“The sleeker design and stellar tones still make this one of the greatest headphone amps on the market”: Vox amPlug 3 AC30 review

Vox gives their famous headphone amps a facelift – but how do they stand up to the competition?

Vox amPlug 3 AC30 review
(Image: © Future/Daryl Robertson)

Guitar World Verdict

There's a reason the Vox amPlug has been the go-to headphone amp for many players since they launched in 2007 – they offer a fun practice solution for bedroom players, and they actually sound great. Now, while Vox has refreshed the range for the new generation, they haven't lost the stellar sound and simple design that many loved about the previous iteration. That said, the latest version does lack some of the modern features found on similar units.

Pros

  • +

    Very affordable

  • +

    Warm and convincing tones

  • +

    Good battery life

Cons

  • -

    Controls can be tricky to read at times

  • -

    No Bluetooth

  • -

    It can sit awkwardly on certain guitars

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

As much as we love the sound of a tube amp that's pushed within an inch of its life, when it comes to home practice, a fully cranked combo just isn't practical. It's no surprise, then, that many players turn to the convenience of the humble headphone amp. These affordable practice solutions often provide stadium-filling sounds directly to your ears, all while offering a much quieter environment for your housemates – meaning no one needs to know you're still struggling to nail the opening tapping gymnastics of Hot For Teacher.  

Now, there are plenty of these amps available, with almost every brand having some kind of pocket-sized amp of their own – but there is one that towers above the rest in terms of popularity, and that's the Vox amPlug. 

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Daryl Robertson

As a Senior Deals Writer at Guitar World, I help create and maintain the site's 200+ buyer's guides, scour the internet for the best possible deals on a range of guitar products, and spend a lot of time getting hands-on with the latest guitars, amps, pedals, and more. My gear reviews have also been featured in many prominent publications, including Total Guitar and Future Music magazines and MusicRadar.com.


During my career, I have been lucky enough to talk to many of my musical heroes, having interviewed members of Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, Creeper, Thrice and more.


In a past life, I worked in music retail. For a little under a decade, I advised everyone from absolute beginners to seasoned pros on the right gear for their needs. 


I also have a passion for live sound. I'm a fully qualified sound engineer who holds a first-class Bachelor's degree in Creative Sound Production from the University of Abertay and I have plenty of experience working in various venues around Scotland.