Choosing music to take on holiday used to be a fairly unsatisfactory experience, usually involving one of those hideous black wallet files filled with loose CDs. You couldn’t really win.
Leave packing to the last minute and you’d end up grabbing whatever was lying around when the taxi pulled up to take you to the airport, then have to live with it for a week.
The other way was worse: too much foresight and you inevitably selected albums you’d always meant to ‘get into’ but never found the time – only to discover you felt even less inclined towards a triple Mo’ Wax compilation on a hotel balcony in the Med than you did at home.
The advent of streaming has put paid to all that. Spotify, Napster, Last.fm, TuneIn, BBC iPlayer Radio mean you can access whatever you want wherever you are, so long as there’s decent Wi-Fi. And with posh homegrown hi-fi brands like Ruark now making Bluetooth-enabled kit, there’s another wireless service that’s come of age. All you need are your phone and a decent speaker and you’re good to go.
Cambridge Audio Minx Go (front right)
Remembers up to eight phones, tablets or computers via Bluetooth. Can also physically connect with MP3 players. Eighteen hours of playback thanks to an industrial lithium ion battery. Punchy bass bar integrated into the back. Excellent for the price.
Ruark MR1 Bluetooth Speaker System (back right)
Lacquer cabinets (walnut and black also available) handcrafted in Britain. Connects to your device via Bluetooth, there’s also a 3.5mm stereo line-in socket and a subwoofer output. Can also be used with Ruark’s BackPack rechargeable battery pack for longer sessions. Warm sound, winningly retro cube design.
Bowers & Wilkins Z2 (left)
The latest addition to B&W’s iconic all-in-one Zeppelin series comes with suitably monolithic design. Use Apple’s AirPlay wireless functionality or connect to non-Apple products via a 3.5mm line-in. Physically dock your iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch or seventh-generation iPod nano via a Lightning connector. Improved airflow gives super-clear bass and cuts ‘chuffing’ to a minimum when it’s cranked up.