You really (Space) Need(le) these!
What an awful Seattle-related pun! Still, after being mucho impressed by the San Francisco in-ear headphones, we decided to delve a little deeper into Scandinavian music experts Urbanista. This time round we swapped the tiny for the big, trying out a pair of their on-ear headphones. We review the Urbanista Seattle.
It seems that Urbanista have something of a fondness for west coast American cities, naming another of their products after one. Whereas the San Francisco was small, light, and subtle, the Seattle certainly makes its presence known on your head. These on-ear cans sit comfortably on the shell of your ear (without completely surrounding them) and feature a wired connection with a folding design.
In terms of looks, the headphones are minimal on quirks with big and chunky cushions for each of your ears, and a thicker than average flexible head band. However, they seem much larger in photos, and we were expecting a far beefier set than what we got out of the box. It seems like they have been designed to look just like traditional (old skool, if you prefer) on-ear cans, but then scaled down to make them easier to lug about.
On that note, the Urbanista Seattle feature hinges above each can so they fold in on themselves. While folded they still take up quite a bit of room in your bag, so if you’re tight on space each day, these might not be for you. What they would excel at, however, is acting as your go-to home headphones.
We’ve been testing the pair we were sent on homely pursuits like Netflix and YouTube. Due to those large cushions they are phenomenally comfortable as there is so much give in the padding itself. Once on, they seem to seal up your ears very well, cutting down outside noise like a pair specifically designed to do so. There’s plenty of give in the band too, as well as more padding, so you don’t feel like your brain is being compressed after two minutes of wearing them. Oh, and the 1.2 metre cable features a microphone, so you can still take calls when hooked up to your phone.
They come in the colours Rose Gold, Fluffy Cloud, and Blue Petroleum. And, the ones we were sent, are ‘Dark Clown’. That’s seriously what it is called. It reminds us of a 1980s horror film set in a circus.
Right, that’s the physical stuff out of the way – how do they actually sound? Despite their sub-£50 price tag, the Urbanista Seattle Headphones perform very well. When used for TV and film watching (or rather, listening to) they presented a very clean and crisp soundscape, where vocals sounded precise and pleasant. Booms and bangs were resonating far beyond the headphones’ size, due in no small part to their ability to create deep and sensual bass.
Plugged direct into a music source, they worked very well to create an immersive atmosphere. The foam on the can cushions seems to mould itself to your ears so well that, even at low volume levels, every detail is audible. All genres sounded good, and when upping the sound levels to VERY LOUD, pops, crackles, and distortive sounds were kept to a minimum.
These really are great headphones, and we’re genuinely surprised at the price. Had we learnt that they actually cost about £100 we would have thought ‘okay, fair enough – not bad’. But for a sound and build quality of this level, for less that £50, these are really worth it.