The impressive Urbanista Seattle headphones, which are available in four colours, are a great example of style and substance at an affordable price…
My instant thought when opening the box was: these are some good-looking headphones. The market for personal audio isn’t simply about delivering great sound but doing so in a way that looks good; evidently, your headphones are an extension to your style and personality. They are, by definition, a fashion accessory. When you combine “good looks” with great audio you get headphones that are worthy of a hearty recommendation. The fact Urbanista’s Seattle range captures these attributes at a price point below £50 is truly astonishing. I tried the “wired” version – retailing at £49 – but there’s also a “wireless” version available for £89.
My Urbanista Seattle Corded on-ear headphones (in white) were a delight to sample. Comfortable, stylish and immersive in their presentation of audio, I had to double check I didn’t have a pair of far-more expensive headphones on my head. I’ve tried a number of wired on-ear headphones in a similar price range and the Urbanista’s outperform the lot of them while challenging competitors in the £60 to £90 range for depth and clarity of sound.
A characterful set of on-ear headphones
I was very impressed. And I even got some comments from people on the train asking what make they were as they’d like the headphones for themselves. I suppose that’s proof of the Urbanista Seattle’s living up to their ambition to “look good”, to provide an extension to your personal style and individual character.
That’s definitely an advantage with the Seattle’s as you can choose from a number of colours. My white headphones (called “fluffy cloud” because that’s far more cool) are joined in the range by pink/white (“rose gold”), black/dark grey (“dark clown”) and green-blue (“blue petroleum”). If you’re feeling particularly adventurous (or have plenty of disposable income) you could get more than one colour and wear them depending on your mood.
For me, the fluffy cloud Urbanista Seattle headphones were all I needed. If you want to make an impression on the street, this is the colour to get, particularly because they contrast so heavily with the earthy colours of my winter clothing. And the adjustable, thicker than average headband alongside the wonderful memory foam cushions make these headphones very comfortable to wear. But don’t worry about them taking up too much room in your bag when you take them off – they’ve got hinges to allow them to be folded in on themselves.
Because they are very comfortable, I found them ideal for watching movies with. I tried mine on an evening watching Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator on Netflix and found that the sound spectrum provided a pleasing amount of spatial ambience, clear dialogue and enough bass when required. Because the film didn’t have a lot of action sequences, I tested the headphones with a couple of my favourite films – Independence Day and Enemy of the State – and found that the more explosive action enjoyed a good amount of low-end sound without overstating itself or overpowering more subtle atmospheric sound effects.
Solid audio performance with style: the Urbanista Seattle headphones represent great value
The moulded, soft cushions helped to make a more immersive experience as the sound is locked inside. This is welcome during travel which enabled me to listen to music comfortably while blocking out outside noise. However, for watching TV or movies during the morning/evening commute on a train/bus you’ll need some noise-cancelling headphones to really block out external noise.That said, I thought music sounded just as good as films and TV on the Urbanista Seattle heaphones. It’s clear the brand takes both audio quality and style seriously, neither one is paid more attention. What’s most encouraging is that Urbanista has managed to develop a range of headphones that bring this level of quality and design to a sub-£50 market (for the wired version). They genuinely look, feel and sound like headphones that would be priced higher.
I liked the addition of a “share plug” for a friend to listen to what you’re listening to. This is great if you’re cozied up with your partner and watching a film together. I know that sounds a bit anti-social (a couple in bed with headphones on) but sometimes the audio on a tablet just isn’t good enough to play through its on-board speakers so headphones are a necessity.
To say I was impressed by the Urbanista Seattle headphones would be an understatement. I knew from the package that they would look good but I didn’t expect them to sound as good as they did. At £49 they’re great value for money too.