Speakers have become quite a personal gadget. The headphone market is now saturated with various bright colours, soft, cushy earpieces, deep bass capabilities and endorsements from hip-hop superstars.
On the other end of the scale are full-on surround sound systems to give you the ultimate listening experience, the listening equivalent of a 3D film.
But for those who want a portable experience without the intimacy of a headphone, there aren't many decent options around.
Panasonic has tried to cater to this market with a compact palm-sized Bluetooth speaker - the SC-MC07. It is 10cm in diameter and comes in two colours, white and black. For such a small device, it packs a decently loud sound and one that isn't tinny or low in quality. Panasonic claims music is played back on full digital high sound quality, which minimises sound degradation.
While it isn't exactly a surround-sound experience, it does the job decently.
So if you are wandering about the house or flat listening to music, you can take the speaker with you wherever you go. It can be hooked up to any smartphone, tablet, PC or Bluetooth-enabled device. The range is quite far-reaching: it worked perfectly well out on the balcony and in different rooms in the house. It takes AA batteries or can be plugged into a device through a USB cable.
While Panasonic claims it consumes as little power as possible, I found that the speakers were a little heavy going on the batteries, which needed replacing after a few hours of use.
The SC-MO7 is priced at Dh325 (US$88.48).