Urbanista continues travelling across Europe with their line of headphones. We have already covered Copenhagen, and London. Now we continue with Paris, and Barcelona.
To save some reading I begin by stating the similarities between Paris, and Barcelona. Both feature a flat cable that transfers minimal noise from rubbing against clothes. It is also less prone to tangle, but once it does it is a pain to untangle. Both also feature a single button remote just like earlier models from Urbanista. I still think this is a huge omission not having a proper three button remote with volume controls that is more or less standard. If this microphone had some special iPhone/Android/Windows Phone compatibility it would be a great option, but now it is just a single button iPhone mic.
Another important thing these products have in common is a low price that make them highly competitive in their respective category. Most users don’t want to spend $100 on earphones, and both of these can be bought at almost half that. Actually you could get both for $110.
The Paris is an in-ear headphones with a design reminding slightly of that found on the Beats by Dr Dre Tour. A standard earphone with an exaggerated back piece connecting to the cord. This large back plate actually has a function, and that is providing noise isolation. This is the biggest positive for the Paris, as the noise isolation is really good. The ear tips are soft, and it is quite easy to find a pair that gives a good seal in the ear canal. I like that the ear tips are colour matched to the earphones giving a sense of coherence.
The sound is bass heavy, and most music gets a cool depth due to this. Some of the finer sounds are less pronounced, and classical music isn’t ideal in these. There is some muddiness to the sound image when listening to already bass heavy music such as reggae, and hip hop.
The Paris is a great budget set of earphones that would have been even better with proper three button microphone controls. As a great looking replacement for the Apple Earpods, or extra set for use when commuting the Paris is a good choice.
Paris at Urbanista.com $49
Sunny cool Barcelona is a fun lightweight set of on-ear headphones. Light weight with soft ear cushions these can be worn for hours without tiring. When not in use they fit nicely around the neck, or folds up easily for storage in a bag. Brightly coloured with white ear cushions, and headband lining the Barcelona looks young and cool.
For sound the lack of noise isolation hurts the impression around people, or traffic. When sitting down in peace and quiet the sound can be heard properly. Bass heavy, and perhaps even too much I must say. Depending on the music they can have the bass almost drowning out the vocals. To some this is preferred, but I rather have more balance with enhanced bass, mid and high range.
The Barcelona is a cheap set of on-ear headphones, and it is easy to tell from the sound that it tries to score an audience by having strong bass. If you have a teenager prone to breaking stuff these are a good choice, as the build quality it good and the sound is young.
Barcelona at Urbanista.com $59