Blackstar Fly 3 Micro-Amp Review: A Life Changer

Hey there! My name's Cooper, I am discovering the world while running my online teaching business, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've spent long periods in Australia, northern Europe, the USA, Sri Lanka and more. Originally I am from Tel Aviv, Israel. I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journey. 🙂

(Last Updated On: November 8, 2019)

About five months ago I decided that since I am traveling often, and that my main focus right now is on playing the electric guitar and not the acoustic, I want to buy a travel amp. I heard previously that there's a relatively new category on the market of new micro amps, and honestly, I was very skeptical about the quality, sound and volume they can provide, but decided to do some research. I ended ended up with the Blackstar Fly 3 – which surprised me in all aspects. Here's my review about it:

When I researched, the internet said that the Blackstar Fly 3 is the only one that actually sounds good from the bunch, (there are also the Marshall Mini Amp, the Orange Crush Micro Amp, Honeytone Mini Amp, Fender's, and more) but I still decided to go ahead and went to a couple of stores to check them all out.

My conclusion was that even though they were all about the same size and in the same price range, the Blackstar did definitely sound the best, and so I decided to get it – still very excited from the fact that I'll have an amp that I can carry around in my bag. So I shelled out 55$, and this is where our story begins.

blackstar review

My Fly 3 next to its best friend – my Swedish blues queen – the Hagstrom Viking. Check out how they sound like together in the video below.

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blackstar fly 3 review 5

Some of the competition. All of them are in the 30$-70$. First of all, we're lucky that technology has made guitar amps so small, and I appreciate that. However, my biggest problem when I tried them was that they all had a very dry and tiny sound, and lacked the delay, and also the crunchiness that the Fly 3 delivers. (picture source:

The Blackstar Fly 3 Review – After 4 Months of Heavy Use (My video review is followed by a text summary of the review)

Micro-Amp Review – Blackstar Fly3: Life Changing

This video above was filmed almost three months ago, and since then I only grew to be even more thankful for it. 

The video really sums it all up succinctly while giving you the most important thing of all – sound samples. However, I still want to give you the most important points of the review right here, so there you go:

The Blackstar Fly 3 Review – PROS
  • The extreme portability is what makes it a life changer for me. Again, being able to have an amp that sounds great and that I can easily walk around with to friends (in my bag), to the beach, or even just to a quick jam in the living room without a second thought – is something completely new for me. As an electric guitar guy, I don't have to “settle” for an acoustic guitar anymore when I'm outside my house.
  • SOUND: As I say in the video, I was astounded that this little one sounds better than my Vox VT40+, which is also considered a great amp and weighs and costs 10X more! It basically rendered my Vox useless and I barely touch it now. You can play around with some great cleans, into crunchy, grungy sounds that are just a lot of fun to play with, especially on my favorite Jimi Hendrix, Clapton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and blues tunes.
  • Delay: I can't stand a “dry” electric guitar sound, and my biggest problem with all of the other amps was that they lacked any sort of delay or reverb. Here you get an excellent delay effect built in, with an option to play around with two factors around it: time, (how long the delay will stretch) and also about how noticeable it will be to begin with.
  • The EQ knob: A cool feature to give you more sound variety – you can set the sound between “British” (definitely my favorite) and “American” . It's hard to explain the difference here so I'll send you to the middle of the video to check it out yourself.
blackstar fly 3 review

The sound controls – richer than I expected. See the video to listen to how it sounds like in different configurations)

  • The volume is surprisingly very high: Since it's so small and only 3W, I was skeptical of how loud it will be, and if I'll be able to play my favorite songs on full volume in my stereo system and jam along with them (like I alwasys do with my other amp) but I was surprised to find out that it can blow my ears in my music practice room. Literally. Especially if I twist the gain knob to the heavier side. If you're only playing clean it will be loud – but not too loud. Bottom line – for practicing by yourself and even playing in a practice room with a not-too-loud band, it totally cuts the job. Still, I'm very surprised.
  • Excellent overdrive channel: by pressing down the OD button you get a highly distorted channel which works great for solos – especially if you're more into the heavier rock / metal sound. It also bumps up the volume dramatically, to levels that I don't think you want to get to in a room – unless you want to cause yourself some ear damage…
blackstar fly 3 review 2

It also comes in white or black with a UK flag on the front grill. I actually wish I knew it before I purchased mine…

  • The convenience of not having to plug in the electricity, and not having to carry around an electricity cable besides the guitar cable when you haul the amp around. More on that in the next point.
  • Price: I think it's hard to argue that 55$ for an amp that sounds so good is more than decent.
  • The batteries last a very long time. I play the electric on average for one hour a day, usually with a relatively high volume and gain, and so far each cycle of 6 AA batteries lasted me for a month. Again, a huge surprise since I was sure it only lasts for a couple of hours and I was bummed that they do not supply a power supply, (you can use one but you need to purchase it separately) but after I noticed the longevity on the batteries I actually said “why bother”. You can get a rechargeable set of batteries if you want but I use plain AA alkalines and I'm happy so far.
  • You can plug your phone into it and use it as a speaker, even while you play the guitar – so you can jam with your favorite songs.


blackstar fly3 mini amp

You can get a Blackstar Fly 3 “Pack” of two speakers, and they'll play your guitar in stereo. I tried it in the store, and while it was pretty cool, I did not see a real need to get it. Plus it adds some hassle which I don't like. Anyway, you can still disconnect that second one if you wish and use it as a single.

Blackstar Fly 3 Review – CONS:
  • As much as I try to make this an even review, the (almost) only con I could think of is the fact that it does not come with a power supply and you have to buy one (if you don't want to use batteries) – AND it costs about half of the amp itself. Perhaps it's hard to ask for more in the 55$ I paid for the amp, but hey, at least I got one con on it.
  • Another one – if you want the amp to sounds good to your ears, you better not place it on the floor, but instead place it somewhere close to your ears height. This means that it might be on a table or something like that, so be careful to not place it near the edge – so it won't fall down if you step on the cable. I actually already had a few close calls with this one.
blackstar fly 3 review 3

The dedicated power supply unit that you need to purchase separately if you wish. I opt, at least for now, to just stick to 6 AA batteries since it's hassle free and they last for a very long time anyway.


6 AA batteries * about 1 hour a day, last me on average for one month. I was surprised by the efficiency.

So those were my two cents on it, if you have electric guitar and you want to be able to take it out of the house, even occasionally, and without the hassle of carrying a huge amp – then this is the best gift you can purchase for yourself. Enjoy!

P.S – if you have it and you got any more ideas for “cons”, to make this a more even review, let me know in the comments. (-;


blackstar fly 3 review

The best price is on Amazon – 55$. Link here.

Hey there! My name's Cooper, I am discovering the world while running my online teaching business, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've spent long periods in Australia, northern Europe, the USA, Sri Lanka and more. Originally I am from Tel Aviv, Israel. I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journey. 🙂

17 comments for “Blackstar Fly 3 Micro-Amp Review: A Life Changer

  1. Stephen Pringle
    August 13, 2020 at 4:25 PM


    I owe you a debt of gratitude 🙂 I had struggled to get a sound I like out of my Fly3, until I watched your video. Your single greatest piece of advice? Volume right up, control the sound level with the gain. That unlocked it and frankly I don’t really use my other amps much these days as I find it so easy to hear a sound in my head & dial it into the Fly.

    So, give yourself a pat on the back!

    Thanks again


    • Alon Cooper
      January 13, 2021 at 1:32 PM

      Pleasure to hear Stephen! Hope you’re enjoying it.

  2. Eric
    June 10, 2020 at 8:27 AM

    can you please send me the link for china supplier.

  3. Fred Dingemans
    November 29, 2019 at 11:21 AM

    Hi Alon,

    Couldn’t agree more, great review!
    I now have 3!
    I have 2 of the Fly bass which sound more throaty ( midrange )
    Actually sound nice for guitar!
    No delay but with a sub bass that gives my tele just a bit more low end.
    The compressor is ok if you turn it up just a notch.
    EQ on 4 sound best and fullest to my ears.

  4. Al
    April 6, 2019 at 9:09 PM

    How will this sound with an Acoustic/electric?

    • Alon Cooper
      June 15, 2019 at 1:56 PM

      Bad with an acoustic – great with an electric. (As far as a 3W tiny amp can go)

      • Bruce
        September 13, 2020 at 6:04 PM

        Actually, I have a Larrivee acoustic (L03) with pickup, and the Fly3 sounds awesome with it, so I can’t agree with your note that with an acoustic guitar the Fly is “bad”. It sounds as good as my Fender amp!

  5. Keegan
    April 5, 2019 at 5:42 AM

    I think you ought to have gotten the extension speaker to go with it. I think the stereo sound really sets it apart from other mini-amps. Also, if you buy this item as the complete bundle, the power supply comes with it! I’ve also purchased the bundle for the FLY 3 BASS. Both items are incredible. The amps also respond very well to my pedals.

  6. M.
    March 26, 2019 at 8:12 PM

    I can mention a HUGE con with this amp, or to be correct, with the extension speaker. The extension speaker has a cord on the back, but WHY WHY WHY did they make it fixed in one end??
    If the cord were not fixed, you could place the amp and the speaker on any distance apart. The build in/fixed cord is about a little more than a meter or so, so you can’t places them further apart than that…

  7. Albert
    March 18, 2019 at 6:19 PM

    Hi Cooper
    I’m looking for this amp to play the harmonica. What about it? Thanks in advance


    • Alon Cooper
      March 31, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      Hi man, I never tried it with a harmonica. I’d definitely try it out in the store with a harmonica before making any purchases. Best.

  8. Theresa
    November 9, 2018 at 10:58 PM

    Cooper, great article. Just a note, I bought my Blackstar Fly 3 used, for $49 in mint condition, from a reputable online music store. I tried a generic power supply but it would not work. I already had a Blackstar IDcore 10, so I tried the power supply from the IDcore and it worked fine. So if you search on Ebay for a Blackstar power supply for a Fly 3 or Blue series, you will find a reasonable cost power supply. FYI, I bought a new Blackstar power supply from Ebay for $11.59 + $2.99 shipping. Good luck and enjoy.

  9. Simme
    July 27, 2018 at 12:10 AM

    Great review friendo! Gonna get it asap 🙂 🙂

    • Cooper
      July 28, 2018 at 4:00 PM

      Enjoy !

  10. Akioblast95
    June 30, 2018 at 3:06 PM

    If you buy it from China, it comes with a power supply, guitar picks, and some other bonuses

  11. Bill Price
    March 17, 2018 at 4:00 AM

    Cooper, I owe you big time! the Blackstar Fly 3 is every bit as good as you say. I can’t believe it’s only 3 watts.

    I will use it with a longneck Oscar Schmidt concert uke (with a tenor neck and an active pickup). Amazing sound!


    • Cooper
      April 6, 2018 at 3:41 PM

      Glad you love it Bill!! Have never tried an amplified uke but it works amazingly well for guitars that’s for sure.

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