The best wearable tech for designers and artists

'Wearables' has become the catch-all term for any wearable tech that we have on our connected selves. Whether it's watches that do more than just tell the time, virtual reality headsets, or bands that enable us to track our fitness as we run to our desks, wearable tech has infiltrated just about every area of our lives. 

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Garmin Fenix 5: $550/£409
Yes, it’s expensive (the various models culminate in the 51mm Fenix 5X at £770) but what you get here is the ultimate GPS watch for fitness freaks. If you only run you probably want a Forerunner instead, but if you’re into multiple sports (cycling, swim training, skiing, golfing, paddle sports and all variations thereof) and want them all tracked properly, then look no further.

Samsung Gear Sport: $289.99 / £249

Samsung Gear Sport: $289.99 / £249
The Apple Watch is all very well, but it’s no good if you have an Android phone. If you do, the Samsung Gear Sport is the clear wearable technology choice (it actually works with iOS as well). Running Google’s Wear OS smartwatch software, the Gear S3 is the best smartwatch currently available that’s not an Apple Watch. The battery will last for several days, and the blue and black versions are splashproof, too. 

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro: $177 / £209

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro: $177 / £209
Without doubt the best-looking fitness tracker with its stunning OLED display, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is a premium offering that edges into smartwatch territory (indeed some retailers actually call it a smartwatch). Crucially, it adds GPS, while it’s also water- and dust-resistant and can track swims, too. Notifications are fairly basic but there’s a built-in music player to make up for it – like the Apple Watch it’ll pair with some Bluetooth headphones.

Moov Now: $49.99 / £45

Moov Now: $49.99 / £45
A favourite waterproof tracker, this comes with a replaceable battery that lasts around six months. It sports an integrated audio coach and can keep tabs on swimming, cycling and more, as well as sleep tracking. As there’s no screen, you do need your phone nearby to see how you’re doing, but that’s no great shakes.

Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature: $898.90 / £699

Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature: $898.90 / £699
As our more expensive choice we’re tempted to recommend Oppo’s epic PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphones (£999), but the company is shuttering its audio division so you might not be able to get hold of them for too much longer. Instead, we’ll plump for B&W’s P9 Signature, which sound almost unbelievable. They’re a long, long way from the earbuds that came free with your phone.  

Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT: $149 / £129

Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT: $149 / £129
We were tempted to choose AT’s lovely ATH-R70x reference headphones (£261), but they’re open-backed so not great for use at work. Instead, we’ve plumped for the excellent ATH-SR5BT Bluetooth wireless headphones, which offer 38 hours of playback, look nice and subtle and are versatile and light to wear, too. 

HTC Vive: $439 / £499

HTC Vive: $439 / £499
It’s expensive and you need a whole room to use it in, but the HTC Vive offers an absolutely incredible experience in many ways. You do need that powerful PC for it to go alongside, but it is totally immersive and some of the experiences you can have with it are incredible. The price is prohibitive for many (but you should try one if you can).  

Daydream View: $76 / £89

Daydream View: $76 / £89
It needs to be paired with a compatible Android phone (this is a Google-marketed headset) but Daydream View is incredibly comfortable, simple to use and comes with a little remote. In short, it’s an easy gateway into VR. You can even wash the pad you stick your face on. Check out the list of supported phones.

Sony WF-1000X: $142 / £154

Sony WF-1000X: $142 / £154
All the best true wireless earbuds are around the same price, so this isn’t exactly an expensive option, but they are a little more than the AirPods. The key extra is that they offer noise cancelling and, while the AirPods do let in background noise, the Sonys have a special ambient mode. They’re available in black or gold. 

Jabra Elite 65t: $169 / £143

Jabra Elite 65t: $169 / £143
The Elite 65ts aren’t the best sounding true wireless earbuds around, but they are very comfortable, and simple to set up and use day-to-day. They also rapid-charge – 15 minutes will be enough for a 90-minute commute. You can adjust the amount of ambient noise you wish to allow in, too. 

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Dan is the Editor of T3.com and covers the latest in computing, home entertainment and mobile tech. He's also the former Deputy Editor of TechRadar and former Editor of Lifehacker UK. Dan has written for numerous computing and lifestyle magazines and has also written a book, too. You'll see him pop up in numerous places, having been quoted in or on The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, ITN News, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4 and Sky News Radio.