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10 Best Microphone Amps & Their Reviews For 2021

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A microphone amp, also commonly known as a preamplifier, is a piece of sound engineering equipment.

It prepares weak microphone signals before transmitting them to recording devices or mixing consoles.

Using the right amp for your microphones eliminates distortions in the audio by providing a stable gain and reducing induced noise.

An excellent microphone amplifier is capable of transforming low-quality audio into rich deep, and clear voice on the go.

At the same time, it also eliminates any static noise that’s often present in raw audio signals from microphones.

This guide will take you through the top ten best preamplifiers, their specifications, and the benefits of each.

In the end, you should know which to purchase and which fits your budget.

Table of Contents


Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Microphone Amps Reviewed

And finally, here’s the list you’ve been waiting for!

1. Grace Designs M101 Microphone Amp

Grace Design m101 Single channel microphone preamplifier
  • 12 position gold plated rotary gain switch
  • The m101 is ready to give any mic preamplifier a run for its money

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grace design prides itself in designing bespoke audio equipment for its niche clientele.

Their latest offering- M101 single-channel microphone preamplifier features a powdered stainless steel case and a stylish aluminum faceplate.

The M101 has a pair of 12-position rotary gold switches for trim and gain controls.

These knobs are gold plated to prevent corrosion over the years of use.

The M101 requires a 240 volts power input to stabilize your microphone’s audio stream.

The amp can offer up to 75dB gain boost for a clear audio stream.

The M101 microphone amp comes in handy when dealing with less sensitive microphones, which require a higher gain to get a clean signal.

The M101 features a rackable design, which permits stacking a couple of these preamps in a single rack, and the amp only weighs 4.4 pounds and measures 16.5 x 14.3 x 4.7 inches.

The 48v phantom power switch comes in handy when you want to power your microphone’s circuitry with an external power source, instead of internal batteries.

The ribbon control function makes it much easier to filter audio coming from ribbon mics, while still maintaining the original bidirectional audio stream.

The M101 has a 10 to 75 dB gain range that can further go up by another 10 dB, while you use the output trim control to provide ample gain for any microphone you might want to use.

The chassis has threaded mounting holes on the bottom end towards the back – these come in handy when you want to mount the amplifier to a standard 1U rack tray.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Compact build with a stylish design
  • Clean gains and trims without interfering with the original audio stream recorded by the microphones
  • Additional functionality such as 48v ribbon control option

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Rolls MP13 Microphone Amp

Rolls MP13 Mini Microphone Preamp with SM Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable - 6'
  • A Simple Cost-Effective Solution
  • Single-Channel Design
  • 3.5mm and XLR Inputs
  • 1/4" and XLR Outputs
  • Single Gain Control with Clip Indicator

Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are in the market for a compact microphone preamp, then look no further: the rolls MP13 is a decent mid-range mic preamp with a dedicated single-channel operation.

It features 3.55mm and XLR inputs, which are both compatible with a vast range of microphones.

The amp’s gain capability gets capped to 50 dB, which is still pretty decent with a clear audio stream.

Rolls MP13 gets assembled in the USA under strict quality control; as a result, the product is long-lasting.

The MP13 ships with an XLR M to XLR F Pearstone SM Series microphone cable measuring 6 inches.

The cable has a 24 gauge spiral shielding to protect against RFI and PFI electrostatic noise.

The 1/4 inch output is specifically designed to handle stereo headphone output and mono unbalanced output to recording devices or a mixing console.

The MP13 mic amp features molded boot chrome connectors that are not only high quality but can also withstand prolonged use without getting loose.

Unlike other preamplifiers, which are quite bulky, the MP13 only weighs 1.69 pounds, with its dimensions measuring 7 x 4.7 x 2.4 inches allowing it to be carried around easily.

The amp relies on an included external power supply to power it, and it can run on either 120V or 240 volts.

While using condenser microphones, you can take advantage of the phantom power to produce high-end audio that’s clear and static-free.

The MP13 has a single gain control as well as a clip indicator that indicates when you push the gain boost over and above the power supply limit.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Compact sized making it easy to carry around
  • 24 gauge spiral shielding on the cable to prevent electrostatic noise
  • Ships with a dedicated XLR M to XLR F microphone cable

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3. ART ProMPAII 2-Channel Microphone Preamp

ART Digital MPA-II 2-Channel Tube Microphone Preamp with A/D Conversion
  • Variable Input Impedance For Flexible Microphone Voicing.

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ART has over the years, produced quality audio equipment, and their latest offering is no exception.

The ART ProMPAII microphone preamplifier has a dual channel system allowing you to work with multiple audio inputs.

The ProMPAII features a variable input impedance that comes in handy when dealing with flexible microphone voicing.

The selectable plate voltage feature makes it much easier to adjust the phantom power output to each microphone for a clear and clean audio stream.

ProMPAII is designed to eliminate low noise even at lower gain settings with the lowest impact on the total harmonic distortion.

With 48 volts of selectable phantom power, the ProMPAII will efficiently power your microphones resulting in a much clearer audio stream.

The ProMPAII has the option to configure the setup to either duo, single or stereo operation depending on your needs.

You can opt to configure the ProMPAII with additional mid or side mics on one channel, leaving the other channel to decode the right and left signals.

The mic features dual analog output meters that display the inputs and output levels, while the multi-colored LED lights indicate the tube gain levels.

The ProMPAII design makes it possible to use the equipment for years without any wear or tear, and it fits in 2 rack spaces.

The ProMPAII’s variable impedance allows it to work with supported microphones to unlock variable mic voicing, ranging from 150 Ohms To 2400 Ohms.

The mic has an additional front-mounted instrument’s input jack, which eliminates the need to try and reach behind the amplifier every time you have to plug in another instrument.

The automatic instrument selection option automatically identifies plugged depending on their audio output.

Due to its rather noticeable weight (10.5 lbs), the ProMPAII has countersunk holes to mount it onto any standard 2U rack space.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Variable impedance for variable microphone voicing
  • Rugged stainless steel chassis that can withstand prolonged use
  • The dual-channel operation allows you to use multiple input sources

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Behringer MIC100 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier

Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC100 Audiophile Vacuum Tube Preamplifier with Limiter,Silver
  • High-end preamplification for all microphone, instrument and line-level sources. Complements especially your...
  • Perfectly matches your studio, live and hard disk recording setup
  • Hand-selected 12AX7 vacuum tube with UTC technology for exceptional warmth and lowest noise
  • Ensures outstanding signal transparency when used as a high-end DI-box
  • Sophisticated output limiter prevents the output signal from being distorted

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Behringer makes high-quality audiophile equipment with its latest MIC100 vacuum tube preamplifier offering studio-grade audio amplification without any compromises on the quality.

The preamplifier matches perfectly with studio-grade condenser mics for clear audio without static distortions.

The handheld MIC100 has a standard vacuum tube that emits minimal heat and the lowest noise possible, which will not be noticeable while recording audio.

This preamp has a high-end output limiter to prevent audio distortion in the output devices; this preamp has a high-end output limiter, which ensures that the output signal doesn’t get distorted.

The MIC100 can provide up to 48 volts of phantom power, which goes a long way in reducing audio distortions by strengthening the signal from the mics.

The phase reverse option is also included and a 20 dB pad for increased flexibility.

The LED meter has eight segments of multicolored LED lights that are highly accurate to display the audio performance.

The MIC100 features gold plated XLR connectors and ¼ inch TRS for the inputs and output connections; these can withstand prolonged use with high tolerance.

The gain and output knobs feature a classic vintage-style knob design that’s not only easy to operate but also long-lasting.

The vacuum tube preamp eliminates those ‘dull’ outputs from standard mics and instead, it offers a lively audio stream that’s full of clarity and much easier to work with for post-editing.

It’s important to note that the limiter comes in between the output controls and preamp gain; this results in an increased impact on the limiter when either of the two is set too low.

The amplifier doesn’t have a limiter warning light, which would otherwise prevent the limiter’s overuse, which impacts its usefulness over time.

Pros & Benefits:

  • High-end preamplification for mics and other audio sources
  • High-end vacuum tube that withstands prolonged use without significantly heating up
  • Rugged build using powder-coated stainless steel

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5. ART TubeMPSTV3 Mic Amplifier

ART TubeMPSTV3 Variable Valve Voicing Tube Mic Preamp With Limiter
  • Dimensions: 5.0"D x 5.5"W x 2.0"H
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Rugged all-steel construction
  • Designed for years of continuous, reliable performance
  • 1 year warranty

Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ART is also offering its latest vacuum tube mic amplifier: the ART TubeMPSTV3, which is compact enough to fit in the pocket for mobile use.

The ART TubeMPSTV3 features a rugged design with a powder-coated stainless steel casing that keeps the internal circuits protected from physical damage over years of use.

The input gain control can strengthen the incoming audio signal by up to 40dB, which is further boosted by the 48 volts phantom power option depending on the microphones you are working with.

The output level is also adjustable, allowing you to pick whether you want a neutral, warm, or deep audio profile.

The ART TubeMPSTV3 has an output protection mechanism that prevents outputting a distorted audio signal.

The standard-sized black knobs are easy to use and well-calibrated to avoid inconsistent results while using the mic amplifier.

The ART TubeMPSTV3 measures a meager 1.5 lbs and has a compact design with dimensions measuring 5.0″ D x 5.5″ W x 2.0″ H making it easy to be used on the go.

The onboard preamps give the preamplifier excellent sonic performance without significantly heating up.

In terms of output and input ports, the ART TubeMPSTV3 features XLR and 1/4 inch input and output connections.

This amplifier also relies on OPL™, which is output protection limiting technology to prevent the occurrence of clipping and overloads in the next component, depending on your setup.

The variable valve voicing feature relies on the exceptionally versatile vacuum tube-driven direct box to contort the voices and audio to tone as needed.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • Rugged build to withstand years of use daily

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6. Rockville PPA50 Preamp

Rockville PPA50 Preamp Pro 1U Pre-Amplifier w/Bluetooth/USB/Computer Interface
  • Features of PPA50: Rockville PPA50 Preamp Pro 1U Rack Pre-Amplifier w/Bluetooth/USB/PC Interface, Top of the line...
  • (2) ¼” Inputs (mono or stereo), (2) XLR outputs (stereo or mono), 1U rack mount size, Built-in 3 band Equalizer...
  • Specifications of PPA50: Impedance: Mic: 1mV / 3 Kohms, Phono: 3mV / 47 Kohms, Pre-Output: max. 11V / 1 Kohms,...
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: Mic: more than 70 dB, Phono: more than 90 dB, RCA Aux: more than 100 dB, General: Product...

Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rockville PPA50 preamp is more than just a preamplifier thanks to its up to 6 input configurations.

The PPA50 preamp can take in audio from multiple microphones, USB, Bluetooth, two ¼ inch inputs (mono or stereo), 3 RCA aux inputs, XLR, and RCA phono input.

The built-in three-band equalizer has dedicated knobs for the bass, mid, and treble, making it much easier to adjust as needed.

With the PPA50, you also get a dedicated right/left adjustment knob with the option to switch in between mono and stereo sound output.

While operating at low to medium volumes, you can rely on the loudness compensation circuit to eliminate the distortions that generally occur while boosting the bass and treble.

The PPA50 relies on a universal power adapter that can either use 120 or 240 volts.

The included USB computer interface makes it much easier to control the equipment from a computer with an installed DAW (digital audio workstation) program, which makes it much easier to record and transmit the audio stream directly to your computer.

The low cut crossover filter function automatically cuts out some of the lows that would otherwise become distorted when played via a subwoofer.

The USB computer interface is also useful when you need to play music from your computer, without having to add an audio connection to the rest of your sound system.

The PPA50 also features an extended range Bluetooth playback function to easily play your music on the preamp connection to your speakers.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Additional Bluetooth functionality and USB connection to computers which supports DAWs
  • Multiple inputs and output options, depending on the setup
  • Low cut crossover filter function to eliminate distorted bass

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7. Focusrite ISA Single Channel Mic Amplifier

Focusrite ISA One Classic Single-channel Mic Pre-Amplifier with Independent D.I.
  • Focusrite’s classic transformer-based ISA Pre amp design based on the original ISA 110 in a highly cost-effective...
  • Flexible, independent DI channel, independent gain control, Output for routing to an amp, independent XLR output on...
  • Optional stereo 192kHz A-D converter: upgrade with an optional digital card that delivers the best A-D performance...
  • Switchable Impedance: four input impedances that help shape your sound, including that of the original ISA 110
  • Dedicated insert point: allows you to place Extra processing between the Preamplifier or DI and the optional...

Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Meet the classic Focusrite ISA single-channel mic amplifier that relies on a transformer-based design to boost microphone audio stream before it undergoes postprocessing.

Focusrite ISA is designed for both sound engineers and enthusiasts alike.

To serve each group, it includes multiple output configurations such as amp routing output line, independent XLR output, and A-D converter routing.

The Focusrite ISA features a switchable impedance option that adjusts the input impedance as required, usually from low, mid to high, to suit the specific microphone you are using.

The two TRS jack inputs at the back of the equipment do come in useful when you want to rely on an external stereo cue mix.

The ISA contains a moving coil VU meter with a backlit gauge and variable calibration alongside a pair of LED peak meters.

To provide the same iconic audio performance, the ISA features the classic Lundahl LL1538 Input Transformer for a unique performance, audio, and in the same groundbreaking design that lasts for years.

The dedicated insert point makes it much easier to add extra processing from a compressor or EQ before boosting the signal.

The unit is also upgradable with the option to add a 192kHz A-D converter, which delivers the best in class performance with a dynamic range of 118dB.

When dealing with the ISA, you have the option to either meter the inputs post- or pre- insert, which allows effortless line-up.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Upgradable design that can be equipped later on as needed
  • Durable design with a rugged case that can withstand prolonged use over the years
  • Independent DI channel for demanding performers and sound engineers to tweak as needed

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8. DBX 286S Microphone Preamp

dbx 286s Microphone Preamp and Channel Strip Processor with 48V Phantom Power Bundle with Blucoil...
  • OFFERS A 2-IN-1 MIC PROCESSING SOLUTION - The dbx 286s works as a dedicated mic preamp and processor. It provides...
  • FILTERS OUT LOW-FREQUENCY AUDIO PROBLEMS - The HIGHPASS button effectively reduces rumble, hum, and wind noise...
  • SMOOTHENS ACOUSTIC TRACKS - The dbx 286s uses patented dbx OverEasy Compressor to even out the signal volume at a...
  • HELPS CORRECT LISPY VOCALS - The De-Esser Section removes high-frequency distortion and vocal sibilance. It...
  • INCLUDES - dbx 286s Microphone Preamp and Channel Strip Processor. Blucoil Premium 10-FT Instrument Cable with 1/4"...

Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The DBX 286S microphone preamp offers a two in one solution by acting as an audio processor and dedicated microphone preamplifier.

With 48 volts of phantom power, you can expect clean and static-free audio from whichever microphone you are using, as long as it’s hooked to this preamp.

The DBX 286S ships with four vocal processing tools and a wide range of audio gain control.

The low-frequency filtration algorithms trim the wind noise, low hum, and rumble that’s otherwise present when dealing with low-quality audio, while the enhancer system reduces audible distortions.

The high-frequency distortions are taken care of by the De-Esser section.

Pros & Benefits:

  • The preamp includes a channel strip processor for further audio processing
  • The package includes additional cables and connectors that you will require to hook up the preamp to your existing gear
  • High gain control with additional post-processing for clear natural audio

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9. Presonus TubePre V2 Mic Preamp

Presonus TubePre v2 Tube Preamplifier DI Box
  • 12AX7 tube-based preamp with XMAX solid-state input stage
  • Gain control and Tube Drive saturation control
  • Low-noise dual-servo (no capacitors) gain stage
  • Separate instrument and mic inputs
  • Phantom power, HP filter, -20 dB pad, and polarity-reverse

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PreSonus TubePre V2 offers microphone amplification with additional customization steps to fit your specific needs.

The mic amp features a 12AX7 vacuum tube for the best audio amplification without the introduction of electrostatic noise.

The drive saturation control allows you to add gentle warmth or total fuzz to your audio stream as needed.

TubePre V2 offers a versatile lineup of audio output options such as balanced XLR and unbalanced ¼ inch line outputs as well as similar input options.

This preamplifier also features an 80 Hz high pass filter that eliminates screeching highs from the audio stream.

The TubePre V2 can also provide phantom power up to 48 volts and a polarity reverse switch for full and accurate sound recording.

The VU meter is also backlit to keep track of the audio stream easily.

In terms of portability, the Tubepre V2 is compact enough to carry around as needed, and it’s also screw-mountable onto a standard rack tray.

For a rich in-tube audio saturation, the TubePre V2 features dual servo vacuum tubes output stage.

The V2 belongs to XMAX microphone preamp class A which guarantees award-winning sound quality, and it doubles up as a tone box for your bass or guitar.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Compact build that’s perfect for carrying around and is also rack-mountable
  • High-quality vacuum tube drive that can withstand prolonged use without significantly heating up
  • Provides warm vocals with clearer and louder audio recording

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10. Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • One of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable air Mode to give your...
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s...
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE Acustica Audio Cream2 upon registration and download.

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Scarlett lineup of microphone preamps has a new offering; the Focusrite Scarlett Solo third-gen.

It features a switchable air mode that provides more open sounds and brighter audio.

The Scarlett Solo features high-performance converters that can handle up to 24-bit/ 192kHz streams without any impacts on performance and sound quality.

You don’t have to worry about the build quality thanks to the stainless steel powder-coated casing that holds the internal electronics.

Focusrite includes their full set of professional tools with each device; this includes Focusrite Creative Pack, Softube Time, Ableton Live Lite, and a 3-month Splice subscription.

The Scarlett Solo is also comfortable with iOS devices via the USB type C connection and features a quick and straightforward setup process, allowing the device to work with various music-making apps such as Garageband and Ampify suite of apps.

The Scarlett Solo also supports variable sample rates ranging from 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, to 176.4kHz, and 192kHz.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Includes an additional free premium content subscription for all your splice audio needs
  • High headroom and impedance that provides professional sound quality whenever needed
  • Royalty-free one-shots, presets, and loops

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Having a microphone amplifier will significantly uplift the quality of your audio recordings without you having to rush out to get more expensive mics.

While deciding on which microphone preamp to get, you will have to consider your budget limits, compatibility with existing equipment, and the ability to use the amp on other projects.

In a case where the use is specific, you may need to get a custom-made preamp instead of a standard one that might fail to provide the much-needed boost.

A boosted microphone signal can also go through additional processing without getting weak all the way to the final storage device.

With the above products, you will have an easy time picking out the right preamplifier for your unique use case.

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