There isn't a shortage of true wireless earbuds on the market. This makes it pretty hard to decide on the pair that's best suited for your needs. In this review, we're going to talk about a pair of true wireless earbuds from a lesser-known brand, Urbanista. The Urbanista London are designed with the urban commuter in mind.
Let's get started!
Quick Summary of the Urbanista London
Coming in at a full $100 cheaper than the Air Pod Pro, the Urbanista London headphones are a great choice for commuters who value noise cancellation, sound quality, and battery life. The overall usability of these headphones makes them well suited for train or subway rides when you'll have your phone in your hand, but not great for things like running, where you likely have your phone tucked away.
The design of the Urbanist London is very similar to what you'll find with the Apple Airpod Pro headphones. The Urbanista London comes in 5 colors; black, blue, rose, white and online-exclusive burgundy red.
The right and left earbuds aren't labeled, but they only fit a certain way in the case, making it easy to figure out which bud goes in which ear.
Once the buds are in, they fit securely. We were able to exercise with these headphones without any issues with them coming loose.
The controls of the Urbanista London are also very similar to that of the AirPod Pro. They're touch-sensitive and work by pressing the logo on the side of either earbud.
We found the controls to be hard to use. The touch sensitively wasn't strong enough, so we often had to attempt pushing the button multiple times, which instead led to the wrong command.
To lower the volume, you tap once on the left earbud; to raise it, you do the same on the right. To active ANC, you hold down the right button; to active hear through, you hold down the left.
Double tapping on the left earbud plays or pauses music while tapping twice on the right one activates your voice assistant.
With this control setup, you can see how you could accidentally attempt to raise the volume but active the voice assistant instead.
Overall, the design is sleek and well built, with some room for improvement in overall usability.
Overall, the sound quality and performance of the Urbanista London's were quite good. For the price, they have great noise isolation capability and can be used for everything from phone calls to workouts and more.
The noise cancellation on these headphones is some of the best in their price range. The Urbanista London headphones have active and passive noise isolation technology.
They're able to cancel out low, and high-frequency hums just as well as some over-ear headphones would. This makes them great for working, commuting, and going to the gym. Another great perk is that you have the option to turn the active noise canceling abilities off and change to hear-through if you want to hear what's going on around you.
Hear through technology is becoming more and more popular in newer headphones. It's the opposite of noise isolation. Instead of canceling out the noise around you, these headphones use the built-in microphone to feed noises from the outside into your ears.
This can be useful if you don't want to listen to music but just want to dull some of the noise around you. Having the headphones in and hear through on will reduce the noise around you when compared to not wearing headphones. With hear through, you're still able to hear what's going on around you, just slightly dulled.
This is a great feature for people who tend to get overstimulated in loud environments and just need to take the edge off.
Hear through is also useful if you want to listen to music while exercising outside near traffic or in an office environment where you need to hear if someone tries to talk to you.
The battery life of the Urbanist London is average. On a single charge, you can get up to 5 hours of playback time. If you count the hours gained from using the charger with the case, you get a total of around 20 hours.
This is right on par with more other wireless headphones but isn't enough for a full workday. If you use them while working, you'll need to charge them before the end of the day.
The 5 hours of battery is great for workouts and commuting, though, especially since the case gives you up to 20 hours of playback time.
Urbanista London vs. Airpod Pro
If you were to look at the Apple Airpod Pros and the Urbanista London side by side, it might take you a second, but you'd be able to pick out which is which.
While the overall design and shape are the same, some minor differences, like Apple labeling the left and right earbuds, will give it away.
Once you put the headphones on, though, it can get a bit harder to tell.
Coming in at a full $100 cheaper than the Apple Airpod Pros, the Urbanista London headphones are a great value alternative. They're one of the only true wireless headphones in this price range with active noise cancellation that actually works.
With that said, audiophiles will notice a difference in frequency response and sound quality between the Londons and the Airpod Pros. For the average joe, this isn't a huge change.
The big thing that the AirPod Pros have over the Urbanista London is usability. Both headphones use a touch-based system on the logo, but the low sensitivity on the Urbanista London left us feeling frustrated from time to time, whereas the AirPod Pro worked as expected nearly all the time.
Who Should Buy The Urbanista London?
Urbanista is a newer company, best known for creating headphones with a very similar style to some of the most popular, expensive brands. They give consumers the option to experience a similar quality experience at a lower price than other big brands.
With that said, the Urbanista London are a great pair of headphones, but they aren't for everyone. If you fall into any of the categories below, the Urbanista London may just be a great fit for you.
People on a lower budget
If you're looking for a great pair of true wireless earbuds with great noise isolation capabilities, but you're on a tighter budget, the Urbanista London are a great fit. While they aren't as easy to use as the Apple Airpod Pro, they're still a great alternative that offer a similar quality level but at about $100 cheaper.
People who commute via public transportation
Since the battery of the headphones alone is only about 5 hours, it's hard to recommend these headphones for office work, especially from home. With that said, if you commute via public transportation, you'll love how compact and effective these headphones are. If you primarily use them on the train or the subway, the 5-hour battery life won't be an issue since you can return them to the carrying case for charging between trips.
People who need noise isolation and hear through technology
Most true wireless headphones in this price range either don't offer either, or only offer active noise cancellation. If you like the idea of being about to cycle through different levels of noise isolation and hear through settings, the Urbanista London are a solid pick.
The Urbanista London headphones are a quality made set of true wireless headphones with a lot to offer at a low price point.
The overall usability of the headphones could be improved, but the sound quality, noise cancellation, and hear through capabilities more than make up for the usability issues.
If you're looking for a quality pair of true wireless headphones that can hold their own against competitors charging $100+ more, the Urbanista London might be a solid pick for you.