Headphone guitar amps are great, as they give you a compact rig you can use to quietly practice your six-string skills at home. Of course, you’re still plugging in to a small amplifier, so you’re still tethered to wherever you’ve got that set up. The Vox VGH AC30 eliminates the need for a separate amplifier entirely by integrating that hardware into the headphones themselves.
That’s right, these headphones are fitted with all the essential electronics found in the outfit’s amPlug series of headphone amps, allowing it to properly process your guitar sound while streamlining your practice setup. And no, Vox hasn’t quite made the leap into making their own headphones. Instead, they’re using a closed-air dynamic model from Audio-Technica, which they have customized with their guitar amp hardware.
The Vox VGH AC30 is equipped with an electronic amp that’s designed to mimic the tones of the outfit’s classic AC30 amplifier. You know, that iconic amp with the jangly sound first introduced in 1958. According to the outfit, the headphones are designed to faithfully recreate the sound you will get when plugging in to a full-fledged amp, both at the loudness of the sound and the width of the sonic field. This comes courtesy of the onboard amp circuit, which puts particular attention to impedance, efficiency, and dynamic characteristics to help simulate the analog flavor of that original guitar amp.
It pairs the vintage tone, by the way, with built-in reverb, chorus, and delay effects, too, so you get to play around with your sound a fair bit without having to add any other gear to your setup. Want to wax your guitar skills while hearing a proper backing track? Not a problem, as it comes with an AUX IN jack for plugging in your phone or some other music source.
The Vox VGH AC30 is equipped with 40mm drivers that deliver a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, a sound pressure level of 97 dB, and an impedance of 49 ohms. It has onboard dials for gain, tone, volume, and effect, allowing you to easily adjust the sound of your instrument on the fly, along with a switch for putting it on standby. To enable you to move freely while practicing, it doesn’t require to be plugged in to a power source. Instead, it draws juice from a pair of AAA batteries that you’ll need to pop in to power the circuitry. According to the outfit, a pair of alkaline AAAs should be good enough to power it for up to 16 hours of playback.
Not a fan of the AC30’s sound? Not a problem, as the outfit also offers the VGH Rock, which is meant to simulate the sound of the amp stacks used by rock guitarists from the 80s and 90s. They also have a VGH Bass, in case you’re a multi-instrumentalist who wants to switch to the four-string every once in a while.
The Vox VGH AC30 will hit stores in March, priced at $99.99.