Best Mini Amps of 2020 – Complete Review

There is nothing better than plugging in your amp and rocking out!

That is, until the neighbors complain about the noise or your family gets a headache. This is where mini amps come in – to allow you to do your thing without any noise constraints!

Have a look in the following sections for the best mini amps on the market, plus some helpful hints regarding how to distinguish them from amps that aren't worth your time and the pros/cons of using mini amps.

Comparison Chart of the Best Mini Amps

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Fender Frontman 10G

  • Best Mini Amp overall
  • Extensive controls for overdrive, volume, bass, treble, and gain
  • Includes 2 band EQ, compatible with media player or headphones
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Boss Katana-Mini

  • Includes tape-style delay for creating a warm atmosphere
  • Highly versatile, has three amp types (clean, brown and crunch)
  • Aux input (smartphone connection) and 7-watt output with 4” speaker
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Marshall MS2 Battery-powered Micro Guitar Amp

  • Best mini amp for the money
  • Extremely lightweight, great for playing on-the-go
  • 1-watt fun size mini amp with controls for volume and tone
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Orange Crush Mini 3W Micro Amp

  • Best Mini Bass Amp
  • Includes one channel
  • Has controls for gain and volume
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Monoprice 611705 5W 1x8 Guitar Tube Amp

  • Best Mini Tube Amp
  • Increased dynamic range
  • Even-order harmonic distortion
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Roland CUBE Street

  • Has both EQ and various effects
  • Includes inputs for mic and guitar
  • Best Mini Amp for Acoustic Guitar
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What Makes an Amp Mini?

A mini-amp is a tiny amplifier that sometimes can be as big as your hand. These highly portable devices pack the main features of a full-sized amplifier into a travel-friendly casing in order to allow you to enjoy a quick-playing session on-the-go or without disturbing others due to high volumes. 

A mini-amp can be rather quiet for a gigging session, but not loud enough to give you a headache – somewhere between 1 watt and 10 watts will allow you enjoy your hobby without blowing the windows out. Additionally, they are much more affordable and great for practicing. 

When Should I Use a Mini Amp?

Mini amps are quite versatile, and they can be used in various situations. Here are some common ideas and uses for mini amplifiers:

Practicing at Home

Most people choose mini amps because they are great for practicing at home without all the windows shaking. They can also be paired with headphones for a completely silent session without disturbing family members, or you can even choose 1-watt mini amps, which will allow you to play in your bedroom. Mini amps are great for playing in your home for yourself or your family.  

Having a Small Session With Friends

They are highly portable, so you can easily grab your mini amp and go over to your friend’s house for a small party. They are powerful enough to fill the room with lovely, clear tones, but not enough to disturb your neighbors. 

Having a Small Gig

Some of them, for instance, 5-10 watts mini amps, are great for gigs as well. They are loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to disturb other people. They can be used in small venues for outside without being covered by background noises.  

Characteristics of Our Favorite Mini Amps

Here are some features that make for a great option:

Highly Portable

First of all, why would you want to buy a mini amp that is quite bulky? The primary purpose of a mini amp is to be portable, tiny sized, and not to worry about space. A great feature of our favorite mini amps is their micro design, which can be easily attached to your belt through belt clips, and you can even walk around and play with no worries. 

Clean Sounds

Another prerequisite for a great mini amp is as little dirt as possible. Despite their tiny sizes and low outputs, the sounds need to be clear and high-quality in order to have a good performance, so we make sure they are all on the spot!

Versatility

Lastly, yet quite important is versatility; this means that, while they are mini-sized, mini amps still have a few controls to shape your tunes, such as tone, volume, gain, overdrive, and bass. Thus, we did our best to choose the products with lots of customization options in our list below. 

Review of the Best Mini Amps

Now that you know what to look out for in the best mini amp, let’s take a look at some of the top options on the market.

Best Overall:
Fender Frontman 10G

Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier

PROS

  • Wide variety of controls
  • Includes a 6” speaker
  • 10 watts output with a 6” speaker
  • High quality and powerful output of 10 watts
  • Heavy bass response due to closed-back design
  • Can be paired with headphones or media player/CD

CONS

  • No adjustment for mids
  • Inconsistent quality control
  • Reverb would be a nice addition

What Recent Buyers Report 

This mini amp has great sound, with decent overdrive and loads of volume. It is perfect for quiet practicing, and it has something to offer to musicians of all levels. It feels sturdy and well-built, and, on top of it, it is also extremely affordable. Perfect gear to carry around wherever you need!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender mini amp is an outstanding choice. It is intuitive and easy to control and includes simple knobs for gain, volume, and treble/bass for frequency shaping. Additionally, it has a clean or overdrive switch. It is an exceptionally high-quality unit, and it has that classic Fender vibe.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you want to practice in silence or you want a mini amp best for studio recording or rehearsal, Fender outdid themselves trying to provide you with the mini amp you need. It is highly recommended to all guitarists – whether a beginner or not, the Fender mini amp has something to offer.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Fender mini amp is not a beginner’s toy. It is perfect for any level due to the high quality of the sounds and numerous controls, whether you want to have a small party at a friend’s house or have a practice session. The quality is outstanding!

Runner-up:
Boss Katana-Mini

BOSS Katana Compact 7-Watt Guitar Amplifier (KTN-Mini)

PROS

  • Tape-style delay for creating a warm ambiance
  • Analog circuitry and three-band analog tone stack
  • 7-watt output and 4” speaker, delay effect and 3-band EQ
  • Can be connected to a smartphone through aux input and headphones
  • Highly versatile and well-built, with three modes (clean, crunch and brown)

CONS

  • High price tag for some
  • Does not have reverb
  • The clean channel distorts quite early

What Recent Buyers Report

This mini amp works so well it is mind-blowing trying to understand how such a mini-sized, battery-powered device can reach such high standards in terms of quality and sound. All you need to do is play one note, and it will bring a smile to your face in no time!

Why it Stands Out to Us

If for some reason our first selection was not for you, the Boss Katana is a strong competitor and offers complementary features. With three amp styles, it is difficult not to find exactly what you enjoy most. Additionally, the analog circuitry is a great addition to this high-quality product.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a musician with a critical ear for tones, this mini amp is specially designed for your taste. The controls are astonishing, the product is well-built, and it is a perfect asset for both beginners and pros, although it is a bit on the spicy side in terms of money.

Bottom Line

Overall, it is impossible to hate this mini amp once you try it. Unlike other options on the market, the Boss mini amp is exquisite, perfect for rehearsals and soloing; the volume is ideal for its purpose and all controls are clean, nice, and extremely accurate with a wide spectrum.

Marshall MS2 Battery-Powered Micro Guitar Amplifier

PROS

  • Great quality and sturdy
  • Can be paired with headphones
  • Classic fashionable Marshall looks
  • Switchable clean/overdrive channels
  • Extremely tiny, portable 1-watt mini amp
  • Great for practicing and high-quality sounds

CONS

  • 1 watt is quite low
  • Slightly overpriced for its features
  • Only for practicing in silence (not for parties or gigs)

What Recent Buyers Report

This mini amp has the perfect ratio between size and quality to make anyone feel like a real star, without giving others a headache! It is high-quality, sounds are on the low side (1 watt), although it works great. It is perfect for children or anyone who wants a perfectly balanced clean sound.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This tiny Marshall mini amp stands out from the crowd for its sweet, minimalistic features. Although a bit on the pricey side for its size and features, it is an excellent practice mini amp – and although it is small, the sounds are clear and high quality. In other words, it does the job pretty well!

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re into chilling nights playing guitar next to the fireplace to the delight of your family, you will find this mini amp your perfect companion. It is not loud enough to fuel any of your gigs, but neither are any of the mini amps. For practicing or an evening strum, this mini amp is great!

Bottom Line

Overall, if you really want a tiny mini amplifier, you will find this Marshall an adorable fun size. Whether you want a cozy atmosphere with your family or you need to practice, this amp is the perfect companion, offering you clean, high-quality sound.

Orange Crush Mini 3-Watt Micro Amp - Orange

PROS

  • Great for single coils
  • Highly portable and saves space
  • Anywhere from clean to super high gain
  • Extremely tiny mini-amp of 3 watts output
  • High-quality, can give nice bluesy overdrive
  • Micro 3-watt amplifier with headphone output

CONS

  • Decent volumes have a bit of dirt
  • Not the best option for music playback
  • Does not sound so good with humbuckers

What Recent Buyers Report

This mini amp is great for a quick strum of your guitar whenever you want. It goes from clean to high gain, and the tone controls can adjust from boxy mid-range tones to more modern, although the vintage tones sound the best with this mini amp. It can also touch some really nice bluesy overdrive!

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you need a microamp ready to be taken everywhere, then this is the real winner. This Orange micro amp has a power output of 3 watts, and it can be paired with headphones for quiet practice. Additionally, it has only one channel and comes with controls for volume and gain.

Who Will Use This Most

If you travel around a lot and space is an issue, this micro amp is the perfect amplifier; its minute size allows you to take it with you wherever your heart desires. It is tiny, perfect for playing in the family room. Great controls allow for high-quality sounds, though!

Bottom Line

If you need a tiny amplifier to take with you on your travels or have a quick song, this Orange mini amp is a great choice. The tone-shaping capabilities are truly surprising for such a small unit. It is also an extremely affordable amp and offers great value for your purchase.

Monoprice 611705 5-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier - Tan/Beige with Celestion Super 8 Inch Speaker, 12AX7 Preamp, Versatile and Durable For All Electric Guitars

PROS

  • Low input for easy overdrive
  • High input gives more headroom and volume
  • Well-balanced mids, highs, and a meaty bottom end
  • Smooth, buttery sounds with even-order harmonic distortion

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • Only one tone knob
  • Takes a long time to warm up (around 4 hours)

What Recent Buyers Report

This mini amp is genuinely glowing. The tubes are highly responsive, the fit and finish are way beyond anything else you can get within the same price range, and the stock sounds are overwhelming! You can also easily keep clean, usable tones with loud settings. Definitely a must-have!

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’re looking for the best mini tube amp, you’re in the right place. With an output of 5 watts and an 8-inch Celestion speaker, this tiny device gives you warm buttery sounds which punch right through the mix. It has a classic design and excellent, yet simple to use controls for tonal purity.

Who Will Use This Most

Highly recommended for tube amps lovers, this one is a great, surprising choice that can faithfully simulate the sound qualities of a full-sized one. If you haven’t tried a full-sized tube amp before, this is the perfect moment to give it a go at an affordable price with the highest quality!

Bottom Line

This high-quality mini amp is our favorite tube amplifier. It is not only coming at a bargain, but it also offers exceptionally high-quality stock sounds. The tubes are also of high quality, which means less costly maintenance. It is loud enough to provide you with the outstanding playing experience you deserve.

Best Mini Amp for Acoustic Guitar:
Roland CUBE Street

Roland CUBE-ST Street Battery-Powered 5-Watt Stereo Amplifier

PROS

  • Includes reverb effect
  • High quality, clean notes
  • Great battery life (6/7 hours)
  • Highly versatile digital effects
  • Extremely durable and sturdy build
  • 5-watt highly portable mini amp with 2 channels

CONS

  • Not so great for vocals
  • Amp modeling not so great
  • Not ideal for acoustic guitar

What Recent Buyers Report

This mini amp is a great device to use in professional settings. It is crystal clear, includes good quality effects, and the volume is loud enough to be heard even if you’re playing on the street, but not so loud to be a public nuisance. The design is convenient and simple.

Why it Stands Out to Us

More on the professional side, this great mini-amp of 5 watts is all you need if you want high tonal clarity and long battery life. The overall quality is outstanding, and the digital effects offer a versatile range of sounds, perfect for any musician. The tones are clear and pure.

Who Will Use This Most

This mini amp is great for professional use. If you are a music teacher, you will be impressed with the tonal clarity of this mini amp. It is clear enough for teaching, and you can hear all the notes cleanly. It also includes a great variety of digital effects. It also works perfectly for gigging on the street!

Bottom Line

Overall, if you are a music teacher or a musician frequently playing on the street, this mini amp offers you all the qualities you need to excel. Tonal clarity, durable design, and included effects will be of great help in your future career; this amp is certainly built to impress.

Pros and Cons of Mini Amps

Although mini amps are quite ideal for some situations, this does not make them all mighty. Here’s a short list of pros and cons of mini amps:

Pros

Great for Quiet Practicing  

These products can be easily paired with headphones or go for low output ones for bedroom sessions.

More Affordable Than a Full-Size Amp  

If you are a beginner, a mini size amp will allow you to practice all you want, without breaking the bank.

Great to Try Out Other Amps  

Most full-version amps have mini sizes, too, so if you decide to switch to another brand or type of amp (such as a tube), you can go for this budget-friendly option before buying a more expensive full-size amp.

Portable  

You can easily carry these amps around with you since they are lightweight; great for traveling or small spaces.

Cons

Not Ideal for Live Performers

Not suitable for gigs or loud performances – a full-size amp has more features and controls.

Conclusion

Overall, we believe that a mini amplifier is an essential gear for any musicians out there. They allow you to practice as often as you want in the comfort of your house without blowing away all the windows. They are also budget-friendly, and our top recommendations are surely packing some nice, high-quality features.