Best for… tunes and podcasts
1More H1707 triple driver over-ear headphones £200 uk.1more.com Launched this summer, the H1707 headphones from British audio manufacturer 1More promise a “highfidelity listening experience”. With a Piezo ceramic driver and bass reflex system, they have been approved by Grammy award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi. They are built from machined metal in eye-catching black and bronze, and come with an oxygen-free copper cable that you can plug into your laptop, phone or in-flight entertainment system. The cushioned ear pads mean they are comfortable to wear for extended periods and can fold inwards for easy packing. A storage bag is provided.
Best for… making music
Roli Lightpad Block £169.95 uk.store.roli.com The Block needs to be seen to be believed. In the hands of a keen musician, it can be used to lay down entire electronic tracks using an inbuilt drum machine and more than 100 individual sounds. The tactile silicone rubber surface is sensitive to how hard you press it – a harder jab equals a louder noise. Connecting to the Noise app on your iPhone (there is a beta version on Google Play) allows you to switch the Block into its various sound modes and to change the softly glowing colours so you know which parts of the surface will play what sound. At 9.4cm x 9.4cm, it’s small enough to fit into your pocket, and you can snap multiple Blocks together to create a mobile studio.
Best for… laying backing tracks
Zoom Arq Aero RhythmTrak £499 juno.co.uk If you want to make beautiful sound on the go, give the Zoom Arq a shake. The instrument, which looks a bit like a tambourine, has 96 velocity and pressure sensitive pads that allow you to play various drum sounds, as well as put on a programmable light display. It’s part drum machine, part looper and reacts in real time to your movements, distorting the sound and triggering new sections of your music. It is composed of two parts – the Base Station, which contains 468 instrument sounds and 70 synthesizer sounds, and the Ring Controller, which you “play” by moving it around (it connects to the Base Station via Bluetooth).