In this guide we’ll take a look at the best keyboard amps.
We’ve compared size, sound quality, performance and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Keyboard Amp?
More Detailed Keyboard Amp Reviews
Meet Roland Cube, which is a versatile monitor that’s built like a tank! It features a metal grill cover and corner protectors and is made to travel from gig to gig.
The only thing is that those gigs will have to be at small venues without other loud instruments. I have seen reviews saying that people use them at concerts, but most of them also add that the sound is drained if there is other sound that competes with it.
Another potential issue is that it does lack some bass at higher volumes.
Still, it can be a good monitor to use when you practice at home, and you could plug in two instruments and a microphone so that the whole family can jam together.
- Incredibly portable
- High quality
- Lacks bass at high volume
Roland KC-60 is the perfect keyboard amp if you want something small and compact that gives you exceptional sound. It’s very versatile and works well for other instruments as well.
However, since it is relatively small it’s not suitable to use if you play in a band and need to make yourself heard. When you turn the volume up too much, the sound isn’t great, particularly the bass notes. There is a subwoofer output to get a low-end boost, though. It’s compatible with most subwoofers.
The amp has three channels and includes a ¼” line input, stereo auxiliary input and XLR microphone input. It’s easy to connect a microphone or a CD-player to it.
There is low and high EQ so that you can make sure that it’s set to suit what you’re playing. It’s designed with modern music in mind and all the different sounds that synthesizers and samplers have.
The amp is light enough to carry in one hand, so you can easily bring it with you where ever you need to use it.
- Great sound
Next up is a really versatile gadget, it’s the Behringer Eurolive B205D. It’s a multi-purpose active speaker that you can use as a monitor when you’re playing the keyboard, singing, or as a part of your home studio to play back what you’ve recorded.
To make things clear, this product is not designed to make the audience hear what you’re playing, you still need an amp for that. This monitor is so that you can hear what you’re playing, even though the amp is facing away from you.
The best thing about it is the size. It’s small and light-weight and can even be mounted on the microphone stand. It has a handle that makes it easy to carry.
It features a 3-channel mixer with 3-band equalizer. There are two so-called invisible microphone preamps with phantom power so that you can use your condenser microphones with it. There is one input for instruments.
When you use Behringer Eurolive B205D, it’s like it’s not even there. It’s absolutely noise-free and has very low power consumption. It’s built to last and to be used and seems to be high-quality.
I was a little bit skeptical to start with because I’ve tried quite a few of Behringer’s things and they’re not always very good. Usually, they work, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying as they work well, and I’ve always sold them again after a few uses.
This prophecy sort of comes true for to this monitor too. It’s just too quiet to use at loud concerts. But if you only use it to practice at home or as a monitor when you produce music, it works well enough.
I love a good bargain! If you do too, I bet you’re going to like Peavy KB 1 keyboard amp. It’s very affordable and perfect for beginners who want to find an amp that works well without breaking the bank.
It has 2 separate channels and 2-band EQ per channel as well as a headphone output. In other words, it’s a basic amp that does what it’s supposed to do, but it’s not amazing in any way. But you know, sometimes you just want to find something cheap to start out with and then I’d say it’s perfect!
- Affordable price
- Not fantastic sound quality
If you play several different instruments you might be looking for an amp that can handle it all and doesn’t specifically need to be designed for keyboards. Laney AH40 is a 3-channel multi-instrument amplifier that is incredibly versatile.
It has a 5-band master graphic EQ, which is awesome because it means that you have more flexibility and can adjust the tone to get it the way you like it.
Other than that, the thing I like the most about it is that you can choose to either use it as an amp or a monitor, you just tilt it to put it in kickback position and voilà, you’ve got a monitor!
- Use as amp or monitor
- Great sound quality
Keyboard Amp Buying Guide
If you’ve ever tried playing the keyboard in a band using only its built-in speakers, you know exactly why you need an amplifier. If you haven’t, let me tell you why. Because if you play the keyboard with a couple of guitars, a bass, and drums, you’re probably not going to hear yourself at all, and neither will the audience.
But how can you know which amp to go for? And what is the difference between an amplifier and a monitor? I’m going to answer those questions to help you figure out what you need to buy!
Amplifiers and Monitors
Many beginners get confused when they encounter the words amplifier and monitor because it seems to be the same kind of speaker.
It’s not that hard. The difference is what you use it for. An amplifier is there to make the audience hear the keyboard and will be facing them when you play on a stage.
The problem with this is that if you are behind the amp you can’t hear what you’re playing. This is what the monitor is there for. You use it as your personal speaker so that you know what’s going on.
You could use an amplifier as a monitor, but it doesn’t always work the other way around. That is certainly true for little monitors that you can attach to your microphone stand. They are only designed for one person, not a whole audience.
How to Pick the Right One
Once you’ve decided whether you are in need of an amp or a monitor or even both, it’s time to choose the right model for you.
If you’re a beginner, I would recommend Behringer Eurolive B205D as your first monitor and Peavy KB 1 as your first amp. They offer everything you need but are very affordable and easy to use.
If you’re more advanced perhaps Laney AH40 would be a good fit. You could even buy two since it can be used both as an amp and a monitor depending on if you tilt back or not. It’s a very versatile amp and I highly recommend it!
But what if you still feel like you have no idea which amp would work for you? How should you go about searching for the right one and how do you know when you’ve found it?
Let’s take a look at the different features you might want to research before you make up your mind.
If you’re going to use your amp a lot on gigs and bring it with you often, you need to make sure that it’s sturdy enough to handle the travel. Look for one that has a handle and is easy to carry and that looks like it could take a lot.
The material is often what separates the cheap ones for the more expensive. Plastic that seems like it would easily break is a warning sign.
The sound is, of course, the most important aspect. It can actually be very different depending on the amp. Especially low bass notes on a high volume will reveal if the amp is good or not. You want an amp that can handle all sorts of sounds.
Many low-cost amps and monitors are not powerful enough to use on loud concerts. You need to think about in what environment you will be using your amp and determine how much volume it will need to deliver.
Look for YouTube demos if you want to know if a particular amp or monitor is any good.
Some amps and monitors also come with built-in equalizers, which is very handy. They allow you to tweak your tone and adjust it to the room.
Why a Guitar Amp Won’t Do
You might wonder if there really is a need to buy an amp specifically designed for keyboards. Why not just buy a guitar amp?
The simple answer is that keyboard amps are made to work for a wide range of sounds. But guitar amps only have to work for guitars. Yes, it’s that simple! Sure, you could use a guitar amplifier, but it wouldn’t sound as good as one that is made to suit all the keyboard’s voices!
I’ve Got the Power!
When you buy an amplifier, you’ll notice that they use different wattage. This is something that might be worth knowing.
You see, the higher the amp’s wattage is, the louder you can play without the tone getting distorted. Of course, this is not the only factor, as the number of speakers as well as the size of the cabinet they are in will also do their part.
Many keyboard amps have several outputs so that you can plug not only your keyboard in but perhaps another instrument and a microphone. This can be very useful if you play with other people or like to sing when you play the keyboard.
Having a good amp is something that I wish all keyboardists could experience. It saves you a lot of trouble and allows you to only focus on playing great music. Forget about weird distortion and not hearing what you’re playing, with the right amp every gig will sound awesome!