Bluetooth speakers are not that new, and battery operated portable versions are everywhere. What is new is the blending of the bluetooth speaker and guitar amplifier. Most major amplifier brands have come to market with their own offerings. Here’s a list of our top 3 picks in the categories of best overall premium package, best portable package and best for the budget conscious consumer.
BEST PICK – Premium Bluetooth Speaker Guitar Amp Combo
Line 6 AMPLIFi
Up first on this list is the Line 6 AMPLIFi series. I think this is the clear leader in the new bluetooth speaker/guitar amplifier hybrid frontier. Here’s why…
It’s not often easy to be excel in different fields, but the AMPLIFi does and makes it look easy. It delivers great amp tone and features for the guitarist, and serious bluetooth speaker sound for the audiophile. It also looks unique and stylish as a home speaker – so much so that even my wife (who typically hates guitar gear and claims “it all looks like same”) is happy to have it in the family room entertainment center. That’s an award winning feat by itself, if you ask me!
Some amps being promoted as bluetooth speakers sound like, well your smartphone played through a guitar amp. Not so with AMPLIFi. Line 6 delivers a premium quality audio experience, and superior tone control.
In fact, it’s in the control that the AMPLIFi magic really shines.
The Line 6 mobile app, called AMPLIFi Remote, makes it a breeze to record and share your creations or tweak your tone. You can call up a multitude of professionally recorded jam tracks, or any song from your personal library to jam with or listen to whenever the mood strikes you.
But it gets better!
AMPLIFi Remote gives you the ability to automatically match your amp tone settings to the music you’re playing along with. Simply pull up your song of choice, and select the tone matching feature and AMPLIFi Remote will pull the preferred preset from thousands in the cloud. You can also dial up any legendary guitarist’s tone and automatically have their tone for a jam track, or solo work or just whatever you want.
And all of this is free!
Beyond the artist tone matching, AMPLIFi Remote allows you to tweak all the usual settings on a amp as well. AMPLIFi offers a choice of over 200 virtual models of guitar amp and speaker cabinet configurations.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s available:
- 70+ amps
- 100+ effects
- 20+ speaker cabinets
- Remotely control all amp and effects parameters
- Automatic tone matching
- Access thousands of tones online
You can also share your own tones via Twitter and Facebook or rate existing ones on the cloud.
The Line 6 AMPLIFi comes in 30w ($266), 75w ($250) and 150w ($388) variations and looks modern and stylish in your living room, or just about any room.
BEST PICK – Portable Bluetooth Speaker Guitar Amp Combo
Vox Adio Air GT
Up next is the Vox Adio Air GT. The Adio is a 50W 2×3 bluetooth modeling guitar combo amplifier that is not nearly as fully featured as the AMPLIFi, but it has strengths that the Line 6 doesn’t have.
As an amplifier, the Adio Air GT provides everything you’d expect from Vox – classic cleans to AC30 and high-gain overdrive.
The Adio Air GT also delivers when it comes to performance as a bluetooth speaker. Adio provides the cabinet resonance of a guitar amp, with the high fidelity and spatiality and depth you expect from stereo speakers.
The uniquely designed cabinet provides an immersive listening experience when paired with your smartphone or tablet. The Adio features a bass reflex construction that uses a flair design to provide excellent low-frequency response, with minimal unwanted noise.
Like the Line 6 AMPLIFi, the Vox Adio Air GT models a wide range of amps (though not quite as many as the AMPLIFi). The Adio uses its VET (Virtual Elements Technology) to model the amp and effects components circuit design:
- 11 built-in amp models (including the AC30 and a variety of high-gain and clean amps).
- The variety expands to 23 when using the Tone Room software.
- 8 different built-in effects:
- 4 modulation effects, such as chorus and tremolo
- 4 ambience-type effects, like delay and reverb
- 19 total effects available with Tone Room
Where the Vox Adio Air GT comes out ahead of the Line 6 AMPLIFi is in its portability. The Adio is a much smaller package, weighing only 6.39 lbs, and even runs up to 8 hours on 8 AA batteries.
Recording with the Adio is also fairly robust with the inclusion of a USB port and JamVOX III software.
The Vox Adio Air GT is the best pick for portable bluetooth speaker guitar amp combo and sells for $299.
DEMO (Starts at 0:48)
BEST PICK – Budget Bluetooth Speaker Guitar Amp Combo
The FLY3BLUE is a 3w bluetooth version of the original, but the addition of bluetooth makes it the perfect take anywhere practice amp or MP3 speaker dock.
The FLY3BLUE features bluetooth connectivity as well as a line in jack, so it can be used with older MP3 players and smartphones and tablets.
Like the Vox Adio, the FLY3BLUE is a portable, battery powered amp (6 AA), but not as fully featured when it comes to modeling. They only effect available is Tape Delay.
You can also connect the FLY3BLUE to the FLY 103 official extension speaker for stereo setup, but again stereo sound is something available with both the AMPLIFi and Adio without the need for another speaker.
Where the FLY3BLUE comes out ahead though is in price. At $85 it’s a fraction of the price of either the Line 6 AMPLIFi or Vox Adio. It also makes the FLY3BLUE the best pick for budget bluetooth speaker guitar amp combo.