Urbanista is a brand we have covered quite a bit over the last 6 months with reviews of the Urbanista Paris and Urbanista Athens both wireless earbuds and we have also reviewed the Urbanista Sydney & Brisbane Bluetooth speakers. So we have been around the world with Urbanista.
At an Urbanista event last year I was told they name new products after major capital cities so it’s no wonder this review is for Urbanista London. The Urbanista London are a pair of true wireless earbuds that offer a real alternative to Apple Airpods Pro for a fraction of the cost.
The Urbanista London true wireless earbuds cost £129 and come in 4 colours -Black, Rose Gold, White & Blue. In this review, we were given the Black version of the Urbanista London. The key features of these buds are that they offer active noise cancellation (ANC), touch control, In-ear detection, IPX 4 rated and they are now compatible for wireless charging.
Let’s take a closer look to see if they are as good as Urbanista Paris that came before them.
What I have found about reviewing a number of true wireless earbuds is that design-wise they all seem to stem from Apple Airpods. The Urbanista London are also very similar with the buds however, the ergonomic shape of the earbud means the stem actually points forward instead of handing down like the airpods. You get given a number of different ear tips allowing for most users to get the right size and more importantly a secure fit.
Weight-wise these buds are very lightweight, only 4.7g each bud making them very comfortable so much so I could wear them for long periods, for example, I did a 20-mile bike ride where you do not even notice they are in your ears. These buds also come with a charging case that is also lightweight so if you put it in your pocket it won’t take much space and won’t weigh you down when you’re out and about. The design of the charging case is quite simple, it’s just a black matt finish with the Urbanista logo and then 4 LEDs to indicate the amount of charge the case has. Last but not least on the back you have the USB-C charge port.
Inside the case, you have some mini magnets to hold the buds in place but if you give the case a little shake when open they will pop out. There is also a small button in between the buds that will reset the Bluetooth connection to the buds and your device.
The Urbanista London True Wireless are connected via Bluetooth 5.0 which most devices seem to come with now as standard and this is beneficial when listening to Tidal Hi-FI as my music streaming service of choice.
The buds come with 10mm drivers that offer a great audio experience. These buds also offer an ambient sound feature which reduces the overall sound as it allows some of the outside noise in so you can hear what’s happening around you without having to take the bud out. Ideal for when you’re at a busy station waiting for your train to be announced.
These buds also share a feature that my favourite pair of wireless earbuds the Jabra Elite Active 75t also have and that is ear detection. The London buds have a sensor that will automatically pause your music until you place the bud back into your ear. I found this very useful when I meet up with a friend unexpectedly for a quick chat.
Other features of these buds include an IPX4 rating meaning they are resistant to water splashes or if you happen to be caught in the rain your music experience will continue. The battery life of these buds are 25 hours in total which is pretty mid-range compared to overs in the market. The buds carry 5 hours of charge with the case also offering 4 charges of 5 hours totalling the 25 hours in total. If you need to charge the buds then 5 minutes inside the case will offer 30 minutes of playtime or keep them in charge for 30 minutes and you will get up to 3 hours to enjoy your favourite tracks. If you need a full charge it will take about 90 minutes. The last feature the London buds have is they can be charged on any Qi charging pad which is great as not only can I charge my phone on a Qi Charging pad that reduces the need for charging cables around the house.
On the buds, you will see a little urbanista logo that represents the touch- control area. This is where the controls are on the buds and you will find the first couple of goes the sensitivity is a little much but after a few times, you will get used to the buds. You will also remember the main controls after a while. The controls are the following:
- Play/Pause- Tap the logo on the left earbud twice
- Volume increase – tap the logo on the right bud once
- Volume decrease- tap the logo on the left bud once
- Answer incoming call- touch the logo on the left or the right earbud twice
- Reject a call- touch and hold either bud on the logo.
- Smart Assistant activate- Touch the logo on the right bud twice
- ANC switch- Touch and hold the logo on the right bud for 2 seconds
- Ambient Voice Mode- Touch and hold the logo on the left bud for 2 seconds.
As mentioned in the list above you have the ability to connect with Siri or Google Assistant and the built-in mics are quality that Siri will hear and understand most of the time. You will find this useful as surprisingly the London Buds do not have a track control so you will have to ask Siri to skip the track or use your phone to do it manually.
In terms of audio quality, the Urbanista London Buds when listening to “Alice Murton- No Roots” offers a punchy listen and the double bass offers great detail and definition. The high frequencies are rolled off just a touch, which robs the percussion sounds a little. However, the treble sounds great and offers loads of bite even when the volume increases the vocals offer some great character. When listening to “Freya Ridings- Castles” The sound was crisp with the audio controlled even when the song hit the high notes. However, at times the sub-bass did sound a little woolly at times. When listening to some grime music the London buds come into their own and offer real bounce to the baseline which helps urban tracks offer some real justice to the overall listening experience.
The ANC has been a little tricky to test considering we are midway through the Lockdown but on the trips to London I did make it did reduce the overall noise of the train but with hardly anyone on the train it did prove difficult to test. You also have the Ambient sound feature which I found effective when cycling as I could listen to music but could also hear out for oncoming traffic and that was a real bonus.
The Urbanista London is a nice pair of buds that really do offer an alternative for these on a budget. I found the audio quality to be very good considering the price band. Design-wise those who are looking for a pair of buds without a ton of branding on them then the London buds are a good option.
Features wise I like you can charge them via wireless charging devices and the fact you have in-ear detection that only a handful of buds I have tested offer. I also like the ANC & Ambient voice modes available on these buds.
My only negatives would be that I would like a bit more battery life as if I wanted to use these all day the battery could do with a longer life maybe Urbanista could increase battery per usage from 5 hours to 8 hours per use in the future. I also find it a little baffling why Urbanista has left track control out of the settings you can increase volume, take/reject a call and even have ANC and Ambient modes but no track skipping seems a very odd feature to miss out.
However, if you can look past the negatives at £129 for a pair of true wireless that you can wirelessly charge and come with ANC these are contenders for anyone looking for a pair of buds to have on the daily commute.
- Design- 4/5
- Features- 4/5
- Audio Performance- 5/5
- Value for Money- 5/5
Overall Rating – 4.5 Stars
The Urbanista London True Wireless Earbuds – £129 from the Urbanista.com