Bass amps, along with audio mixers, play an important role in the music industry: they boost a line-level signal and increase the amplitude of a signal applied to the input terminal. Some allow tone adjustment and have additional features to deliver clean and preferable sound on the outcome.
The market offers a range of different classes and sizes, however, there are three types of amps on the market: combo, head and cabinet, and rack system. Combo amps are most convenient for travel or transport from one site to another, for example when moving from bedroom rehearsal to a studio.
Best Portable Bass Amplifiers under $500
|12.8 × 14.37 × 9.25″
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|13.98 x 15.91 x 10 inches
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Roland Micro Cube Bass
|8.15 x 11.65 x 11.57 inches
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Peavey MAX 208
|1 x 1 x 1 inches
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Best Portable Bass Amplifiers under $100
|11.61 x 17.91 x 17.13 inches
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JOYO 10W Mini
|12.6 x 8.54 x 6.65 inches
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|8.3 x 5.3 x 6.9 inches
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|11.6 x 4.5 x 11.9 inches
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|5.28 x 5.28 x 2.76 inches
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|7.59 x 5.59 x 4.29 inches
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The separate head and cabinet type is mostly used for stage performances and is basically a small amplifier that can fit into any pocket and a big cabinet that connect to the mini amp. The rack system goes a step further by having a preamplifier, signal processor, and a power amplifier all as separate units.
As we are interested in the portability feature, most of the amps are of combo type as they have a compact design and lightweight. They are great for small performances, private practice with headphones, or garage rehearsals.
Some of the listed manufacturers have a history and a pioneering force in the amplification and music industry, therefore offering more professional solutions and more specifications within a product, while some are more simple, yet have enough functionality and quality to be used by beginners.
1. Orange Crush Bass Combo Amp
Although the Orange Crush Bass combo amp is the smallest model in the Crush Bass amp range, it still retains the warm and rounded tonal character which keeps Orange Amps a number one choice for some of the most iconic bass players worldwide.
Since the founding of the company, Orange has been committed to craftsmanship and quality control. The Crush bass 25-watt combo offers an all-analog signal path for a fat, rounded sound, a ported cabinet for an improved low-end response, and a highly responsive active equalizer section with three active bands.
In addition to the bass and treble bands, the amp’s variable parametric mid band allows unlimited control over a broad range of frequencies and a much greater degree of control over the sound than a standard equalizer.
The mid-band covers a range starting from 300 Hz to 2,7k Hz, or from fully counterclockwise to fully clockwise, therefore allowing it to be finely tuned to suit any musical style. Orange crush offers a selection to dial in a massive range of classic bass tones or create your own.
An active CabSim circuitry allows for up to 15 dB of boost or cuts on the bass and middle frequencies and up to 20 dB on the treble side. The headphone output emulates the response of a stage-ready Orange Bass Crush bass speaker cabinets during silent practice.
This signal can also be sent to a console for seriously authentic direct recording. The Aux input allows the use of external audio sources for backing tracks while the onboard tuner provides a quick tune-up between jams.
Due to an integrated tuner, an auxiliary input for backing tracks, and a headphone output and a CabSim circuitry, the Crush Bass 25 is positioned as the perfect miniature rig for all players to hone and practice their tone.
2. Fender Rumble15 Bass Combo Amplifier
Fender Rumble Bass Combo amp is a legendary Fender tone in a remarkably portable package by the company that invented the electric bass amp. The Rumble bass combos are made to be compact, portable, and lightweight, while still offering the seismic Fender bass tone and stage-worthy features.
It comes in several sizes, ranging from 15 to 500. Small but loud, the most portable Fender 15 weighs just below twenty pounds, with a sealed enclosure and removable grille.
Despite the size, it is built with great features including classic Fender styling, an eight-inch speaker, and three-band EQ, making it perfect for a practice amp, while its 15 watts give out a surprisingly rich and balanced sound.
It allows you to instantly become part of the band by simply plugging in the MP3 player into the 1/8 inch Aux input jack made for easy connectivity with digital media players and other similar devices.
In case you prefer private practice, just mute the speaker output with the quarter-inch headphone output jack and enjoy convenient personal listening at any time. The three-band equalization knob allows for tone shaping between bass, mid, and treble.
3. Hartke HD25 Bass Combo
Hartke HD25 is a top-mounted amplifier with the built-in limiter, volume, bass, mid and treble controls and powerful 25 watts of output power equipped with Hartke’s patented HyDrive speaker technology that will greatly enrich the low-end tone.
A sleek but highly durable combo design makes the amp ideal for various venues from rehearsal spaces and bedroom practice sessions to small venues. Hartke HyDrive transducers are a radical change and improvement in bass speaker technology.
The exceptional tone of a unique and carefully crafted half aluminum, half paper HyDrive speaker packed in a highly durable and highly portable enclosure allows performance at levels far beyond ordinary bass combos.
This is due to a combination of the warmth and roundness of outside paper that produces deep and warm low frequencies with the punch and attack of the inside aluminum cone which produces mids and cut.
Hartke Bass Combo offers the eight-inch hybrid cone driver with a ceramic magnet and quarter-inch input for active or passive guitars, plus 1/8 inch stereo Aux for line-level devices to allow playing favorite tracks via an MP3 player. The quarter-inch mono headphone output allows private practice whenever it is convenient for you.
Designed with professional features, it is user friendly and reliable for players of all levels. The HD25 provides a flexible input that has a broad range of input levels that allows it to be used for passive model basses or with active circuitry, while an included 3.5 millimeters line input is dedicated for allowing you to hook up a portable CD or Mp3 player to practice along.
All of the features are packed into a ruggedly constructed cabinet with a sleek, perforated metal grill and molded strap carry handle for travel.
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4. Roland Micro Cube Bass RX Combo Amp
An onboard stereo power amplifiers and four newly developed four-inch speakers make Roland Micro Cube (MCB) a great sounding modeling bass amp in a compact size. The cutting edge new speaker technology use in the MCB RX is designed specifically for this model to provide a high quality and powerful sound.
Two specially made power amps and four speakers of the RX amp deliver an immersive, true stereo sound and bass tones that defy the size of the amp cabinet.
The Mirco Cube Bass RX comes with built-in COSM amps with eight switchable types (octave bass, super-flat, flip top, B man, BASS360, session, concert 810, and MIC), three-band equalizer (bass, middle and treble), and a chromatic tuner.
For beginners, who may rely on a metronome, the RX combo amp provides an assortment of grooving patterns to practice with, providing a feeling of having a drummer inside an amp. The pattern knob offers a variety of rhythms ranging from a simple metronome to blues, country, jazz, funk, Latin, R&B, rock, ballad, and dance.
This improves the timing while having a more pleasant musical experience. The design provides phone and recording output that allows a private practice with lush, stereo sound, or an accurate signal transfer by direct plugging into a stereo mixer or recording device.
The amp’s line input allows guitar, bass, or microphone plug, while also offering a stereo AUX input that accepts input from iPod, CD player, or musical instrument to blend its signal with your own.
The fifteen-pound compact RX amp comes with a strap for portable use and a power cord with an AC adaptor for connection to a power source. Otherwise, it can also be powered by six AA-type alkaline batteries that will provide up to eleven hours of continuous use.
5. JOYO MA 10B Mini Bass Amp
The JOYO mini bass amp is perfect for taking with you when going out to practice: just take out two hidden shoulder strap buckles on both sides of the amplifier and hang a shoulder strap on the buckles. It is also suitable for a range of venues: on the table or floor, or carry it for street performance weighing just over four pounds.
A high-quality Aux-in Jack allows playing backing tracks, while the 3.5 mm stereo headphone output jack for IOS and Android ensures subtleness of music and interference-free use. A five inches customized full frequency speakers with a rated power of 10 W (RMS) is dedicated to the related instruments.
JOYO MA series is special designed for different instruments, including three multifunctional amps for three instruments. THE Orange MA-10A amp is for acoustic guitar and ukulele, the black MA-10E is for electric guitar, and the white MA-10B is for electric bass.
However, the MA-10 series features various tones, i.e. each model has dual-channel dedicated to the related instruments therefore allowing an easy switch.
The interface of this MA 10B dedicated to electric bass provides a master volume knob, the bright knob for normal/ bright dual-channel, gain control knob to regulate the output sound to your preferences.
While you can choose a normal channel to get the tone of electric bass, it can also be switched to drive channel to obtain a warm overdrive tone. Functional characteristics, over a decade of brand history, innovative patents and electroacoustic core technology inspires people’s music dreams keeps JOYO winning its preference for global fans.
This mini bass amp offers a choice for the power supply mode. It can either be attached to a power adaptor or used with six AA batteries and get about three hours of battery life with AA alkaline batteries if no power source is available.
6. Kithouse B9 Electric Guitar Amp (supports BASS)
Kithouse electric amplifier is the powerhouse of your audio setup that will turn your guitar’s output from a simple electric current into the familiar sounds, it is perfect for the ones who are looking for a more clear, crisp sound and the best available reliability.
Although the amp has a guitar input, it supports bass and treble regulation, plus almost twenty types of featured drum beat rhythms and are volume adjustable. A wired or wireless microphone input allows a professional performance, while the headset output makes private practice possible at any preferred time.
These all in one unit combine the preamp, power amp, and speakers in one tool which makes Kithouse Guitar Amplifier ideal for easy and go-anywhere amplification. The design makes it suitable for rehearsals and bucking, while also being great for small venues that don’t need the power of a larger amp.
The 1/8 inch 3.5 mm Jack allows it to be used together with any phone or audio device. Kithouse B9 top-mounted amplifier panel has a power switch, low battery and charging indicator, volume, bass, and treble knobs and guitar input, an AUX input jacks on the general section.
The microphone section allows mic volume and echo regulation, while the drum section provides a rhythm knob, and play/pause button. Kithouse Amp has DC 5V charging and power supply and comes with two 2200Ah rechargeable lithium batteries that have over ten hours of working time when fully charged.
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7. LyxPro 20 Watt Amplifier
This 20-watt LyxPro amplifier provides a six-inch built-in speaker and sound creativity. Integrated easy to use controls include gain, bass, treble, volume, and grind and allows ultimate control with multiple adjustable dials.
Other than standard sound control features, LyxPro offers the opportunity to expand your musicality through experimenting with various controls and effects on the guitar and amp.
The quarter-inch instrument input and AUX input allows you to easily connect to an MP3 player, mobile phone, or guitar and make playing on the guitar alongside your favorite recorded music possible.
The side panel includes the instrument input, AUX input, standard size headphones output, on/off switch, and four regulating knobs (gain, bass, treble, volume) each allowing it to be turned from zero to ten.
Other than its functionality, LyxPro provides secured edges i.e. secured hard rubber corner edges that will make the amplifier stand safe and stable, while also protecting it from damage and dents.
Weighing just about six pounds, the amplifier can be taken along anywhere you go. The amplifier is powered with a power outlet and comes with an AC plug.
8. Peavey MAX 208 200W Bass Amp Combo
The Peavey MAX series is made for a superior tone, performance, and reliability, while still being a portable bass amplifier. It delivers a great bass tone with an exclusive Peavey design that includes a unique psycho-acoustic low-end enhancement.
This allows an added bass without requiring extra effort from the speaker which proves Peavey’s technology-driven reliability. The MAX’s angled baffle design and two premium eight-inch speakers direct the sound where you want it, while the equalizer section includes a three-band EQ for tone regulation.
The gain boost features a patented TransTube tube emulation circuitry and switchable pre-sets such as Contour, Mid-Shift, and bright. A maximum impact and tone are also achieved by the harmonics and subharmonics Kosmos-C enhancement imparts bass enhancement, while the clip limiting DDT protects the speakers and restrain dynamics.
A variety of player-friendly features allows us to build the bass rig around the MAX 208. An effects loop allows for the integration of pedals and external processors. It also features a 1/8 inch AUX input and 1/8 inch headphone output for extra functionality, while the lightweight construction ensures maximum portability.
9. Ammoon 3W Mini Amp
This ammoon 3-watt power amplifier offers excellent performance and elegant design in one with clear and clean sounds and excellent sound effects on the outcome. It is equipped with the volume and tone controlling functions to get the preferred tone on the outcome.
A quarter-inch input port and a 6.35 mm headphone port allows for personal practice sessions, while also adopting a three-inch high sensitivity dedicated guitar speaker. A compact, reliable, and durable design together with the featured functionality makes it a perfect amp for the guitar learners to practice.
It is great for on the go due to lightweight construction that weighs less than one pound while providing an appropriate sound to the size. The amp is AC powered, but can also be used with one 9V battery.
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10. Blackstar FLY 3 Bass Amp Combo
Blackstar FLY 3 compact bass amp with a three-inch speaker and an onboard compressor is great for use as a practice amp. The MP3 and line-in inputs are great for jamming along or listening to music. A headphone output and emulated line out gives an opportunity for silent practice or recording.
Whether playing bass or playing your music, the built-in equalizer will help to achieve the desired tone on the output. Compact design and lightweight over two pounds makes it portable to take anywhere you go.
Additional features include two channels (clean and overdrive), line out with speaker simulation, and sub-control. The power supply of an amp is realized via battery or optional mains adaptor (not included).
FAQ for portable bass amplifier buyers
1. Can bass amps be used as an electric guitar head?
Yes, most of the time the electric guitar can be played through a bass amp head. However, you cannot play the bass guitar a regular guitar amp, or head as this may blow the speakers. The amplifier functionality differs from the manufacture, therefore should be double-checked beforehand for safety reasons.
2. How safe is it to run an amp without a power conditioner?
There are no straight directions for power conditioner use from the manufacturer. Some users don’t use one for any type of gigging while having no problem with the amp. However, if it is important to have a power conditioner for safety affirmation, it is recommended to get the lightest rack with proper ventilation.
3. What are the pros and cons of getting a combo amp?
The main advantage of a combo amplifier is portability, however, this brings a limited power. Combos are usually preferred for rehearsals rather than a stage performance.
4. What is the role of equalizers in the bass amps?
It is a common problem that a certain frequency area is masking or muddying a resulting tone. In such cases, cutting out the problematic features can greatly improve it. You can get a more round tone by cutting the mids or get an enhanced clarity by cutting the bass.