Primarily based in Sweden, Urbanista develops and markets headphones, earphones, and audio system that draw inspiration from varied cities all over the world. All its core merchandise are named after main world cities. The corporate has lately launched a few of its merchandise in India, together with the one I am reviewing right here. The Urbanista Los Angeles is among the many firm’s costliest and superior merchandise, with wi-fi connectivity, lively noise cancellation, app assist, and a key characteristic that really units it other than competitors within the premium wi-fi headphones section – photo voltaic charging.
Priced at Rs. 24,999 in India, the Urbanista Los Angeles goes up towards robust competitors in its worth section, together with the Sony WH-1000XM4 and JBL Tour One, however stands out due to its distinctive capability to cost utilizing daylight. Simply how good is that this pair of headphones relating to sound high quality and the general utilization expertise? Discover out on this assessment.
Probably infinite battery life on the Urbanista Los Angeles
Not like competing headsets such because the Sony WH-1000XM4 and JBL Tour One that are designed to look smooth, the Urbanista Los Angeles is sort of giant and hulking. The headset has thick cushioning across the ear cups and the underside of the scarf, and a cumbersome body that extends fairly distant out of your head when worn. The scarf is versatile and may bend a bit. It has telescopic arms for adjusting the match, and the ear cups themselves transfer round a bit to assist create noise-isolating seal.
Nonetheless, all issues thought of, the Urbanista Los Angeles nonetheless feels a bit too comfortable, with a robust clamping impact that may get a bit tiring over lengthy listening periods. The thick padding totally lined my ears, and it did get a bit scorching. I wanted to provide my ears and head a break after about 30-40 minutes of continuous listening. The headphones are primarily plastic, so that they fortuitously aren’t as heavy as the scale would possibly counsel, and the construct high quality is fairly good.
Accessible in two colors in India, the Urbanista Los Angeles seems fairly good. The Sand Gold color unit was despatched to me for assessment seems fairly good, and is not like what you are inclined to see from most different manufacturers. I additionally like how refined and simple the black choice seems. On the entire, it is a handsome pair of headphones.
There are three bodily buttons on the suitable ear cup for energy, playback, and quantity management, and a multi-function button on the left one which might be customised utilizing the Urbanista companion app. Additionally on the left ear cup is the USB Sort-C port for charging. The headset has three microphones for receiving voice instructions/calls and lively noise cancellation. There may be additionally a put on detection sensor on the within of the suitable ear cup, which helps you to set the headphones to mechanically play or pause audio when worn or eliminated.
On the highest of the scarf is the Powerfoyle photo voltaic charging panel (expertise developed by Sweden-based Exeger), which lets this headset cost by itself when uncovered to daylight. This panel covers your entire prime of the scarf, offering a big floor space for the Urbanista Los Angeles to seize daylight for charging. Powerfoyle is said to work even with synthetic mild.
Curiously, Urbanista claims that below vibrant daylight, the headset can cost faster than it drains, and one hour outdoor with the Powerfoyle strip uncovered to direct daylight ought to end in three hours of audio play time, as per the corporate. Because of this battery life is probably infinite on the Los Angeles, however this can rely on how and the place you employ these headphones. Thankfully, there’s USB Sort-C charging as a backup choice.
The Urbanista Los Angeles works with an excellent companion app known as Urbanista Audio (out there for Android and iOS) that allows you to visualise how the photo voltaic charging is affecting the battery in actual time. The app additionally presents customisation choices for the controls, letting you cycle by ANC, ambient sound, and default sound modes, in addition to toggle on-ear detection. It is a very nicely designed app and I discovered it simple to make use of.
The app is extraordinarily informative when it got here to battery life and charging statistics. The battery and charging display is sort of intriguing to look at when utilizing the headphones. An on-screen meter exhibits the ratio of battery ‘acquire’ versus battery ‘drain’, measured in milliamperes (mA). Beneath that may be a proportion worth for the battery degree, and you may see that it is charging when the ‘acquire’ degree exceeds the ‘drain’ degree.
The drain degree varies, relying on whether or not the headphones are in standby or enjoying audio, and whether or not noise cancellation or the ambient sound mode are enabled. The acquire degree is dependent upon the type of mild hitting the Powerfoyle panel. In a dimly lit room this wasn’t a lot, however below direct daylight, the acquire was capable of exceed the drain degree even with audio enjoying and ANC on.
This information adjustments and is mirrored within the app in actual time. I might see variations when the panel was uncovered to diverse lighting circumstances. It is somewhat spectacular, and appears to substantiate the declare that the Urbanista Los Angeles can cost extra shortly than it drains.
The Urbanista Los Angeles has 40mm dynamic drivers and a 750mAh battery. It makes use of Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, with assist for the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. The default voice assistant in your smartphone might be invoked instantly from the headphones, if you happen to set the controls to permit this. The gross sales package deal features a properly designed carry case which permits the photo voltaic charging panel on the headset to stay uncovered, and a brief USB Sort-A to Sort-C charging cable.
Battery life on the Urbanista Los Angeles was troublesome to measure, because the headphones have been consistently charging even when in use. Merely leaving the headphones uncovered to daylight even when not in use was sufficient to maintain the battery sufficiently charged, and extended use did not affect battery life sufficient to reach at a agency determine, by way of hours. In over three weeks of use, I did not need to plug the headphones in to cost even as soon as.
Urbanista claims that even within the absence of any mild, the headphones will run for as much as 80 hours. Certainly, the declare of ‘infinite’ listening time on the Los Angeles is completely believable, making this a superb pair of headphones for anybody involved about battery life.
Respectable sound, however ANC is finest prevented on the Urbanista Los Angeles
Whereas the promise of infinite battery life is undoubtedly an enormous promoting level, the Urbanista Los Angeles does additionally have to get the fundamentals of sound correct, and faces some powerful competitors from manufacturers resembling Sony and JBL on this regard. Sadly, what you get with these headphones is not fairly on the identical degree because the competitors. The listening expertise was nonetheless gratifying by most parameters, however that stated, utilizing lively noise cancellation was a bit awkward. I will get into the main points a bit additional down on this assessment.
At its core, the Urbanista Los Angeles sounds respectable, with loud, clear sound and an entertaining sonic signature throughout the frequency vary. The shortage of assist for superior codecs shall be a bit disappointing if you happen to use an Android smartphone, however iOS customers will not actually be affected by this.
Beginning with Over Right here by Mk.gee, the Urbanista Los Angeles sounded participating, refined, and robust proper out of the gate. Its sonic signature was bass-friendly, giving the lows a major however tight bump that hit firmly however by no means too exhausting. This made the mid-tempo beat of this observe a pleasure to hearken to, even whereas the melody, rhythm, and vocals remained clear and unadulterated.
The standard of the sound was helped by the superb passive noise isolation and excessive quantity capabilities of the Urbanista Los Angeles. That stated, the headphones have been considerably held again when it got here to element and soundstage, with sound that wasn’t fairly pretty much as good as what I’ve heard on different flagship choices.
There was one thing lacking within the assault, however under no circumstances was the sound unsatisfactory, and I fairly loved listening to mid-tempo and fast tracks. Arambol 2 by Astropilot felt intense and enjoyable, with the headphones capturing its really feel and vitality with spectacular effectiveness. Turning the amount as much as the 90 p.c degree made for an immersive, participating listening expertise that by no means felt an excessive amount of.
Utilizing lively noise cancellation on the Urbanista was an odd expertise for me, for numerous causes. This characteristic works, however the high quality of noise cancellation is both a hit and miss relying in your environment. At residence with the home windows open, some outside noise was lowered, however I might nonetheless hear an inexplicable wind-like sound that did not appear to go away till I turned off ANC.
In outside environments, the ANC did appear to assist a bit extra, however I usually discovered it a bit simpler to simply depend on the comfortable match of this headset for passive noise isolation together with a barely larger quantity degree to drown out ambient sound. The hear-through mode did enable an honest quantity of out of doors sound in (albeit with a considerably synthetic high quality), however I discovered it simpler to simply take the headphones off once I wanted to speak to somebody, counting on the automated play-pause performance to do its job.
A somewhat unusual impact of the lively noise cancellation was that it utterly modified the sound of audio being performed. Music felt a bit ‘piped’ and muddy with ANC on, and this impact went away once I switched to the Ambient Sound or Default modes. For a lot of my assessment, I prevented lively noise cancellation due to this, and I contemplate the characteristic to be principally unusable on the Urbanista Los Angeles.
I had no complaints with connection stability and name high quality on the Urbanista Los Angeles. Its Bluetooth vary was glorious, letting me hearken to a secure audio stream at as much as 4m away from my paired supply system. In the course of the occasional calls I took on the headphones, I might each hear and be heard clearly sufficient.
Breaking by the dominance of huge manufacturers resembling Sony, Apple, and Bose is hard. Many within the premium wi-fi headphones section have tried, however have not fairly made a lot of a dent. Nonetheless, if there’s one product that has the potential to take action and deserves consideration on this section, it is the Urbanista Los Angeles. This pair of headphones seems and feels premium, presents respectable sound high quality, and lives as much as its promise of class-leading battery life.
The headphones do fall brief relating to lively noise cancellation. Aside from being completely unusual, turning on ANC negatively impacts sound high quality, and I usually most popular to not use it in any respect. Good passive noise isolation does make up for this to some extent, however that does not fairly reduce it for a pair of headphones that prices Rs. 24,999.
Purchase the Urbanista Los Angeles for the distinctiveness it presents, significantly if battery life on headphones is a vital issue for you. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re in search of the perfect sound high quality and ANC efficiency, choices such because the Sony WH-1000XM4 and JBL Tour One are value contemplating as an alternative.