The Geneva XS portable sound system is a pretty clever little thing, or a clever pretty little thing, depending on whether aesthetics or functionality is higher up your list.

Part of a range (which goes from XS to XL ... geddit?), the XS is the most compact and well-suited for slinging in your suitcase or backpack.

It comes in a hard leather case, which unfolds to reveal the streamlined hi-fi unit. This automatically turns itself off when the case is shut - however, should you run it flat, the built-in rechargeable lithium battery means there's no need to lug spare batteries around the world.

As one of the masses with a certain type of phone, I can vouch for the ease with which you can establish a bluetooth connection to the XS for audio streaming. No need to download any software, just a couple of setting changes and away you go.


It's also pretty nifty as an amp for a laptop, so you can get decent sound while watching Star Wars in your hotel room.

All devices (MP3 player, TV, computer, etc) can be also be connected by mini line-in. More importantly for the traveller, the XS has a digital clock and alarm, as well as a digital FM radio tuner.

Oh, and did I mention the sound quality? It's got a bunch of stuff I don't understand (tweeters and a woofer, anyone?), and I suspect they might have something to do with excellent sound performance. The only real flaw I discovered in the XS was how difficult it was to read the display in bright sunshine.

At an RRP of $349, it's at the pricier end of the scale but it's versatile and sounds good enough for home use when you're not jet-setting.