If you’ve ever received a portable speaker as a gift and it’s just sitting in a cupboard somewhere because you don’t really know what to do with it, go get it out – immediately!

Perhaps when you first got it you thought that you already have a stereo system and headphones for your phone and iPad, so you couldn’t see much use for portable speakers.

Explore the benefits of portable speakers and you’ll soon be singing a different tune. They’re absolutely great compact speakers that connect wirelessly to your laptop, phone, or tablet to enable you to stream music, podcasts, audio books, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

Obviously, you can take them anywhere, which means that your tunes are always with you, whether you’re cooking or on the beach.

Whatever your routine, take your audio with you – jump in the shower (be sure your portable speaker is waterproof of course, which a lot are these days) and pump up the music to get yourself going for the day, then stream the latest news while you’re making breakfast to hit those more serious notes, and then maybe catch up on a chapter or three of your favourite audio book while you’re completing a craft project in your sunroom.

Portable speakers may look like the baby brother of your stereo’s speakers, but they’ve got big attitude and can do a lot of stuff stereo speakers can’t, like hook up to a smartphone or give you full access to your favourite music playlists and libraries.

Yes, you can also stream anything you like on your laptop, but how good are your laptop’s speakers? In our experience, laptops don’t offer the best audio experience – nothing comparable to portable speakers anyway.

HEOS by Denon is definitely where the party starts with portable speakers.

A great place to start with portable speakers is the HEOS 1 Go Pack with Bluetooth. It’s the perfect poolside buddy, as it comes with a silicone splash guard for protection against water. Not only can you listen to your favourite tunes, but you can also charge your phone at the same time (the USB port provides a 5V/1A output – the same as regular phone chargers).

The HEOS 3 Wi-Fi speaker is a great groove starter, whether you lay it down or stand it up. It has dual custom full-range drivers which are powered by a two-channel Class D amplifier, and you can use two for a perfectly synchronised stereo pair. It also has Amazon Alexa voice control!

On to the HEOS 5 and HEOS 7, and the party is really ramping up…

Bigger is better when it comes to party time, right? The HEOS 7 is a big, top-of-the-line Wi-Fi speaker for serious party animals who need to raise the roof. Here’s why: two custom tweeters, two midwoofers, a large subwoofer, and two passive radiators powered by five dedicated Class D amplifiers. And, of course, control with Amazon Alexa voice commands.

Polk Audio is also doing incredible stuff in the portable space, like the Rue 5.1 wireless surround-sound system. It includes the MAX soundbar, a wireless subwoofer, and two wireless surround speakers for a bigger, more dynamic surround sound.