Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless Headphones - Testing and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless Headphones
Features, Specifications and More
Testing and Final Thoughts

Testing:

Let me get this out of the way; I'm not an audiophile. Granted, I love good audio. I do have a pretty good ear and I really enjoy music. With all that being said, I don't believe that there are a lot of objective ways to test headphones. The experience is very personal, very unique and everyone has a different idea of what sounds "good". I generally prefer the overall clean sound of products like the Sennheiser Momentum and Able Planet NC1000's but I’m trying to keep an open mind when it comes to more "bassy" headphones. We'll see how these Urbanite's sound and if they can deliver clear and clean mid-range in addition to the heavier bass.

As the Urbanite XL Wireless, is well, wireless, I listened mostly through my Nexus 6 this time around. I also plugged the headphones into my Xonar U3 as well as the on-board audio of an ASRock X99E-ITXac motherboard. The volume when plugged in seems to be slightly louder than when running wireless, but I can't tell the difference in terms of quality. No matter what device I plugged these into or paired with, the audio quality was really, really good.

As some of you may know that have read a few of my audio reviews, my musical taste is all over the map. I listen to a lot of different music as well as some audio books to find out how these sound. I listened to pretty much everything from 90's alternative to modern pop, country, rock and some hard metal - just to round out the listening experience. While the Momentum M2 provided a super-balanced music experience, the Urbanite XL Wireless is geared for a different audience. These are geared up with a bit more bass for those consumers who would be found listening to a pair of "Beats" headphones. One thing that really impresses me with the Urbanite XL Wireless is that even though the bass is ramped up (which is especially noticeable with hip-hop and modern pop), the midrange and vocals are just as clear and clean as when listening to the Momentum M2.

I hopped into one of my recently favorited albums, "American Beauty/American Psycho" from Fall Out Boy and sat back to enjoy "Immortal". While I stated in a recent review that the M2 headphones provided a "just right bass track" in that particular song, the way the Urbanite XL Wireless reproduces that song - with a little bit more bass, yet all the clarity - makes it just a little better.

I really didn't think I'd like the Urbanite XL Wireless as I really like accurate music reproduction and love high-end headphones that do just that - without the amped up bass, but after spending a month with these, my opinion of them is changing. I do really like the overall experience of audio and how it all sounds.

As far as comfort goes, the Urbanite XL Wireless are not as comfortable to me as the Momentum headphones we looked at a few months ago. These are a little tighter on my head and while the ear cups are large enough not to crush my ears, the material and the extra force they use to keep them in place while you're active, makes for a pair that isn't quite as comfortable as other products from the same company. They are not uncomfortable per-se, they just aren't as comfortable as other headphones I've used. That of course is a personal opinion and represents how they fit my own head.

I've worn these for hours with no ill effects, but I do notice that my head is thankful when I shed these - unlike the Momentum M2's which made my head sad to see them go.

 

Conclusion:

The Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless is an interesting product. While they are not as "accurate" in reproducing the exact audio that is recorded by enhancing the bass, Sennheiser does it in such a way as to preserve the audio quality that we've come to expect from this company. They are a bit more bass-heavy than the Momentum M2 headphones, but the midrange and high notes are equally clear and not smothered or muddied up by the extra boost on the low-end.

The folding mechanism of these headphones is really solid and I can't say enough good things about the overall build quality of the product. The materials, construction, size and overall fit and finish of the Urbanite XL Wireless is great. Even though they pack a bit more electronics inside (including battery), they aren't overly heavy and I had no fatigue from carrying a big chunk of weight on my head.

The battery life, range and wireless quality of these is very good and while you may have to charge them up once a week if you use them heavily, you won't be running to the charger every night. Speaking of chargers, that is another thing that Sennheiser did well; they use a standard MicroUSB cable to charge them up.

I really can't find much wrong with these, although if you're an audio purist, you probably won't like the extra bass that they covertly add into your music. I didn't at first. After listening to them for a week or more as part of the review process, I was a bit disappointed when I used different headphones. The extra thump of the bass is not overpowering, and quickly become an added touch to your favorite music - whatever it is.

 
Pros:
  • High quality construction
  • Great bass without overpowering the rest of the spectrum
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Modern/Urban look and feel
  • Works equally well plugged in as wireless
  • Touch controls on side are nice and intuitive

 

 

Cons:
  • Not as comfortable as other headphones from Sennheiser
  • Not for audio "purists"

 

I'd like to thank Sennheiser for sending over the Urbanite XL Wireless for us to review. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post in the forum here.