Ashdown Engineering launches new Meters headphones at CES
Ashdown Engineering is a UK audio company known for manufacturing professional audio equipment, including bass guitar amps used by artists such as U2 and Foo Fighters. The company switched to personal audio in 2021 with its Meters on-ear headphones in 2021 and is launching a series of new consumer products at CES in 2022, including its first in-ear headphones.
The Ashdown Meters Linx ($ 175) are true wireless headphones that can be paired with a pair of desktop speakers, also known as Linx ($ 116). Headphones and speakers can also be purchased as a set (pictured above) for $ 289.
The Linx headphones connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and come with a charging case featuring Ashdown’s iconic illuminated VU meter that responds to music in real time. The in-ear headphones have lithium-ion batteries and can work for 6 hours with an additional 24 hours charge through the case.
The Linx uses a custom designed balanced frame coupled to a dynamic 7mm driver. They use the same Qualcomm aptX Adaptive codec as the Meters OVC-1-B-Connect, Ashdown’s flagship on-ear Bluetooth headset.
Touch controls on the left and right headphones allow the user to control play / pause, volume up / down and skip a track. A built-in motion sensor detects when the headphones are in use, helping to conserve battery life.
Linx speakers connect automatically when the headphones are placed in their case. The speakers have a range of 10 meters (about 33 feet) and three hours of playtime with a charge. Linx in-ear headphones and speakers both have an IPX5 waterproof rating.
Ashdown’s Meters Novu-M-Ear wired headphones ($ 29) use 10mm drivers rated at 32 ohms inside their alloy cases. The company claims they’re designed to boost bass without sacrificing clear highs and detailed mids. They come with a 1.2 meter (approx. 4 feet) anti-tangle device that has an adjustable leather clasp to prevent it from getting in the way of the user. An in-line microphone with a push-to-talk button is provided for answering and ending calls. There is also a zippered hard case for storage.
The manufacturer is also showing three on-ear headphones at CES.
OV-1-B-Connect Pro meters
The Meters OV-1-B-Connect Pro noise canceling headphones ($ 360) promise 24-bit wireless high-definition audio performance, thanks to Qualcomm’s aptX HD Bluetooth technology. Each earbud also features Ashdown’s signature working meters that respond to the music signal in real time.
The headphones feature a 50mm dome speaker and 32 ohm impedance. The sensitivity is rated at 94db / w / m. The Meters Connect smartphone app features five-band parametric EQ so that the listener can tailor the experience to the style of music and personal preferences.
Battery life is 16 hours listening and 22 hours standby. The headphones come with a protective hard case and a 1.5 meter cable with an in-line mic. OV-1-B-Connect Pro meters are now available in black or anthracite finishes.
The Meters Novu-1 ($ 89) are closed-ended wired headphones that Ashdown says are designed to withstand blows in a professional audio environment. They have easily replaceable cables and ear pads.
The company touts the headphones’ precise sound reproduction in a studio environment. They feature 50mm drivers with an audio frequency band of 16-20,000Hz and a maximum input power of 200mW.
They come with a 3 meter detachable cable with a 1/8 inch plug and a 1/4 inch adapter. Images of Ashdown’s iconic VU meters are printed on the side of each ear cup.
OV-1-B Jamaica Soundsystem Artist Edition Meters
Finally, Ashdown has teamed up with the Trojan Jamaica label to create a personalized Jamaica Soundsystem edition of their OV-1-B closed-back headphones. Musicians Zak Starkey and Sharna “Sshh” Liguz are partners of the label, which was founded in 2019 and is now home to classic artists such as Toots and the Maytals, Big Youth, Freddie McGregor and U-Roy.
The Jamaica Soundsystem headphones ($ 330) are a special edition limited to a production of just 500 units. They incorporate all the functionality of the standard Meters OV-1-B headphones. Each headset is equipped with built-in light and functional meters. The Meters Connect smartphone app allows users to control the color and brightness of the meter lighting.
There is a black and gold design for this edition. Jamaica Soundsystem is printed on the left ear cup and a Trojan Jamaica logo next to the headband. The right side features a Meters logo.
The headphones include automatic noise cancellation and tactile buttons for controlling volume, skipping tracks, and answering calls. They have 16 hours of autonomy. There are 40mm drivers, an impedance of 32 Ohm @ 1Khz and a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.