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Kobo Aura H2O Review

The Kobo Aura H2O is a high-end eReader with an advantage over Amazon's Kindles. Here's our full review...
Should I Buy The Kobo Aura H2O?
There are a few disadvantages to the Aura H2O that are important to note, such as processing power and unresponsive interface. Processing is quite slow and menus, settings and controls take a bit longer to display.
You can also see faint after-effects of previous images, pages or texts when you flip to the next page, though this is also common in Kindles
Overall, what sets the Kobo Aura H2O apart from its competitors is its water resistance. This device is the only one of its kind to be able to withstand 1m of water for 30 minutes.
The waterproof feature does, however, come with a cost - literally. At £149.99 it is £40 more than the Kindle Paperwhite, which can’t take a dip but is less expensive and more responsive than the Aura.
If you’re sold by the waterproof feature and willing to invest a tad more, then the Aura H2O is a solid competitor to …





Meters M-Ears Bluetooth Earphones Review

Meters M-Ears Bluetooth Earphones Review

  • $99.99
While you can easily spend over £300 on a pair of Bluetooth headphones, you don’t need to spend so much money to get decent quality audio playback. Meters isn’t a new name in the audio industry, but rather than crafting high-end electric guitar amps for the likes of U2 and Foo Fighters, the company has set out to offer a great pair of budget Bluetooth earphones for under £100.

Do the Meters M-Ears Bluetooth earphones offer something special, or are they just like every other pair of sub-£100 earphones? Here’s our review.

Before we go into any more detail about the Meters M-Ears, let’s first discuss pricing and availability. At launch, the earphones were priced at £99 but, around a year after launch, you can pick up the Meters M-Ears for half the price at £50 from Amazon.

The earphones are much more attractive at a £50 price point as it provides a decent return in terms of audio quality and product design, but we might be hesitant to pay the full £99 for them – especially when you can pick up RHA’s M650 Wireless earphones for the same price on Amazon. We’ll explain our reasoning in more detail below.

Though Meters M-Ears Bluetooth earphones are wireless, they aren’t like Apple’s completely wireless AirPods. Like other budget brands, Meters has gone for a neckband design, with a cable that rests on your neck and connects to the earbuds to provide the wireless connectivity, battery power and more.

Though it may not be as ‘clean’ as the AirPods look, it does come with a handful of benefits and, considering you can pick them up for £50 compared to £169, it’s a sacrifice we’re happy to make. They aren’t ugly headphones, after all.

The earphones feature leather styling on the earbuds with metallic accents, and is available in four colour options – Black, Tan, Red and Rose Gold. You’ll also find two chunky leather compartments on either end of the neck strap; this is where the batteries and other smarts are stored, and act as a weight to keep the strap evenly sat on your neck.

It doesn’t always work though; there’s no grip provided and there’s no real weight to them, and on multiple occasions, we’ve found that the M-Ears slip to one side. Admittedly it isn’t hard to re-adjust the positioning, but it does become annoying after a while.
You’ll find media controls on these earphones, but unlike most other brands that include easy-to-access in-line media controls, Meters Music decided to build it into one of the chunky leather compartments.

We’re not quite sure why this decision was made; while in-line controls are easy to locate and can be seen at a glance, the leather compartment sits on your collarbone, making it difficult to locate the media controls without looking. Even when you find them, it’s hard to discern which control is which based purely on touch. There are groves to help, but these aren’t as well-defined as other earphones. 

It’s not all bad though; the wired design of the earbuds means that you can simply take them out and let them drop around your neck when you’re not using them. This is improved by magnets that clip the two earbuds together when resting on your chest for a tidier, more convenient look.

You’ll also find a microUSB port for charging, but that’s not all. When many wireless earphones run out of battery power, that’s it, and if you’re still out and about, it can mean a very boring journey home.

That’s not the case with the M-Ears though; along with a standard microUSB cable for charging, you’ll find a microUSB to 3.5mm cable in the box. Simply plug this into your phone and earphones and you’ll be able to continue listening to music, regardless of available battery life. Though it’s popular with over-ear headphones, it’s a first for wireless earphones, and it’s a nice touch from Meters Music.

Meters provides three sets of earbuds in the packaging, allowing you to find the perfect fit. It might take a while, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to find the right buds for you as they create a better seal and provide more bass than ill-fitting earbuds. We couldn’t find the perfect fit with any of the buds included, but as inner-ears are different from person to person, it’s not something we can really mark the company down for.

Featuring 7mm drivers and a fairly standard (20Hz – 20kHz) frequency response, the overall quality produced by the earphones is clear with decent levels of bass and rich mid-tones, though the clarity found in other earphones isn’t present here. It’s especially noticeable in the high-end, with cymbal strikes and other instruments sounding a little damp.

Don’t get us wrong – it’s more than enough for the standard consumer, but audiophiles will notice a little something missing when listening to music with the Meters M Ears. You must also take the budget price into consideration; no cheap earphones will outperform a £300+ pair of earphones, but for the majority of users, the difference would fall on deaf ears.

If you’re an Android user, you can also take advantage of Qualcomm’s aptX HD compatibility to boost the overall quality of music streamed from your smartphone.



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