To practice guitar quietly you need a “headphone guitar amp”. In the privacy of your own bedroom or basement you can have an entire Marshall stack between your ears! There are bunches of headphone guitar amps on the market right now, and many are just, well….very cheap! That’s why we recommend a couple different units for you to check out..
It’s not just a chinsy personal guitar amp, it’s a “modeling” headphone amp. It’s got effects that include Reverb, Chorus, and Delay. It even has Phaser, Tremelo, and Wah! In as far as amp models you can get a jazz combo all the way up to balls out metal crunch.
The Vox Amplug
The first one is the Vox Amplug“. The first time I saw this a friend brought it band practice. He actually had purchased a Vox amp, and got this headphone amp for free with it. He lived about an hour away from our practice space, and he came right from work to practice. His work was 30 minutes from his house, so he didn’t want to go home and load up all his gear (traveling one way in the car) and then double back to practice (traveling another way in the car). And he didn’t want to leave his amp his car all day. So he used to leave one guitar in the practice space, and then bring this headphone amp in his pocket.
I thought it was pretty funny, actually, at first. He would plug his guitar into the Vox Amplug, and then we’d use a 1/4″ to 1/8″ converter and plug it directly into the PA. Guess what – it worked just fine! I was always amazed with the preset channels how easy it was for him to just plugin and go. He could sound like Red Hot Chili Peppers one minute, and Metallica the next. This unit I personally recommend for bedroom practice or situations like the one we had at practice. It’s nice because it plugs directly into your guitar, and you plugin the headphones into that. As an added bonus, it has a mp3 or 1/8” aux input – so you can plug your mp3 or CD player and practice alone with the music!
The newer versions have modes for vintage AC30 sound, classic rock, metal, and even bass.
Joyo Tube Drive
While the Vox Amplug has been around awhile, there are some alternatives. The Amplug is $39.95, but you can get the Joyo Tube Drive for just $20 on Amazon. It has MP3 input and headphone out same as the Amplug. The quality may not be as good, but it’s less than half the price. It does have quite a few decent reviews.
Electro Harmonix Headphone Amp
Electro-Harmonix makes a quality headphone amp too, it’s just a bit more money than the the Amplug. The difference between this and the Vox is the vox has amp models and effects built in. The EH headphone amp is about as basic as it gets – power and a single volume know. However, this means you can easily connect your pedal board or any effect you want (or just go dry). It only runs on batteries (no adapter), but it does have a cool little belt clip.
If for some reason you didn’t like one of those – like I said there are cheaper headphone amps out there, and you can get good deals on most of them on eBay – check out these auctions too…there are many other type of brands that sell them