Keyboard players of all levels want their instrument to sound as good as possible, whether they are playing at home, in a garage band with friends, or standing on stage. While keyboards will often come with their integrated speakers, those speakers are not going to be able to provide the volume of sound required in some situations. If you need to increase your sound, the perfect option to consider is a keyboard amp.
Of course, when you start looking at the various options for keyboard amplifiers that are available today, it can become overwhelming very quickly. With all of the choices, it can be challenging to know just which one is going to be right for you. After all, you want the best, but you also want to make sure you can find something in your price range. To help make things easier for you, we’ve collected the nine best keyboard amp options on the market right now.
Below, we will be looking at their features and capabilities, so you can get a better understanding of what each one is capable of bringing to the table. Also, we cover tips on buying a keyboard amplifier, the difference between a keyboard amp and a guitar amplifier, how amps help, and more. By the end, you will be able to find a suitable option for your needs.
The Best Keyboard Amplifier
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|Peavey KB 2||
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|Behringer Ultratone K900FX||
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|Behringer Ultratone KT108||
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|Laney Amps Audio Hub LAN AH300||
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|Roland Mobile Cube||
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|Behringer Eurolive B205D Ultra Compact||
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The Roland KC-400 is a high-quality keyboard amp that can provide you with a substantial amount of power in a compact form. The Roland keyboard amp has been redesigned and includes a universal power supply that can help to improve the bass sounds, as well as the stability of the amp. The redesign also helped to keep the weight down, making it easier to transport.
It has a custom two-way speaker system that offers a quality 12-inch woofer and horn tweeter. The onboard mixer has four stereo inputs, as well as a master EQ with a shape switch and stereo auxiliary input. This stereo mixing amp can help you produce high-quality sound from your keyboard, but you will find that it also has an XLR mic input, which can be useful for vocals. The output select function on Channel 4 helps to monitor clicks and guide tracks. You will also find a sub output to connect to a powered subwoofer, as well as a headphone output. The headphones can help you to practice while using the mixing features of the amp without disturbing others while you develop your musical talent.
Another great benefit of the Roland amp is the ability to chain a second KC-400 with Stereo Link function. This will not only provide you with more inputs than you can use, but it can also provide you with a stereo sound while you are on stage.
The amp also happens to be very durable thanks to the build quality. It has a strong body, quality components, and metal jacks. When you take good care of the amp, it can last you for many years to come and still provide excellent sound quality. Whether you have a rehearsal, you are playing at home, have a gig, are in the studio, or are playing on the street, and this is a fantastic amp to call your own.
If you feel that you are going to need a different level of power in your amp, you will find that there are other options available in the line, as well. There is a 50W, 100W, and a 320W amp available from Roland. The 320w Roland is detailed below. These Roland amps provide some of the best sound you will find for the price.
Peavey KB 2
Peavey is a popular name in musical instruments. The company has been making a wide array of instruments since 1965. The Peavey KB 2 is one of the best small keyboard amps you will find today. The Peavey KB amps are versatile, and they provide you with a lot in a relatively small package. This 40W amplifier features the ability to do more than just work great as a keyboard amplifier. It will also work well as a full sound system for the other instruments that you might want to use for a band rehearsal, for example.
This amp has four separate channels. Channel 1 and Channel 2 both have ¼ inputs. The first two channels also have two-band EQ. Channel 3 features XLR inputs for a mic, as well as ¼ inputs. Channel 4 offers ¼ monitor input with level control. It is essentially a self-contained sound system that can work well with your keyboards, mic, drum machines, backing machines, or an electric guitar. There are quite a few musical possibilities with this keyboard amp.
Thanks to the smaller size of this amp, you will find that it is easy for you to haul around with you. It can fit into a car with ease, and you shouldn’t have trouble getting it to and from the studio, a gig, rehearsal, or just moving it around the house. The controls are easy to use and intuitive so that you will be up and running with the keyboard amp right away. The build is high-quality, as well, so with a little care, this should be able to last you for many years.
The sound quality from the amp is great, but because it is smaller than some of the other amps on the list, it doesn’t have quite as much power. Those who are looking to play larger gigs or who want a louder sound might want to choose a larger option. Still, this 40W amp can pack a nice punch while still being affordable. This is a perfect choice for those who are just getting started, as well as those who have been playing for a while.
Behringer Ultratone K900FX
The Behringer Ultratone K900FX delivers quite a lot for the price they typically sell for online and offline. It could be the best keyboard amp for you if you have multiple keyboards that you want to hook up and play at the same time. This amp has a 3-channels and includes a very powerful 12” BUGERA woofer, as well as a custom 1” driver that helps to provide exceptional sound reproduction. Another one of the great benefits of the amp is the built-in FBQ Feedback Detection System. This will reveal critical frequency ranges that would cause problems when you are playing.
Each of the three channels included on the keyboard amp has a separate volume, as well as separate FX send. This provides you with some real flexibility. Channel 1, for example, provides not only a ¼ input but also an XLR input. This means that you can easily attach your mic to the amp on a separate channel, so you can control the volume and effects of your voice and keep them separate from the sounds of the keyboard.
One of the other great features of the amplifier is the built-in effects. There are 100 presets for effects available on the amp. Some effects you might want to use when making your music include delay, a pitch shifter, chorus, reverb, and even multi-effects. This will provide you with a substantial number of options when you are playing, so you can get the sound quality you need for your music.
You will also find a dedicated 5-band graphic equalizer that will allow you to shape your sound. The main section features an FX Return level and Master Volume. You will have full control over your sound, which is perfect for any musician. Even if you aren’t playing live and you are just at home practicing, the amp is highly useful. It features a separate headphone output, which allows you to practice quietly. There is even CD input, which will let you play along to music that you like.
The amplifier has a durable build meant to last. One final benefit is that it has an integrated 35mm pole socket in case you need to mount it on a stand and use it as a PA system. It truly is one of the best and most flexible keyboard amps on the market today, and it might be the right one for you.
Roland is on the list again, this time with the KC-990. This is a big stereo mixing amp with a lot of power and is easily one of the best stage options available. The 320W Roland keyboard amp, mentioned briefly above, is considered to be Roland’s flagship stereo keyboard amplifier. It offers quite a few benefits for those players who need great sound and who need to be able to deliver a lot of it. The amp is still quite flexible and has a range of features, as you would expect from a company with such a storied history.
The amp has an onboard mixer that has four stereo input channels, as well as stereo auxiliary input and master EQ. This will allow you to connect a range of instruments to your amp and be able to control and shape their sound. There are even some built-in effects with this amp, including rotary, tremolo, reverb, and chorus. You will be able to control the effects and rotary speed from the amp, or external footswitches. Keep in mind that the footswitches do not come with the amp and would need to be purchased separately.
The Roland amp features two custom 12” woofers and two custom horn tweeters. You will also be able to add a mic, thanks to the XLR mic input and stereo XLR. You can plug in a dynamic mic to the unit. If you want to use a condenser mic, though, you will need to have a mic preamp that can provide phantom power.
There are also ¼ line outputs, a headphone output, and more with the Roland. With all of the lines available, it makes this more than just a keyboard amp. You will also be able to add drum machines, a guitar, and other devices, as well as the keyboard and mic. This provides you with quite a bit of flexibility.
While this is a stereo amp, it also can connect to a second KC-990 with a stereo link. This is going to provide you with a whopping amount of power when you are on stage. It is an ideal solution for keyboards, providing a quality, clear sound. It is also possible to use the amp as a PA if needed.
Behringer Ultratone KT108
The Behringer Ultratone KT108 is a perfect solution for keyboardists who are on the search for a great little amp that is truly compact, and that can be taken just about anywhere. While it is smaller than other amps on the list, this is an affordable option for those who are just getting started and who want to expand their playing and sound capabilities. The company is known for creating high-quality amplifiers, and this unit is certainly no exception to that rule.
This is a 2-channel keyboard amplifier that provides 15W of power with an 8” dual-cone BUGERA speaker, which provides a wide frequency range. There are two instrument inputs, and each of these has a separate volume control. While it’s not a tube amp, it does contain VTC, Virtual Tube Circuitry, which can provide you with more a tube-like sound. The 3-band EQ is also a helpful feature, as it will allow you to have control for perfectly shaping your sound.
You will also find a ¼ input that you can use to connect an MP3 player or a CD player, as well as a headphone output. This allows you to practice and listen to the sounds without disturbing others who might be in the house or next door.
While this is a small amplifier, it doesn’t mean that it’s a lightweight. You can get some great sound from the amp, and you will find that it has a great, rugged build. The metal enclosure provides it with a substantial amount of protection, while the cabinet is made from wood and then covered with durable vinyl. It is lightweight and easy to take along with you. There is even a handle on the top for carrying it. It’s an amp built to last for many years.
All of the controls for the amp, as well as the inputs, are right on the front. They are easy to reach, and they are self-explanatory. Even beginners will find that this is easy to use, and those who are more experienced will appreciate the portability and power that the amp can offer.
Laney Amps Audio Hub LAN AH300
Laney Amplification has been creating quality amps since 1967, and they have been a major part of many popular bands over the years, including Black Sabbath. The AH300 from Laney Amps is another one of the large, workhorse amplifiers on the list. This keyboard amp provides 300W of power and a host of features that keyboardists and other musicians will all find to be quite useful.
One of the first things you will notice is that this amp has five channels, as well as a 5-band graphic equalizer. There are also onboard effects. There is a 15” custom driver, along with a high-frequency horn. This is a very flexible and useful keyboard amp, which can also be used as a monitor if needed.
You will find that Channel 1 and Channel 2 both have a line in for instruments, as well as XLR inputs for mics. You can control the effects, levels, and the hi and low independently on each of the channels. Channels 3 and 4 each have two line inputs for instruments, as well as the same ability to control all of the different parameters as with the first two channels. Channel 5 has L and R RCA inputs, and you will be able to control the level.
There are also controls specifically for your effects, which you can easily change. The onboard digital effects include echo, chorus, delay, reverb, and more. They can all be added and controlled easily. The front of the keyboard amp also offers easy to use 5-band EQ, there is an Aux In and Alt Out connection, a line out input, and a headphone input, which are independently controllable.
This keyboard amp will provide you with a substantial amount of power that is perfect for the stage. With all of the various inputs and output options, you will find that this is a stellar amp that can provide you with the sound you need. Also, if you need even more power, you can add another amp with a stereo link.
While it is commonly used in the standing position, it is also possible to place this amp in a slanted position to angle it like a sound monitor. This will help to ensure that the sound is more focused toward the ear.
Roland Mobile Cube
If you want to have an amp that is truly small and portable for your keyboard, you will undoubtedly want to check out the Roland Mobile Cube. This keyboard amplifier is the definition of portable power. Even though it might only be a 5W amp, you will find that it can provide you with a substantial amount of great sound for your keyboard, as well as for other instruments, such as an electric guitar or acoustic guitar, computer audio, a microphone, and more. It can even provide MP3 and CD playback with the right connections.
There are many advantages to having this small keyboard amp with you. For starters, it only weighs a few pounds so that you can take it anywhere you might be going with very little trouble. It even has a strap for easy carrying. Also, it doesn’t use a standard power supply since is operated using AA batteries. There are plenty of connections for your instruments like your keyboard and mic, and even drum machines. Even though it runs on AA batteries, you will be happy to know that it can last for up to 15 hours before the batteries will need replacement.
While it might be small, the little Roland is still mighty. There are some great built-in effects with the amp. It offers quality stereo reverb, distortion, as well as chorus effects. These effects will sound great with your keyboard, guitar, or vocals. One of the other features that you may like is the Center Cancel. This will allow you to minimize the vocals in prerecorded performances, which is great for karaoke or just singing along to your favorite music while you are playing along.
You can use this to practice at home, you can take the Roland with you when you are traveling, and you can take it to parties. Because it works on batteries, it means that you can use it inside and outside without worrying about a power source. As long as you have those batteries available, you will be able to play. You will find that this little keyboard amp is even more flexible. You will also be able to connect it to a mic stand to use it as a micro PA or a monitor.
The Vox VX50KB is a portable amplifier that features a 50W amplifier that produces some clear and warm sound. It utilizes Nutube circuitry, which can deliver a tube-like sound, which may be just what you are looking for in your new keyboard amp. The bass-reflex cabinet has been optimized to help reproduce low-frequency content in a rich sound.
The keyboard amp features three different channels to provide you with some great flexibility in how you use the amp. The third channel has a switch, so that you can choose either line input or a mic input depending on your setup. You can control each of the channels independently. There is also an easily accessible phase switch, as well as controls for the bass, middle, and treble. This allows you to dial in your sound.
Of course, there is also a master knob for your volume. Also, there is an Aux-In input, as well as an input for headphones. The addition of the headphone jack will allow you to practice with your headphones on so you don’t disturb others when playing.
This Vox amp also has a nice aesthetic. While the look of the amp is certainly not the most important feature to consider when purchasing, you will find that this is a good-looking amplifier that you will be proud to own. The fact that it also sounds great is just icing on the cake.
You will also find that the keyboard amp is surprisingly light, which should make it easy for you to haul around with you to rehearsal, gigs, different parts of your home, and more. It even has a handle on it, so you can easily grab it and take it with you in just one hand. The keyboard amp can give you a wonderful sound, and it works very well for small venues, acoustic setups, and rehearsal. It could be a nice solution for any keyboard player whether you have been at it for years or you are just getting started.
Behringer Eurolive B205D Ultra Compact
The 150W B205D from Behringer is not a typical keyboard amp. Instead, this is a multi-purpose device that can work well as an active speaker for monitoring your keyboard or even your vocals. It works well in-home studio recording, on a small stage for monitoring, and more. It is essentially a PA speaker. Even though it has a very small size, it has an amazing amount of power. You will be able to mix three different sound sources with the B205D. If you find that you need to have more coverage on the stage, you can link other B205Ds together. You can then place them in different parts of the stage to provide you with the coverage you need.
When you need to mix sound sources, you will appreciate the 3-channel mixer, which features an XLR/TRS combo inputs for mics and line-level sources. There is also an additional line input for CD and MP3 players. The mixer also has a 3-band EQ, so you can genuinely fine-tune the monitor to provide you with the sound you need when you are playing.
Since you need the device to be placed in the proper location, you will be happy to know that it has a mic stand mountable design. This can allow for the perfect placement of the B205D. Having one, or several, on mic stands is more convenient, and it ensures that they are not taking up too much space on the stage.
Thanks to the Class-D amp technology, you will find that this truly can provide a lot of power even though it is so small. It has a 5.25” premium full-range neodymium driver, along with two invisible mic preamps with phantom power for condenser mics. You will find that Channel 1 has a switchable instrument-ready input that will not need a DI.
While this isn’t going to meet all of your keyboard amp needs, it will provide you with a great monitor that you can add to your setup. When you need to be able to monitor your sound, whether you are at home or you are on stage, you will love having this little powerhouse on your side.
Do Keyboards Really Need Amps?
If you are brand new to playing keyboards, and you haven’t been on stage, you might be wondering whether you even need to have an amplifier. After all, many of the keyboards on the market today already have speakers installed on them. While this might be great for practicing at home and playing for your friends and family, there are still many times that you will want and need an amp. If you want to perform on stage, or if you prefer using mics to capture the audio you are recording, as opposed to recording directly into a computer, then a quality keyboard amplifier will be an essential tool to add.
The amplifier, as the name suggests, will amplify the sound. It will be greater than what you could get from a keyboard’s speakers, which is essential if you are performing in front of a large number of people, or even in a small venue for that matter.
For many who play, the speakers that are on the keyboard, if they have speakers, are not enough. In some cases, they might not provide enough sound or they might have low-quality sound. By connecting to an amplifier, it will ensure that you can get your sound out to the audience where it should be. Many of the amps also feature EQ and effects, so you can shape your sound and get just what is needed.
What’s the Main Difference Between a Guitar Amp and a Keyboard Amp?
As you may have noticed, many of the amps above might be aimed at keyboard players, but they are also able to take and amplify many other types of instruments. This is what amplifiers do, but it doesn’t mean that all amps are interchangeable by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, you do not want to get a guitar amp and think that it will provide you with the same type of quality for your electric piano as you would get from an actual amp built with keyboards in mind.
This is because a guitar amp is built to amplify the signals within the range of the guitar. Keyboard amps, on the other hand, will be able to provide you with a broader range of frequencies. This is because the frequency range of keyboards is far greater than what you would get with a guitar. This means that a keyboard connected to a guitar amp is not going to be able to hit all of the frequencies it needs. However, a quality keyboard amp can still make a guitar sound great.
If you have a keyboard, then you will want to make sure that you are getting a keyboard amp like those mentioned above. These will provide you with the sound that you need, and as you have seen, many of them have multiple inputs for other instruments, which is certainly another benefit.
What’s the Difference Between a Keyboard Amp and a Powered PA Speaker
While both the amps and PA speakers have speakers and amplifiers within their build, and they are both able to provide quality sound, they are not the same. One of the advantages of powered speakers if the fact that you can often get more power for a reasonable price, as you can see with the B205D on the list above. They can be used as a keyboard amp, but they are not a dedicated amp for these boards, which means you might not have all of the features and options that you will need. In some cases, you will not have as much tonal control over the sound.
Most of the time, the answer is to get an actual keyboard amp, as they have more versatility than just a PA speaker. However, there are some quality speakers out there that can offer quite a few features, such as the B205D. Consider what option will be best for you before you buy it.
What Should You Look for in a Keyboard Amp?
Now that you are on the search for a quality amplifier for your keyboard, it is time that you started to narrow your decision. The following tips can help you to focus on making the right selection, and it all starts with understanding what you need out of the amplifier. Different people will have different needs and wants, naturally, in addition to their price range.
If you are going to be playing at home most of the time, then choosing one of the smaller amps is undoubtedly your best choice. If you would like to travel and play, whether you are going to be on a large stage, a small stage, or at a barbecue with friends and family, you have to think about portability. Will it be easy enough to carry with you? While some amps can be hauled around with just one hand, others are much heavier. Some weigh over 100 lbs. Even with casters, it is not always easy to get them up on the stage. Think about the transportation of the amp to find the best solution.
Will you have a place to plug in the power supply? If there isn’t a place to plug in the power supply, you will want to choose a battery-operated amp and make sure that you have plenty of batteries available.
You also have to think about the watts that you are going to need. If you only need a low output for volume, smaller amps are likely going to work well for you. However, if you are going to be on a large stage, volume is essential. You will want to choose one or more of the amps that have a higher output that you can string together. The 150W and 300W and above options on the list would do nicely. Always consider where you will be playing and buy an amp with the power and speaker size to match those needs.
The built-quality of the amp is also highly important. Even when you take good care of your amp, it can face quite a bit of abuse over the years. You want to have an amp that is going to be able to keep up with your gigging and rehearsal schedule.
Consider the inputs and the outputs on the keyboard amp. How many instruments will you be able to connect to the amplifier? Will you be able to connect a mic to it if needed? You should also consider just how each of inputs and outputs are handled. You want to have as much control over them as possible.
The same is certainly true when it comes to effects and other features that might be available with the amp. Some of the keyboard amps that we’ve listed above will feature a range of different effects, such as chorus and delay. You want to have as much control over them and the EQ as possible, so you can shape the sound that you are creating.
Tips for Taking Care of a Keyboard Amp
Quality keyboard amps like those on the list above are built to last for a long time with very little in the way of maintenance and upkeep. They are quality amplifiers, but that doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. You still need to make sure that you are taking proper care of your keyboard amp. Fortunately, it tends to be quite easy, and a lot of it is common sense.
First, you will want to make sure you keep the amp away from heat sources. Because they are full of electronic components, if they were to be near a heater or in direct sunlight all of the time, it could cause damage. Do not use it or keep it in damp areas, as they can cause damage to the electronics, as well. Along the same lines, never let the amp get wet.
Dust it off and wipe it down regularly. Store it in a secure location where it will not fall or tip over, and always be careful when you are moving the amplifier. A little care is the best preventative medicine.
Choose Your Keyboard Amp Today
Now that you have a list of the top options for the best keyboard amps available today, it’s time that you started to narrow your selection. Whether it is a Roland, Behringer, or another option, take your time to find the best option that will work best for your needs. You might even want to get more than one. Having amps that you can connect is nice, and so is having a travel amp that you can take anywhere. It’s time to find a suitable solution.