At the end of last year, I tried out the Urbanista Paris earphones and they were great. They’ve now sent through a new pair called Athens, a more activity focused pair of earphones, suited for the runners, cyclists and gym goers.
The Athens is packed full of features and includes the following:
– 8hr playback per charge (32hr total with case charge)
– Water resistant IP67
– Bluetooth 5.0
– Volume and track controls
– Voice control via Siri& Google Now
It’s the usual affair with the packaging, the earphones come in a good quality box, plenty of protection and everything you need. You get the earphones, carry case, a few options on rubber earbuds, a short USB C cable and some documentation. I have to say, the carry case is one of the smallest I’ve come across yet and I really like it. The case is made from plastic and it has a matte black, rubber coating to its exterior. There are four small white indicator lights to the front, identifying battery levels of the case and then just a USB C port on the back used to charge the case. On the inside are the molded slots for each earphone, which slot in place magnetically. Overall, a very subtle, sleek and premium design and feel. I also like that when you open the lid, the earphones have a white ring on them that glows.
The earphones themselves resemble the standard shape and size associated with most earphones but have an additional rubber hook, to help keep them secure. Both the rubber hook and earbud can be removed and replaced very easily with the spares provided. The earphones follow on the rubber theme and each has a single push button on them, where the logo is. The earphones are very easy to insert and my initial thoughts are they are very secure and comfortable, I can definitely see these working well during a spin session.
After initial charge, set up is very easy, just removed them from the case and pair them with your smart device. You may need to turn them on and to do that, press both buttons together and await the voice prompts. There is just one large button on each earphone and with those, you can complete a number of tasks including turning them on/off, play/pause, adjust the volume, change track, call functions and voice control. The most important for me, volume up and down was a single quick press either left or right and then change track, which is hold button for 2 seconds.
As for performance, I think they sound fantastic. It’s quite a bassy profile but it’s not overpowering, with the mids and highs being prominent. Listening to some new tracks from Luke Combs, the bass drum punched through, the banjo shone and the vocals were crisp. Playing some Kayne next and this is when the bass can be a little overpowering. It’s fine for me, I’m still jamming to the tracks but may put some off. I used these for several hours, on and off, and didn’t notice a huge drop in battery life. The battery level for the earphones is displayed on my smartphone. I can also confirm these will reconnect to your smartphone, if it’s nearby and the Bluetooth is on. The music will also stop or pause when you put the earphones back in the case.
The Athens have no active noise cancellation included but due to their very snug fit, the passive noise cancellation is great and did a very good job at blocking external noise. After a few hours using them, running around, shaking my head left & right, and cycling, these are some of the most secure and comfortable earphones I’ve tried to date. I challenged myself to try and get them to fall out and it was a struggle. These are also IP67 rated, which means you can actually wear these in the water in shallow depths. If I was allowed in the pool, I would try them out but would question the Bluetooth connectivity distance over 25meters and I’d also recommend wearing a swim cap.
I’ve been hugely impressed with the Urbanista Athen Earphones. They’re good for your commute but even better for use while exercising. They are comfortable, very secure and with just a single large button, very easy to control on the move. Audio quality is great, the battery life is very impressive given their size and they also look good in your ear, subtle, not too overwhelming.
They are available now and currently retail for £119.99, which is £20 more than the Paris earphones and £40 cheaper than the current standard AirPods. For more info, head over to the official Urbanista Athens webpage.