We have tested both the Urbanite wired models (On Ear ) and liked the comfort, design and overall performance of both units. So we were excited to get our hands on the newer wireless model for the Urbanite XL and give them a test drive.
At first glance, they look exactly the same as the wired models then you notice the different plugs and power/BT switches, other than that it's the same great design and incredibly comfortable ride. Here's how it all breaks down.
Design, Build and Fit
I love the classic silhouette of the Urbanite XL's, they are sleek but still buff enough in that fresh 70s kind of way. The headband features a gel padding that is just the right amount of cushion to keep things comfortable for longer wear. The headphones are not super heavy for a big over-ear wireless model, but you do give up some lightness for the wireless feature, which is not a big deal. The construction is reliable despite being made with a lot of plastic, and if you take good care of them they should last for a while, your battery will probably blow out before the headphones do.
The headphones fold up to travel a little easier and come with a soft carrying pouch that is a little flimsy for the price point and premium factor, they should come with a hard case as well.
The headphones allow you to use them as a wired model as well, so in case your battery dies you can just wire them up and get back to listening.
Another feature that I didn't like at first was the touch controls on the temples of the headphones as they are very sensitive and would pause play if you accidentally touch them while adjusting. I eventually got a little smoother with them and now really dig the touch control (only works in wireless mode) which controls volume with up and down sweeps and stop/advance with simple taps.
The Urbanite XL Wireless' also come with aptX on board so they can offer better sound when paired with aptX enabled devices. I've not used this feature, so I'm not sure how much better it is. The NFC tap-to-pair is excellent and gets you going quickly out of the box (they also come partially charged) and have a listen time of up to 25 hours. If you are taking calls, you will be happy to know that there are dual mics so you can hear yourself on the call as well which is a nice touch. The wireless range is great, I was able to roam around my house easily 20+ feet from my paired device and I never lost the connection and that is really critical if you are moving around away from your device.
How Do They Sound?
I like to run a variety of different music through headphones when I'm testing them and then compare them against my more flat AiAiAi TMA-1 Studios to get the best understanding of the overall sound quality and range. On first listen the Urbanite XL Wireless model sound full, rich and delivered some solid bass. Here's how they sounded with different genres:
Hip Hop - The bass was just perfect, not too overpowering and lyrics, snares and other mid to high tones pop.
Electronic - Again the bass is just perfect and just fills up your ears, I even found myself turning the down a touch. Mids and highs sound silky and precise but more squelchy stuff like Autechre, Aphex Twin, etc. pushed them out of the comfort zone a bit.
Acoustic / Classical - Amazing balance overall, several times when things were perfectly quiet I could almost swear I was in the concert hall.
Rock - They handle the more melodic stuff quite well, strumming, percussion and even hard hitting stuff sounded solid. When the songs got too squelchy or distorted, the headphone just has a hard time.
The sound is quite good for a wireless headphone, it might be one of the best that I've ever tested at this point. For me, the balance was perfect for every genre of music I tested, most importantly it was not "too" bass heavy. The only downside is that it lost its way with more aggressive, distorted or squelchy sounds in rock and experimental electronic music.
I Liked: The sound, the range, the battery life, the design and overall comfort indeed delivered
I Didn't Like: It could come with both cables (for iOS/Android) and hard case for this price point.
Should you buy them?
If the wireless capability is super important for you then I would say, the Urbanite XL Wireless headphones are a great buy. The battery life is fantastic (25 hours), the range is 20' or more and they are some of the best sounding over-ear wireless headphones I've ever tested. I also could wear them for quite a long time before my ears started to get fatigue or hurt.