The Urbanista London true wireless earbuds come in as a direct competitor to Apple’s AirPods Pro earbuds, offering amenities such as ear detection, active noise cancelling and wireless charging – but for half the price.
The earbuds are available in a few different colours, I have been using the black ones for this review. The earbuds have a plastic construction, which feels of high quality and is sturdy, with a matte finish, this helps keep the earbuds very lightweight and therefore easy to wear for long periods of time and the matte finish helps hide any scratches or scuffs that could appear throughout day-to-day use, which can appear quite prominent on glossy earbuds.
The earbuds follow the stem design-style of true wireless earbuds, with a visual style that isn’t too dissimilar to that of Apple’s AirPods Pro. The stem is home to a multi-function touch surface which is housed within the Urbanista logo that allows you to do the usual volume controls as well as toggle active noise cancellation and ambient mode.
I have found the touch surface to work okay although I do wish that the whole stem could be used as a touch surface and not just the logo area as I do sometimes have to think about where I need to press to perform a function. Microphones can be found at the top and bottom of the earbud stem.
The rest of the earbuds are fairly plain, with the matte finish encasing the entirety of the earbud. The charging pads for charging the earbuds in the charging case can be found on the underside of the stem.
The earbud shape itself is very pleasant to wear, the stem is compact and comfortable to wear and doesn’t protrude too much. The part of the earbud that goes into your ear is rounded and fits well and is secured into place with the rubber tip of the earbud, of which various sizes are included to get the best fit.
A feature that I think makes these earbuds a worthy competitor to the AirPods Pro, aside from the active noise cancelling, is the ear detection feature which uses proximity sensors located within the inner side of the earbud.
The charging case for the Urbanista London earbuds is a rectangular shape with rounded edges, making it comfortable to have in your pocket whilst walking. The case shares the same finish as the earbuds and feels of good quality with a sturdy hinge and clear and bright LED status indicator.
The case uses USB Type-C for charging which is great to see or you can even charge it wirelessly on a Qi charging pad. The charging case also contains a reset button for the earbuds if you ever need to start over.
Like a couple of other earbuds, I have taken a look at in the past, opening the charging case will turn on the earbuds and pair them to your device – so you can press play as soon as the earbuds are in your ears.
Overall, I really like the charging case – it feels sturdy and well made and is comfortable enough to live in my pocket whilst on the go.
The Urbanista London earbuds provide a great experience for listening to a range of different musical genres. I mainly listen to pop and electronic music during my testing, but there’s usually a bit of everything – the earbuds have done a good job at making the listening experience enjoyable.
The earbuds have a warmer sound signature that emphasizes instruments such as kick drums and bass. I do wish that the earbuds had a little more clarity within the mid and treble frequencies as they sound a little subdued and muddied within the mix in comparison to the bass which sounds clear and prominent.
The bass and treble balance can be easily remedied within your music app of choice by adjusting the EQ settings, but it would’ve preferred a little bit of a brighter sound which would make vocals sound less muffled. This, of course, doesn’t make the bass bad, the bass sounds fantastic and is deep and rich and, most importantly for me, pleasant to listen to.
Interestingly, I do find that the brighter sound signature I like can be achieved with active noise cancelling turned on. With ANC turned on, the treble frequencies, such as vocals and percussion instruments, sound brighter and stand more equally within the audio mix – the earbuds must be doing some additional EQ work when ANC is turned on.
The active noise cancelling works well and cuts out low-frequency hums and background noise, I found it to only let high pitched sounds seep through such as cutlery clashing with plates. When you are listening to music, I found it very difficult to hear any ambient sound around me.
Additionally, these earbuds offer the complete opposite of active noise cancelling, an ambient voice mode. This can be particularly useful if you want to hold a conversation whilst keeping the earbuds in your ears, for example. The earbuds will feed what the microphones are picking up to you in real-time.
I think the ANC and ambient mode make these earbuds very compelling for office work or commuting as they’re flexible and can be used in a range of different scenarios. The modes can be enabled easily with a tap and hold function on either earbud.
The microphone on the earbuds sound good, it managed to pick up my voice to a good volume and sounds clear, you shouldn’t have any problems using the earbuds for phone calls, meetings or making a quick voice memo.
These earbuds are feature-packed. For listening, the earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0, supporting the latest features of Bluetooth and have active noise cancellation and ambient sound passthrough which are extremely handy. Touch controls and in-ear detection also work to improve the listening experience.
The earbuds also have an IPX4 water resistance rating, so you could confidently take them to the gym or wear them during exercise without worrying about breaking a sweat with them in. You can also activate your mobile device’s voice assistant from the earbuds, so you don’t even need to get your phone out to perform functions your voice assistant can provide.
The Urbanista London provide up to 5 hours of listening per charge, this can vary depending on your listening volume and the headphone features you are using. The charging case can provide an additional 4 charges, giving you a total of 25 hours of listening before you’ll need to charge up the case again.
When it does come to charging the case, this is done over USB Type-C which is great, or you can even charge the case without a cable using a Qi wireless charging pad.
Urbanista’s London earbuds are a fantastic option for true wireless earbuds, they certainly feel like a substantial improvement over the Stockholm earbuds I reviewed last year.
If you’re looking for a pair of active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds and AirPods Pro are over-budget, these are certainly a great choice. Urbanista has done a good job with the active noise cancellation and the earbuds are able to secure a comfortable fit within my ears, making them great for wearing over long periods of time.
Urbanista LondonUrbanista London
- Comfortable design
- Good sound quality
- Support for both ambient and ANC modes
- Track controls unsupported by touch controls
- Sound profile changes when ANC is active
- Touch controls are a little small