Shootout: Our Favorite Mini Guitar Amps – Big Sound, Tiny Amps

It wasn’t all that long ago that guitarists considered mini guitar amps to be toys or novelties at best, but as with everything in the world of guitar and music tech, advancements have resulted in mini amps that look, feel, and sound great. Don’t get us wrong, there are still plenty of frankly terrible models out there, so in order to find the best mini amps for guitar, there’s a few things you need to be looking for. 

The best amps in this class come with a blend of portability, features, tone, and build quality. Although commonly used for practice, some of these amps even allow the guitarist to record directly into a DAW, while others offer full modeling capabilities.

In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we’ll be showing you an assortment of the best minis for guitar. During the review, we focused on portability, build quality, tone, and features. To keep things consistent, we used the same Gibson Les Paul Standard for each test. 

If you’re in the market for a great mini amp, you won’t want to miss this!

Read more about our review process.

Our Top 3

The Boss Katana Mini was our Top Pick. This amp comes with 7 watts of power, and serves up phenomenal sound quality with surprising volume considering its compact size. On top of that, it offers some of the same amp voicings featured on bigger Katana models, as well as built in FX.

Guitarists who want a very affordably priced amp should check out the Danelectro Honeytone N-10, our Best Budget option. This is a good choice for beginners and hobbyists who want a cool looking miniwith decent sound and the convenience of a belt clip and 1.5 Watts of power. 

If price is not a concern, and you’re simply looking for the best mini amp out there, take a look at our Editor’s Choice, the Vox Mini Go 10. This amp features 10 watts of output and comes packed with nine amp models and eight effects, for incredible versatility packed into a nifty portable amp.

Individual Reviews

Top Choice
Boss Katana Mini

Boss Katana Mini

The smallest amp from the popular Katana series.

This mini amp is a fantastic choice for guitarists looking for ultimate convenience with tone and varied features. With legendary Boss quality and ease of use operation, this Katana gives you intuitive operation and fantastic portability. 

The Boss Katana Mini featured 7 watts and a multi-stage analog gain circuit. Despite its compact size, this amp came with three distinct voices offering a nice variety of tones right out of the box, enabling us to play styles as varied as country, metal, and jazz without the need for pedals. We were easily able to shape our tone on each voicing, too, thanks to the 3 band EQ.

We started our tests with the middle voice, which was Crunch. We loved it for its straightforward rock tone – it gave us punchy distortion that was good for both chords and leads. Dialing the Gain Knob back a bit, we arrived at a nice, mildly overdriven tone that was good for blues, rock, and even modern fusion or jazz. 

Speaking of jazz, the Clean voicing gave us a nice open tone that was good for practicing Bebop and other forms of traditional jazz. With a nice dynamic range, we also liked the Clean setting for playing open chords in other styles, as well as working on our country style picking.  

In the third and final voicing, Brown, we got a much heavier distortion. We found it to be good for high-gain tones, especially for genres like metal and the like. It offered nice sustain for leads, and tons of punch for power chords. In all, the Brown voicing was our favorite of the three. 

Boss Katana Mini

The Katana-Mini weighed less than three pounds, which made it great for transporting and using just about anywhere. This amp was powered by six AA batteries, and we got a little over the advertised 7 hours of operation at moderate volume, making it a great choice for buskers.

Another fantastic feature of this BOSS amp was its speaker-emulated output. It gave us a great tone for silent practice via our headphones.

We also tested this amp with several of our distortion, modulation and delay pedals, and got really good results, especially on the Clean voice, which had plenty of headroom.

Verdict: The Boss Katana Mini offers 7 watts and three selectable voicings for great tonal variety on such a small amp. In typical Boss fashion, this amp comes with a built-in EQ and a delay effect, providing good tone and convenience for practicing.

Budget Choice
Danelectro Honeytone N-10

Danelectro Honeytone N-10

Vintage looks and battery-powered portability.

If you are searching for a practice amp that is really affordable, the Honeytone N-10 is a great choice. Besides offering a good tone for such a small amp, you also get a stylish design with genuine Danelectro mojo.

The Danelectro Honeytone N-10 is a good choice for beginners and hobbyists who want a mini that allows you to carry it on you while you play guitar. With a belt clip for added convenience and portability, we got 1.5 Watts as well as a headphone output for silent practice.

The Honeytone N-10 ran on a 9 V battery as standard, but we also had the option of running it via a mains power supply (purchased separately). Besides how portable it was, we really liked how simple this amp was. It came with a volume knob, a single-tone knob for controlling highs and lows, and an overdrive knob to add some distortion. 

We liked the clean tone on the N-10. For a model that costs less than $30, it was incredibly articulate with both our chords and single lines. Here we played some open chords as well as some basic scales and liked how honest the sound was. 

Danelectro Honeytone N-10

After the obligatory clean tone samples, we turned the overdrive all the way up and some not-insignificant saturation for working on things like sustained solos and power chords. We tried this amp first with a power cord and later with a 9V battery, and liked the fact that its tone remained consistent

Verdict: The Danelectro Honeytone N-10 is a mini amp that excels in portability and even comes with a belt clip. It functions either via a 9V battery or a power cord and produces 1.5 Watts of power. We especially like its retro look and vibe. In short, this is a good option for beginners that want to keep to a tight budget.

Editor's Choice
Vox Mini Go 10

Vox Mini Go 10

Legendary British quality on 10 watts of power.

Vox is a legendary name in amplification, and the Mini Go 10 delivers the tonal quality that these amps are known for, in a diminutive package. Additionally, you also get useful features like modeled amps and effects, making this unit a great choice for discerning guitarists.

The Vox Mini Go 10 had 10 watts of output power and came loaded with nine amp models and eight effects, delivering outstanding versatility – especially when you consider just how small this amp is. 

We started our tests by running through the amp models which were powered by Vox’s Virtual Element Technology (VET). This tech modeled amps and effects circuits down to their component levels, which makes a massive difference in terms of the authenticity of the final output. In particular, we loved the AC30 Normal setting, as it gave us shimmering cleans that were great for a variety of styles and really did a great job of replicating what is arguably Vox’s most famous amp.

For distorted tones, we loved the VOX AC30TB (Top Boost) and boutique OD, as these gave us fantastic organic-sounding distortion and a sweet overdrive, respectively. We selected these amp models using the sturdy knob located on the top-mounted control panel. For grittier tones, we increased the Gain and fine-tuned our sound with the single Tone knob EQ. 

Vox Mini Go 10

We loved the fact that besides the amp models, the Vox Mini GO also featured 8 VET effects models, and two of them could be activated at the same time. We loved being able to dial in our tone with added chorus, phaser, tremolo, and octave effects, as well as reverb and delay. Amazingly, this amp even included a vocoder effect for more outlandish tones. 

The Vox Mini Go 10 also featured a Rhythm section with 33 different looped drums and a tap-tempo feature. From metal and rock to Latin and jazz, nearly all main genres are covered, and Vox even included some odd meters. We really enjoyed playing along with these loops as we’re big believers in practicing this way. 

Verdict: The Vox Mini Go 10 offers a fantastic tone and plenty of volume for such a little amp, and comes with great features like amp models, effects, and even a drum looper with varied styles. This unit can function via the included power supply, or be powered via a third-party USB power bank, making it a great choice for guitarists who want quality and maximum portability.

Also Consider
Positive Grid Spark GO

Positive Grid Spark GO

Stylish design and good tone for practicing.

The Spark Go gives the user great portability as well as Bluetooth connectivity for jamming along to audio tracks. With a slick design and a single 2-inch speaker, this amp delivers fantastic flexibility and convenience.

The Positive Grid Spark GO is a 5-Watt mini combo amp that fits on the palm of your hand, and might just be the smallest combo amp we’ve ever tested. With four onboard presets, this amp delivered great portability as well as a variety of tones. 

We started by downloading the Spark app, where we found an impressive 50,000 patches. The Positive Grid online community is huge, so there were no shortage of new sounds to try.  

Naturally, this was more than enough sounds to cover just about any style of playing and genre. We tried a pretty decent selection of them and found a nice amount of good clean tones as well as different levels of distortion patches, from punchy overdrive to massive high-gain distortion.

Besides a plethora of tones via the app, the Spark Go gave us great portability thanks to its miniscule size, and its USB-rechargeable battery. With about eight hours of use, this amp can easily get you through your long practice sessions before needing to be recharged. 

Our favorite feature on this amp was the Bluetooth functionality. We loved how easy it was for us to play along with some backing tracks, as this added another very useful part of a practice session. If you don’t have backing tracks to play with, not a problem! The Spark Go actually includes access to Positive Grid’s Smart Jam AI backing band.

Additional valuable features like a built-in tuner, line out, and headphone jack were also nice. That said, this amp is too small for anything other than low-volume practice, so don’t buy one thinking it’ll be able to keep up with a drummer!

Verdict: The Positive Grid Spark GO comes packed with good features and offers thousands of sounds via the Spark App. For ultimate convenience, this amp gives the user Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in tuner, as well as an output for headphones.

Also Consider
Pignose Tweed

Pignose Tweed

A unique amp with excellent portability.

Pignose Amps have been around for over half a century, and offer an alternative for guitarists that want a tiny and portable amplifier with good tone. The Tweed amp follows in that tradition, with a simplistic design and unique looks.

The Pignose Tweed was one of our favorites in terms of portability. It weighed just six pounds, and yet, it managed to squeeze in a single 5-inch speaker. The relatively large speaker meant that it had a surprisingly broad frequency response for a mini, which was very well received by the KGR team.

This amp operated on six AA batteries and featured a unique design where the battery compartment was located inside the enclosure. 

We got a kick out of the peculiar look of this amp and as a result spent quite a while playing with it. Pignose are renowned for their electronics, and they really delivered with this amp. 

The Pignose Tweed is a barebones amp that did not include any knobs for EQ and gain, never mind effects, and other features. Some will definitely find this limiting, particularly beginners, but if you don’t mind working for your tones, you’ll probably have a blast. While there was no EQ specifically, we were able to change the tone and feel of the amp by adjusting how open the cabinet was. 

The overall sound quality was really quite exceptional, and the simplicity of it all made it user friendly for players of all abilities, especially those that want a simple amp at a low price

Verdict: The Pignose Tweed offers five watts of power with a unique design. This amp is durable and a good choice for beginners or guitarists that want a portable and affordable option for traveling and for working on ideas while on the road.

Also Consider
Yamaha THR5

Yamaha THR5

Tonal variety, effects, and great sound quality.

The THR5 is a fantastic option for anybody looking for portability that does not come at the expense of good tone. With five distinct voicings, this amp delivers an intuitive user experience with nice sound shaping capabilities.

The Yamaha THR5 gave us the flexibility to use it as a fully battery-powered amp, or a mains powered one, via the included power cord. Besides five varied amp voices selected via a knob, this amp also came with modulation and time effects, on a 2 x 3″ speaker configuration.    

With everything from clean to hi-gain amp tones, the THR5 employed Yamaha’s Virtual Circuitry Modeling to emulate the components of the amps that it’s trying to model after. The result is a realistic tone for each of the five amp voicings. 

We auditioned all five amp modes during the test. For distorted sounds, we like Crunch and Brit Hi the most, as these covered warm overdrive and heavy saturation for more aggressive styles. We really liked how well both 3.15″ speakers sounded – they were tight and incredibly focused – truly impressive for an amp this size. 

The THR5 also allowed us to plug directly into our DAW for some recording. Even though we use Logic, this amp is a great choice for beginners that want to get into recording as it shipped with Steinberg’s Cubase AI , which is another fantastic recording software. 

Another great addition to this amp was the range of built in effects. We liked how the effects were organized, with one knob for reverb types and the other for flanger, chorus, phaser, and tremolo. 

Finally, there was also an aux 1/8″ input, great for plugging in a sound device such as a tablet or smartphone via cable to use backing tracks. As much as we liked this amp, it definitely comes at a price – literally. Considering the size and power, it was pretty expensive. 

Verdict: The Yamaha THR5 delivers quality tone with five amp models, modulation and time effects, and USB connectivity. With a great built quality, clever Yamaha design, and quality tone provided via its two 3″ speakers, this amp is a good choice for anyone looking for a portable amp that still delivers on tone and features.

Also Consider
Blackstar Fly 3 Charge

Blackstar Fly 3 Charge

Two channels on a practical and versatile mini amp.

The Fly 3 charge is a good option for guitarists looking for a battery powered amp that offers intuitive operation. With Bluetooth connectivity and a reduced form factor, this amp excels in convenience while delivering good tone for its size.

The Blackstar Fly 3 Charge operates via battery to offer the user 3 watts of power on two channels. This mini combo amp features a simple control interface as well as Blackstar’s patented Infinite Shape Feature. 

We loved the Built-in rechargeable battery, as it provides an impressive 18 hours of use. This is a huge upgrade over the old Fly 3, which either required 6 AA batteries, or the purchase of an external power supply. This latest version was USB rechargeable, which gave us a ton of flexibility when it came to powering it up.

Despite being the smallest amp in their line up, it still came with Blackstar’s Infinite Shape Feature, which operates a bit like an EQ knob. Here we got tones that went from a bright American type of tone when turned counterclockwise, to more of a British tone when turned clockwise. 

The tiny overdrive button on the left side gave us a warm and gentle saturation with the gain knob turned at around 10 o’clock. This was good for styles like blues, rock, and fusion. For more aggressive distorted tones, we turned the gain knob past 3 o’clock and got a good tone for punchy power chords and leads. The distorted tones on this amp were good, but the clean tones were not quite as crisp as we’d hoped. 

Besides good tone, one of the best features of the Fly 3 Charge was Bluetooth connectivity. We were able to seamlessly pair our smartphone with this amp to play along some tracks, which is fantastic for practicing, transcribing, jamming, etc. 

In case you want more power, you can opt to also purchase the Fly 10e extension cabinet, which is compatible with the Fly 3 Charge. 

Verdict: The Blackstar Fly 3 Charge offers 3 watts of power on two channels. With a straightforward control panel and simple operation, this amp offers a good distorted tone as well as convenient Bluetooth compatibility for playing along with tracks. In short, a good choice for beginners looking for great convenience.

How to Choose the Right Amp For You

Mini guitar amps have become increasingly popular among guitarists due to their portability and convenience. Despite their compact size, these tiny units can offer good sound quality and versatility. However, choosing the right amp requires careful consideration and below we give you some of the essential factors to consider when selecting the best mini for you.


Arguably the most critical consideration when choosing an amp, and mini amps are no exception. While these amps are smaller than their full-sized counterparts, they should still deliver clear, well-defined tones without compromising on warmth and depth.

Make sure that the amp you are considering can handle different styles of music, from clean tones to heavy distortion. Look for an amp that can replicate the sound you envision, as this will significantly impact your overall playing experience.


Like all amps, minis come in various wattages, and the amount of power you need depends on your intended use. If you’re primarily using the amp for bedroom practice and personal use, lower wattage (around 1 to 5 watts) may be fine. However, if you plan to use the amp for small gigs or jamming with friends, you are going to need more power, perhaps around 10 to 20 watts.


One of the main advantages of this style of amp is their portability. When choosing the best amp for your needs, consider its size and weight. A compact and lightweight amp is easier to carry around and will be more suitable for travel or busking.

Some minisoffer the option to operate on batteries, allowing you to play anywhere without needing to find a power outlet. If you plan to use the amp on the go or outdoors, a rechargeable or battery-powered option is a must.


The features of a mini amp can significantly impact its versatility and usability. Look for an amp with essential controls like volume, gain, bass, mid, and treble adjustments. These controls allow you to shape your tone to suit your playing style and guitar.

Other features like built-in effects, such as reverb, delay, or modulation can also come in handy, and the same goes for modeling capabilities.

Final Thoughts

The right amp will enhance your practice and performance experience and provide you with great portability and convenience. In this article, we’ve given you several of the best options as well as some practical advice. 

To recap our choices, the Boss Katana Mini was our Top Pick. This amp features 7 watts and the quality of the super popular Katana line. With a compact size, and with three different amp voices as well as options to fine-tune your tone, this amp is a great choice. 

Guitarists that are short on cash should check out the Danelectro Honeytone N-10, our Best Budget option. This is a good choice for beginners and hobbyists that want a mini that excels in convenience and comes with a classy design. 

Finally, for discerning musicians looking for the best mini guitar amp around, take a look at our Editor’s Choice, the Vox Mini Go 10. This amp features 10 watts of output and comes packed with nine amp models and eight effects, for incredible versatility on a truly portable amp.  

  • Rodrigo Sanchez

    Rodrigo is an award-winning songwriter (Best Popular Song Of 2018 for Ibermúsicas), and has worked with the prestigious EMI Music Publishing Latin America. He has production credits on artists such as Descemer Bueno, and has also composed alongside Grammy and ASCAP award-winners such as Sebastián De Peyrecave and José Luis Morín. For over ten years, he's been an editor/writer for Recording Magazine, and spent a year as head of translation for Brazilian magazine Musica & Mercado.