Meters Music in the Mail on Sunday!


We are delighted to share with you this article from Rob Waugh’s “Gadget of the week” feature in the Mail on Sunday newspaper; a brilliant review of our member Ashdown Amplification’s new Meters product, the OV-1 headphones.

“I left my house terrified that I was going to be mugged while I walked through the park – or worse, a stranger might talk to me on public transport. Why? I was wearing a pair of headphones with actual, working dials on the outside – and as I noticed in the dawn light, they also glowed yellow, like nerdy head torches.

The final straw came when I got to work and one of the young reporters said: ‘Those are really cool.’ For anyone over 40, this is a clear, and terrifying, alarm signal.

I seemed to be doing the technology equivalent of wearing a ‘trendy’ trainer brand by accident.

The little dials are Volume Unit meters – used in music production – and tick up and down in response to the volume of the music source (ie, your phone). But in reality you’re about as likely to use them to monitor volume levels as you are to use the sundial in your garden to tell the time.

The makers suggest that parents could use these to see if their children are listening to music too loudly – but who buys a child a pair of £280 headphones?

There’s already a great way to ensure children don’t listen to their headphones too loudly: don’t give them the cans in the first place. What makes the whole thing even more baffling is that the headphones are seriously good – the company behind them makes instrument amplifiers for big-league rock stars (U2 and Jamiroquai, among others), and the 40mm dome drivers sound fantastic.

They’re noise-cancelling too, which is almost enough to make you forgive the fact you have to charge up the headphones to power the meters and the little lights.

I hesitate to admit this, but the OV-1s are actually rather covetable – and they do at least come with a full-size hi-fi jack for shame-free home listening.

Back in the glory days of hi-fi, you used to have dials all over the place. This is a pleasing reminder of those simpler times… if you can just get over the fact you have to wear it on your head.”