The latest Bluetooth 4.0 connection is supported with a 10 metre range, and the connection worked instantly and mostly reliably. Weighing 560g (19.8oz), the SuperTooth Disco 2 has a 3.5mm aux in, but no speakerphone mode. We're also slightly flummoxed by its use of a 12V power cable rather than micro USB, but there's no arguing about its audio superiority.

Read: SuperTooth Disco 2 review | Compare the best prices

10 best portable speakers

Jabra Solemate - £100/US$150/AU$180

It's got sole but it's not a soldier

Best known for producing Bluetooth earpieces, the Jabra Solemate - complete with a sneaker-like sole on its undercarriage - is nicely designed and good at what it does, but don't think of it as a replacement for a proper music system. Calm, sensitively produced acoustic stuff sounds good, but if you try to belt rock through this, it struggles - it's certainly not as versatile as the SuperTooth Disco 2.

Even its unusual styling isn't just for show; that sole provides a grippy surface that isolates the speaker from vibrations, and also hides a cable with 3.5mm jacks to supplement the wireless Bluetooth connection. There's also a nice fabric grip handle on the side. The battery lasts for about eight hours, and it recharges using a micro USB cable and charger.

Read: Jabra Solemate review | Compare the best prices

10 best portable speakers

Native Union Switch - £120/US$150/AU$200

Upright speaker with built-in smartphone charger

The Native Union Switch looks a bit like the Jabra Solemate, but its squared-off rectangular shape means it can be positioned horizontally or vertically. Weighing just over half a kilo and able to fill a room with clear and precise tunes, the Switch has a huge volume dial on one end and - rather like the iLuv MobiOut, Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12 and Philips Fidelio P8 - a built-in battery that can be shared with a smartphone via a USB slot.

It's a bigger battery, too, able to fuel the Switch for a stunning 14 hours and take an empty iPhone to 100% with charge to spare. Featuring both aux in and out and a speakerphone feature, the well designed and built Switch is expensive, but worth it.

10 best portable speakers

Jawbone Jambox - £130/US$150/AU$230

Pocket-sized speaker is a hands-free hero

Its small size and cute design aren't the only reasons to call on this highly portable gadget. Pairing with a phone via Bluetooth - both automatically and immediately, too - the 340g (12oz) Jawbone Jambox fades out its streaming of music when a phone call comes in.

There's a microphone, too, so you don't even have to pick up the phone. The Jambox is at its best when supplying low-key but detailed sonics for up to five hours on a single charge, though it's expensive compared to the similar Native Union Switch, iLuv MobiOut and KitSound Hive.

10 best portable speakers

Philips Fidelio P8 - £200/US$150 (around AU$335)

Exceptional detail on this serious business speaker

A heavyweight contender in more ways than one, Philips' new Fidelio P8 is a wannabe hi-fi component as much as a travel speaker. Weighing a hefty 1.3kg (2.9lbs), the P8 is modelled on the outgoing P9 minus the wooden-effect ends and leather case. This aluminium-covered 20W version packs the same punch; music is bass-heavy and expansive as well as being thoroughly detailed and well-balanced. It's one of the best sounding portable speakers here.

Just like the iLuv MobiOut, Native Union Switch and Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12, the Philips Fidelio P8 can share its eight hour battery. We managed to completely refuel an iPhone via USB 2.0 with charge to spare. It displays its charge level when touched, but like the SuperTooth Disco 2 it uses a 12V plug rather than a micro USB connection, which adds to the already considerable weight. This is definitely one for travelling business types.

10 best portable speakers

Geneva Sound System Model XS DAB+ - £220 (around US$335/AU$370)

Swiss style and super sonics