Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups

by Rodrigo Sanchez, Feb 24, 2023 . 5 min read

Best Acoustic Guitar Pickups

The best acoustic guitar pickups are great options to plug in your instrument. Whether you want to attend an open mic

or play a coffee shop gig, these tools will help you get there. 

Acoustic guitar pickups are also mandatory if you wish to perform with other musicians. Some may think that you can just position a microphone in front of your soundhole, but this option requires a highly trained sound engineer in order for it to work. In other words, you’re better off with an acoustic pickup.

While we’re at it, check out Roadie Coach. This is a fantastic tool to speed up your learning process. It conveniently attaches to your guitar and works in tandem with the app, with tons of songs and tips on how to get better. Without further ado, here are the best acoustic guitar pickups and a brief guide on how they operate.

What is an acoustic guitar pickup?

An acoustic guitar pickup takes the sound of your instrument and transforms it into a signal that can be amplified. In principle, this is similar to what happens with pickups on an electric guitar

However, electric guitars do not have the resonance and acoustic cavity that acoustics do. In order to account for these differences, acoustic guitar pickups are inherently different from electric guitar ones.

The three main types of acoustic guitar pickup are Magnetic, Piezo, and Microphone. Each has its own particular qualities and process of picking up sound.


A magnetic pickup works by wrapping a wire around a magnet, creating a magnetic field in order to capture sound. This process is the same as in an electric guitar pickup. They have a warm and musical tone, with fine string detail. 


Piezos (a type of transducer pickups) function by transforming physical vibrations into an electrical signal that is then amplified. A Piezo pickup is usually preferable over a magnetic one. This is because piezos are bright and articulate and are better at picking up the vibrations and offering a warmer tone.


An internal microphone is just a small microphone positioned inside the body of the guitar. It works just like any other microphone would. They tend to offer the most natural tone, full of the resonances and your instrument.

However, microphones can be predisposed to feedback and very sensitive to placement. Typically, they are combined with a piezo, as internal microphones are usually not enough to get the job done by themselves. That said, the combination of piezo and mic is one for the best acoustic guitar pickups possibilities out there today. 

Below we give you a varied list of acoustic guitar pickups for you to consider. They are from some of the top brands and fit for different budgets. 

Fishman PowerTap Infinity Acoustic Pickup

Fishman is one of the best companies for all types of musicians and this is their flagship acoustic pickup system. It features a tap body sensor with an under-saddle pickup. Together, they capture nuances from your playing with great precision. This acoustic guitar pickup is particularly good for guitarists who play percussively. It offers feedback-free performance and a nice transparent tone.

The Unique Tone control feature allows you to cut mids and boost lows and highs in order to achieve your desired tone. In short, this pickup/preamp system is a fantastic choice and works with steel or nylon strings guitars. 

Seymour Duncan Woody SA-3XL

This Seymour Duncan acoustic guitar pickup is a great option that is also quite affordable. It offers convenient and easy installation and is also uncomplicated to remove. With a natural finish that will look good on most acoustics, this pickup system offers a non-intrusive fit. 

This pickup is a humbucker, which is a great choice for avoiding undesirable background noise or interference.

In case you are on an even tighter budget, this pickup also comes with a single-coil configuration, which is 20 Dollars cheaper. In essence, this is a fantastic choice for beginners and folks that want to keep it really affordable.

LR Baggs Anthem 

The LR Baggs Anthem pickup system is considered an industry standard among acoustic guitarists. It’s for musicians that are serious about their tone and need a great-sounding pickup for multiple uses, whether on stage or studio.

This LR Baggs system completely eradicates feedback by employing a piezo-style Element pickup under the saddle that works in tandem with a condenser mic near the bridge plate. Besides being noise-canceling, this pickup system is highly responsive to your playing. In short, a fantastic choice for those that seek quality. 

Dean Markley XM Artist

If you are looking for ease of use, reliable performance and a ridiculously low price, the Dean Markley XM Artist is for you. You simply mount this pickup on your acoustic guitar and find the perfect spot for it after some experimentation.  

It may take a few tries to find that sweet spot for your particular instrument. The good news is that this pickup system comes with an adhesive that won’t damage your finish so you can move it around with no worries. If you’re only interested in playing low key open mics, and the occasional coffee shop jam session, then this may just be your best option. 

The best acoustic guitar pickups will make it possible for you to plug in your precious instrument. This way you can amplify your sound and perform concerts of all types. From playing with other musicians to showing your songs on an open mic, acoustic guitar pickups can help. 

There are different types and different models, and there is something out there for each budget. We hope you enjoyed this brief guide. Until next time!

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