In early spring this year, a Bavarian company from Wielenbach, between the lakes of Ammersee and Starnberg, presents Ultrasone with a new portfolio of mobile headphones. These included ANC headphones, true wireless earbuds with active noise reduction, and Meteor One – a Bluetooth headset. We took a closer look at it and tested it for drivers and kidneys. You can read the tests of the other two headphones here.
First impression and scope of delivery
Noble and graceful
Normally, after unpacking the headset, we take it out of the box, and all the charging cables and manuals are falling at our feet. It performs a bit better here, because the Ultrasone presents the Meteor One in a box that is embossed with a circumferential red decorative stripe, and the labeling is limited to the logo and this is also very proprietary. If we now open this “gift box”, our eyes will be drawn to the case, which also has the inscription and the Ultrasone logo. Below is a thank you card and user manual in several languages.
The case is opened with a surrounding zipper, thanks to which a pleasant smell of a new product develops. Inside are folded headphones, an associated microphone that plugs via the USB-C socket, a suitable charging cable and an additional microphone along with a permanently attached 3.5mm jack cable for use with other devices. We are a bit lacking an associated USB dongle in order to be able to use the headset on devices that are not Bluetooth equipped. We think about PlayStation and even Xbox. Console players will then have to use the jack cable, which we think is a shame.
If this is the first time we hold the headphones in our hands, the Meteor One can be considered the brother of the ISAR Wireless Hybrid ANC headphones because it looks very similar to them. The highlight, however, is that the Meteor One can set itself on stage thanks to RGB lighting which allows the Ultrasone logo to shine with a frame in a sea of colors. The control buttons illuminated in red also attract attention, which also facilitate operation with plus, minus and play / pause. If you look closely you’ll see additional built-in microphones that are hidden behind a silver grille – the Meteor One kit has a total of 4 built-in microphones plus two removable ones.
Weighing just 238 grams, the headphones have a clean and flawless finish which, combined with the headband and leather earpieces, also provides excellent wearing comfort. Especially its lightness and detachable microphone are points for us as we can quickly convert Meteor One into headphones to enjoy music and podcasts.
Ripe but expandable
The Ultrasone Meteor One is equipped with the Pixart 1803 Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which allows us to connect to all kinds of modern devices. Codecs include AAC and SBC. Ultrasone therefore takes a cost-effective approach as licensed Qualcomm codecs are not used here. When using a PC, this plays a minor role and does not significantly spoil the experience with mobile devices. An application or software for a PC would be interesting, but as with ISAR and LAPIS, Bavarians do without these games and do not allow us to personalize the sound with them. We have to live with the given specifications, which at least give us our own S-Logic technology.
Ultrasone installed a 550mAh battery for wireless operation, which is fully charged in 2 hours and lasts for 15 hours. Actually, that’s enough, but it’s definitely not enough for a gamer, as today’s headsets also achieve 100 hours of use. Here the Ultrasone should have used a 900mAh battery from ISAR which offers 32 hours of operation. If you use the Meteor One with high volume and elegant RGB lighting, chances are 10 hours of use will be maximum. The use of a PlayStation socket should be emphasized positively, as it does not require switching on, and thus consuming the battery. If we turn on the Bluetooth connection in wired mode, we can experience the sound of PlayStation and our music from a smartphone at the same time. It’s not optimal, but it’s fun.
In one word:
On its website, Ultrasone presents a player in Meteor One and a PlayStation 4 controller very stiffly in his hand. Another Dualshock controller rests next to him, and the main screen of the PlayStation 4 lights up in the background. Ultimately, however, the Ultrasone Meteor One cannot be wirelessly connected to the PlayStation 4, and certainly not via Bluetooth. Something is being advertised here that is technically impossible and can therefore also be seen as customer scam. So we wonder which man from the PR department looked too deep into a glass of wheat beer again? The image was also tagged as Metor_One_PlayStation-Scaled.
Sound and sound image
Audio for gamers
The Meteor One headset has 40 mm diameter neodymium dynamic drivers that offer a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, all at 32 ohms. This puts this headset in the known range and probably rivals its brother, ISAR. If we now let go of the headset off the leash and let the first sounds pass through the drivers, we will see dynamics that puts a lot of pressure and power. The sound can be described as balanced and powerful and more like a home theater than a gaming headset. This works fine with us in some games, but makes it clear that the bass is too good here, especially when it comes to esports audio with highs in shooters. The Meteor One headset is more for gamers who play more adventure games and want to dig up undiscovered treasures with Lara Croft or Nathan Drake. It is also great for racing games, where the powerful V8 engines roar at you, but not for sneaking up on enemies as an exploding tank on the battlefield quickly drowns out the tracks of enemies.
If you want, you can use the plus and minus buttons to activate the tactical mode, which provides a low-latency game mode. Unfortunately, this mode did not seem to affect the sound image, at least there was no difference. Ultrasone should have introduced sound modes like Shooter, Adventure, Clear or something else here as there is no software or app for personalization. However, gamers will still love this warm, yet powerful bass sound. The only question is whether the player will be happy with it, since the selection is huge and also more diverse in this price segment. Elsewhere, for money, more or less, the player’s desire for personalization for each game genre is fulfilled.
With a total of 3 different ways to communicate with Meteor One, Ultrasone already offers a wide range. This starts with the built-in microphones in the earcups, which are only suitable for making calls and not recommended for extended gaming sessions. It continues with an attached microphone to enable wireless operation. Comprehensibility is better here, even if we’ve already experienced better quality solely for in-game communication. The third option is the wired variant, which is reminiscent of the well-known gooseneck and has even been fitted with a pop filter. Purely in terms of sound quality, the wired option was said to provide the best intelligibility. However, all microphones are a means to an end and should not be associated with the studio quality desired. Those who like to stream a lot should still use external microphones, although we’d go back to simple headphones here.
All this is not enough for us players
Along with Meteor One, the Bavarian headphone manufacturer offers a gaming headset based on ISAR ANC headphones without ANC, but with two additional microphones that are pleasant for gamers. The sound is strong, warm and very dynamic and once again the Ultrasone convinces with S-Logic technology. Unfortunately, the headset has not been fully thought through. A convincing battery life is clearly missing, as 15 hours are rather below average today. There is also a lack of apps or software to personalize the sound for different game genres. Everything for a suggested retail price of 200 euros? This is way too much for a pure headset that can ultimately only be used on a computer or mobile device via Bluetooth. What Meteor One can do, any Bluetooth headset can do, even if two additional microphones are offered here, which cost a maximum of 5 euros. Added to this is this really serious error from Ultrasone’s PR department, which also praises the PlayStation headset, which is not possible due to the lack of a USB dongle! We can only recommend the headset to those who are aware of a pure Bluetooth connection. Everyone else should look elsewhere in this price range as it’s not recommended for the general mass of players.