Gadgets: Aqua Optima Aurora, Grundig FiberCatcher, AKG Ara mic and more

Image credit: Kiryl Balbatunou/Dreamstime

From the January 2022 issue of E&T: see the latest gadgets in action, from clever new kitchen appliances to kits that promise to help youngsters discover a love of science.

Aqua Optima Aurora


Does your home office need a water cooler moment? This dispenses chilled, filtered water at the touch of a button and boiling water for a near-instant brew. It filters out impurities including microplastics and saves you from boiling too much in the kettle.


Read Caramel’s hands-on review of the Aqua Optima Aurora.

Grundig FiberCatcher


The world’s first washing machine that catches microfibres, keeping them out of the oceans and food chain. During synthetic wash cycles, it captures up to 90 per cent of synthetic microfibres in an integrated filter; when full, it’s returned to Grundig for specialist recycling.

From £499



A USB condenser microphone with a two-pattern design, ideal for podcasters, musicians, gamers and more. It captures 24-bit 96kHz audio, and the two pickup patterns let you choose to focus on a single vocal (cardioid) or everyone in the room (omni).


Pinter 2


A good-looking homebrew machine that effortlessly turns a small pack into ten pints of beer in a matter of days. Your brews work out at £1.50 a pint and, once fermented, they’re good for 30 days. Ingeniously, new packs are flat enough to fit through the letterbox.


MEL Science


Chemistry sets are how many of us got started. This subscription service for kids promises more thrills than a rack of test tubes and you can choose chemistry or physics. A great gift, they get 2-3 experiments a month plus a heap of VR lessons.

From £22.50 a month 



These are HTC’s lightest virtual reality goggles at 189g and its most affordable yet. They’re sold for immersive entertainment that goes beyond VR, including brain training, work meetings and meditation. Or sit in a cosy virtual room watching a big-screen TV instead of a small in-flight telly.


More gadget news and reviews at

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