Meters headphones hands-on review: Analog style with a digital twist

Posted by Ryan Mai on

Ever since Beats by Dre proved that headphones can be as much of a personal style statement as a way of listening to music, audio companies have been looking for ways to dazzle your eyes along with your ears. Marshall uses its iconic guitar amp-inspired design language to lend a retro-cool vibe to its headphones, while Urbanista and Apple use bold color choices to make picking a pair of headphones as personal as choosing a T-shirt.

But when it comes to wireless headphones that send a visual message to those around you, it’s pretty hard to compete with the Meters by Ashdown Engineering, a line of British headphones that boast a working analog volume meter on the outside of each earcup, like the kind you’d find on a old-school ’70s amp.

Are the $350 Meters OV-1-B-Connect more about the meters or the music? Skeptics might be surprised to learn they’re much more than a gimmick.

Intimidating design

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones
The first thing you notice about the Meters OV-1-B-Connect is their enormous size. It’s partially an optical illusion created by the design. The earcups are only about a quarter-inch thicker than an average set of over-ear headphones, but the ear cushions flare out from the earcups and the pivots are big, curved chunks of aluminum that wrap around the back half of the earcups. When combined with the heavily padded headband, the Meters are incredibly chunky looking.

They get a little smaller when you fold the hinges, but not much. Thankfully, Meters includes a hard-shell carry case.

Heavy, but comfy

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

At 13.4 ounces, the Meters are definitely among the heaviest wireless headphones you can buy. Only the Apple AirPods Max, at 13.6 ounces, are heavier. But because of the huge amounts of padding on both the ear cushions and the headband, they’re surprisingly comfortable. Not wear-them-all-day comfortable, but definitely comfy enough for several hours of continuous use.

Less noise, less silence?

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

Active noise cancellation (ANC) is notoriously hard to do well. Many headphone companies have tried their hand at it, but only a few — like Sony, Bose, and Apple — ace the test.

The Meters have built-in ANC that you activate with a switch on the right earcup, but you need to use it judiciously. It does a great job of killing low-frequency sounds, like the white noise of a loud fan, or the rumble of traffic, but if you’re already in a fairly quiet environment, it introduces a very noticeable hiss. Best to leave it turned off unless you really need it.

Super sound

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones
Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

It would be tempting to write the Meters off as a gimmicky product because of their signature volume meters, but they actually offer superb sound quality. With the factory settings, they give a warm yet balanced signature, not too heavy on the bass, and with nice definition in the mids and highs. If your phone happens to support aptX HD (a wireless standard for streaming better-than-CD-quality audio), you’ll get an impressive amount of detail, with a soundstage that is intimate but layered.

If you want to tweak the EQ, the Meters app gives you a five-band equalizer to mess with, but unfortunately, there’s no way to save your settings — something Ashdown should definitely fix with an update.

But as good as they sound, they don’t perform better than other wireless headphones at this price. The Sony WH-1000XM4, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, and Marshall Monitor II ANC are all better picks for sound quality.

Them meters

Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones
Meters Music OV-1-B-Connect Headphones

Those volume meters — the whole reason for buying a set of Meters — are a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, they’re undeniably cool. You can change the backlighting color in the Meters app to suit your mood (clothing?) as well as the brightness.

But if you’re hoping to give folks around you a show of your active listening session, with the meter needles actively jumping around, you’ll need to crank the volume — dangerously so.

Ashdown seems to understand that this will be the temptation, and warns owners against it: “This can be seen as a safety feature for concerned parents and guardians. Listening to loud music for prolonged periods of time can of course severely damage hearing.”

Frankly, using a set of visible volume meters as a way of keeping your kids listening at safe levels is a terrible idea, especially when there are products on the market that automatically limit headphone volume to safe levels, taking away the need for active monitoring of any kind.

Plus, who is going to spend $350 on their kids’ headphones? Never mind, I don’t really want to know the answer.

So. if the meters aren’t an effective way to protect the wearer from loud sounds, and if getting the meters to bounce around in a way that’s noticeable to others requires dangerously loud volume levels … well, you see my point.


If you’re in search of wireless ANC headphones that make a bold statement to those around you, the Meters OV-1-B definitely fit the bill. But perhaps more than any other headphones I’ve seen, your money will be going toward what others get to see, instead of what you get to hear.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Bananas Store Phone Case

Bananas Store - The best place to buy phone cases

Banana Store is a global brand of accessories and cases for smartphones, from power bank, cable, charger, to all kinds of cases. Our products are for all smartphones on the market today. Including iPhone 12 Pro Max Cases. iPhone 11 Pro Max Cases, Galaxy Note 20 Cases, Galaxy S20 Cases ... There are many cute and luxurious cladding patterns here, its characteristics are very durable, good impact resistance, water resistance, and perfect fingerprint resistance. Our cladding products are widely available in international markets, United Stated (US), United Kingdom (UK), Australia (Au), Canada ...

About us

The Bananas Store was founded in 2016. We began globally and opened offices in the United States. We hit 1 million shipped pieces in 2017. With the goal of arousing self-expression, 2018 is the year we begin creating new products! In 2019, we've got over 2 million Instagram ads and cool people! In fashion and thoughtful mobile phone cases and accessories, Bananas Store is a pioneer. To transform your iPhone or Android into an accessory to brag about, we use quality materials and practical design. Bananas Store has ensured that every design is designed to protect your style and to complement it. Our products are designed to withstand drops from various heights on several different materials, to keep the phone intact, whether it is fitted with military-grade shock absorbing layers or the 10 'foot-die safety cast copper mold. For the newest smartphones, such as iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xs or iPhone XR, we have a range of case styles. Bananas Store's Qi-certified mobile covers, screen protectors, and wireless chargers are protected by promises you can trust, in addition to attention to detail and sophistication in design. Our confidence in our products is shown by this guarantee. Our devoted customer service team is here to help if you find yourself in need of a replacement!

Our mission

Bananas Store is the world's leading brand of smartphone accessories, specializing in designing all types of mobile and tablet technology fashion cases. Since 2006, with products that cover, embellish and elevate their mobile devices, the company has helped customers express their personal style. The Bananas Store's team of design and technology enthusiasts have developed a series by collaborating with top designers from around the world and using cutting-edge technology and special materials. Suitable for all designs and all times. Rich box cover. Bananas Store is known as a dedicated address providing more than 500 types of cases for different phone lines, diverse materials, highest quality in the market, and affordable prices. With eye-catching designs that capture the heart of anyone at first sight, Bananas Store always satisfies its guests. It can be the combination of the signature and the flower on the phone case itself, or the fun, varied designs based on famous brands that are printed super sharp on the high quality case. .. and all of them always meet the three criteria: "Beautiful - toxic - substance". With the development of science, technology and technology together with the increasing demand and taste of customers, Bananas Store has been gradually upgrading workshops and always updated products, designs, and numbers. the quality and designs of the latest iphone & ipad and Samsung accessory market items. We're major believers in self-expression, so we just wanted to show it to those who dream and like to play, who decide that there's nothing lower than what's best for a shell. A phone of theirs!

Our products

Currently, the need to buy cases is huge, almost everyone who buys a phone buys the case because they want to protect the phone as well as meet the aesthetic elements for the phone. Bananas Store is a rich store with diverse designs of all materials, eye-catching colors to suit the tastes of consumers, especially for young people. IRing Ring Attachment Case, cute photo print back cover, tempered glass back cover, high-grade plastic panel with unique 5D printing technology, ... in large numbers currently available at Ha Duc Accessories All are enough for the most popular smartphones on the market such as iPhone, Samsung, Oppo, ... Printing workshop with the most modern printing technology closed line from Japan UV printer MIMAKI ultra large format 2.4m X 1.8m. The machine uses 8 RICOH GEN5 embossed 5D - 10D nozzles as required for true, fresh colors like a FULL HD photo 3 times sharper than conventional printers, along with the function of coating the textures. Small highlights and beauty for the product, French ink is extremely durable and safe for users. In addition to phone cases, Bananas Store also provides a number of other accessories such as camera sticks, charger toads, charging cables, technology toys, music speakers, romoss backup batteries, technology items, ... The variety, variety, price corresponding to that quality is what can be said about the phone cases that Bananas Store offers to the market. Moreover, with easy online payment policy, fast shipping and reputable return warranty, Bananas Store is always a reliable address for customers around the world who import wholesale and retail phone cases. FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT: Add: 2220 Meridian Blvd, Suite #FB114, Minden, NV 89423, US Email: