VU meters are in
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to play around with a vast variety of headphones, ranging from the brilliant to the rather bizzare. Think Numark’s single can Redphone and the Blue Mic Ella at the top, while you have Bone conduction, Cat Ear headphones and Sleepphones at the other. Yes, innovation in the consumer headphone space can be a tad tricky, as brand need to balance audio prowess and design with a certain outward bling.
Not to forget history. Very few brands with consumer offerings boast a strong history in more serious musical production work. And the few brands that do, like Marshall headphones, only share a name with the original Marshall amp maker in terms of product collaborations, and little else.
Which brings us to Meters Music. It’s an offshoot of Ashdown Engineering, a company legendary in the trade for its bass amps and a userbase that includes the likes of Pink Floyd, Sir Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz, U2, System of a Down, Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro.
Given their history, it’s only logical that a volume unit [VU] meter [so prominent on Ashdown equipment] should be built into the OV-1 wired noise-cancelling headphone. Apart from the fact that a real, working VU meter in each ear cup is a massive proposition for any audiophile, it’s also a major design strike. It can be used to judge whether the volume is being distorted. Plus, it’s calibrated to EU safety standards, so if it’s in the red zone too much, you know you need to reduce the volume to get the real feel of the music. Sure, once the headphones are on, you can’t see the VU meter’s needle pumping in time to the music. The bragging rights compensate, though.
The Meters Music OV-1 comes in 3 variants, initially in Black and Tan, with a rather luscious Rose Gold variant coming to the UAE on June 22. The OV-1 is now available exclusively at Virgin Megastore across the UAE, and is priced at AED 1,299.
Watch this space for an extensive review.