In order to get clear, well-rounded vocals, it’s important to choose an amp which is specifically suited to projecting your voice. Many vocal amps come equipped with EQ and effects to further enhance your performance.
In the following article, I will present the best vocal amps for making sure you cut through the mix and can be clearly heard by your audience.
The Best Vocal Amps for Singers
The VoiceSolo FX 150 by TC-Helicon provides you with an accurate and defined output which highlights the details of a singer’s voice.
With a 6.5 inch Tannoy speaker installed, the FX150 has enough power to fill a small to medium sized venue. If you’re familiar with effects pedals, you’ll know that this is TC-Helicon’s area of expertise.
The VoiceSolo FX150 has an array of effects options built in to the front panel. You get full control over the EP, reverb and compression levels. The compression is particularly useful as it allows you the set a minimum threshold. So even when you sing quietly the vocals are brought up to an audible volume.
This vocal amp can be used as a stage monitor too. It is shaped to sit tilted upright so that the output can be pointed towards you when it is placed on the floor.
Behringer’s Eurolive BD205D is a mobile PA speaker which is ideally suited to vocals. With a mic-stand mountable design, it is also very effective when used as a monitor to hear your vocals clearly on stage.
With a 3-channel mixer installed, you get control over the most important aspects of the vocals output. There’s also a 3-band EQ built-in for removing or adding frequencies to get the best tonal blend for your voice.
One of my favorite things about the BD205D is its incredibly compact size. You can easily pick it up and move it around the stage with one hand, making it ideal for playing impromptu gigs when the opportunity arises.
Despite its small size, this Behringer vocal amp still produces a fair amount of power, although it would struggle to provide the volume required for a busy show in a medium sized venue.
With XLR/TRS combo outputs for microphones or effects pedals and an auxiliary input for external sound sources, this speaker provides you with everything you need to project your singing.
I’ve long been an admirer of the Boss Acoustic Singer amp series, and the Live LT is their smaller option perfect for the travelling vocalist who needs a lightweight but powerful PA speaker.
The Live LT is housed in the classic, durable looking Boss casing and has an anti-feedback knob installed on the front panel. This control can be used to filter out any unwanted noise in real time while performing.
Indeed, this vocal amp boasts volume that belies its compact size. You get 60 watts of power and a bi-amplified speaker set. Add in an independent EQ control for each channel, and you have absolute control over the sound of your singing.
A handy feature of the Acoustic Singer Live LT is its ability to send a DI signal out into the mixer of a venue. This allows you to crank the volume much higher than the amp’s limit, and thus easily power a large room.
4. JBL EON615
Our next entry on this list of the best vocal amps for singers is the JBL EON615. Larger and more powerful than the previous amps I’ve reviewed, this 2-way powered speaker has a whopping 1000 watts and a 15 inch woofer.
If you need a speaker which has the capabilities to project your vocals to a large room, the EON615 is probably the right one for you. Designed by JBL using their own transducers and waveguide technology, it boasts ample clarity and power.
The onboard EQ can also be controlled with a wireless remote control, via Bluetooth. This is especially useful as it allows your sound engineer or a member of the band to tweak the EQ during a performance.
Although this JBL PA speaker is bulky, it’s surprisingly lightweight at only 38 lbs. It has a frequency response range of 50Hz to 20 kHz, making it ideal for singers.
Roland Cube amps will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first amp I bought years ago to take out busking. The Mobile Cube is a new version which has a powerful dual-speaker design.
This portable PA speaker is ideal for vocals thanks to the multiple built in effects such as reverbs and delays. It is also suitable for playing guitars and keyboards if the need arises.
You can mount the Roland Mobile Cube onto a mic stand too. It’s small, lightweight design means it can be easily carried around and placed in a backpack for transportation.
The battery life of this amp lasts for 15 hours, so you can take it out for a day of busking or use it for practicing guitar too.
How Does a Vocal Amp Differ from a Guitar Amp?
You might be thinking, why can’t I just use a guitar amp for my vocals? In theory, you could, but a guitar amp focuses on the frequency range of that instrument, whereas a vocal mic is tailored to bring out the singer’s voice.
One of the main differences between a vocal amp and a guitar amp is the lack of distortion. Vocals need to be completely clean, and then effects can be added afterwards.
Most vocal amps are fitted with EQ channels which allow you to adjust the low, mid and treble from the mix in order to get the perfect balance and not clash with the other instruments on stage.
Some vocal speakers are capable of amplifying other instruments too, but it’s important to check the frequency range as sometimes adding an instrument can drown out the sound of your vocals.
Vocal Amp – Essential Aspects
Reverb & Delay
Some singers prefer to use specifically designed pedals to process their vocals, with reverb and delay being the two most common effects. These are included in some vocal amps and can be applied directly to the output.
Not only does this save you money on purchasing pedals, but it also allows you to predetermine the ideal settings so that they can be applied to your vocals whenever necessary.
The performance of a vocal amp is directly linked to the speaker which is installed within its chassis. Generally speaking, larger speakers require more power and therefore can project your voice at louder maximum volumes.
Some vocal amplifiers may include a pair of speakers, which are chosen specifically to enhance the prominence of mid-range and high-end frequencies.
Inputs & Outputs
A great vocal amplifier’s benefits aren’t limited solely to live performances. They should also be a useful companion for rehearsals, composing, and recording. This multi-functioning requires several vital inputs and outputs.
Auxiliary inputs are a desirable addition to vocal amps because this allows you to connect an external source device, such as a phone or laptop, and play backing tracks to practice your vocal skills.
To record directly from a vocal amplifier, it must provide the necessary outputs. Some can connect directly to a laptop or computer, while others offer a line output that can be sent into an audio interface for recording.
Now that you’ve read through this list of the premium vocal amps available, you should have an idea of which option is best suited to your needs. If you intend to use the amp as a stage monitor, you probably don’t need one of the larger options.
Whichever amp you choose from this guide will provide you with clear, accurate sounding vocals to take your stage show to the next level.