Tested loads of these. The brief was the speaker had to have an AUX input that would take the output from a guitar processor, and be compact enough to fit in a travel bag.

I originally started with a dedicated guitar practice amp, the Positive Grid Spark Go, but I wanted a drum machine & looper to practice with which the Spark was lacking. Although it had a built-in Jam software, there were a few issues with it.

Then went for the Mooer 05i. Although this sounded good and did everything I wanted (drums/looper), it had no headphone output and was an awkward shape to pack.

I then changed course & abandoned the dedicated all-in-one guitar travel amps. Instead went for a separate mini guitar processor, either a Mooer P1 Prime or a NUX Mighty Plug Pro. The Mooer Prime P1  had Drums & Looper built in, but the NUX had backing tracks. In the end I went for the Mooer.

Both units were tiny with headphone outputs. Now I just needed a something to amplify them! A selection of some of the units I tried:

The testing consisted of first trying the guitar on its own to see what sort of tone the speaker had, how it responded to dynamics and how loud it went. I then played the guitar with the built in drums. This was quite a severe test as these units tend to have internal limiters which would cause anomalies in playback. I then tried playing along with streamed backing tracks.

The units I discarded:

  • JBL Go2. This was actually a great sounding unit and very compact. I wanted something bigger though.
  • The Anker Soundcore was a non starter as it had latency delay through its AUX input, so when you played the guitar, the sound came out a few milleseconds later,
  • The Tribit XSound Go. This was such a cute speaker and tiny! Like the JBL it sounded great....but lets try something bigger!
  • The Tribit MaxSound Plus. Like the Anker, was a non-starter with latency.
  • Doss Soundbox......ugh
  • Bogasing G4. Thought this would sound better than it did. It was too big & boomy. I also tried the M6 which was fairly nondescript. Funny when you see one of my final choices was the M5!

So, my final choices were the Tribit XSound Plus 2 & the Bogasing M5.

I wanted to love the Tribit. No doubt music files sounded the best through it, and if this is what you want the speaker for, I would recommend it without hesitation. Cymbals shimmered, bass thumped and the mids had a clarity & definition none of the other speakers I tried could match. It also had its own app with built in equaliser & the ability to customise the sound and save to one of the 3 presets. But when I plugged a guitar into it, the heavy DSP processing this unit took over. The guitar never sounded 'natural'. If I wanted to play along with a backing track, Tribit's limiter would cut in & compress the volume of the guitar and ruin the dynamics. If I engaged the drum machine and played guitar at the same time, again, the guitar would compress.

Switching to the M5, this had an unusual design as the front & back were identical and drivers faced the front & rear. If you positioned this near a rear wall, the volume was reinforced. Compared to the Tribit there was no compression. This also had a great natural guitar tone. It did not play backing tracks with the finesse & resolution of the Tribit, but I really could not live with the artifacts it created. Having said that, the backing track sound of the M5 seems to be improving with time.

One thing I became aware of early on in the tests was I was expecting the units with twin active drivers to be louder than the single driver JBL. All these units used passive bass radiators too. Further investigation revealed on the twin speaker units only ONE driver was active. I then realised the P1 guitar processor I was using had a mono output. Using a stereo/stereo or mono/mono lead shorted one of the speakers out.  I needed a mono jack out of the Mooer to a stereo jack into the speaker. This lead cured the problem:

As a guitar practice amp, I would suggest the M5 to be the better than the Tribit with less severe processing.  For this application, I chose the M5......but I have ordered a Bose  shocked

Hope other guitarists looking for a travelling practice amp will find this useful!

Now finalised complete travel rig:

All fits in laptop case too!