Last year, I was looking into upgrading the sound system in my bedroom.

As my bedroom is both where I watch a lot of television as well as where I do almost all of my writing, the issue of what sound system I use in it is quite an important one. I was browsing the local appliances store looking for something big. Why big? 'Cause with the exception of maybe a few thousand dollars' worth of Bose equipment, big equals better when it comes to music, right?

While I was researching what was going to be the best replacement for my old, out-dated music player, a friend of mine suggested maybe I have a look at Bluetooth speakers. I laughed in his face. Not nice, granted. But seriously? Bluetooth speakers? Sure, they're handy - I can play music right off my smartphone, free of any cables or hassle, but there's not a chance on earth a little Bluetooth speaker is going to be capable of kicking out the kind of noise I want my sound system to kick out.

And so I continued my search, constantly finding myself in the dead zone between what I could afford, and what I wanted it to sound like. Most of you will have at some point found yourselves there.

Skip forward a few months, and as luck would have it, I went and won myself a rather sexy-looking Bluetooth speaker. It retailed at around £99. Grateful as I was, I got the speaker home, sat it on the desk in the hall, still in its box, and there it sat for around three weeks. Meanwhile, I fruitlessly continued my search for an affordable, good-sounding music system.

December came. Now you really can't justify going out and spending £500 on a music system all for yourself when Christmas is just a few weeks away, so disappointingly I shelved my hopes of listening to big sounds over the holiday season and instead listened to the sound of silence as I tapped away at my computer.

But wait! I thought. Why am I listening to absolutely nothing, when there's a likely rubbish sounding speaker sitting there unused? It was better than nothing, I decided. I took it out the box, paired it up with my smartphone with astonishing ease, and there I sat, speechless, as the music began to play. Mind blown, I had just entered into the world of Bluetooth speakers.

Now many of us have had that moment at some point in life, where we've heard some incredible, deep-bass sound coming from somewhere, only to be blown away to find it blasting out of a tiny little Bose speaker somewhere. We've been in awe of it, and then utterly disappointed to discover it cost in excess of £1000. We've come to expect companies like Bose to be able to defy physics with sound - at a cost. What we don't generally expect, is to find other companies, reputable or not, kicking out the similar - and in my case even better - sounds for less cost. The speaker I'd won was a Sony SRS-X5 speaker. It looked amazing, but not as amazing as it sounded. I was so astonished, I immediately ran out of my house and down to the local department store which I knew happened to sell a wide range of Bluetooth speakers, and began sampling. My journey had well and truly begun.

My local department store, conveniently, have all their Bluetooth speakers on the shelf, charged, and ready to be paired for their customers' audio browsal. My first port of call was the very speaker I had sitting at home. That was to be my baseline. God it sounded so good - despite bass not really being designed for Cat Stevens. Next up was its big brother, the Sony SRS-X7. Wow! This thing could provide sound and bass for a reasonably-sized house party. This was incredible! The store staff must have truly hated me. This thing - a work of art to look at - was half the size of a shoebox and pumping out sound you'd expect to hear from either a multi-speaker, subwoofer-laden piece of equipment five times its size, or the aforementioned £1000 Bose number. But no, somehow Sony had managed to pack two impressive speakers, two passive radiators and a generous subwoofer kicking out at impressive 32W all within its sleek minimalistic housing and boy did it sound good.

Next, I went through a variety of similarly-priced speakers from a variety of manufacturers. Some big names, some newcomers. They all sounded pretty good, though not quite as good as the Sony.

Next up, the big guns: Bose. For the same price as the impressive Sony, Bose offered their player: the Soundlink Mini III. I licked my lips in anticipation, connected my smartphone wirelessly, and awaited an audio sensation that did not come. Wait, what? I hear you ask. Bose didn't deliver? Correct. No, no, no I thought. This can't be right? I tried again, different song. Still no. I tried again, different genre. Nope. I tried again, tweaking the settings. Could it be, that at that price Sony had outperformed Bose? There was only one thing for it; I'd borrow from my Christmas present fund, buy both, take them home and run a full range of tests and return the lesser of the two. Perhaps the display unit had been overplayed or ill-treated. So with both speakers bagged up and ready to go, home I went.

Before the front door of my apartment was even shut, both speakers were carefully unboxed, plugged in and ready for action. Sony up first. She sounded just as good, if not better, than she had in the store. Genre after genre, the speaker gave me the kind of sound I'd been waiting for for months. I couldn't have been happier. But then came Bose's turn. Once again, disappointing sounds ensued. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Bose speaker sounded bad, by any means. But I am saying that the Sony effort for the same price just pipped the deal. I read through a few reviews of each online. Mostly, they were on par. Some favouring the Sony, some the Bose. But you're always going to get brand-loyal favouritism with online reviews. I prefer to deal with a brand's device on a device basis, rather than following blindly simply because I've been happy with their product in the past. I wanted the Bose to outperform, I really did. I would rather have - since they were priced the same - a Bose speaker in my bedroom than a Sony one (call me vain). Yet the more I listened, like a primary candidate awaiting poll results, the more I realised Sony was coming out on top. As hard as I tried, I could not get the Bose to outperform the Sony. I asked friends later that day. All agreed, to their shock as well as my own, that Sony was beating Bose.

Almost disappointingly, I boxed the Bose number back up and sent it packing. I got the cash back for it, and stuck it back in the Christmas present fund. The smaller Sony speaker I'd won now becoming a Christmas present in its own right for a friend.

This story is based on actual events, during which I learned two things; Bose creates some incredible sound. I don't deny or argue with that in the slightest. However, it seems at this price point, it possibly isn't the best in the market. The next thing I learned, was that Bluetooth speakers can be truly and incredibly awesome. I'd mocked the very idea of them for years. Handy for the beach, or the BBQ garden party, I thought, but never as a key player in the home. For that you need big, expensive and wired equipment. I was wrong. I'm pretty techie, but I don't mind admitting when I've got it wrong with tech, and this was one of those moments. It seemed Bluetooth speaker technology had flown past me, utterly undetected, and left me in the dust. It had 'schooled' me, as they say.

To wrap this up, I'm going to summarise with three key points:

Just because a brand has a history of being the best, it doesn't necessarily mean it is at all market levels.

Bluetooth speakers are much, much better today than they were 3 years ago.

Never dismiss a type of technology without trying it out - you could end up missing out big time. 

And if you want some deep, bassy sounds kicking out of something small, convenient and sexy, without breaking the bank, the Sony SRS-X7 is a pretty sweet deal. Naturally, if you want something bigger, better and more expensive, there are other options, from Bose, Sony and a hundred other names. But if what you're looking for is what I was looking for, then grab your smartphone and head to your local department store and head straight for the Bluetooth speaker department. You won't regret it.