a small combo amp will increase headroom and speaker response, which will help you develop better playing feel in the long run. Of course, you probably won't be toting them along with you everywhere you go, so it very much depends on where you are in your process.

Access to different models and voices is a strength of several of these models, so if you're sampling sounds or sketching out ideas, you might opt for one of these versus even a decent, single-voice combo amp.

Your main takeaway is this: These are primarily fun amplifiers, but they can be enormously functional depending on your needs.

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