How Do I Choose The Right Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier?

how do i choose the right battery powered guitar amplifier

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Do you want to take your guitar playing on the go, but aren’t sure which battery powered guitar amplifier is the right one for your needs? Look no further! This article will provide you with all the information and advice you need to make an informed decision. With the right battery powered guitar amplifier, you can make music anywhere, anytime. So get ready to discover the tips and tricks for selecting a great amplifier and take your music to new heights!

How do I choose the right battery-powered guitar amplifier?

When it comes to jamming on the go, practicing in places without access to power outlets, or simply looking for the freedom to play anywhere, battery-powered guitar amplifiers offer the perfect solution. These portable amps offer flexibility and convenience but choosing the right one can make a massive difference in your playing experience. However, this is where you might wonder how do I choose the right battery-powered guitar amplifier. When selecting the right battery-powered amp, there are many important factors to consider to ensure it meets your playing needs and preferences. Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right battery-powered guitar amplifier.

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Power rating

The power rating of a battery-powered guitar amp determines its overall volume and headroom. It is measured in watts and the higher the wattage, the louder the guitar amp can go. However, when it comes to battery-powered amps, there is a trade-off between power and battery life. Higher-wattage amps tend to consume more battery power, which can reduce the amp’s runtime on a single charge.

You should consider your specific needs when selecting the power rating. If you are primarily using the guitar amp for practice or playing in small settings, lower wattage options might suffice. For busking or outdoor performances, you might need a higher-wattage to ensure enough volume. Striking a balance between power and battery life will ensure that your guitar amp serves your needs effectively.

Speaker size

The size of the speaker in a battery-powered guitar amp has a significant impact on the guitar amp’s sound and portability. Smaller speakers, such as 6.5 inches or 8 inches are ideal for compact and lightweight amps that are easy to carry around. These smaller speakers can produce decent sound for practice sessions or intimate performances.

Meanwhile, larger speakers, such as 10 inches or 12 inches offer more robust and fuller tones. They’re suitable for musicians and guitarists who need a more substantial sound presence and clarity in larger spaces or jam sessions with other musicians.

When choosing the speaker size, you must consider the balance between portability and sound quality. A compromise may be needed to find an amp that fits your needs, whether it is for casual practice or live performances.

Tone controls

Tone controls are important for tailoring your sound to suit your playing sound and musical genre. The most common tone controls on battery-powered guitar amps include EQ, gain/drive, reverb, and delay/chorus.

A basic EQ with knobs for bass, mid, and treble allows you to adjust the tonal balance to your liking. This is valuable when playing in different environments or with different guitars.

The availability and versatility of tone controls can impact your playing experience greatly. You must choose an amp that offers the tone-shaping features that you need for achieving your desired sound.

How Do I Choose The Right Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier?


Effects are an important consideration for musicians and guitarists who want to explore different tones and styles. Many battery-powered guitar amplifiers come with built-in effects, offering a range of sonic possibilities at your fingertips.

The gain or drive control determines the amount of overdrive or distortion in your sound. Having this control will be important for achieving a wide range of tones, from clean to crunchy to high-gain distortion.

Reverb adds depth and ambiance to your sound. Having a reverb control on your battery-powered guitar amp can make the guitar sound more lively and three-dimensional. Some battery-powered guitar amps offer additional effects like delay or chorus. These effects can add a sense of space or modulation to the sound.

There are also modulation effects like chorus, phaser, and flanger. These effects add a sense of movement and shimmer to your sound. This allows for more creative and experimental playing.

Consider the type and quality of effects offered by the guitar amp and whether they align with your musical preferences. Having a versatile set of effects can expand your sound palette and inspire new creative ideas.


Connectivity options are important for battery-powered guitar amps as they determine how well the amp integrates with other gear and instruments. Here are the connectivity features in battery-powered guitar amps –

  • Instrument input – A standard ¼-inch input will allow you to connect your guitar directly to the guitar amp
  • Auxiliary input – An auxiliary input will allow you to connect external devices like smartphones or music players, making it quite easy to play along with backing tracks or your favorite songs
  • Headphone output – A headphone output is valuable for private practice sessions, which allows you to play without disturbing others
  • External speaker output – Some battery-powered guitar amps offer the ability to connect to external speakers for larger performances or rehearsals with other musicians

The availability of these connectivity options will enhance the versatility and flexibility of the battery-powered guitar amp, allowing you to use it in various settings and configurations.

Battery life

Battery life is an important factor to consider when it comes to battery-powered guitar amps. The longer the battery life, the more uninterrupted playing time you will have before needing to recharge or replace the batteries. Battery life can vary significantly depending on the guitar amp’s power consumption, wattage, and usage of effects.

You must consider how you intend on using the amp and how frequently you will be playing. If you’re planning on extended outdoor performances or frequent use without access to power outlets, prioritize guitar amps with extended battery life.

Different types of guitar amplifiers

Battery-powered guitar amplifier offers the freedom to play anywhere without the constraints of power outlets. As technology continues to evolve, guitarists now have a wide range of options when it comes to battery-powered amps, each offering unique features and characteristics. Here are some of the different types of guitar amplifiers to help you choose the best one for your musical needs.

Tube amps

Tube amps or also known as valve amps have a rich history and a timeless appeal. These guitar amps use vacuum tubes to amplify the guitar signal, producing a warm and organic tone that is often sought after by many guitarists. Some brands manufacture impressive tube amps that are designed to be portable.

Tube amps are able to deliver a dynamic and expressive sound, characterized by smooth overdrive and harmonically rich tones. They also respond with sensitivity to the guitarist’s playing style, allowing for expressive playing and subtle nuances. Moreover, they also feature a vintage design, evoking a sense of nostalgia and style.

Tube amps tend to be heavier and larger compared to some of the other types of guitar amps. This makes them less convenient for traveling and performing wherever you go.

how do i choose the right battery powered guitar amplifier

Solid-state amps

Solid-state amps make use of transistors and other solid-state components for amplification. These guitar amps are known for their reliability, efficiency, and affordability. While they might not produce the same warmth and natural overdrive as tube amps, solid-state amps have their own unique tonal characteristics and can be an excellent option for certain genres and playing styles.

Solid-state amps are typically more compact and lighter than tube amps, which makes them highly portable and ideal for musicians on-the-go. They are typically more budget-friendly compared to tube amps. Moreover, they require less maintenance as they do not rely on vacuum tubes that might need periodic replacement.

While they lack the warmth and dynamic response of tube amps, modern designs have improved this aspect. Achieving natural tube-like overdrive can be more challenging with solid-state amps.

Digital-modeling amps

Digital modeling amps are a modern and innovative type of guitar amp that uses digital signal processing technology for simulating the sounds of various amplifiers and effects. These guitar amps offer a wide range of amp and effect emulations, offering musicians and guitarists unprecedented versatility and tonal options.

Digital modeling amps are able to replicate the sounds of multiple classic amps and effects, offering a wide array of tones to choose from. Many digital modeling amps come with a wide variety of built-in effects, eliminating the need for additional pedals. They often incorporate power-efficient components, providing longer battery life for extended playtime.

The extensive features and options of digital modeling amps might require some time to learn and navigate. While digital modeling technology has come a long way, some music purists might argue that the tones produced by modeling amps don’t fully replicate the nuances of their analog counterparts.

Hybrid amps

Hybrid amps are an innovative blend of two amplifier technologies – tube amps and solid-state amps. These guitar amps combine the warmth and organic tones of tube amps with the reliability and efficiency of solid-state technology. In hybrid amps, the preamp section typically features vacuum tubes whereas the power amp section makes use of solid-state components.

The tube preamp section imparts classic warmth and harmonics, which is reminiscent of vintage tube amps. The solid-state power amp section of these amps provides energy efficiency and longevity, reducing maintenance needs.

Hybrid amps offer a balance between traditional and modern tones, which makes them suitable for a wide range of musical genres.

Bass amps

Bass amps are specially designed to handle the low frequencies of bass guitars, which provides a clear and powerful low-end response. These guitar amps differ from regular guitar amps as they are optimized to handle the unique tonal characteristics of bass instruments.

Bass amps are capable of delivering deep and defined low-end frequencies, providing a rather solid foundation for the overall band sound. They typically feature more headroom than guitar amps, which allows them to easily handle the dynamic range of bass playing without any distortion. Moreover, many bass amps come with EQ controls and other features for shaping the bass tone for various musical styles.

Battery-powered amps

Battery-powered guitar amps, as the name suggests, are guitar amps powered by batteries, which makes them perfect for on-the-go playing, busking, and traveling. These guitar amps are designed with portability in mind. They generally come in compact and lightweight packages without compromising sound quality.

Battery-powered guitar amps are highly portable, which allows you to play anywhere without the need for power outlets. Many battery-powered guitar amps come with rechargeable battery packs, which provide sustainable power for extended playtime. They are ideal for practice sessions, offering convenience and a wide variety of features.

How to test a battery-powered guitar amplifier

Choosing the right battery-powered guitar amplifier is an important decision for any musician or guitarist. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, finding a guitar amp that complements your playing style and preferences can greatly impact your musical journey. When it comes to battery-powered guitar amps, testing them in person is important to ensure you get the best match for your musical needs. Here is how you can effectively test your battery-powered guitar amp and make sure you get the best option that suits you.

Listen to sound samples

Before you head over to the store for testing guitar amps in person, you should start by listening to sound samples online or watching video demos. Many manufacturers and retailers offer sound samples and video demonstrations of their battery-powered guitar amplifiers on their websites or on video-sharing platforms like YouTube or SoundCloud. Listening to these samples will give you a basic idea of the amp’s tonal characteristics and features. You should pay close attention to tone quality, versatility, and effects when listening to sound samples.

Focus on the overall tone quality of the guitar amp. Ask questions like does it produce warm, clean tones, or does it shine in producing high-gain distortion? Moreover, you should evaluate the range of sounds that the amp can produce. Is it offering a variety of tones that suit different genres and playing styles? Check if the amp comes with built-in effects. Listen closely to how they sound. Are the effects ideal for your musical preferences?

While sound samples do offer a good starting point, you should keep in mind that the sound you’re hearing might differ slightly because of factors like recording quality and your device’s audio output.

Test in person

Another way to check the amp would be to test it in person. Visiting a music store or attending a guitar expo will give you the perfect opportunity to experience the amp firsthand and make a smarter decision. Here is how you can test a guitar amp in person –

  • Bring your guitar to the store: Test the guitar amp with your own guitar for ensuring that you get a feel for how it complements your instrument and playing style
  • Play different styles: Experiment with different playing styles and genres for gauging how the amp responds while also testing clean tones, overdrive, and high-gain sounds for evaluating its versatility
  • Adjust controls: Tweak the guitar amp’s settings, such as gain, volume, EQ, and effects for understanding how easily you’re able to dial in your desired tone
  • Evaluate portability: If portability is an important factor for you, you should assess the amp’s size, weight, and battery life to make sure it meets your needs for on-the-go playing
  • Compare multiple amps: If possible, you should try different battery-powered guitar amps to make a smarter comparison
  • Trust your ears: Ultimately, you need to trust your ears and gut feeling to choose a guitar amp that resonates with you and inspires your playing

Budget considerations for battery-powered guitar amplifier

Finding the perfect battery-powered guitar amp that suits both your budget and your playing style is a key decision for any musician or guitarist. As you explore the different options available, you will encounter the prospect of new and used amps. Each route comes with its advantages and considerations. Moreover, it is also important to factor in the cost of accessories when budgeting for your guitar amp setup. Here are the different budget considerations of guitar amps that you must consider, helping you make a smarter decision that harmonizes both your sound and your wallet.

New vs. used amps

One of the first budget considerations you must remember when shopping for a battery-powered guitar amp is whether to buy a new or used one. Each option offers its unique advantages and considerations.

New guitar amps typically come with manufacturer warranties, offering peace of mind and protection against potential defects. New amps incorporate the latest advancements in technology, offering up-to-date features and performance. Buying a new guitar amp ensures that the amp is in brand-new condition, free from wear and tear. New guitar amps typically come with a higher price tag compared to used ones due to their warranty and condition.

Used guitar amps are often significantly cheaper than new ones, which makes them a highly attractive option for budget-conscious guitarists. Some used guitar amps might have a vintage charm and unique tonal characteristics that are no longer available in newer models. However, buying used amps means there might not be a warranty. This will leave you responsible for any repairs or maintenance.

When deciding between new and used amps, you must consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend. If you prioritize warranty coverage and the latest technology, a new amp might be the way to go. Meanwhile, if you are looking for cost savings and do not mind the absence of a warranty, exploring the used amp market could yield excellent options.

Cost of accessories

Aside from the amp itself, it is important to budget for accessories that enhance your overall guitar amp setup. These accessories include batteries, a power supply, a carrying case, effects pedals, and more.

Since battery-powered guitar amps rely on batteries for operation, factor in the cost of purchasing batteries regularly or investing in rechargeable battery packs. Some guitar amps also allow you to connect to a power supply for extended use without relying solely on batteries. Make sure that you budget for a compatible power supply if needed.

If you’re planning on traveling with your guitar amp, consider investing in a carrying case or gig bag for protection and portability. While some battery-powered guitar amps come with built-in effects, you might wish to expand your tonal options with additional effects pedals. Budget accordingly for any pedals you might want to add to your setup. You shouldn’t forget to factor in the cost of instrument cables, power cables, and other connectors needed for your amp setup.


What factors should I consider when choosing a battery powered guitar amplifier?

When choosing a battery powered guitar amplifier, you should consider factors such as power, speaker size, battery life, portability, and features. You should also consider the type of guitar and playing style to make sure the amp is suited to your needs. Additionally, it’s important to consider the size of your budget and the available space for storage.

What are the advantages of using a battery powered guitar amplifier?

The main advantage of using a battery powered guitar amplifier is the portability it offers. Battery powered amps are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for practice on the go. They are also more affordable than other types of amplifiers and don’t require an external power source.

What are the disadvantages of using a battery powered guitar amplifier?

The main disadvantage of using a battery powered guitar amplifier is the limited power and sound quality compared to other types of amplifiers. Battery powered amps may also have shorter battery life, lower volume levels, and fewer features than other types of amplifiers.

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Rick is the founder of All Stringed. He started playing with a classical guitar when he was 10, but changed soon to electric guitar and later also to an acoustic. You can find more about him here.