A whole heap of new headphones hit the market every month, each of them trying to outdo each other in terms of their spec. The blurb for the Meters OV-1 is no different, boasting about active noise cancelling and meticulously developed drivers, but let’s face it – the unique selling points here are the two beautiful Ashdown VU meters embedded in the earpieces. There seems to be no real point to this, given that the wearer can’t see them (the company says that it “allows parents to monitor how loud their child is listening”, which stretches the boundaries of credibility a bit) but the simple fact is: they look great.
The world of modular synthesis is an unusual one: it’s almost exclusively male, and is largely dedicated to assembling huge numbers of eye-wateringly expensive modules, connecting them together and marvelling as they go “beep”. The CRAFTSynth is an entry level monophonic synth that only costs £80; it’s powered by AA batteries or USB, has eight dials, line output, a headphone jack, and computer connectivity. All the fun of sound creation at a fraction of the cost.
Billed as the world’s smallest record player, the Rokblok is made from bamboo, has wheels and a needle, and to play a record you simply put the record on any horizontal surface, place it on top, and let it go – a bit like a wind-up model car. It’s a kind of reboot of the Tamco Soundwagon, a 1970s toy which worked in a similar way, but it’s still fairly jaw-dropping. As you point in amazement, the thing whizzes around the record’s surface and sends the sound via Bluetooth to wireless speakers. Absolutely ludicrous, in the best possible way.