Learn about the best portable bass amps for practicing at home, busking, playing small venues, jamming, and more.
As a bass player, it’s very important that you have a small portable bass amp; it will allow you to practice at home, busk around the city, play small gigs, and jam with friends. Bass amps are available in a wide variety of sizes and come with different features. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best portable bass amps under $200.
If you’re a beginner and you’re looking for a good inexpensive bass and amp combo, make sure you bookmark this page for reference.
The Fat Boy FBGB15 Bass Amp rings in as the cheapest bass amp on this list. It has a 15-watt output, 6.5” speaker, an AUX input and a headphone output, as well as a built-in 2-band EQ for bass and treble tone shaping. This amp is perfect for practicing at home due to its low wattage. You’re not going to disturb your neighbours if you live in apartment. Practicing late at night is no problem either thanks to the available headphone output. Unfortunately, if you need more power, you’re going to have to pay for it.
The Vox PB10 Pathfinder Combo Amp weighs in at around 14 pounds, making it one of the most portable bass amps you can have for a low price. This little wonder can even fit into a backpack. It’s simple and easy to use so it’s great for beginners. It doesn’t have much of a volume output, but for busking, this 10-watt compact amp will work great with its clean tone and overall quality.
Some of this amp’s main features include a drive knob, a bright switch for enhancing upper-harmonic content, a 2-band EQ, and two 5” Bulldog speakers, each powered by their own 10-watt amp. Since this is a Vox product, you can expect a hard rock distortion that translates into aggressive and edgy tones.
Even though it’s small, the Ampeg BA-108 V2 is extremely durable with its all-steel chassis, embraced enclosures, impact-resistant corners and overall rugged build. The tone is surprisingly clear despite providing just 20W in power output. This amp seems like it was built with small rowdy venues in mind.
The Ampeg BA-108 V2 features an integrated AUX input, as well as a headphone port, so you can plug in your MP3 player and play along to your favorite tracks. The unit weighs only 27 pounds and has a 20-watt, 8-inch Ampeg Custom8 speaker. It also contains a 3-band EQ that lets you customize the quality of the output.
At 25 pounds, the Hartke HD25 is one of the smallest and most lightweight models in Hartke’s range of amps. This 25-watt amp features an 8-inch HyDrive Speaker, which has a half-aluminum, half-paper cone that reproduces fuller bass tones at lower volumes. The Hartke HD25 contains a 3-band EQ, and with its headphone output and aux input, you can practice without disturbing your neighbours.
The Hartke HD25 is a really loud amp compared to the previous 3 bass amps on this list, and can maintain punch and clarity even at high volumes. This amp is incredibly robust, making it great for jamming with friends.
Another portable bass amp to consider is the Pignose Hog 30. It’s a no-frills, 30-watt 28-pound amp that lets you practice at home, busk, play small venues, and jam with friends. It looks striking with its classic exterior that gives off a vintage vibe. This amp also has a battery that charges every time the amp is plugged in, so you can use it when there’s no direct power supply available.
At 30W, the Pignose Hog 30 is the most powerful amp on this list, making it extremely versatile. You don’t get much distortion at higher volumes and the battery lasts for ages. If you can get past the steep price point, this may be the amp for you.