The headphones are solidly made, with an emphasis on retro style, a silver aluminum case and a faux leather strap in yellow-brown, black or white. They’re not the lightest cans in the world, but the weight is at least well balanced, and the thick faux leather makes them soft. I wear them for two or three hours at a time and find them comfortable enough on my head when I put them on exactly.
I am not the first (or hundred) person to point out how much VU affect counts. You can’t see them if you don’t have a few mirrors and a bent neck, so they’re not the most useful for checking if your music is too loud. They are calibrated according to EU listening standards and so really only start bouncing when the sound reaches a semi-uncomfortable level anyway. However, they are sensitive enough that with the sound turned off they will jump quite a bit when you cough a little.
Meters says their point, out of fashion, is to help parents see if their children are listening to their music too loudly. (Who knew there was a market for parents buying their kids luxury headphones big enough to last the whole company?) Indeed, they are an easy way to tell the world that, you know, really care about music, yes?
Behind each VU meter is hidden an RGB LED and you can change the color of the backlight from the default yellow as well as the brightness. As for the extra blooms, it’s nice, but you’ll soon notice that the other shades don’t really go with the retro stylings of the set. In fact, after scrolling through the colors, I realized that the default yellow color was put there for a reason.
Meters have done a great thing about turning on Qualcomm’s QCC5124 SoC, which offers low-power Bluetooth 5.0 connections and 24-bit audio. The resulting sound is recklessly clean and clean, making it ideal for songs that aren’t too aggressive, with subtle treble and vocal tracks. Go for something a little meatier, with lots of bass, and things stay pretty decent and clean.
I switched to a high-resolution audio player and played some studio masters at FLAC, and Meter’s strengths and weaknesses are even more exposed. Throw classic or delicate silk silk songs at OV-1-B-Connect and you’ll be treated to beautifully played songs. He plays gentle music great, but this milquetoast reproduction contrasts with his rock-and-roll styles.
With closed ear cups and ANC, you can muffle a lot of ambient noise with these things. Since we can’t fly at the moment, I sat down and asked my two kids to scream, jump around, and generally be awful in my general direction. And I could barely hear any of it as I listened to something soft, enjoying the blissful moment of women I’ve had in recent weeks.
However, not everything is perfect. One of the biggest drawbacks to the previous version of these headphones was the fixed ANC and EQ modes, controlled by a physical switch. To fix this, the company has launched Meters Connect, an Android / iOS app that allows you to dynamically adjust the EQ (and change the backlight of the VU meter). To say I have problems with the app is a bit of an understatement, and regular disconnections slow down firmware updates.
However, when I managed to play with EQ, I discovered that you can make songs overly, uncomfortably crunchy or gray, but still relatively flat. In fact, it is one of those options that, it is assumed, makes sense to someone, but seems less than meaningless for general use. Maybe the professional musicians and producers Meters consults with (and uses them in his promotional material) get more out of technology than I do.
Although I’m worried, I’d add that this is a brand new pair of $ 349 headphones that still come with a micro-USB charging cable. It’s not a breakup, but it means that if you live in the USB-C world, you still can’t discard inherited cables in your holster.
Basically, Meters’ had a lot of basics, with a nice pair of well-made headphones and a unique statement. But I’m struggling to really connect with this device in the sound itself, which for my non-audiophile ears seems more nervous than it should. When you’re looking for that kind of money, you don’t just have to be good – which they can be – you have to be better than Sony’s class-leading WH-1000XM4. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet.