We are inundated with wireless earphones right now, there must be a festive event approaching or something. I’ve always found Urbanista to offer a quality sound at a low price. In fact, their Melbourne speaker is always the one that comes out during summer events in the garden or taken away with me. Anyway, they now have two new pairs of wireless earphones, Stockholm and Paris, both similar in appearance but they vary slightly in buds, price and battery life. We got sent a pair of the Paris model to try out.
The Paris is Urbanista’s take on the ever-popular Apple AirPods and they very much resemble them. The earphones are available in four colours, white, black, pink and green. They have 5-hour battery life and the case will charge them completely 3 times. They have touch control, they are water-resistant, they have voice control and the case allows for wireless charging (Qi-certified). Within the box are the earphones, case, small USB type C cable, ear buds (various sizes) and some instructions.
The earphones themself are the in-ear type, with clear rubber buds but if you prefer them without buds, then the Stockholm earphones will be for you. Each earbud has a small blue indicator light and a microphone at the bottom of it. Like any wireless earphone, they are charged within the carry case via two metal prongs that need to be connected to transfer power. The case itself is very small and very light. The case has a red indicator light on the side of the case and it will flash to indicate certain things (battery life etc) but refer to the instructions for more info. The USB type C port is located to one side but if you have a Qi-certified charging plate, you can just pop these on the plate and they will begin to charge. Each earphone sits within its own mould in the case and does somewhat magnetically fix into place but it’s not perfect, so you need to check they’re in position to get a good power connection.
The earphones work via Bluetooth 5.0 and can be set up like any other Bluetooth device. Once charged, I took both earphones out of the case, left them on my desk and then connected to them via my smart device. Voice prompts said “connected” and then they showed up as being connected via Spotify. As long as your smart device is nearby, every time you take the earphones out of the case, they will automatically connect to that same smart device. If you come across any problems with pairing, the earphones can be reset.
The earphones are touch-sensitive, which is how you control your content. The sensitive part of each earphone is the top section, the logo to be exact and that’s where you need to put your finger to activate a command. All the gestures are detailed in the instructions but as an example, to play or pause your music, touch the left earphone. Volume up is touch the right earphone once, left for volume down and if you want to skip a track you need to hold your finger on the right earphone for 2 seconds. The controls work well, it’s fairly responsive but the time between touch and command could be a little quicker. On first use, I would tap to turn the volume up and if I tapped too quickly, it went too loud.
Audio performance was very positive for the price. The sound profile is well mixed, with ample bass but it’s not overpowering. After several enjoyable hours, I was happy with how they sounded, but I’ve heard better (at a much higher cost) and these probably would not be for true audiophiles. As these are in-ear, they offer the usual level of external sound isolation. There is no active noise cancellation. As mentioned before, they have a stated battery life of 5 hours and then the case can recharge them another 3 times, offering a total of 20 hours from a single case charge.
One issue I had with pairing, was that there was some confusion at first about connecting the earphones as a pair to my smart device, they appeared as separate devices (left and right). Now both earphones worked, whether I selected left or right and I did reset them but it still remained. It didn’t affect performance and perhaps it’s an option in case you just wanted to use one.
Overall, a nice pair of earphones, which look good, offer a decent battery level and they sound good for the price. They currently retail for £99 in the UK which is on the steep side but they are currently in a black friday sale for £69.99 Head over to the official Urbanista Paris webpage for more info.