Best Guitar Amp with Headphones for Silent Practice

I love the sound of a loud tube amp.  There is just something about that you can’t replicate.  However, there are times when we need to practice or play quietly without disturbing our roomatest, family, neighbors and anyone remotely close to us.  That’s where guitar amps with headphones come in handy. With the right amp and headphones, you can practice and play at any time of the day or night without worrying about disturbing anyone.

A lot of new amps provide a headphone jack.  There are some fantastic vintage amps that I love but they don’t have a headphone jack.  So here is a list of list of the best options available in 2023. These amps not only deliver great sound quality but also offer various features that make them stand out from the rest.  So, if you’re in the market for a new guitar amp with headphones, keep reading to find out which ones made the cut.

Why Use Headphones with a Guitar Amp?

Here are some good reasons why I use headphones with my guitar amps:

  • Noise Reduction: Playing through a guitar amp without headphones can be very loud, especially if you live in an apartment or have close neighbors. Using headphones can help reduce the noise level and allow you to practice without disturbing others.
  • Portability: If you travel a lot or need to practice on the go, using headphones with your guitar amp can be a great option. You can practice anywhere without worrying about finding an outlet or disturbing others.
  • Flexibility: When using headphones with a guitar amp, you have the flexibility to practice at any time of day or night. You don’t have to worry about waking up your family or neighbors, and you can practice whenever you feel inspired.
  • Better Tone:  While you can certainly use an alternative amp or headphone only amp, but if you have found your tone, using your amp has advantages.  Headphones can help you hear the nuances of your playing more clearly, and you can adjust the tone of your amp to get the sound you want without worrying about the acoustics of the room.

Here’s a really good example.  I was practicing playing a Metallica song but the amp I was going to use didn’t have a headphone jack.  I really wanted to hear what it would sound like and whether it would match the song using a real backing track.  Because my daughter didn’t sleep well, she laid down early in the evening so I had to wait until the next day.   This is where having a headphone solution would have paid off.

Headphone Guitar Amp Options

There are really 2 options for headphones.

  1. Get a regular combo amp that has a headphone or auxiliary jack
  2. Get a headphone amp or micro amp that has a headphone jack
  3. Devices you can hook up to a tube amp then hook up to headphone jack

A lot of the solid state and modeling combo amps will have headphone jacks.  Note, that you will not see this very often on a tube amp because of the way the technology.  Tube amps generally require a speaker load. You can actually damage a tube amp by operating it without a speaker being hooked up.   So lets go over these options.

5 Popular Combo Amps with Headphone Jack

1. Boss Katana-50 MkII

The Boss Katana-50 MkII is a powerful and versatile guitar amplifier that is designed for both practice and performance. With its 12-inch custom speaker and 50-watt output, this amp can easily fill a room with sound and deliver a wide range of tones, from clean and chimey to high-gain distortion. One of the standout features of the Katana-50 MkII is its intuitive control panel, which allows guitarists to quickly and easily dial in their desired sound. The amp offers five different amp characters, ranging from clean to high-gain, as well as a variety of built-in effects, including delay, reverb, and modulation.

In addition to its wide range of tones and effects, the Katana-50 MkII also features a number of useful performance features. The amp includes a built-in power attenuator, which allows players to dial back the wattage to suit any playing situation, from bedroom practice to full-band rehearsals. The Katana-50 MkII also includes a dedicated input for acoustic-electric guitars, as well as a built-in USB interface for recording and editing.  There is a PHONES/REC you can use to plug in headphones. You will need a  1/4″ adapter to go with standard headphones 1/8″ plug.

2. Fender Mustang GTX50

The Fender Mustang GTX50 is a powerful and versatile guitar amplifier that is perfect for guitarists of all skill levels. With 50 watts of power and a range of built-in effects, this amp can deliver everything from warm bluesy tones to heavy metal riffs. The GTX50 features a 12-inch Celestion speaker and a range of digital models that allow you to recreate the sound of classic amps and effects. Additionally, the amp has a built-in tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port for recording and of course, an AUX In and of course, a direct headphone out.

3. Blackstar ID:Core V3 Stereo 40

The Blackstar ID:Core V3 Stereo 40 is a powerful guitar amplifier that is designed to deliver a rich and immersive sound experience to guitarists of all skill levels. Featuring a powerful 40-watt output and a range of versatile tone controls, this amplifier is capable of delivering everything from warm, clean tones to heavy distortion. The ID:Core V3 also features a stereo design that utilizes two high-quality speakers to create a wide and spacious soundstage that is perfect for live performances or recording sessions.

4. Vox Valvetronix VT20X

The Vox Valvetronix VT20X is a versatile and powerful amp with hybrid valve and digital technology. This amplifier is designed to deliver the authentic sound and feel of a tube amp, while also providing a range of digital effects and modeling capabilities, including the use of headphones.  It also has an aux in for playing along with music, and a USB port for recording directly to a computer.

At its core, the Valvetronix VT20X features a 12AX7 vacuum tube in the preamp stage, which helps to create the warm and dynamic tone that is typically associated with tube amps. However, the amp also incorporates digital technology in the form of Vox’s Virtual Element Technology (VET), which models the characteristics of different amplifier circuits and speaker cabinets. This combination of tube and digital technology allows the Valvetronix VT20X to deliver an incredibly wide range of tones, from classic vintage sounds to modern high-gain tones. The amp includes 11 amp models and 13 effects, giving you a huge amount of flexibility to dial in the exact sound you are looking for.

5. Yamaha THR10II Wireless

The Yamaha THR10II Wireless is an amp I’ve owned in the past.  Its just an awesome practice amp. . This compact and portable amp features a range of high-quality effects and amp models that can be easily accessed and tweaked using the intuitive onboard controls or the dedicated mobile app.

One of the standout features of the THR10II Wireless is its built-in wireless connectivity, which allows you to connect and stream audio from your smartphone, tablet, or computer without the need for any additional cables or adapters. This makes it incredibly convenient for jamming along with your favorite tracks or recording ideas on the go. The THR10II Wireless also offers a range of connectivity options, including USB, headphone output, and auxiliary input, making it easy to integrate with your existing recording or performance setup. The amp is powered by a rechargeable battery, which provides up to six hours of continuous play time, making it ideal for outdoor gigs or rehearsal spaces without power outlets.

Mobile Headphone Guitar Amps

Here are some micro solutions for headphone amps that are not tied to big heavy amp.

  • Fender Mustang Micro – A compact and versatile headphone amp with 12 amp models and 13 effects. It has a 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack and a USB-C port for charging and recording. It also has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music from your phone or tablet.
  • Boss Waza-Air – A wireless headphone amp system that delivers a realistic and immersive sound experience. It has a 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack and a micro USB port for charging and connecting to the Boss Tone Studio app. It also has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music and YouTube videos.
  • Blackstar amPlug2 FLY Guitar – A compact and affordable headphone amp with three channels and six effects. It plugs directly into your guitar’s output jack and has a 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack and an aux input for playing along with your music.
  • Vox amPlug 2 Blues – A compact and convenient headphone amp that emulates the sound of a classic blues amp. It plugs directly into your guitar’s output jack and has a 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack and an aux input for playing along with your music.
  • Valeton Rushead Max – A versatile and portable headphone amp with four modes and four effects. It plugs directly into your guitar’s output jack and has a 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack and an aux input for playing along with your music. It runs on a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to 5 hours.
  • Nux Mighty Plug MP-3  – With its Bluetooth connectivity, players can easily connect to their smartphones or tablets and access a wide range of amp models, effects and backing tracks, as well as record and share their performances directly from the app. The MP-3 features a headphone output for silent practice, a line input for jamming along with music, and a USB port for direct recording to a computer or mobile device

Some Good Options for Headphones

A good pair of headphones will allow you to hear every nuance of the guitar, from the subtlest fingerpicking to the loudest power chords. Look for headphones that have a wide frequency range and good clarity, so that you can hear all the highs and lows of the guitar’s sound. Closed-back headphones are also a good choice, as they will help to block out external noise and allow you to focus on the music.

Also, double check the latency.  This is usually not an issue with analog or wireless headphones, but latency can be bad using bluetooth. This adds annoyin g lag which can be noticeable when there is a delay in the sound from your strumming and picking.  And studio headphones are usually preferred by guitarists, especially if you are going to use speaker cab IR’s. This way the headphones are not coloring the sound.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50X is another great option for those who want a high-quality headphone amp for their guitar. This amp has a wide frequency range and a comfortable design, which makes it great for long practice sessions. It also has a detachable cable, which makes it easy to replace if it gets damaged.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a high-end pair of closed-back headphones designed for professional audio applications. They are known for their exceptional sound quality, delivering a balanced and detailed sound with a strong bass response. The headphones have a sturdy build quality, with a comfortable and adjustable headband and ear cups that provide excellent noise isolation. They are a popular choice among audio engineers, musicians, and audiophiles looking for a reliable and high-quality set of headphones for critical listening and mixing. The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is available in various impedance levels, making them suitable for use with a wide range of audio equipment.

Sennheiser HD 660

The Sennheiser HD 600 series headphones are a popular choice among audiophiles and music enthusiasts. They are an open-back design, providing a wide soundstage and natural sound reproduction. The headphones feature a lightweight aluminum voice coil, which allows for high levels of accuracy and detail in the audio. The HD 600 also has a comfortable and adjustable headband, along with soft ear pads, making them suitable for long listening sessions. These headphones are ideal for critical listening and audio production, as they provide a neutral and balanced sound signature. Overall, the Sennheiser HD 600 headphones are a reliable and high-quality choice for anyone looking for a top-tier listening experience.

AKG K240 Studio

The AKG K240 Studio is a professional-grade headpone at a good price. This is an over-ear studio headphone that is designed to deliver high-quality sound for music production, mixing, and mastering. It features a semi-open design that allows for a more natural sound with a wide frequency response of 15 Hz to 25 kHz. The K240 Studio also boasts a self-adjusting headband and soft earpads for maximum comfort during long listening sessions. Built to last, it has a durable construction with a detachable cable and comes with a gold-plated adapter for use with a variety of audio equipment.

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x (Budget)

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones are a great option for anyone looking for quality sound on a budget. These over-ear headphones feature 40mm drivers and a closed-back design, which helps to block out external noise and provide a more immersive listening experience. The ear cups are also designed for comfort, with soft padded cushions that sit snugly around the ears. The headphones are built to last, with a durable construction that can withstand regular use.

How to Choose the Best Guitar Amp with Headphones for You

As a guitar player, choosing the best guitar amp with headphones can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it is important to consider several factors before making a purchase. In this section, I will guide you through the process of choosing the best guitar amp with headphones for you.

Your Budget

The first and foremost factor to consider is your budget. Guitar amps with headphones come in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Determine how much you are willing to spend before starting your search. Keep in mind that a higher price tag does not always guarantee better quality.

Your Skill Level

Your skill level as a guitar player is another important factor to consider. If you are a beginner, you may not need a high-end guitar amp with headphones with advanced features. On the other hand, if you are an experienced player, you may want to invest in a more advanced model. Consider your skill level and choose a guitar amp with headphones that suits your needs.

Your Musical Style

The type of music you play is an important factor to consider when choosing a guitar amp with headphones. Different amps are designed for different styles of music. For example, if you play heavy metal, you may want an amp with a high gain setting. If you play blues, you may want an amp with a warm, vintage tone. Consider your musical style and choose an amp that complements it.

Your Portability Needs

Finally, consider your portability needs. If you plan to use your guitar amp with headphones at home, portability may not be a major concern. However, if you plan to take your amp on the go, you may want to choose a lightweight and portable model. Consider the size, weight, and portability of the amp before making a purchase.


All of these options are good so the one you go with depends on what you want to achieve.   The other option is to set up a computer with amp sims then plug your headphones into your computer. That is actually what I prefer to do now as I sold my THR10-II.  I’ll cover amp sims in another post.

Rob Z

Got my first guitar in 1987, took lessons and played nonstop. Spent some time in hard rock and metal bands in the 1990s. I eventually switched to acoustic guitars only and rarely played for years. I got back into electric guitars when my daughter began playing in 2018. I now collect way too much gear.
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