Testing The Best Busking Amps of 2019

By Glen / October 22, 2019

Last Updated on

As a busker, you want a high quality amp, but you also want something small and portable, and affordable too.

We’re here to help you narrow down the selection for the best busking amp out there at this time.


Best Busking Amps: Reviews

1. Roland CUBE Street Combo Amp

Roland CUBE Street Battery Powered Stereo Guitar Combo Amp Black (Black)
  • 5W 2-channel 2x6.5" Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier and PA with Amp Models
  • Mic and Guitar Inputs - Black

This is a moderately priced busker amp that should work fine for all manner of street performances.

Review

The Roland CUBE Street Combo Amp is a battery-powered amp, which is great in terms of portability, because you can set it up virtually anywhere; however, keep in mind that the battery life is not the best there is.

This is a dual input amplifier, so performers can connect a guitar (or other instrument) along with a microphone for singing at the same time.

It comes with a variety of sound effects, although not too many. It’s a dual-channel 5-watt amp that should work fine for basic busker performances, one that musters pretty decent sound quality, although it’s not the loudest around.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Dual input
  • Decent sound quality
  • Durable exterior

Cons

  • Battery life is not great
  • Input jacks are not the best quality

Best For

The Roland CUBE Street Combo Amp is best for anyone who needs a dual input amp that is portable and works great for street performances.

2. Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier

Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
  • Angled back for use as a stage monitor; mounting hole for use with optional ST-A95 . (Best with Polaroid AA Batteries)
  • Power: 50W (25W & 25W stereo)AC or battery-powered (5 hours at 50W; 10 hours at 25W; 20 hours at 10W)Speakers: 2x8" woofers; 2x2" tweeters

Here we have a much more expensive and versatile amplifier which works great for street performances.

Review

The Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier has a total of 4 channels, making it ideal to connect 2 guitars and 2 mics, or 3 guitars and 1 mic, or whatever other combination of instruments and mics you see fit.

What is nice is that the Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier can be plugged in, or you can use batteries, although when using battery power and all 4 inputs, the battery life will not be fantastic.

It comes with COSM tones for electric guitars, along with a variety of effects. It is angled back, so it works great for street and stage performances alike. It is fairly heavy and bulky though, so it’s not the easiest to transport.

Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Awesome audio quality
  • 4 inputs
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A bit heavy

Best For

If you need to connect 4 musical devices to a single amp, and require great sound quality, the Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier might be best for you.

3. Roland CUBE-ST Cube Street Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier

Roland CUBE-ST Cube Street Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier Black with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty
  • Compact, lightweight stereo amplifier with slanted cabinet design
  • Two high-performance 6.5" neodymium speakers

Yes, another amp from the Roland brand, and yes, this is another good one. It’s designed for use with a guitar and a microphone, it’s portable, and has lots of versatility.

Review

The Roland CUBE-ST Cube Street Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier is battery powered, and what is impressive here is the battery life which can last for up to 15 hours of continuous use with a single pair of batteries.

You can plug in 2 things at once, which is usually going to be a guitar and a mic, so it works well for single-person use. It comes with a built-in chromatic tuner, a variety of effects, and 8 COSM amps.

The dual high-performance 6.5 inch neodymium speakers have fairly good sound quality, especially at close range.

The Roland CUBE-ST Cube Street Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier is small and portable.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Decent audio quality
  • Guitar and mic inputs
  • Good battery life

Cons

Not ideal for larger spaces

Best For

If you want a fairly affordable and decent quality combo speaker and amp for smaller areas, the Roland CUBE-ST Cube Street Battery-powered Guitar Combo Amplifier is probably a good choice for you.

4. Roland Micro Cube Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier

Roland Micro Cube Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier | M-CUBE-GX with 8 DSP Effects, 8 COSM Amplifier Models, Chromatic Tuner, iOS i-Cube Link (Black)
  • Ultra-compact guitar amp with custom-designed speaker (Best with Polaroid AA Batteries)
  • Eight COSM amp tones, including the ultra-heavy EXTREME amp

By now, you’ve probably noticed a trend, and here we have another affordable amp for buskers from Roland, one that is designed to handle a single guitar.

Review

This is so far the smallest, lightest, and most portable amp here on our list today. It’s a good option if you have a lot of gear that you need to lug around, and it even comes with a convenient carrying strap.

It has a variety of COSM amp tones, including the ultra-heavy EXTREME amp, which is pretty cool no doubt. It operates using batteries, but the battery life could be better.

That said, for such a small speaker, it actually provides some pretty good sound quality, at least for a single guitar.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Small and portable
  • Affordable
  • Fine for a single guitar

Cons

  • Not the loudest
  • Single instrument only

Best For

If you just want to rock some guitar on the street, and want a small and affordable amp and speaker combo, the Roland Micro Cube Battery Powered Guitar Amplifier is a nice option to keep in mind.

5. VOX Mini5 Rhythm 5W Modeling Amplifier

Seeing that we are reviewing the best busking amplifiers, we’d be remiss if we didn’t include this one from VOX, which has been a well-known brand in amplifiers for decades.

If you want a relatively small and portable amp for some simple guitar playing, this VOX Mini5 Rhythm 5W Modeling Amplifier is another a great choice.

Review

The VOX Mini5 Rhythm 5W Modeling Amplifier is a fine little amp that comes with a carrying strap and is fairly portable.

It’s designed for people like buskers who are always on the move. It has a pretty good sound quality, although the amplifier is small and affordable.

It’s more than loud enough for a small space, although it doesn’t go that loud. If you want to connect a guitar and rock out, then this is a pretty nice option to go with.

No, it’s not the highest quality option in the world, but it is durable, has decent sound quality, and also a lot of effects.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Quite durable
  • Decent sound quality

Cons

Not all that loud

Best For

The VOX Mini5 Rhythm 5W Modeling Amplifier is best if you need a small, portable, and affordable amp for basic use with something like an electric guitar.


Conclusion

What you really need to consider is how many guitars and mics you want to connect.

Once you figure out how many inputs you need and how much you are willing to spend, you can then make a decision in terms of what the best busking amp is for you.

About the author

Glen

My name is Glen Parry. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. This includes guitar, keyboard, ukulele, speakers, headphones and everything else that comes with it. I spend all my free time on music production and jamming with friends. I hope to use this site to share my experience and help anyone looking for solutions to audio related problems.