Urbanista London True Wireless Earphones Review

Published On: October 7, 2020
Last Updated on: November 1, 2020
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Urbanista London True Wireless Earphones Review

Scott says the Urbanista London, the most affordable true wireless earphones available with active noise cancellation, deliver where it counts.

Urbanista London True Wireless Earphones Review

  • Scott Schumer is an executive in the fields of consumer electronics, commercial audio, video, and IoT who has a passion for custom AV installation, smart home, affordable AV equipment, and high-performance headphones.
    He formerly served as sales, marketing and product development at Sennheiser / Neumann USA; Harman; Loud Technologies; and Blue Microphones; and is currently managing North American sales for Peavey Commercial Audio.

Urbanista's London true wireless earphones ($149) feature active noise canceling, IPx4 water resistance, voice and touch control, deliver five hours of battery life between charges, and include a wireless charging case that holds an additional four full charges for a total of 25 hours total playtime. The case charges either via USB-C cable or on any Qi-Certified wireless charger, a nice touch at this price.

Urbanista London is priced quite a bit less than comparable true-wireless offerings with active noise-cancellation, such as Sony's WF-1000XM3 ($230), Apple's AirPods Pro ($249), and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 ($300), which makes them a pretty amazing value. The question, of course, is whether they have the features, functionality, and performance to make them a worthwhile purchase, even given the substantial savings.

Urbanista London relies on Bluetooth version 5.0, which results in excellent battery life, extremely low latency (no noticeable lip-sync lag when watching video content or playing games), and quick and easy syncing to your device. The pairing process for Urbanista London took me less than a minute, and reconnecting and switching between sources have proven to be quick and easy in my time with the earphones.

Urbanista London supports both Siri and Google Assistant, which sets it apart from much of its competition. Its multiple microphones work magic for speech intelligibility even in windy environments. And like most of its competition, it comes with ear tips in multiple size options for excellent fit.

How Does the Urbanista London Sound?

urbanista_london_blue.jpgUrbanista's London, like many ANC headphones and earphones currently on the market, offers Ambient Sound Mode processing, which allows some amount of natural, outside sound past the seal and active noise cancelling. This helps prevent that closed-in feeling and can keep you in touch with what's going on around you. The Urbanista London's ear detection technology will pause the music automatically if one earbud is removed from your ear, while the auto-play function will activate once you put the earbud back.

Considering all the features, though, it's heartening that Urbanista didn't miss the primary goal of delivering a great-sounding listening experience. The London earphones sounds quite good, with no overly accentuated bass and highs that are never shrill. Unlike many earphones in this class, Urbanista doesn't offer a companion app, so it lacks the pre-set equalization curves found on some of the competition. Instead, the emphasis here is on all-around good sound and, perhaps most importantly, great value.

In my evaluation, Urbanista London never fell down or failed to keep up with strenuous EDM, never fell short with spacious acoustic tracks or dense wall-of-sound '60s and '70s (even '80's) pop hits. But they don't have that sparkle and wow-factor you get from Sony and Sennheiser (each of which has a full featured companion app).

With Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," the Urbanista London earphones did a good job with both the beautiful acoustic guitar and the great backing vocals supporting Mr. Simon's lead, as well as the galloping drum beat. The earphones were never too thumpy in the bottom, never shrill in the highs, and were able to keep any mud out of the mids. The sonic signature of the earphones was pleasing both with and without active noise cancellation on, and I especially like the results when engaging the Ambient Sound Mode.

Paul Simon - Kodachrome (Official Audio)

Next, I cued up Lil Baby's "Emotionally Scarred," which has some seriously low and tight bottom end. A little to my surprise, the Urbanista London's delivered. The bass wasn't quite as hefty or as refined as what you'd get from the Sony and Sennheiser earphones, but it certainly was better than what you'd get from Apple's AirPods Pro.

Lil Baby - Emotionally Scarred

Last up, I wanted to push the Urbanista London to see if it could handle the pounding bass and high frequency synth elements of an EDM track. I cued up "7even" by Andy Duguid featuring Jaren and waited until around the three-minute mark for the drums to kick in. The wait was worth it. The accompanying synth wash can muddy up lesser earbuds, but these earphones were able to keep calm and carry on. Urbanista may have picked a middle-of-the-road voicing for the London, but they picked a very good road on which to drive down the middle.

Andy Duguid featuring Jaren - 7even

High Points:

  • The Urbanista London offers hands-free access to both Siri and Google Assistant.
  • This headphone is a jack of all trades, and while it doesn't exactly master any of them, its performance is admirable in everything that it does: Active Noise Cancelling, Ambient Sound Mode to hear your surroundings, in-ear detection, and excellent battery life. 
  • Comfort and fit of the Urbanista London are excellent.

Low Points:

  • Sound quality is good, but not great. Sony and Sennheiser's offerings in this segment of the market sound much better, although they do carry much higher price tags.
  • The active noise-cancelation is good, but again not great.
  • Urbanista doesn't offer a companion app, which would, at the very least, allow for sonic signature adjustment and visual confirmation of active noise-cancelation status.

How Does the Urbanista London Compare to the Competition?

If Active Noise cancellation is the most important feature for you, the Sony WF-1000XM3 is definitely worth a look, as is Sennheiser's Momentum 2.

The Momentum 2 is probably a smart choice if sound quality (with music, spoken entertainment, and phone calls alike) is at the top of your must-have list. The Sony's WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro are just a smidge behind in this department, but are still strong contenders.

If environmental awareness is at the top of your priorities list, the Apple AirPods Pro's Transparent Mode is the best at allowing you to naturally hear your surroundings. They are also unbeatable if you live in Apple's ecosystem, seamlessly syncing with all other Apple devices.

All that said, the Urbanista Londons are the only true wireless ANC earphones that allow hands-free activation of both Siri and Google virtual assistants. Also their value cannot be overstated, with a suggested retail price that comes in at anywhere between $80 and $150 less than their most meaningful competition.

Final Thoughts

The Urbanista Londons are the most affordable true wireless earphones available with active noise cancellation, and they deliver where it counts: call clarity, total playtime, wireless charging case, comfort, and respectable audio performance. As long as you don't expect the last word in audiophile sound, they are an incredible value and very much deserve to be discussed alongside much pricier competition. Hands-free voice activation of Siri and Google sets the Urbanista London apart from its competitors, as does its significantly lower price point.

Additional Resources
• Visit the Urbanista website for more product information.
• Check out our Headphone + Accessory Reviews page to read similar reviews.
• Urbanista Athens True Wireless Earphones Review at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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