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Urbanista Los Angeles review: Solar powered headphones lack some power

Overall, the battery life is better than any other headphones available on the market. The bass is powerful, but it does not perform well on lower frequencies

Topics
headphones | noise-canceling headphones | headphones and earphones

Ishaan Gera  |  New Delhi 

Urbanista Los Angeles
Urbanista Los Angeles

When the Sony launched its 1000XM-3 headphones, it set a new benchmark for the market. Priced lower than Bose’s premium series, the offered everything possible from a consumer’s perspective. The active noise cancellation worked well, and Sony had built in good pass-through features. Even the call quality had improved drastically from previous iterations. The introduction of these also pushed the market for more alternatives, which offered Bluetooth support and similar features. Urbanista, is a new competitor in the market and with its Los Angeles series it plans to disrupt the market.

Design

The Urbanista Los Angeles is a cross between Bose 700 and AirPods Max. The solar plate at the top of the panel is well ingrained into the design and does not seem odd. The earcups are wide and cushiony to provide enough comfort. There are three buttons on the left and a power button the right. The solar plate, grey in colour, provides the phones with a dual tone look. The headband has enough cushion for comfort. The seem a bit heavier though and are not a long-term wear initially. The earcups are also tightly placed with each other, so they can seem tight on the ear and can even hurt after a while. But these are more breaking-in issues than anything else.

Sound quality

We tried the earphones for three different categories of music. Starting with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, Kygo’s “Firestone” and Shawn Mendes and Zedd’s “Lost in Japan”. The low frequencies did not work too well. The sound was too low even at higher volumes. Without ANC, the firestone intro is almost lost at 60 per cent volume. Volume could have had better boost; the bass was not a problem at all. Sometimes too much, it even masked normal tones. The higher frequencies did not throttle the noise. The passthrough feature was not that great though, it caught a lot of ambient noise, making the headphones unwearable. The ANC worked very well for low frequency noises, but it could not cut out the fan’s noise. The app lacked an EQ control feature, which was direly needed.

Urbanista Los Angeles
Urbanista Los Angeles -- App screens

Battery life and price

This is one aspect where Urbanista headphones are unbeatable. In one charge, I could run the headphones for four days. The solar plate seems to work very well indoors as well. Artificial light does not put as much juice, but keeps the battery from going out.

At Rs 24,000, Urbanista has outpriced itself from the market. The Sony WH-1000XM4 are far better in sound quality. Bose, a bit pricier, also has a better sound signature. The only thing working for Urbanista is the never-ending battery life. At a lower price range, the headphones are worth the buy.

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First Published: Thu, May 12 2022. 13:05 IST
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