We live in a world of incredible innovation, smart devices and genius tools that can be carried on you at all times. With all of these advances in technology come some really cool gadgets.
These days, you can get everything from pocket-size projectors to shoes made of dandelions and drones that can fly themselves.
But with so many cool gadgets out there these days, it can be hard to track down the ones that you should actually buy. To make your life easier, we’ve tracked down and gathered our personal favourites all here in one place.
Cool gadgets and new tech for 2023
First person view drones have really taken off recently. Allowing you to put on a headset and fly a drone from a first person view, these unique devices are the closest you can feel to flying like a bird.
DJI has released its latest version of this technology known as the DJI Avata. It is made to be more durable, and ready for any unfortunate crashes. You can pilot it via a controller or a joystick which mimics the movements of your hand. It also comes with plenty of clever features like the ability to use custom routes, follow a person or vehicle, and return to the starting point if it goes too far away.
Apple Watch Ultra
Apple has now been making its Watch series for a good few years, most of which have followed roughly the same formula. The Apple Watch Ultra takes all of the good bits of previous designs, and piles as much as possible on top.
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While the result is a smartwatch that is by no means cheap, it has also resulted in the perfect device for athletes of all practices. Apple has kept divers, climbers, tennis players, martial artists and everyone in-between in mind.
It is durable, water-resistant up to 100 metres, can deal with extreme low and high temperatures, has an impressive 36 hour battery life, and has detailed apps to track your fitness and health.
Beeline Velo 2
Trying to get around a city on a bike is a stress like no other, attempting to navigate cars, people and lanes while also tracking your destination on your phone with a confused navigation system. The Velo 2 cycling computer is unfortunately unable to remove the cars and people in your way, but it can make the navigation easier.
This tiny circular device attaches to your bike, giving you easy minimal navigation instructions that are built from tracking real life journeys. You can also track your speed, arrival time, distance and check the time. It’s even weatherproof!
Garmin Instict Crossover
Garmin’s new Instinct Crossover Solar fits a niche group of people who seem to be exercising every second of the day. It doesn’t really matter what your chosen sport is, the never-ending menus on this watch will have a mode for you. It tracks everything from running power, to heart rate, effective recovery time, and even how smoothly you descended a mountain bike trail.
When you eventually stop running, it can track your sleep and stress, and to fit even more exercise into your life, it uses solar power to stay on for an estimated 70 days without a charge.
Google Pixel 7
There are a lot of smartphones out there, but realistically Apple and Samsung steal most of the limelight. With its two latest devices, Google has managed to join those top two, offering a pair of serious contenders in the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.
In most of the obvious ways, these are great devices, dealing out solid battery performance, a strong processor, bright and colourful display, and even one of the best cameras we’ve used.
But in our Google Pixel 7 Pro review, it was the device’s software that we were most impressed by. Able to translate voice notes to text, cut photo-bombers out of your pictures, and even screen calls so you can see if it is spam or not, the device offers a huge variety of ways to make your phone experience better.
iRobot Roomba J7+
iRobot, not to be confused with the 2004 Will Smith classic, is the leading creator of robot vacuums with the Roomba range. Getting smarter each year, the new Roomba J7+ combines both vacuum and mop in one machine. This itself isn’t new, but the company has introduced a new self-retracting mop feature.
The mop lifts out of the way when it approaches carpet, only using the mop in the places you want it. In theory, this means a robot vacuum that can be fully independent and doesn’t need to be assisted… so this is how the robot uprising starts?
Meta Quest Pro
Ah yes, the metaverse – the supposed future of our digital world. While this new virtual land hasn’t exactly begun successfully, many tech leaders are still very much of the view that we’ll soon be plugged in, enjoying our own digital house, job and life.
If you want to get in now and enjoy the metaverse and virtual reality, the Meta Quest Pro 2 will likely be the best way to do this. Meta, previously known as Facebook, has poured money into this to offer the latest and most impressive specs available in the world of VR.
With all of its fancy new features and functions, comes a massive price tag of £1,499. It’s the best VR can be right now, but the investment is only worthwhile for those who can’t wait for the metaverse.
Nothing Ear (Stick)
Making interesting earbuds can be a challenge. Most look, feel and act the same these days, so something a bit different is always a pleasure.
Nothing is a brand known for innovation, trying to make products slightly different to the competition. With the Stick, it’s the charging case that adds some variety. The case is a long tube that can easily fit in your pocket. The case twists open to reveal the headphones inside.
Along with looking slightly different to competitors, these are good sounding headphones, offering a solid battery life and comfortable fit.
Apple Airpods Gen 2
For Apple fans, Airpods are likely the obvious choice for a new pair of in-ear headphones. If you are looking for the latest and best option, it will be the new Apple Airpods Pro 2nd generation.
While they don’t come cheap, they offer Apple’s best active noise cancellation outside of the incredibly pricey AirPods Max, as well as upping the battery life to get you 6 hours on a single charge.
The most important upgrade here is the new H2 chip. This aids the noise cancellation and allows the headphones to adapt songs to offer rich bass and clean high notes in real time.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 4
While everyone else quickly abandoned the idea, Samsung has been making real waves in the world of folding smartphones. Now on the fourth edition, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the most impressive folding smartphone to date.
It is water-resistant, has been tested to fold and close up to 200,000 times, and despite the hinge, this features one of Samsung’s best displays. Whether you want to use it in tablet form, or in its cover screen, both look sleek and feel responsive with a 120Hz refresh display.
While its the best foldable device out there, that technology carries a hefty price tag.
DJI Osmo Mobile 6
When it comes to camera equipment, DJI has spread itself across the whole industry making a load of action cameras, drones and accessories. One of their latest devices is the DJI Osmo Mobile 6, a gimbal that you can use with your smartphone.
This will balance out your movement when you are filming, allowing you to take smooth video even when you are running, driving or otherwise throwing yourself about.
Through the use of DJI’s ActiveTrack 5.0 software, you can track a subject smoothly, keeping them in frame, even when they are moving about.
The gimbal also includes a host of buttons for zooming, cinematic blurs and other similar effects.
Amazon Kindle Scribe
Amazon has come a long way since its first Kindle device, but a feature that they have been slow to take up is the stylus. Now, with the Kindle Scribe, you can scribble notes on the book you are reading, make handwritten notes, and generally get more out of your Kindle.
The device also features one of Kindle’s best displays, meaning you can continue to read in bright lighting. There is also a warm light setting for when you want to wind down and get ready for bed.
Nothing Phone 1
The brand Nothing (best known for headphones so far) has had the world of tech enthusiasts patiently waiting for the reveal of their new smartphone. They promised something a little bit different, and they delivered on that.
The back of the device is transparent, allowing you to see the inner-workings of the device. On top of that, it features a number of LED lights that the company has called ‘Glyphs’.
These lights flash in different ways to inform you of incoming calls, texts, social media notifications and plenty of other alerts on your device.
Elsewhere, the team at Nothing have fit in a sold battery, strong camera performance and a good display.
Read our full review of the Nothing Phone 1
HyperX Cloud Alpha
The HyperX Cloud Alpha are a pair of gaming headphones that offer one thing above all: a fantastic battery life. HyperX claims that these headphones offer 300 hours of battery life. That means you can use these headphones for just over 12 days straight without a charge, although we would really recommend a break in there somewhere!
Other than how long they’ll last, these headphones also feature a powerful crisp sound and a truly excellent microphone quality.
A good mechanical keyboard can often set you back well over £100, throwing in a bunch of RGB lights and fancy extra features that you might not ever use. The Logitech G413 TKL strips that all back to offer a simple experience. It only costs £69.99, but it cuts out any fancy lights under the keys and chops off the number pad on the right-hand side for a more streamlined experience.
Back in 2018, Sony released what would become one of the best pairs of headphones available – the WH-1000XM3. Since then we’ve seen the XM4, and now, Sony has followed up with the WH-1000XM5. If you ignore the somewhat painfully dull naming conventions, these, like their predecessors, are some of the best headphones around.
Scoring 5 star reviews all around, the Sony WH-1000XM5 are very much designed for those who would rather not splurge on a pair of Apple AirPod Max headphones.
In terms of specs and audio, these are extremely similar to Sony’s renditions from before. They offer market-leading audio across the low’s, mids and highs, excellent noise cancellation, and you get an array of smart ambient features.
The biggest difference with these headphones is the design, offering a completely new look to their predecessor. More minimalist and lighter too.
MacBook Pro with M2 chip
Does Apple’s new MacBook Pro reinvent the wheel? No. Does it feature ground-breaking new features and a revolutionary design…? Also no. What Apple’s new MacBook Pro does is ramp up specs and improve on an already popular design.
It continues to feature the touch bar (very much a love or hate feature), it offers more RAM allocation, the charging is faster and the Pro now features Spatial Audio.
However, the biggest change here is the processor, now featuring Apple’s M2 processor chip. This makes the 2022 MacBook Pro an incredibly powerful computer. Finally, we have an Apple laptop that can keep up with gaming alongside the demands of professional editing and creative software.
DJI Mini 3 Pro
Every year, DJI’s Mini series gets smaller and yet more powerful, cramming high-end specs into a lightweight drone that you can chuck in your bag.
But with all those improvements, comes an eye-watering price, and an increasing fear for your financial status if you crash it. It offers advanced obstacle avoidance features, a rotating lens so you can film portrait or landscape, 4K video, smart flying features like automatic tracking and the ability to follow a subject.
Despite its higher price, this feels like the perfect drone for beginners, those who like to travel, or really anyone in the market for a light-weight, high tech drone.
Marshall Acton III speaker
While it is best known for its towering amps on stage, Marshall has also been building an array of Bluetooth speakers over the years. Now it has launched its third edition of the Acton, Stanmore and Woburn speakers.
The Acton is the cheapest of the three new speakers from Marshall. Like the Stanmore and Woburn, the Acton is made using a sustainable design of 70% recycled plastic and vegan materials.
Through the use of Placement Compensation technology, this speaker optimises the equalisation (EQ) based on its surroundings. This means it will adapt and correct for nearby reflective surfaces which could affect the sound quality.
VAHA S Fitness Mirror
Sure, you could go the gym… or, the gym could come to you. That’s the idea of the Vaha S Fitness Mirror, giving you a full size mirror that can play over 850 workout classes, and connect you with personal trainers in real time.
The mirror itself is a 32-inch Full HD touchscreen, complete with 30W speakers and a brushed metal finish.
While this is without a doubt one of the the more impressive home workout options, it is also pretty pricey. The mirror alone will cost you £1195 and then there is a £39 a month payment to access classes.
For more cool gadgets, see our round-up of the best smart mirrors to buy for your home.
Therabody Wave Roller
The Therabody Wave Roller takes the traditional model of a foam roller and throws a bunch of tech into it. Through the use of vibration therapy and a wave-style texture, this roller helps to work out all of your aches and pains.
It comes with an app that can guide you through a rolling routine, five customisable vibration frequencies and can be used anywhere on the body that needs working out.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EQ
Ever since the release of Apple’s AirPods, the style of wireless earbuds with stems has picked up drastically, and now the design-centric B&O has given it a go. In classic style for the company, these look and feel premium. They are made using a mix of glass and aluminium and have an IP57 waterproof rating (dust, water and sand resistant).
Each earbud boasts a 9.2mm driver, a microphone and high-end ANC. They even come with an impressive 28 hours of audio life. While they seem to perform well in all of the key areas, that does also mean a £359 price tag.
Samsung M8 Smart monitor
Squint your eyes, and Samsung’s new M8 monitor looks identical to Apple’s recent colourful iMacs… what a coincidence. However, with an affordable price tag, and an overkill of connection options, the Samsung M8 could be the perfect monitor for a lot of people.
It doubles up as a TV and monitor, offering smart TV with Netflix, YouTube and most streaming platforms, as well as connection options for most laptops, AirPlay for Apple products and even DEX to connect your Samsung smartphone as a computer. Not enough? It also has built-in speakers, a 4K display and an added webcam.
Gocycle G4 electric bike
There are now plenty of electric bikes on the market, but if you live in a city, constantly hopping on trains, buses, and up and down stairs, throwing in the ability to fold the bike down could be a necessity. That’s the key feature of the new Gocycle G4, offering a premium electric bike that can easily be folded down.
Inside you’ll find a powerful motor and there’s even an app that you can connect up which allows you to start the bike remotely, see how fast your going, how much battery you have left and more. With traction control features, this bike works great on roads, grass and other more unique terrains. There is even different modes, putting out more power where necessary.
Action cameras need to be versatile, able to catch every terrifying cliff jump, risky dirt bike trail or gnarly wave while surfing… and that’s where the new Insta360 One RS comes in. As far as action cameras go, this is one of the more unique options. It uses a modular design, offering a detachable 360 degree lens, wide angle lens and a 4K action camera that you can easily switch between. You can also detach the battery, allowing you to carry back-ups that you can snap in place quickly between stunts.
Generation Zerøgrand II
The sustainable shoe market is blowing up right now, with major companies trying to create the shoe that leaves the smallest carbon footprint. One of the more unique attempts at this is the recent Generation Zerøgrand II.
These shoes from Cole Haan are made using almost entirely recycled materials. The upper design is made with vegan microfiber made of 21 per cent recycled content and a felt fabric made of 85 per cent plastic bottles. The laces are completely recycled, and the most unique part, the soles have a minimum of 25 per cent natural dandelion rubber!
Sony has always been at the forefront of headphone technology and with its latest pair, it is doing something rather unique. These headphones feature a hole in them (by design – don’t worry, no parts are missing). This means you can be more aware of your surroundings and people desperately trying to get your attention while enjoying your music. It features other clever features like touch control by tapping the skin by your ear and volume that adjusts to match your environment.
Urbanista Los Angeles headphones
Charging devices is one of those daily pains that we could all live without, and while battery lives have improved, it is still a regular occurrence. This is a problem Urbanista is attempting to resolve with the Los Angeles headphones.
Lined with a solar cell material, these headphones will constantly charge themselves throughout the day as long as there is light. This works both inside and out in the big wide world and theoretically removes the need for charging.
Along with the unique charging feature, the Los Angeles headphones also include active noise cancelling, ambient sound mode and voice assistant features.
AllBirds Tree Dasher 2
The AllBirds Tree Dasher 2 are a pair of shoes that will especially appeal to the eco-friendly runner. Made from a eucalyptus tree fibre knit, with shoelaces from recycled plastic bottles, this is a shoe with a small carbon footprint.
Despite this, these shoes still offer a comfortable performance and a lightweight design – perfect for both long-distance runners and rapid sprinters.
LEGO App-controlled Transformation Vehicle
When it comes to LEGO, there is a lot of choice. However, this new LEGO Technic set has a unique feature to help it stand out – the ability to control it via an app.
With the app, you can drive the vehicle around, and when you flip the car over (or hit a wall), it will reveal a completely different car below. Because the LEGO car features suspension, you can even drive it over uneven surfaces.
For more LEGO Technic picks check out our list of the best LEGO Technic kits.
There are a lot of drones on the market right now, all offering something slightly different. However, Skydio’s 2+ has a unique feature we haven’t seen elsewhere that really helps it to stand out.
Through technology known as Keyframe, you can plan out routes that the Skydio 2+ will follow. You can define complex camera movements and then choose what speed the drone will approach these routes.
Skydio’s aim with this feature was to be able to give anyone the ability to get clean drone shots, no matter their level of skill. Equally, you can use this feature to film yourself doing something if you don’t have someone to pilot it for you.
DJI Action 2
DJI, along with GoPro, is one of the biggest names in the action camera market and with the Action 2, they are going all-in on modular features.
With strong magnets attached to the camera, you can quickly switch attachments, throwing on a tripod, helmet mount, waterproof cases, a screen and other features you’ll need when trying to keep a camera attached to your body as you leap off a cliff.
Along with the magnetic modular attachments, the DJI Action 2 also succeeds at the features we would expect from an action camera. It offers 4K, 120fps footage, it has image stabilisation to keep your footage level through the action and it is water, dust and drop-proof.
Sony’s new speaker system is designed for those that want to get serious home cinema surround sound, without having to spend time and effort draping wires around your living room. The HT-A9 system is essentially a set of four wireless speakers that talk to a control box plugged directly into your TV. You just place the four speakers around you, and let the setup – which echolocates each speaker – calibrate to you and your living room. Each device has a tweeter, a sub and an upfiring speaker to power the full Dolby Atmos experience. Pair these with a Sony TV and the system will also use your TV’s speakers to add to the sound.
Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook
For the eco-conscious note-taker, this smart notebook has 32 pages that are easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth when paired with Pilot Frixion pens. The first reusable notepad of its kind, they claim it feels just like writing on a traditional pad thanks to its special space-aged paper.
Available in a variety of sizes, it’s also compatible with the Rocketbook app. This allows you to scan your notes which will then be saved into a cloud of your choice, so you’ll never lose your work and can easily revisit any sketches, notes and lists in the long run.
KODAK Luma 150 Pocket Projector
Portable enough to fit in a briefcase if you need to produce a presentation for work, or your backpack if you’d like to watch a film or enlarge your gaming experience on the go, the KODAK Luma 150 portable projector promises to expand the screen to up to 150 inches while delivering bright, vivid images.
It has built-in, surround-sound speakers and a headphone jack for private viewing, with a battery run time of up to 2.5 hours, which is rechargeable via mini USB.
We love bonfires (and barbecues!) but it does get tiresome having to dance around the fire all evening to dodge the eye-watering smoke. The FirePit+ eliminates smoke by making your fire hotter. Battery-powered fans at the bottom of the fire basket stoke the flames from beneath, while the mesh sides let plenty of air in.
The improved airflow means the flame burns hotter and more efficiently, therefore producing less smoke. Plus, you can put some charcoal in and rest a grill on the top. The fans last between 7 and 30 hours depending on how high they’re turned up, and the battery can be recharged via USB.
An odour-fighting T-shirt made of recycled crab. Yes, you read that right. This unassuming T-shirt is made of chitosan, a material obtained from the exoskeletons of shellfish.
It’s one of the most abundant ingredients on the planet, so its creators, Allbirds, decided to use it to make some of its clothing line. According to Allbirds, this special blend also has odour-fighting properties (it presumably has a surface that’s hard for smelly bacteria to colonise), which hopefully means you have to wash it less, and it’ll last longer.
Simba Hybrid Luxe Mattress
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing.
Memory foam mattresses are fashionable, but their spongy embrace isn’t for everyone. Simba’s patented hybrid solution pairs springs with open-cell foam, a memory foam-like material with internal pockets that allow the mattress to disperse heat. This creates a mattress that’s firm, ensures two people sleeping in a bed won’t feel each other move around, and is cooler than memory foam.
The company’s latest upgrade, the Hybrid Luxe, adds a second set of springs to provide extra support and remove any chance of sore joints for side sleepers. Plus, Simba has added a breathable bamboo wool layer just beneath the top layer, to help regulate your temperature and fend off a sweaty night’s sleep.
From £1,099 (single mattress)
Apart from public toilets, there are few things in life that aren’t made better by being see-through. Case in point, this speaker that replaces its housing with tempered glass.
Its creator, the Swedish design studio Transparent, says that its speakers use durable, recyclable materials. Each of the devices can be used alone as a Bluetooth speaker, paired together as a stereo sound system, or plugged into existing audio equipment.
It’s upgradeable too, with a compartment at the rear that can hold and power various modules – a voice assistant, for example, or new wireless tech.
North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket
A three-layers coat, the oddly named Dryzzle Futurelight provides a combined high durability and waterproofing to keep you safe out in the heavy rain. North Face applies a material that allows for great breathability so along with not getting wet, you also won’t feel like you’re getting overly stuffy.
Sonos Arc soundbar
Offering up a hard-to-beat balance of features, design, ease of use and performance, the Sonos Arc, the company’s first Atmos soundbar, is an easy product to love. There are very few soundbars out there that do so much so well. In fact, it’s our pick for the best soundbar.
No matter what you’re watching, it sounds superb. There’s a stunning clarity to dialogue, a fullness to bass and stacks of detail across the frequency range. But when you listen to an Atmos soundtrack, you really hear the added breadth and depth you’d expect from a more immersive 3D soundstage, with sound effects that are placed precisely around and above you, delivered by the Arc’s carefully angled drivers.
Of course, it’ll fit into a wider Sonos multi-room system if you have other Sonos speakers, or act as a superb sound system on its own for crisp, expressive music playback. Its size means you’ll probably want a 55-inch TV or larger though, as it’ll dwarf anything smaller.
Arlo video doorbell
Offering a good balance between price, premium features, and usability, Arlo’s Video Doorbell is our top choice for the best video doorbell if you want a high-quality smart doorbell that works reliably without being annoying.
Its standout feature – telling the difference between people, animals, vehicles, and packages, and only sending you the notifications you want – means you don’t get an alert every time a strong breeze sends a plastic bag down the street.
Being able to create motion zones – so you get alerted only when someone (or the neighbour’s cat) is in them – and the option to turn off all alerts when you are home (using the location of your phone to figure this out) ensures a smart doorbell doesn’t become just another electronic annoyance but a useful security tool.
Along with some of the best quality video we tested and a nice square video shape that shows you more of your doorstep than most, we like that it has a built-in siren you can set off from the app if you spot someone suspicious.
Another thing that sets it on top of the pile is an answering machine option. While no one ever left us a message outside of testing – possibly because most people aren’t used to talking to a doorbell – we can see potential here as smart doorbells gain popularity.
What if your earphones could give you a hearing test and tune your equaliser to reflect the frequencies you are most, or least, sensitive to? That’s the idea behind the Nuraphone, which we first tested a few years back in headphone format.
During setup, the original Nuraphones would fire out a range of frequencies and then measure your ear’s response to each of them, building a sound profile that perfectly equalises the output to your hearing. The company has now shrunk their clever tech and shaped it into a set of Bluetooth earphones called the NuraLoop.
They’re packed full of all the other tech you’d expect – like active noise-cancelling and touch controls – but there are a few extra smart touches, like the magnetic analogue jack that lets you connect to your earphones with wires, or the smart on/off feature that automatically switches them on when you put them around your head.
But most importantly it’s the sound that really sets these apart. Like the Nuraphones before them, what you hear is nothing short of exceptional, especially for a pair of headphones under £200, with everything wonderfully balanced, letting sounds you didn’t know even existed drift into the mix. Dare I say it, but I think I might even have heard the bass track on Metallica’s …And Justice for All (maybe).
The only EQ option you have (or really need) is an Immersion setting, which is basically a bass boost. Of course, all this goes to pot as soon as you listen to someone else’s sound profile, but then that’s sort of the point. We all have different ears and respond to different frequencies, so the fact that my partner’s profile sounds like a swampy mess to me suggests that yes, maybe I did spend far too much of my youth turning it up to 11. – AM
What are the most annoying sounds you can think of? Nails scratching down a chalkboard? Car alarms? It could be that our ears, through thousands of years of evolution, are sort of designed to find these sounds particularly unpleasant to act as a warning that danger is imminent.
That’s great for our ancient ancestors, listening out for prowling sabre-tooth tigers, but for us modern humans it’s just plain annoying. In fact, according to audio specialists Flare, the shape of the eardrum itself acts as a bell, adding 20db of distortion-causing resonance.
This irritating distortion could impact on our mental and physical wellbeing, so the idea behind the Flare Calmer earplugs is that they change the shape of the eardrum to cut out the particularly annoying distorted frequencies between 2,000-8,000 Hz. By doing this, they claim to reduce ear fatigue, noise-induced headaches and overall stress levels.
So does it work? Well, it’s hard to tell how much earplugs can reduce your overall stress in the midst of a global pandemic, protests in the streets and the ever-present threat of a toddler walking into your Zoom meetings, but what is certain is that after using them almost constantly for a few weeks now, there are definitely benefits to having them in.
For a start, it is noticeable that the very worst day-to-day frequencies are reduced, and this has the knock-on effect that they are ultimately less annoying. The same can be said when you have them underneath headphones, and although they change the sounds slightly, it makes music a little warmer and notches down the intensity.
Another side effect that has been noted by other users, not that I can verify and was entirely unexpected by Flare, is that it reduces the constant ringing experienced by those suffering from tinnitus. – AM
HyperX wireless gaming setup
HyperX are big names in gaming peripherals (they even have their own esports arena in Las Vegas), so it’s no wonder their kit maxes out on quality and features. Their suite of wireless gear doesn’t disappoint.
First up you’ll need 7.1 headphones, and the HyperX Cloud Fight S headset has some seriously good surround sound. You can control chat/audio balance from the headset itself, ideal for those vital mission strategy briefings without interrupting play, and the swivelling ear cups on the headset allows them to sit comfortably around your neck for when you need a breather (or snack).
The butter-like softness of the leatherette and memory foam innards makes them plush and extremely easy to wear, even for all-day and night gaming marathons, and is weighted enough so that it’s stable when sitting on the charging pad, but not too heavy that it becomes uncomfortable after a few hours of continuous wear.
The reassuringly familiar design of the HyperX Pulsefire Dart mouse is ergonomic and has satisfying leatherette side grips. It’s weighty and feels ‘solid’ in your hand, but does an excellent job of gliding effortlessly across your desk surface, and the fun part – you can customise the RGB lighting using the NGENUITY software.
The battery life on both headset and mouse far exceed that of a PS4 controller and can be charged wirelessly at the same time on the sleek Chargeplay Base. As a bonus, when you’re busy fragging zombies you can charge any Qi-enabled device. – HS
Cloud Flight S headset, £149.99
Pulsefire Dart mouse, £89.99
Chargeplay Base, £49.99
Ember Mug2 and Travel Mug²
Nothing stirs the soul of a Brit more than the thought of a piping hot cup of tea. However, a cold and forgotten cuppa is practically an insult to Queen and country. The Ember Mug2 is a very elegant (if expensive), solution to this distinctly British problem.
By connecting the Ember mug to your smartphone via the accompanying app, you get a notification when your brew has reached your perfect temperature, and a heating element in the bottom of the mug keeps it toasty warm until you have finished every last drop.
Weirdly, when we tested it out we found you had to use two teabags to get a good strong brew and were a little disappointed that it can’t be charged via USB (something to do with it drawing a lot of power means it needs its own plug socket), but that is a small price to pay for a sizable 414ml mug of perfectly temperate tea. Milk, no sugar (and two bags) please.
You can also now pick up the Ember Travel Mug², which is great for warm drinks on the go. -AM
Yoto Player interactive audio player
Cassettes were great, weren’t they… Ok, the sound was rubbish, you couldn’t skip tracks and they never lasted too long before they were gobbled up by the tape monster (you know what I mean), but as a kid I used to love listening to stories on them.
For me there was something deeply satisfying about slotting the tapes into the player, pressing play and getting lost in a ripping yarn, and the Yoto Player is a modern-day equivalent just as tactile and exciting. Except it sounds good.
Instead of tapes, this groovy little audio player works by slotting in cards, each of which contains a story to listen to. There are loads of classic tales to pick from, such as The Gruffalo and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as other cards with podcasts, radio and activities on. Instead of a screen it has a cutesy pixelated display, which along with chunky buttons for volume and skipping tracks, the whole device is completely kid-friendly (even my two-year-old was able to get to grips with it).
Whatever the circumstances, keeping kids entertained without having to resort to a tablet can be a struggle, so the Yoto Player is a definitely one of the better ways to keep their little minds whirring and imagination sparked.
As of July, for £12.99 Yoto also run a monthly subscription package which, amongst other treats, sends you two new cards to listen to every month, a postcard and an ever-growing colouring art piece to keep those creative juices flowing. – AM
£79.99 for the Yoto Player + cards from £1.99, yotoplay.com
Theragun Prime massage gun
Recently you might have noticed that social media is filled with deeply satisfying slow-mo videos of people pummelling their legs with massage guns, but what exactly is going on? Well rather than having to fork out on physiotherapy, massage guns are like having a private masseur on hand for a quick post-workout session – the Theragun is the one such gadget.
It looks like a cross between a weapon and a power tool (and actually when you switch it on you could be forgiven for thinking it’s both) but in reality, the Theragun Prime is a percussive therapy device, designed to massage your muscles by rapidly applying pressure to your body up to 40 times per second.
It claims to get 60 per cent deeper into your muscles than other massagers, increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, muscle tension, and working out any knots that have developed.
Read more about the science of health:
The triangular handle makes it easy to hold from any angle, allowing you to really pick out problem areas without having to bend at all angles to get at it, and while it’s far from silent, it’s definitely not as loud as something beating at 2,400 percussions a minute in your hand should be.
The documentation for how to use the Theragun could do with a little work, and the app isn’t super helpful either, offering only a few routines and a guide as to how much pressure you’re applying. In fact, it was two weeks before I discovered you could switch it on without even needing to go through the app, however, once I worked out this now very obvious feature, I was using it daily.
It was a revelation to be able to pick it up and work on knotted muscles I didn’t even know existed and massage specific parts of my body that were feeling sorry for themselves after working out all day (read that as standing at my desk).
I’ve mostly been using it at the beginning of the day to get the blood flowing and at night before bed, and it definitely releases some of the muscle tension that has built up over the day. This being said, I’m no medical expert, so it’s worth researching online to find out exactly how to use it safely. – AM
Ultion SMART lock
Got a house stacked with cool gadgets? Great, but how secure is it – specifically, the door? With that in mind, the gateway to your veritable Aladdin’s Cave of goodies should not only be safe, but also smart.
If you’re into ‘lock stats’, you’ll be pleased to hear the Ultion SMART lock features an 11 pin internal system and a potential 294,970 key combinations, as well as a lockdown mode if it gets attacked. For the non lock-aficionados out there, Ultion has stuck a £1,000 guarantee on it, which sounds like they’re pretty confident of its security credentials.
If turning a key is too much for you, the motorised lock will turn with but a gentle tap, and for the seriously lazy you can ask Apple or Amazon’s voice assistants Siri and Alexa to do it for you, hands-free. Similarly, it can automatically lock or unlock when a trusted person is near using GPS and Bluetooth.
The whole thing is battery operated (and should last well over a year) and doesn’t require any cables or drill to install, just a screwdriver. And on top of all that, as far as door locks go, it looks rather fetching too.
From £229, ultion-lock.co.uk
Looking for even more cool gadgets?
Wow, you’ve made it this far… you must really like gadgets! That’s great, but the fun doesn’t end here. We regularly update this list so bookmark it if you want to see the latest tech news and what we reckon are the must-have gadgets to get your mitts on this year.
And if you think we’ve missed some blindingly obvious devices then let us know on Twitter and we’ll have a look at it in the near future.