Best Gadgets 2018: WIRED Recommends the best tech and gear

WIRED Recommends is our definitive guide to the best gadgets, gear and new products. This list covers our number one picks for every category we’ve tested so far, but you can always head to our dedicated guides for more options.

  • Wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite 65t

    Wireless earbuds: Jabra Elite 65t

    Price: £139 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Forget Apple’s AirPods, if you want genuinely wireless earphones for every occasion then we recommend the Jabra Elite 65t (£139). Unlike most of Jabra’s efforts, they’re less concerned with the gym and running and more tailored for everyday use. They sound, and look, great and you get five hours of use from a full charge and a further two from the charging case. Unlike some wireless headphones we’ve tested, we had no audio and video sync issues when watching Netflix and while they’re not designed with running in mind, they’re secure enough to be usable all the same.

    Read our best wireless earbuds guide for more options.

  • Laptop: Dell XPS 13

    Laptop: Dell XPS 13

    Price: £1,099 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Dell XPS 13 (From £1,099) is the definitive MacBook-killer. This 13-inch laptop weighs a mere 1.2kg yet is powerful enough to deal with a heavy workload. There are numerous configuration options, including non-glare screens and touchscreen versions. The tiny 4mm screen bezel means it has a very small footprint, making it easy to fit in any bag.

    For more options, including a great laptop under £500 and our favourite gaming laptop, read our guide to the best laptops.

  • Tablet: Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)

    Tablet: Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)

    Price: From £319 | Check price on Apple.com

    We love the iPad Pro, but for most people the standard 9.7-inch iPad is the best choice. The timeless design remains, as does the high-resolution screen, intuitive software and huge collection of apps. No platform can compete when it comes to apps designed specifically for tablets.

    The 2018 edition supports the Apple Pencil, adding one of the Pro’s key features at a fraction of the price. Add a Bluetooth keyboard and you have a capable alternative to a laptop and 4G versions give you the ultimate freedom to work anywhere.

    If you’re looking for something cheaper, or a tablet for kids, read our full guide to the best tablets for any budget.

  • E-Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

    E-Reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

    Price: £120 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

    The Kindle Paperwhite (£120) isn’t the most advanced e-reader, but it does everything you need.

    The built-in light gives you perfect clarity in any light and the 300ppi screen is pleasantly sharp and detailed. It lacks water resistance, but unless you love to read in the bath then you won’t miss that feature.

    For options that are waterproof and for Kindle alternatives, read our full guide to the best e-readers and Kindles

  • Fitness tracker: Fitbit Alta HR

    Fitness tracker: Fitbit Alta HR

    Price: £100 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    If you don’t have a fitness tracker, the Fitbit Alta HR (£100) is a great place to start. Unlike a smartwatch, the battery lasts a whole week and the slim and discreet band houses plenty of tech. It tracks steps, calories burned, sleep and heart rate and comes in six colours. The only downside is it’s not waterproof.

    If you’re ready for something more serious, or want a tracker for specific activities like swimming, read the WIRED Recommends guide to the best fitness trackers.

  • Wireless Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM2

    Wireless Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM2

    Price: £329 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Bose used to be the king of wirelsss noise-cancelling headphones and the Bose QC35 II are an outstanding set of headphones, but WIRED Recommends the Sony WH-1000XM2. Bose just about edges things for noise cancelling, but Sony wins on sound quality and design. The touch controls on the right earcup work beautifully and the latest version of these headphones boosts battery life to a whopping 30 hours.

    Head to our guide to the best wireless headphones for more options, including the wireless earbuds, cheaper alternatives.

  • Soundbar: Q Acoustics M3

    Soundbar: Q Acoustics M3

    Price: £219 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Q Acoustics is one of the best kept secrets in audio. The company has been producing high-quality speakers at competitive prices for years, and its M3 soundbar is a perfect example.

    Its compact and elegant design will fit neatly under any TV, regardless of whether you mount the M3 on a shelf, in a cabinet or on the wall. Thankfully setup couldn’t be easier, ensuring maximum performance with minimum fuss, and it includes Bluetooth and HDMI connectivity, with the latter supporting Audio Return Channel (ARC).

    Most importantly the audio performance is excellent, delivering a room-filing sound with decent bass thanks to a built-in subwoofer. As a result the M3 can handle whatever you throw at it, whether it’s a new TV show, the latest movie or even your favourite music playlist.

    Not for you? Check out the WIRED Recommends guide to the best soundbars for our top picks.

  • Headphones for Running: Jaybird RUN

    Headphones for Running: Jaybird RUN

    Price: £170 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Our new favourite headphones for running are the Jaybird RUN (£170), a pair of wireless earbuds that tick nearly every box. Each earbud weighs just 15g, so you’ll barely notice you’re wearing them. Four hours of battery life is enough for most distances and a charging case stores enough energy for another four hours of use.

    These earbuds don’t protrude, creating a subtle look and they’re water and sweat resistant. The only thing they lack are tracking features, such as steps or heart rate. If you want them, read the WIRED Recommends guide to the best headphones for running and the gym for more options.

  • Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+

    Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S9+

    Price: £869 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Samsung Galaxy S9+ (£869) fits a 6.2-inch display into a shell that feels, well, normal. Granted, it doesn’t look that different to the Galaxy S8+, but Samsung’s hardware design is still ahead of most rivals.

    It shrugs off a few trends too. There’s a headphone jack, now a baffling rarity in new and expensive phones, and no notch. The most important change since the S8+ is a 2x zoom camera on the back, bringing it in line with the iPhone X. Samsung also followed Apple with its AR Emojis, but like a middle-aged uncle suddenly getting into grime music, it’s all faintly embarrassing.

    If you’d prefer something smaller, cheaper or an iPhone, head to the WIRED Recommends guide to the best mobile phones for our other picks.

  • Wireless Multi-Room Speaker: Sonos Play:5

    Wireless Multi-Room Speaker: Sonos Play:5

    Price: £489 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Sonos has long been the go-to brand for multiroom speakers, and the Play:5 (£499) confirms why. This understated-looking speaker easily fills rooms with rich sounds and its 3.5mm audio socket means you can also plug in your favourite non-streaming audio device.

    Head to our best wireless speaker guide for our verdict on the Sonos and its rivals.

  • TV Streaming Box: Apple TV 4K

    TV Streaming Box: Apple TV 4K

    Price: £189 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Apple offers loads of 4K and HDR movies through iTunes for the same price as its normal HD content, making this streaming box a no-brainer for viewers that want to stream the highest-quality films.

    At £179, however, the 4K Apple TV is on the pricey side, so if you’re after something simpler then read our guide to the best TV streaming boxes and sticks, which includes a great alternative that costs just £30.

  • Headphones: Oppo PM-3

    Headphones: Oppo PM-3

    Price: £350| Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    These over-ear headphones borrow planar magnetic driver tech from the much pricier Oppo PM-1 headphones (£350), and the end result is a well-balanced sound with good detail across the frequency range. The light and comfy design makes them ideal for commutes or long listening sessions at home.

    Our best headphones round-up includes budget alternatives, as well as our favourite headphones for listening at home and options if you prefer in-ear or on-ear headphones.

  • Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 3

    Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 3

    Price: From £329 | Check price on Apple

    The 4G version of the Apple Watch Series 3 (£329 without 4G / £399 with 4G) uses an electronic SIM so you can leave your mobile at home and take calls on your wrist while tracking your walks, runs and cycles through GPS. In the UK, you can only use the 4G Apple Watch if you’re with EE.

    The Apple Watch remains the standard for smartwatches, but the WIRED Recommends guide to the best smartwatches includes our picks for Android users and few more alternatives for keen runners.

  • 4K TV: LG OLED55C7

    4K TV: LG OLED55C7

    Price: £1,399 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    Every pixel in this 55-inch OLED screen from LG (£1,699) produces its own light, delivering a huge contrast range with ample helpings of brightness and colour. The thin design and simple operating system makes this screen a cinch to use and easy on the eye, even when it’s off.

    In our full guide to the best TVs you’ll find our favourite alternatives, including our pick for gamers, cheaper alternatives and great second-room TVs.

  • Coffee machine: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Oracle Touch Next Generation

    Coffee machine: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Oracle Touch Next Generation

    Price: £1,199 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    This automatic bean-to-cup machine gives you a satisfying hit of coffee in a range of popular styles – simply swipe the interactive touchscreen and choose between coffee favourites including Latte, Espresso, Americano, Flat White and Cappuccino.

    The 2.5L, 15-bar pressure machine comes in a stylish stainless-steel finish, and although it takes up a lofty 45cm height on your worksurface, its body has a sleek design that you’ll want to show off in your kitchen space.

    Not your cup of coffee? Check out the WIRED Recommends guide to the best coffee machines to find the perfect brew for you.

  • Portable Bluetooth Speaker:

    Portable Bluetooth Speaker:

    Price: £200 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    AudioPro isn’t a household name, but the Scandinavian firm has a 40-year heritage and the Addon T3 (£200) is a top-notch portable speaker. It offers up to 30 hours of audio from the built-in battery and while it’s a little too large for throwing in a bag, it’s perfect for moving around the home. The larger size results in a gloriously rich sound that brings out the low, mid and high-range beautifully.

    If you’re after something a little smaller, head to our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers for more options.

  • Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

    Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34

    Price: From £65 | Check price on Amazon.co.uk

    The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 are ideal running shoes for beginners. They’re designed for comfort first and foremost and have great cushioning – handy if your feet are just getting used to running. They’re available in a variety of styles for men and women and weigh in at just 285g.

    If you’re looking for something more specific, such as running shoes for trail runs, the gym or for running on a mixture of surfaces, head to the WIRED Recommends guide to the best running shoes.

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