Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: August 20, 2021
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When you’re investing in an amp for any instrument, not just ukuleles, there are a few factors to consider when looking to purchase: sound quality, size, and personal preferences. What makes one amp stand out from the rest? The answer to that question really pertains to your own needs. Children practicing for the first time will need a smaller amp, one that won’t break easily with use and is easy to move around. Adults will need an amp that has decent sound quality and a lot of features to hone their skills. What kind of needs do you need to have met?
In this article, we hope to help you find your perfect amp match with our list of six amps carefully considered for your ukulele that’s on the market right now. We rated them individually first, then discussed the different categories of what makes a good amplifier for your ukulele. We hope that you learn something from this article, even if it’s not an amp we mentioned. It’s up to you to decide if these amps are right for you, after all. Let’s get started.
The Fender Frontman 10G amp features a 6-inch speaker and the iconic black Fender look. This product is designed perfectly for classic rock, blues, and even heavy metal. Specially designed to give off a 10W heavy bass, this amp makes it easy to play with any instrument of your choice. The headphone design is also helpful for practicing at night or even if you have neighbors. This amp proves that an amplifier can be both cost-efficient and high quality.
Why are we impressed? This product delivers quality sound for its small size, making it easy to stow. The headphone feature is especially useful if you want to practice at night when family members are asleep. It also has several controls for gain, overdrive, volume, treble, and bass. If you’re looking to purchase specifically from Fender because of their credibility but don’t want to spend too much on a higher grade one, this is one of the best amps for your bass ukulele.
What negatives must you be aware of? Although the amp has room in the back for its velcro cable holder, there isn’t much room to store the plug and lead. The volume is also typically louder through the headphone jack, but this is a great amp for beginners or home practice.
The Luna Portable amplifier is small in size but gives back a decent sound for an amp powered by 6 AA batteries. This product is more fitting in design for acoustic instruments, which makes it the perfect amp for a ukulele. Although a bit higher in price compared to the Fender blackface amplifier, its more closely suited for acoustics rather than electric guitars.
What do we love it for? Good sound, easy portability, and decent overdrive – this makes for the best acoustic amp for ukuleles and other acoustic instruments. Its design is also very vintage and eye-catching if the design is included in your final decision for which is the best amp for you to purchase. The design is catered towards a typical Hawaiian ukulele and has a useful handle at the top for easy handling. It also has a compartment in the back for small storage, either for travel or just to store some extra cables. Because of its tune, this makes it one of the best amps for a tenor ukulele.
What were we disappointed with? This amp is perfect in size and battery power for a small, acoustic instrument. However, the volume needs to be turned up fairly high to be audible. This makes it ideal for home practice and in small spaces, but necessary for an outdoor setting or performances.
The ammoon Mini Ukulele amp showcases a sleek design while also putting forth quality sound for weighing less than a pound. The tone and overdrive overall make it one of the best mini amps for a bass ukulele. This amplifier is also specially designed for ease of portability, ideal for practice at home. The headphone jack is easily accessible to increase the volume and tune the sound to fit your personal needs.
What makes it special? This amplifier is smaller than the other amps, but it gives back fantastic sound for its size. It’s also one of the most affordable amps on the market, which makes it perfect for a first-time amp purchase. It makes for a great mini amp for a bass ukulele. It also has a headphone jack so that you can comfortably practice at home.
What cons did we find? With affordable price comes substituting quality materials for cheaper ones. The amp is still a great amp for its price, but if you want perfect sound quality in a big space, you might want to budget to buy a bigger amp. It also doesn’t have a lot of key features that the other amps have, such as rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth, and more overall output. And at only 3W, it won’t have as much power in comparison to other amps.
The RockJam guitar amp showcases a unique but retro wood style while also including modern features such as Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery. The wattage is also impressive for its size. At 5 pounds, it’s easy to carry around but also big enough that it doesn’t feel cheaply made. At 15W output, it also has a lot of volumes and is more ideal for performances and even outdoors.
What makes it special? This amp has four different inputs: Bluetooth input, mic input, aux input, and guitar input. The Bluetooth is first compared to the other amps. This product is also a great value for its affordable price tag as it showcases 15W, which is another record in comparison to the other amps. For such a light amp, it gives off incredible power. Traveling and practicing on the go is made easy, and the battery lasts upwards of seven hours. The design is also fun with the classic wood style if retro is more your vibe.
What cons did we find? The sound quality could be a bit better but forgivable because of how many other features this little amp includes. It, unfortunately, doesn’t have an echo or reverb setting, which could be desirable for some.
The Sawtooth 10-Watt Electric Guitar Amp is highly versatile in tone as it produces unique sounds for its small size. Some of its features include 10W total output, an overdrive switch, a headphone jack, and mid, treble, and bass controls. The speaker is 6.5” and gives off a very clean tone.
What are our favorite features? The sound and bass quality is excellent for its size, making this one of the best amps for a ukulele on this list. It delivers great output and is more fitting for shows and travel. It’s of professional-grade when it comes to mini amps. It also includes a sampler for different picks and a great instrument cable. There’s also no distortion compared to other amps at this price on the market.
What could be better? The sheer volume on this mini amp is incredible, so even at the lowest setting, it’s still pretty loud. It’s not ideal for home settings if you have a family or roommates, but it does have a headphone jack. However, if that’s the worst we can think of, then this is one of the best small amps for ukuleles on this list.
The AROMA Mini Portable Guitar Amp has 5W of output as well as a rechargeable option utilizing a USB cable. It also has a recording feature that allows the player to save recording files in a TF card. At 9.2 ounces, its small size is easy to carry and even clip onto your belt. This amp also has specific controls for volume and tone, as well as input for mic, audio, and headphones.
What do we love it for? This amplifier is the smallest on our list but provides a unique feature: the ability to clip onto your belt. It’s easily accessible to dial the knobs when it’s right at your waist. Its recharging feature takes roughly four hours to charge fully and plays for about six hours. This amp is ideal for acoustic players as the sound isn’t as intense as other heavier mini amps, but it still packs a punch.
What were we disappointed with? We would have liked to see a modern feature such as Bluetooth but the sound record and belt clip-on features were impressive enough for its size. It’s also not an ideal amp for an outdoor setting or performance.
Things to Consider
When you’re investing in an amp for any instrument, not just ukuleles, there are a few factors to consider when looking to purchase: sound quality, size, and personal preferences. What volume are you hoping to achieve? Do you want more modern features such as Bluetooth or sound recording? You should also ask yourself if the price is an issue and whether or not you’d want to budget for something more expensive that would pay itself off eventually.
Why do you need an amp for ukulele?
Just as electric guitars are associated with the classic rock ‘n roll, ukuleles are associated with a softer, acoustic sound. The classic ukulele instrument doesn’t need amplification necessarily, but electric ukuleles have picked up steam recently. They’ve become as popular as traditional ukuleles. That doesn’t mean they don’t need an amplifier, though. Your electric ukulele needs an amp so that it’s easier for the signal coming from your ukulele pick up sound much louder. Even if you don’t have an electric ukulele, any instrument will benefit from an amplifier. Whether you’re playing at home or on the go, picking the right amp is about as important as picking the right ukulele.
Features to consider before you buy an amp for a ukulele
When looking to purchase an amplifier, there are a few features you need to consider. First is how many inputs does the amp have in comparison to how many you need. The RockJam amp would be a good purchase for someone who wants several different inputs, such as for microphone, audio, aux, and even Bluetooth. If more practical features are desired, the AROMA amplifier would be a good match as it easily clips on to belts and has a sound recording. Performances or more professional-grade amps are also something to consider before purchase, such as the excellent volume and sound on the Sawtooth amp. But there are also other features to consider.
More specifically, for output, there are a few products in this article that would be great selections. The output is usually described in terms of how many watts the amp can give out and how highly it’s powered. For example, 3W isn’t considered as good compared to an amp that can give out 15W. But just because it has low wattage doesn’t mean it’s a bad amplifier. The Fender or Luna portable amp would be great selections as both produce good sound quality for their size and cost. If an outdoor setting or even performance is desired for usage, then we wouldn’t recommend the AROMA clip-on or the ammoon mini amp.
The RockJam amp and the Sawtooth amp have arguably the best volume through their speakers. The RockJam speakers are approximately inches while the Sawtooth has 6.5”. Size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to speakers, but it could factor into the quality of the sound. The RockJam speakers also have a bit of an edge over the Sawtooth as it has an output of 15W while the Sawtooth only has 10W.
Most mini amps won’t give off as much output through their speakers as more professional-grade amps, but for beginners or even home practice, the sheer volume isn’t too much of a concern.
A lot of buyers find non-rechargeable batteries inconvenient, and we would agree. Rechargeable batteries are very handy and shockingly not a common feature in smaller amps, at least in the ones we listed. RockJam amp is one of the products that has a rechargeable battery. Once fully charged, it can be played for upwards of four hours. Another product that showcases rechargeability as a feature is the small AROMA Portable Amp. For the contrasting size, it’s surprising that the AROMA has a longer battery life at 7-10 hours. To fully charge, it takes approximately 4 hours.
Battery life is also one of those things that decay with use, but at the affordable prices listed, that shouldn’t be an issue.
A few unique accessories could be considered a selling point before the final decision, such as the AROMA amp’s feature of sound recording. Unfortunately, a TF card isn’t included. Sound recording was surprisingly a rare feature in these products, and we consider the AROMA to be one of the best mini amps for a ukulele listed because of all its unique functions. Another accessory that might be overlooked is the fact that an array of different picks, as well as an instrument cable, was included in the Sawtooth 10W amp. Looking closely to see what accessories are included with your amp is important.
There’s nothing more inconvenient than buying an item only to realize obvious things you needed for it to work, such as batteries, were not included.
Size is another important factor to think about. You want an amp that can easily fit into your space while also not taking up too much space. That makes the Luna portable amp perfect as it’s the kind of amp you don’t want to do much hauling around with it at its weight of almost eight pounds. It’s also one of the best for ukuleles specifically because of the sound quality it produces matches well for acoustics. The other amps, even if they specifically mention electric guitars, are great for ukuleles as well, but the sound quality on the Luna amp will be more unique.
Weight is an easy comparison to make. If you’re someone who likes to look at reviews before purchasing, weight is something that isn’t different depending on the person. The product will always weigh the same. If you prefer a lighter amp that could be worn on your person or even for traveling, the AROMA or ammoon amplifier would be perfect as both weigh under one pound. Their sizes also make for a great gift if your child has an instrument, and they won’t need help lifting it as often. If weight isn’t an issue, then the Fender amp at 10 pounds would be a good fit as the brand has great credibility, and you can’t go wrong with any of their amplifiers.
All amplifiers will have an input where a cable or even wireless transmitter can be plugged in. You want to make sure the cable is specifically an instrument cable, preferably 10′ or longer. Sound in an electric ukulele won’t make much noise unless it’s plugged in, similar to an electric guitar. However, your ukulele will need to have a pickup installed so that the sound can travel. A pickup is similar to how sound travels, and our brain picks up the frequency so that we can hear it. An amp working with a ukulele is the same thing. The ukulele makes the signal, and the cable connected to the amp converts the vibrations from the ukulele into an electric signal. Some amps come with cables, some don’t. It’s important to keep that in mind.
With any instrument, you want to regularly maintain it for it to continue working properly. These steps include regular cleaning, keeping your ukulele in a dry place, learning to restring it regularly, have a case for your ukulele, and treat it with care while playing. Sweat from your hands will transfer onto the surface on your ukulele the more you play. The condition of your ukulele will deteriorate over time, but not as quickly if you clean it properly and regularly. Lemon oil and a soft cloth, such as microfiber, is great for cleaning a ukulele. Monitoring the humidity level is also a good idea, as both high and low humidity will harm the wood.
For us, the RockJam Portable Amp sits the highest with its rechargeable battery feature, access to Bluetooth, medium weight, sound quality, and accessibility for beginners.
Next is the Luna Portable amp. This product wasn’t rated higher for us just because the sound quality on the other amps was a little bit better. We would still consider this amp to be one of the best microamps for your ukulele.
Last but not least is the ammoon Mini Guitar amp. This one was placed last only because the other amps had a lot more features. It’s up to you whether any of these products fit your preferences, but we hope that this article was helpful in narrowing down your search.