The days when music in the home consisted of a small CD player with built-in speakers are long gone. In today’s world, we pride ourselves on our gadgets and the ones that produce crisp, quality sound are among the most coveted. But with music technology constantly changing and evolving, how can you make sure you don’t get left behind? Here’s out guide to getting kitted out with all the latest music must-haves.

Upgrade your stereo

Smart speakerStill hanging on to that old stereo system that’s nearly a decade old? Now is the time to update and upgrade. Technology has come on in leaps and bounds since the early 2000s – no more carrying around cases full of heavy CDs, these days most people just plug in their mp3 player or mobile phone for access to a mind-boggling array of tracks. Whether you’re planning a party or just wanting an easy and convenient way to play music in your home, you’ll want to make sure you have a sound system that can take input from portable music devices. You can do this with a simple jack lead, or go one step further and invest in a ‘smart’ speaker. These devices are equipped with wireless and Bluetooth technology so that you can send tracks and playlists straight from your mobile phone or computer to the stereo – ideal for anyone tired of fiddling around with countless wires and plugs. To find out more, check out the range of smart stereos at stores like Argos.

Hit the road

These days, everyone wants their music to be portable. From chilling out sessions down the park in the sunshine to camping trips with friends, nothing in life is complete without a soundtrack and today’s technological entrepreneurs have come up with plenty of ways to make that soundtrack louder than ever before. There are a wide range of portable speakers on the market that can be charged at the mains and then plugged into your mobile phone or mp3 player when you’re out and about. They vary widely in quality and price, but for about £60-£80 you can get an excellent piece of kit that will see you through several summers of outdoor fun. Check out the selection of products available at Amazon to find one that’s right for you.

On a tighter budget? Take a look at ‘DIY phone speakers’ on the internet – you’ll find plenty of creative designs made from everything from old yoghurt pots to empty Pringles tubes! Although they’re obviously not as good as the real thing, you can get some surprisingly effective results just by utilising household waste.

Update your playlist

PlaylistsOf course, it’s not just about what you play your tunes on – it’s about how you store and share them too. While there’s still a market for CDs among avid music fans and collectors, more and more people are moving away from the physical format entirely and switching to completely digital music collections. The benefits are obvious – you can fit thousands of tracks on a memory card no bigger than your fingernail, and the chances of damaging or corrupting your music are far lower than with fragile, easy to scratch CDs. For most people, a mobile phone with sufficient storage should provide everything they need, while those that prefer to have a separate device can choose from a staggering array of mp3 players in countless formats and sizes. Want to go totally device-free? Many people are choosing to use cloud technology to store their music online through sites like Dropbox and Googledrive, while subscription streaming services like Spotify are a great way to both listen to your favourite tracks and discover new artists to love.

Start the party

For anyone who loves entertaining, the music technology options on the market right now have never been so exciting. As devices become more and more compatible, Bluetooth and wireless technology allow your guests to send tracks digitally from room to room and easily put together their own playlists to share with the party. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive decks and mixers any more – just invest in a decent set of speakers and a sub-woofer and let your guests take control.