The good news is that, while you do need a somewhat specific speaker for vocals, you don’t need to pay as much for them as you do for many guitar or bass amplifiers. We’ve picked out some our favorite vocal amps on the list below for you to peruse—and you just might be surprised by how affordable many of them are. So, without further ado . . .
Here are our recommendations for the 4 best vocal amps on the market:
TC-Helicon VoiceSolo FX150 Amp
Let’s start out with an amplifier that gives you extra volume and then some. It uses a 2-way coaxial speaker that’s rated for 150 watts of power, delivering a sound that’s powerful without any distortion. Not only that, it also includes a simple 3-channel mixing board right there on the speaker, and mounts directly onto your mic stand to boot, making it one of the most convenient all in one vocal amplification tools out there.
The digital mixer is easily the most impressive thing about this amp (see full specs). The signal is processed specifically with the vocals in mind, emphasizing the frequencies you want to hear while downplaying the background noise. It also gives you a range of useful effects, including reverb and compression, along with an intelligent EQ that will make you sound better without you even needing to think about it.
The FX150 is not the cheapest item, but considering you get both the speaker and the mixer in one compact package, most people find the extra expense to be well worth it. At the very least, it earns top marks for sound quality and convenience.
Roland CM-30 Cube Monitor/PA Amp
- Roland Cube Monitor/PA with 6.5-Inch Coaxial, 2-way Speaker
- Price: $364.72
- Price as of 01/19/2021 20:43 PST(more info about ad)
Roland is one of the top names when it comes to audio equipment, and their line of PA monitors are perfect for vocal amplification. The Roland Cube that’s linked to here is a 2-way coaxial speaker that operates at 30 watts of power and has an on-board stereo preamp—everything you need for crystal clear, natural vocal amplification.
One of the great things about all the Roland Cube models (see full specs) is their convenience and portability. It’s a relatively compact little speaker, no more than 11 inches in any direction, and weighs just over 12 pounds. The convenient handle on top makes it even easier to transport to gigs.
Given these compact dimensions, the number of inputs and controls is especially impressive. There are three input channels with dedicated volume knobs, an XLR input for a mic or line in, and two extra auxiliary inputs. You’ll also get a two-band EQ and a master volume knob for shaping your entire signal. With a smooth, even response throughout the frequency range, this is one of the best amps for vocals, whether it’s a single singer or an entire chorus line.
Fender Passport Mini 7-Watt 1X6.5-Inch Portable PA System Amp
- Fender Passport Mini 7-Watt 1x6.5-Inch Portable PA System
- Price: $199.99
- Price as of 01/19/2021 16:32 PST(more info about ad)
You probably think of Fender for their guitar and bass equipment, but you shouldn’t rule them out for vocal amplification. The Passport is a portable and versatile piece of equipment, and Fender has put the same craftsmanship and attention to detail they bring to their guitar amps into this highly-portable vocal PA.
The Passport has two inputs: one designed for instruments and one for a vocal mic. This makes it ideal for a singer/songwriter or other self-accompanist, letting you cut the amount of gear you need for your gigs in half. The vocal channel has its own dedicated controls for the volume, tone, and reverb—plenty for shaping your sound, if not as extensive as the full complement of effects it includes for the guitar channel.
In terms of portability, this one is not only compact and lightweight, with a convenient carrying handle on top, but it also gives you the option of either battery or AC power. You can truly take it anywhere, and expect the same top-quality audio on the vocals no matter where you’re playing.
Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 Amp
- LimeDoom 4 String Studio Monitor, Left, Black (AT108)
- Price as of 01/19/2021 20:43 PST(more info about ad)
For the budget-minded consumer, the Behringer Ultracoustic is a very exciting proposition. Similar to the Fender Passport above, it offers you two channels: one designed for an acoustic instrument, the other for a mic input from a vocalist. Even more impressive, though, is that the AT108 delivers this versatility for a very low price.
The tone quality out of this amp is especially impressive, considering the price. It uses a proprietary Virtual Tube Circuitry to emulate the distinctive warmth of a tube amplifier, lending more expression and realism to your voice. It’s rated for 20 watts of power and has an impressive output for the size of the amp, with dedicated volume knobs for each of the channels.
Behringer designed their AT108 with singer/songwriters in mind, and it’s built to standup to the busking life. The cabinet is durably built, with a rugged metal grille on the front and a construction of vinyl-coated wood on the sides. If you’re looking for the best vocal amp you can get for the money, it’s definitely one you want to look into.
So Which Amp Is the Best?
The answer to that question really depends on what your needs are. Many of these units are designed to amplify both a vocalist and an instrumental line at the same time, which is helpful for cutting down on the amount of gear you have to lug to your gigs.
The main difference you’ll notice between different price points, aside from the overall quality of the speaker, is the extent of the on-board effects and sound controls. The more expensive models will typically give you a wider range of tone shaping options directly on the amp, potentially eliminating your need for an external mixing board. While this makes them more of an initial purchase, it can save you money in the long run since you won’t have to buy that extra equipment.
Whichever way you go, though, all four of these items could qualify as the best amp for vocals. Each will give you the powerful vocal sound you’re looking for. Good luck!
Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel. Email him