We live in a time where technology is going wireless, but this convenience factor has until recently been reserved for phones and computers.
What about guitarists and our amplifiers?
Thankfully, the technology behind battery powered guitar amplifiers has gotten much more sophisticated and practical in the last couple of years.
Whether you’re looking for a wireless amp to practice with at home, or a busking level amp to take outdoors when an outlet isn’t in sight, there is an amp on this list for you.
Let’s explore the best battery powered guitar amplifiers available on the market it 2021.
Snapshot: Top 5 Battery Powered Amplifiers in 2021
- Boss Katana Mini 7 – Best for Electric Guitar Practice
- Orange Crush Mini – Best Budget Option
- Joyo MA-10 – Best for Bass
- Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge
- Roland Cube Street EX – Best High End Option/Best Overall
Picking Out an Awesome Battery Powered Guitar Amp
Guitar amplifiers require a substantial amount of power, therefore they need to be powered by a wall outlet. This allows the amp to be played louder and to sound better.
However, using a battery powered amp has it’s time and place. Practice amps, whether it be at home or on the road, can be much more convenient if they’re battery powered and the don’t have to be as loud to achieve their goal. Outdoor gigs are notoriously difficult for running power, so an appropriately sized battery amp would be ideal here too. And finally, having a battery powered amp is also helpful if the power goes out at your local pub.
The show must go on!
When you’re picking out the best battery powered amp for you, the most important thing to consider is what you plan on using it for. The kinds of battery powered amps designed for practice won’t be suitable for gigs, and vice versa.
You should consider what kind of instruments are going to be played through them. Some amps are designed just for guitars, while others can practically amplify a small band.
For this list I searched for amps that would work for a wide array of gigging instruments, from electric guitar, to acoustic guitar, and bass. I wanted to include amps for every type of use, whether it be for practice or for gigging. Finally, I included amps for just about every budget.
The Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps In 2021
1. Boss Katana Mini 7 – Best for Electric Guitar Practice
- Great Katana tone in a highly portable amp
The Katana series of amplifiers from Boss are impressive in terms of their sound quality and bang for buck value, and the Mini 7 lives up to that reputation. This little amp is battery powered and delivers tones that make home practice fun.
The Boss Katana Mini 7 is the smallest amp from the Katana series. It packs 7 Watts of power and includes a single 4-inch speaker. It can be powered with a 9V adaptor or four AA Batteries, making it an ideal choice for hotel practice or songwriting sessions with your friends.
It even has an AUX input to pair the amp up with your MP3 player or smart phone. It has three different amp voices that are surprisingly lifelike considering the amp’s size, as well as a built in tape delay.
THe Katana Mini has fewer controls than the other Katana amps, which is not a surprise considering that there is simply less space to put controls in. So, Boss has given you the bare essentials here, but those essentials go a long way. There is a switch that lets you choose between three amplifier voices: Clean, Crunch, and Brown. From there, you dial in the Gain.
There is a three-band EQ that lets you fine tune the voice of the amp. Finally, the tape delay has two controls: Time and Level, which control the delay repeat time and how loud the effect is.
What truly sets the Katana Mini apart from other amplifiers in its class is the fact that while the Katana has it’s compromises, it doesn’t sound like it. Though maybe not loud or bold enough for use on stage, the Katana will easily deliver a satisfying practice experience and could arguable be worthy of recording with the right microphone in front of it.
The speaker size is just large enough to give some sense of amp-like response, but it will inevitably sound smaller than your full size amps. However, the amp models sound brilliant and organic, especially the Brown setting, which delivers EVH level gain. And the Delay sounds like a proper analog delay that only Boss is capable of delivering.
- Type: Analog
- Power:7 Watts (4 x AA Batteries)
- Channels: Three Amp Voices
- Speakers: 1 x 4”
- Weight: 3 Pounds
- Features: Delay, Battery Powered, Amp modeling
Final Thoughts on the Boss Katana Mini 7
Every model from the Katana series is built with a purpose and the Boss Katana Mini 7 fits the miniature, battery powered practice amp to perfection. Just because you need a practice amp doesn’t mean you need a toy. You need something with quality in a small enclosure that runs on batteries, and this is the amp to do it.
2. Orange Crush Mini – Best Budget Battery Powered Guitar Amp
- 3-watt battery powered amp for Orange tone on the go!
So what if you want a mini amplifier to practice on that can still be taken out to a small gig? While most battery powered guitar amps are reserved for practice, the Orange Crush Mini can connect to any speaker cabinet that has an 8-ohm speaker.
The Crush Mini from Orange is a three-watt, solid state, battery powered amplifier that was originally designed to be the ideal practice amp. However, Organe upped the ante on this new design by allowing the amp to be connected to any 8 ohm speaker cabinet.
This means that the Orange Crush Mini can be connected to a 4 x12 cabinet and can rock a venue. Orange made sure not to compromise the aspects of this amp that make it a great practice amp like its headphone jack and onboard tuner.
As always with Orange Amps, the controls are depicted with photos rather than words, but thankfully there are only a few basic controls on this amp so the learning curve is easy. The controls are simply Gain, Volume, and Shape.
The Gain structure can take you anywhere from funky cleans at the lowest settings, to 80’s metal at the highest. The Volume works as a master volume in conjunction with the Gain control. The Shape knob works as an EQ control, with settings to the left resulting in scooped mids, and settings to the right resulting in boosted mids and cut lows.
The Tuner works like any standard Tuner for every note, with the red lights signaling out of tune, and the Green center light indicating correct tuning.
Is it possible for an amp this small to retain the Orange sound? While the mini, built-in speaker certainly doesn’t do the Crush Mini any favors, the amp truly comes alive when plugged into a larger, 8-ohm speaker cabinet. The overdrive tones that follow are perfectly suitable for any classic rock gig ranging from the Cars, to Santana, to Ozzy Osbourne.
The Shape control is powerful enough to let you dial in your tone for lead or rhythm sounds and to help the amp work with any guitar you choose. The amp definitely retains that foggy, throaty characteristic that Orange amps are known for.
- Type: Solid State
- Power: 3 Watts
- Channels: Single
- Speakers: Pairs with any 8 ohm speaker
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Features: Tuner, 8-ohm connection
Final Thoughts on the Orange Crush Mini
You should easily be able to find this amp under $100 and your money not only buys you a great practice amp, but a gig worthy backup rig. Just keep some AA batteries in your gig bag with this on standby (it only weighs two pounds and fits in the palm of your hand!) and you can gig with confidence.
3. JOYO MA-10 – Best Battery Powered Guitar Amp for Bass
- JOYO MA-10 series features dual channel dedicated for the related instruments switching easily. MA-10B: Switchable Normal / Drive dual channel.
Bass players need to practice too! While most battery powered amps are designed with guitarists in mind, the folks over at Joyo have Bass players covered with this awesome and full sounding battery powered practice amplifier.
The MA-10 is a 10-watt, dual channel practice amplifier designed specifically for bass guitarists. While most practice guitar amps come in under 5 watts and are made with 3-4 inch speakers, the MA-10 pushes the full 10 watts through a 5 inch speaker so that those low end frequencies have fighting chance to shine.
As with all the amps on this list, the MA-10 is battery powered (6xAA), but can also be powered by a 9V DC adaptor, making it a great option for practicing in hotel rooms or in your own studio. Weighing in at only three pounds, this amp can be easily carted around.
The controls on the MA-10 are simple and straightforward. The two ⅛” inputs are for headphones and an auxiliary unit, meaning you can play your MP3 or smartphone through the unit and practice along through headphones if you don’t want to use the included speaker.
The Volume and Tone controls work for both channels, which are labeled as Normal and Drive. Selecting your channel is as easy as pressing a button. From there you can control how much distortion the amp has with the Gain control.
In my opinion, this amp sounds best in the clean settings, as the low end and presence are retained at all volumes and settings and is sure to tailor to just about any bass that plugs into it. The Drive tones are okay. To my ears they sound more like a fuzz, so if that’s your thing then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. THe low end is full, most likely due to the larger speaker size.
The amp is loud enough to work with an acoustic guitar, so its perfect for songwriting sessions, but if you’re needing an amp to take out to a gig then read further on into this article.
- Type: Solid State
- Power: 10W (6 x AA Batteries)
- Channels: Dual
- Speakers: 1 x 5”
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Features: Battery Powered, Aux In, Headphone Jack
Final Thoughts on the JOYO MA-10
Unfortunately, there are not many options available to bass players that are looking for a great battery powered amp. This is the case for practice and gigging level amps. However, amps like the MA-10 offer a glimmer of hope for bassists looking to get a grab and go practice amp, whether it be to jam along with friends in the park, home practice, or for a small song writing session.
4. Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge – Best for Acoustic
- Features: rechargeable battery power Bluetooth connectivity instrument and mic channels with input gain controls 1/8” auxiliary input balanced XLR D.I. Output lightweight & portable
Acoustic players are often asked to perform in conditions that are loud and with minimal means for power such as outdoor festivals, coffee shops, or street performing (busking).
It’s gigs like these that require battery powered amps and thanks to the Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge, you can have a great sound without compromising due to power options.
Unlike the other amps on this list so far, the Loudbox Mini Charge does what it’s name implies: works on a rechargeable battery. 10 hours of charge time yields 12 hours of nonstop play time at medium volumes, but you can also power it through the main power supply, making this the ideal gigging amp for acoustic players.
It has 60 watts of power, bluetooth playback, two channels for a microphone and a guitar, and DI out that combines both channels.
The Loudbox Mini Charge is split into two sides: one for Instrument and one for Microphone, as this amp is built for the gigging singer/songwriter. The Instrument side of the amp (¼ in) has controls for Gain, a three-band EQ, Reverb, as well as a chorus effect. There is also a Phase switch to combat feedback issues. The Microphone side of the amp (XLR in) is slightly simpler, with controls for Gain, a 2-band EQ, and Reverb only.
There is a Master Volume control on the far right of the amp that works for both channels. Above this is a series of lights that signify the battery’s current status of Battery (In use), Battery Low, or Charging.
Fishman does a fantastic job of creating an amp that sounds like any other gig worthy acoustic amp, despite the fact that it may have to run on a rechargeable battery. Being battery powered doesn’t keep the Loudbox Mini Charge from sounding warm or responsive.
At 60 watts the amp is more than loud enough for small bars and coffee shops, as well as busy intersections and parks. The chorus effect is subtle at most settings, even to the point of sounding like a flanger effect at the lowest settings, and the Reverb is top notch in how it really adds space to your sound.
While some acoustic amps sound like an acoustic simulation, the Loudbox Mini Charge preserves your acoustic’s original tone in the best way possible, as if a microphone is up to your instrument.
- Type: Solid State
- Power: 60 Watts (Rechargeable Battery)
- Channels: 2
- Speakers: 6.4” Woofer/ 1” Tweeter
- Weight: 21 lbs
- Features: DI Out, Rechargeable Battery, Reverb, Chorus, DI Out
Final Thoughts on the Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge
While many battery powered amps feel like the toy electric cars you buy for your kids, the Fishman Loudbox Mini is the equivalent of Tesla, ready to take on the real world. If you’re a singer/songwriter that needs to play outdoors, where wall circuits and extension cords are few and far between, this is a fantastic solution worth investing in.
5. Roland CUBE Street Ex – Best Overall & Best High End Battery Powered Guitar Amp
- Angled back for use as a stage monitor; mounting hole for use with optional ST-A95 . (Best with Polaroid AA Batteries)
Whether you’re looking for a battery powered amp to use at home for practice, as your PA for a solo gig busking on the street, or for your entire band to plug into, the Roland CUBE Street Ex is the ultimate battery amp in terms of tone and versatility.
The CUBE Street Ex is the big brother to the original CUBE Street amplifier, packing 50W of solid state power and an angled design to be used as a monitor or a speaker. It has two woofers and two tweeters, which move enough air so that you can be heard in loud modern settings. It runs on either a Roland main adaptor or 8xAA batteries.
The amp has four channels that allow it to power vocals, guitars, bass, keys and backing tracks all at the same time. It even features Roland/Boss’ COSM guitar tech for effects modeling and it can run DI out to the front of house or to your recording device.
The controls the CUBE Street Ex are broken down by channel. Channel 1 is for the Mic/Instrument, which works for ¼” or XLR cables and has controls for Volume, 3-Band EQ, and Reverb. This is the perfect channel for lead vocals, bass, or acoustic guitar. Channel 2 is also for Mic/Guitar, but has controls for EQ, Chorus/Delay, Reverb, as well as the COSM tech section that supplies everything from acoustic simulations, to heavy metal overdrive.
Channel 3 is set up for a stereo input, making it perfect for keys or possibly drum microphones and has controls for Volume. Finally, channel 4 is the Auxiliary channel for your backing tracks. There are inputs for two foot switches, as well as a Mute/Battery monitoring switch so you can check on your battery life.
All of the power and flexibility manifests into a small unit that sounds fantastic no matter what instruments you’re running through it. Only have an electric guitar on you, but have an acoustic song in your set? The acoustic simulation in this amp is one of the best I’ve ever heard. The COSM tech really takes this up a notch for any interested guitarists.
That being said, the two woofers and two tweeters, combined with 50 watts, make this a great option for bassists as well. It is more than loud enough for any small gig and can help amplify a small band.
- Type: Solid State
- Power: 50W (8xAA Batteries or Roland Adaptor)
- Channels: 4
- Speakers: 2 Woofers/2 Tweeters
- Weight: 17 Pounds
- Features: COSM, Battery Powered or Main, Reverb, Modulation, Aux In, Stereo Out
Final Thoughts on the Roland CUBE Street Ex
When it comes to gig-worthy battery powered amplifiers, there is no competition. The Roland CUBE Street Ex is by far the most versatile and best sounding battery powered amplifier. Whether you’re an electric guitarist, bassist, singer, or keyboard player, this amp will help you play louder and better, as well as get you to the gig with ease due to its ability to run on batteries or main.
From Practicing at Home, to Busking Outdoors
Battery powered amplifiers have their time and their place, whether you’re looking for a practice amp or a portable amp to travel with. There is a convenience factor, but also a safety net in the knowledge that you don’t have to worry about what the power is going to be like. This is the case for traveling abroad or playing outdoors, or if the power simply goes out.
The key to picking out the best battery powered amp for your playing is to keep in mind what you plan to use it for. As you can probably tell from this list, the uses vary widely, as do the prices.
While there once were only toy-grade/novelty battery powered guitar amps, manufacturers are recognizing that there is a need for this kind of amp and that players will use them regularly. These amps sound better and are more versatile than ever.
I hope this article has helped you figure out what kind of battery amp is best for you and so that you can have one less cable in your life. We guitarists have enough of those!
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Davis Wilton Bader is a professional guitarist/writer based out of St. Louis, MO. He plays in the bands Lumet and The Outskirts.