Meters OV-1B headphones review: Stylish cans with a unique twist

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews

If you’re not a huge fan of heavy bass, these aren’t for you. On the other hand, if you love heavy bass these are certainly going to be right up your alley.

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We first saw Meters headphones at CES 2017 and were very intrigued by the company’s headphones. Fastforward a couple of CES events and the company finally sent the Meters OV-1B headphones for review. They’re just as we remembered with a stylish look and that very unique VU meter built into the side of the cans.

Of course, we took these for a spin to see if their sound matches their unique styling and good looks. Read on for the full review of the Meters OV-1B Bluetooth and active noise cancelling headphones.

Specifications

The Meters OV-1B headphones have the following features and specifications:

  • Type: Closed, Dynamic, ANC
  • Background Noise Reduction: 82%
  • Acoustic Driver: 40mm dome ANC mic
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1KHz
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 94db/mW
  • Mic Sensitivity: -60 +/-4db
  • Cord:4 ft. Straight Cord with In-Line Mic
  • Plug: 3.5mm Stereo Gold-Plated
  • Weight: 380g (0,8Lbs)
  • Bluetooth Transmission Distance: 10-15M (33-50FT)
  • Battery Life: Continuous 10 hrs – Standby 16.5 hrs

What’s In The Box

  • Meters OV-1B headphones
  • Hard shell case
  • 3.5mm headphone cable
  • 1/4″ adapter
  • MicroUSB cable for charging
  • Manuals and documentation
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Meters sticker
What’s In The Box

Design

I think it’s safe to say that the overall design of the Meters OV-1B headphones isn’t too far off from traditional headphones — with one major and unique exception. The VU meters in the housing of the headphones. More on those soon, let’s go over the basics first.

The OV-1B’s sent to us were in the Tan color, which I think is the best looking color available. They are also available in Rose Gold and Black but the Tan gives them a very classic air about them. The headband and earcup materials are soft, supple, and plush. So very plush to the point of extreme comfort. The padding on the headband is so glorious I could wear these for days.

Meters OV-1B
Very cushy headband!

The rest of the construction is a mix of metals and plastics, all of which are premium and look fantastic. There are subtle Meters and Ashdown Engineering logos about the headphones but all very well done and toned down. The headphones do fold up to fit into the very nice included hard shell case. I do wish the hard shell case was also tan in color, that would have been a nice touch.

On the right earcup you’ll find the active noise cancelling (ANC) button and one mic. On the left earcup you’ll find the power/Bluetooth button, MicroUSB port, mics, and playback controls. The playback controls are not touch but clickable and control volume up/down, track fwd/rev, play/pause, and answer/end calls. One ding I will give the design is the Bluetooth light is located on the left earcup on the front. This causes it to reflect off the inside of my glasses so it’s always visible and annoying. Obviously, if you don’t wear glasses, this won’t be an issue.

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Finally, the unique portion of these headphones and why they’re impressive to behold. The built-in working analog VU meter on each earcup. The VU meter displays the signal level of audio equipment and has been a staple in many studios since the early years of recorded music. Meters cleverly incorporated this VU meter into each earcup and it measures the signal level of the audio you play into the headphones.

Meters OV-1B
Playback controls and one of the VU meters.

Is this a gimmick? Well, sure. I suppose you can call it that. It is a bit gimmicky but for those who are musicians, sound engineers, or just into old-timey analog type memorabilia, it’s pretty neat.

While the VU meter actually works, you can’t see it working when you have the headphones on but it’s still pretty fun to have there. I admit, not everyone is going to be as impressed by this as I am, and that’s fine. I think it’s pretty unique and sets the Meters OV-1B headphones apart from the competition.

Overall, the Meters OV-1B headphones are really nicely designed, they are extremely comfortable, and they’re made from some premium materials that feel good and look great.

Ease of Use

The Meters OV-1B are super simple to use. No app here, which is refreshing. I don’t mind apps but it’s nice when a headphone company can just rely on their sound engineering and not have to include software into the headphones to tweak their sound. Plus, it’s one less layer you have to deal with when setting them up. Overall, these headphones are very easy to use and pair via Bluetooth or simply use the headphone cable.

Meters OV-1B
Lovely design.

Sound

I’m just going to cut to the chase here. These headphones are tuned to the bass range and if you’re a huge bass lover then you’ll love the Meters OV-1B. I listened to everything from The Beatles and Pink Floyd to LL Cool J and Ozzy Osbourne. There is no doubt that bass heavy songs sounded much better.

That being said, I felt like not all styles of music benefited from this tuning. In songs where the bass wasn’t really meant to be the star, the song felt muddy and thick. I tend to favor a balanced sound across the board with a slight uptick in bass. The Meters OV-1B have more than a minor uptick in bass.

The other frequencies are there, they’re just overwhelmed by the bass frequencies making it hard to hear some of the subtleties in some songs. I will say the headphones do bring warmth to most songs, mostly due to the heavy bass frequencies.

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I can’t say that these headphones are among my favorites when it comes to the sound. Of course, this is very subjective and this is why I think those who love bass will be thrilled with the Meters OV-1B headphones sound signature.

The Meters OV-1B also come with ANC (active noise cancelling) which works decently enough. It’s not the best ANC I’ve used but it does the job.

Overall, these headphones sound okay but are tuned so far to the bass spectrum that I had a hard time enjoying their sound. Again, that doesn’t mean you won’t if you enjoy bass-heavy songs.

Meters OV-1B

Reception/Call Quality

As usual, there’s not much to say here. Bluetooth reception is tight and solid. The advertised 10-15 meters from source is spot on. Call quality is also spectacular. Hearing callers is no problem and callers could hear me clearly as well. Overall, good performance here.

Battery Life

The advertised 10-hour battery life is also spot on. We averaged just over 10-hours with volume at about 50% and the source device next to the headphones. Battery life will vary with volume and distance from source. Of course, you can use these passively with the included headphone cable once the battery does die. Overall, these are a great performer in the battery category.

Price/Value

The Meters OV-1B headphones are selling for US$299 right now and are priced about the same as the competition. For those who love bass, these are going to be a great bang for your buck.

Wrap Up

I’m going to make this simple. The Meters OV-1B headphones are really beautiful to look at and have some nice unique design cues. However, if you’re not a huge fan of heavy bass, these aren’t for you. On the other hand, if you love heavy bass these are certainly going to be right up your alley.

*We received a sample of the Meters OV-1B headphones for the purposes of this review.

Meters OV-1B headphones

US$299
9.1

Design

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Sound

8.0/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Unique and nice design
  • Easy to setup and use, no apps!
  • Great call quality and mic response
  • Decent battery life
  • Priced fairly compared to competition
  • Very comfortable, especially the headband

Needs work

  • Tuned more heavily to the bass end, not everyone will like that
  • I wish the hard shell case was also tan
  • Bluetooth light is on the front which makes it reflect off my glasses

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