Tiny button earphones, the Urbanista Lisbon play the card of exotic colors and trendy looks, matched with the promise of powerful sound and stunning autonomy. The reality is a little different, despite large dynamic 10mm drivers. We explain why.
There are headphones that we wonder if they were not designed to appeal to the eyes more than the ears. The Urbanista Lisbon are one of them and it is with some trepidation – and the desire for a good surprise – that I approached this test. First of all, the brand’s narrative has something to arouse some suspicion, especially because it is promised a “Colorful dream”, the prospect of leaving “Drift on a breeze of sound perfect” and that in addition the colors offered “Recall the carefree feeling of endless summer days”. This is not wrong, but is this what is expected from True Wireless Bluetooth headphones?
This test was carried out with headphones loaned by Urbanista.
The Urbanista Lisbon are extremely compact button-type headphones. They come in the form of small ovoid shells, equipped with a silicone cap with retaining fins. Each earpiece is equipped with a touch control area, covered with the brand’s logo. The perceived quality is average.
Comfort but a little worry
First aspect, the fact that the headphones do not penetrate the ear canal makes them not very inconvenient to wear. They exert absolutely no pressure in the ear. Only the silicone fin, placed against the horn, therefore maintains the earpiece in place. Depending on the size of the ear, the feeling of stability is variable, but real.
Too bad Urbanista did not provide different sized fins to guarantee adaptation to all body types. In my case, the Lisbon headphones have proven to be comfortable to wear, even while walking. On the other hand, there is no question of taking them for a run, as the significant shocks generate micro-movements of the headphones and therefore discomfort.
Logically enough, the storage and charging case for the Urbanista Lisbon headphones is very small and matches their color. The headphones are securely anchored there, thanks to the integrated magnetization. On the front, an LED provides information on the charge status of the box, while a button to force Bluetooth pairing is housed on the underside.
The USB-C charging port is on the back. This case is not compatible with Qi wireless charging.
Usage and application
The storage box is quite delicate to handle, due to its compactness, but also because the PVC it is made of is slippery. This is especially true when opening the highly magnetic cover. Nothing really problematic though. The headphones, although very small and a bit difficult to extract, do not slip out of your fingers thanks to their silicone cap.
In use, the touch zones generally meet the user’s expectations. It includes playback management – except for returning to the previous track -, volume management, incoming calls and activation of the smartphone’s voice assistant. Too bad Urbanista does not offer an app compatible with Lisbon headphones and therefore prohibits any customization of touch zones.
The passive isolation provided by the Urbanista Lisbon headphones is non-existent and, in my opinion, this is a real problem. Unless you listen to music in a perfectly calm environment, you are quickly disturbed by the slightest noise. Ditto for voice calls, but we’ll get to that later.
Stable bluetooth connection
Pairing with a smartphone does not pose any difficulty and the headphones are immediately detectable once taken out of their case. No multipoint connection is offered and the Urbanista Lisbon must be disconnected from a first device in order to use them with a second. The Bluetooth reception is good and I did not regret any cuts through a wooden floor and almost 10 meters from my smartphone.
Urbanista Lisbon headphones are equipped with dynamic transducers with a diameter of 10mm and support SBC and AAC audio codecs.
Configuration de test
I listened to the Urbanista Lisbon with an iPhone 13 Pro Max, a Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G and a Macbook Air M1, from Apple Music (lossless setting). No difference is audible between these different sources, regardless of the active Bluetooth codec.
It’s a particularly dull sound that the Urbanista Lisbon offer. This is in part due to the button format of the headphones which, positioned outside the ear canal, do not lack a total lack of density in the low register (no weight, poor extension …), a gaunt low-midrange (poorly embodied, weak voice percussion impact) and a painful emphasis on midrange frequencies, which obscure the treble. In short, this type of signature is in a pinch suitable for voice calls, but clearly not for listening to music.
- Bass: very low volume, inaudible extension
- Medium: too forward and unbalanced
- Treble: masked by the medium, we hardly hear it
Sound stage and dynamic behavior
Unfortunately, it lacks everything: width, depth and ventilation. All the titles played are alike from this point of view. The dynamic behavior is anemic and one is definitely bored.
The microphones work properly and you are of course heard by your interlocutor. Unfortunately, the surrounding noise is hardly filtered out. In all cases, the Urbanista Lisbon earphones should be limited to calls in a quiet environment. Otherwise, poor passive isolation prevents hearing the interlocutor.
Urbanista announces 9 hours of autonomy and I measured 9:10 at 50% of the volume of my iPhone (AAC). This is therefore the strong point of these Lisbon headphones. The case offers two additional refills.
Price and release date
Urbanista Lisbon headphones are available in Midnight Black, Coral Peach, Mint Green, Vanilla Cream and Blush Pink for € 49.99.
Source: Frandroid by www.frandroid.com.
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