Nowadays most people store their music as digital files, having either ripped tracks from CDs or downloaded them from stores like iTunes.
But with tons of faceless files stored on mobile devices and hard drives all around the house, you need an easy way of playing them. And that’s where music streaming systems come in.
These systems come equipped with wireless technology, like Bluetooth or wi-fi, which transfers tunes to them over the airwaves without a cable in sight. So whether your songs are sitting on a smartphone, laptop, iPod or network server, the five systems we’ve checked out provide a hassle-free way of playing them.
Most of these are equipped with Bluetooth, the simplest way of streaming music – just pair up you devices and away you go – but a couple of our systems use Apple’s AirPlay, which lets you stream music from iTunes over your home wi-fi network.
If you are looking for a streaming system, there are plenty to choose from across a range of budgets. Our five range from £180 up to £600 and cater for a variety of needs. Obviously, features, build- and sound-quality get better the more you spend, but there are some real bargains to be had on the lower rungs of the price ladder too.