Who are Urbanista?
While fairly fresh to the scene, Urbanista have been making audio products inspired and rooted in Scandinavian greatness since 2010. Available online and in 90 countries across the Globe, they tell us they’ve been inventing products with the urban lifestyle in mind – wherever you reside – and after testing out their new Urbanista London earbuds, we sincerely believe them. If you love your sense of freedom and also want to trust in an earbud that’s not only top quality but actually achieves its own standards of the great audio experiences it promises, then the London hits those heights with ease.
For me, and especially as all the best tech and gadgets get more compact and versatile, it’s up to companies to keep design in motion and with the Urbanista London Active Noise Cancelling, true wireless, in ear earphone, they’re establishing an exciting standard. Let’s be honest, you don’t call something ‘London’ unless you believe it can reflect the vibe of the city and if you know London, or have travelled through, then they’ve got to be pretty robust but also stylish. With that model in mind, the London offers you the chance to be in control of your earphones, rather than a struggle, and for me they come out fighting when it comes to ease of use, superiority in design and also the exact kind of sound quality I want when I listen to every genre.
First Impressions and the ANC
Importantly compatible with Android, iOS and Windows phones and devices, plus having the latest 5.0 Bluetooth version, I’ve always been unsure of the durability of earbuds despite their gradual growth on the market, often still preferring either the over-ear headphones or simply the old style, wired-in earphones that you plug in. I’ve also battled with finding earbuds that stay in my ear, quite an important thing I’m sure you’ll agree, but Urbanista London offered no concerns and this was an unbelievable, positive surprise. Without even using the extra gels, the pair that arrived fitted snugly into my ear, connected slickly via Bluetooth to my Android and instantly picked up TIDAL on the phone – And yeah, you can use any music app you have on your device. It also feels like the subtle weight of the earbud keeps them in place but it’s neither overbearing nor has it made my ear ‘ache’, much like the older-every-day earphone has in the past. While I’m unsure how they’ve achieved this, I’m actually in awe of it.
The London offers classy ‘touch’ features, which simply means you can touch the earbud in a specific place depending on what you want it to do, including turning the volume up and down, playing and pausing tracks, answering or rejecting calls (if you wish) but also some impressive Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), which I’ve rarely found works for earbuds… until now. Despite the recent lockdown, I’ve managed to responsibly get out and about, and as the streets get busier try them in various locations, to really see if their promises come through. ANC is a huge pull for me when buying any headphones, not only does it mean you can control your volume heights – however you wish, but I’ve been to many gigs for a long time – but also it enables you to drift into your own little world with you music. This is also an absolute must and utterly vital.
The ANC with the London is the most impressive I’ve tried with an earbud, especially as these fit so smoothly, from the busy streets to shops and transport, these get it done. That’s not all though, as this Urbanista set also features an Ambient Sound Mode, which uses a filtering technique so you don’t miss important announcements on the train or a lingering conservation, yet you still get all the benefits of your music. This works well and is a bit of a revelation.
The only downside to the ‘touch’ element, unless I completely missed it, is that there’s no ‘skip’ track option. You still have to do that on your device, if you wanted to, I guess it depends on how often you do that or if you settle for a playlist, soundtrack or just love the joy of shuffle. That’s genuinely the only issue, but it is an important one, and something that could maybe be solved for future versions.
Unique and inventive features
Another surprise is the literal ear detection, which I can explain further. You know when you’re in the Office or at home, on the bus and someone asks you a question? You must pause your music, or try to listen over it? The Urbanista London features built-in sensors that pauses your music if you take one earbud out. Yes. And it works. Everytime! Want to carry on from where you left off? Just put it back in your ear and it continues. It is honestly that simple and I was immediately a huge fan of this massive feature.
Choose your own colour as well: Black, blue, rose gold or white and it comes with 3 different sizes of silicone earbuds, it’s also IPX4 water resistant which doesn’t mean you can jump in the pool with them but for the Gym and being splash-proof? You’re covered and having that IPX4 title also means ‘water from any angle’, so you don’t have to worry where it’s coming from.
How do true wireless earbuds charge?
These come with a compact, tough case (with a USB wire that slots into any USB plug) in which you place them and charge them directly. This has been at home, in my work bag and in my pocket. While you don’t have to carry them around, you don’t really need to because when fully charged they’ve got a total playtime of 25 hours. The other classy thing about the charging case is the 4 lights on the front, which shows the overall level of charge. I’ve been using them pretty solidly for the past couple of weeks and have only charged once but probably didn’t need to as there’s still 2 lights on the front and it doesn’t affect the sound quality in any form.
Much like the Bluesound Wireless Pulse Speaker I tested out recently, for music and film, you can tell truly notice the difference between product designers who just want something to look nice and those who really understand the important of how your music sounds. It’s part of my life every day and so it has to sound as I want it to, and these do, which is another vital component of a great product.
Urbanista London, despite the lack of a ‘skip track’, are so affordable, fashionable and incredibly stylish, as well as being utterly modern, they bring home what they promise and more.
Urbanista London True Wireless Earbuds currently retail from £49.99 to £89.99 on Amazon https://amzn.to/3i3yka6
Boost Charging times:
5mins charge = 30mins play
10mins charge = 60mins play
30mins charge = 3hours play