Leaves are falling, the days are shorter and the pumpkin-spiced latte crowd are out in force. There’s no doubt you’re in no-man’s land between the summer Ibiza exodus and ski-season, where budgets are tight and your clubland hangover is still fresh.
So don’t go out – stay in and weather the dreary months. But as befits the FashionBeans man, do it in style with our round-up of the tech that beats any night on the tiles.
Over time, consoles have transcended their juvenile stigma to become true entertainment hubs. But which do you plump for, Xbox One or PS4?
Hardcore gamers pick from their range of exclusive titles, like God of War for PS4 and the legendary Halo franchise for Xbox. For our money, the new PS4 Pro’s brute processing power and 4K compatibility make it a better hub than the ‘box. Sorry, Master Chief.
PS4 Pro, available to pre-order at Game, priced £349.99.
Sick of fiddling with remotes? From 28 September you won’t have to, as voice-activated speaker system Amazon Echo arrives on UK shores. The technology has been available for some time, but the delay came from Amazon adjusting the machine to ‘difficult’ (or as we say, ‘Glaswegian’) accents.
With up to seven hidden mics recognising speech over even the loudest, or ‘Sabbath’ setting, the smart interface gives your home a touch of Tony Stark. Siri? More like JARVIS.
Amazon Echo, available at Amazon, priced £149.99.
Staying in means lazy days, and sticking the coffee machine on with a swipe of your thumb is perhaps the ultimate indulgence. Until we get the same service for beer, at least.
The Smarter Coffee Machine kit is controlled via an app on your phone, allowing a fresh brew to greet you as you stumble down the stairs next Sunday. Bliss.
Smarter Coffee Machine, available at Spesa, priced £149.99.
Hit The Bar
Not as gimmicky as the Echo, but the Sonos Playbar is perhaps the sleekest surround-sound system on the market. The minimalist bar sits underneath your telly and casts sound wirelessly to the accompanying speakers, providing you top-notch sound quality that’ll make you look with every sudden noise.
Surround sound is nothing new, but if you’re looking for a product that isn’t the sore thumb of your living room, the Playbar is your movie night secret weapon. Just turn it off for Saving Private Ryan unless you want PTSD.
Sonos Playbar, available at Sonos, priced £599.
The world is divided into two camps – Netflix vs Amazon Prime. Stranger Things vs Preacher. If you’re bound to one or the other, a year’s subscription to Prime offers better value for money than a rolling Netflix contract courtesy of Amazon’s extras, like their stellar priority delivery service.
Bemoaning missing out on The Get Down? The Amazon package is stuffed with just as many must-watch exclusives like Man in the High Castle and Mr Robot. Prime ‘n chill?
Amazon Prime, available at Amazon, priced £79 a year.
Like it or not, virtual reality is taking off in a big way. Sure, from the outside the unwieldy goggles make you look like an X-Men reject, but that’s the price for experiencing alternate realities.
Finally, you can have the ultimate immersive experience, whether in film or game. The Samsung Gear VR set is a market leader and more affordable than the Oculus Rift; if you fancy dabbling in futurism, the Gear is the one to get. Because at home, no-one can see how stupid you look.
Samsung Gear VR Headset, available at Argos, priced £84.99.