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Sennheiser Urbanite Review

With the rise of ‘fashion’ & ‘lifestyle’ headphone, from low price-point labels like UrbanEars to high-end Beats, the rest of the audio market as hotfooted it in pursuit of the style-conscious market.

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Queue Sennheiser’s latest effort, the Urbanite and Urbanite XL models mark the brand’s second step into the lifestyle headphone market after their previous Momentum editions.

The Urbanite brothers are rugged pair of beauties, utilitarian in design, functional and fashion-led (available in a range of colours) – allowing you to listen to your music without comprising on your own personal style.

The Urbanites are innovative, modern and high quality. Though predominantly plastic, metal hinges give them a sturdy handle that’s built to last. The head ban is super-flexible, with a fabric topper and rubberized under panel for added grip.

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The ear cans are made of soft velour while the replaceable and removable cable, with its twist-lock fastening, features a (randomly large) three-button remote and microphone that’s compatible with iOS and Android.

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The Urbanite XL is the beefier bigger brother, an over-ear style that’s super comfortable. The circumaural fit reduces the issue of ear fatigue that is more prevalent in in-ear and on-ear styles. While the little brother originals offer easier on-the-go storage. Both have folding functions for easier traveling when not in use – though beware – a rather awkward oversight in design means, when unfolding, it’s very easy to trap fingers in the hinge and – to put it bluntly – F***ing hurts.

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But, what about the most important part: performance and sound quality?

The Urbanite headphones offer a mature, dynamic sound with a quality, proportioned bass and a well-balanced mid-range. The bass is powerful without being suffocating – as Sennheiser puts it, it’s “better, not louder.” The headphones hold their own across a wide spectrum of music genres meaning everyone’s going to find enjoyment using them.

The benefit of the of the Urbanite XL’s larger cans means that they are superior at passive noise isolation, making them perfect for the work commute.  Just add some shade so you don’t have to make eye contact with anyone and you will be in a world of your own – it also means that there’s minimal, if any, real sound leakage to disturb other rush-hour folk.

Overall the Sennheiser Urbanite series is a superior offering. They may not be as sleek as the Beats solo or studio – but then again, that’s a style preference – but they do equal, if not better, them in sound quality and definitely in price as the Urbanite and Urbanite XL come in at around £150 and £200 respectively.

If you’re after quality, and are willing to invest but don’t want to go to the extreme, Sennheiser’s Urbanites come highly recommended.

Get your Urbanite headphones at Sennheiser.com

- Words by Neil Thornton



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