Is the headphone good? Hard call, I’ll leave that up to anyone who experiences it. I don’t think it is terrible, I do however think that Sennheiser didn’t invest enough time into the headphone, didn’t put much love and care into it to make it the best it can be. This headphone seems illogically setup and marketed as something it isn’t. Exaggerated advertising doesn’t fly with me at all. I was interested in reviewing this headphone because of that ‘Massive Bass’ marketing slogan attached to it, one that didn’t at all hold true. This headphone is not a bassy headphone, that is a mistruth to me but I cannot enforce my view on what constitutes “massive bass” upon anyone else. Opinion is opinion. If you want serious bass, get yourself a Vmoda M100 or Sony’s new XB950BT for some true “massive bass”. To me, the Urbanite offers less than half the quantity of the XB950BT, as well as less clarity everywhere. This Urbanite has a good midrange that I enjoyed and it is great to see Sennheiser step out of the dark sound on the treble and invest in something more bright and lively in their portables.
From a physical design point of view, I don’t really buy into the styling or the form factor of the on ear Urbanite. Do people really want denim on their headphones, yet in strange color options as well? The much cheaper AKG K167 and even Sennheiser’s On Ear Momentum are just as good, if not a bit better in some ways. I am positively shocked the $100 on ear Momentum isn’t that far off the Urbanite at $199. But, what I really do not understand here is the lack of innovation. Nobody wants to wear a headphone with a headband like this on the go, do they? I would like to see Sennheiser revise this headphone with a better headband and much better ear pads, drop the cable with microphone and offer a paracord cable instead without a microphone, redesign the housing and invest some time into proper dampening. After this, re-release it at $150. Right now, there are so many $199 headphones I can name that are better.
This is a headphone with a misleading slogan attached to it and one that I found to be poorly designed on the exterior, but objectively it offers just alright sound quality and nothing special, nothing memorable and nothing good enough to best the headphone markets best buys for this price tier.
The AKG K267 was the best portable I’d heard in 2013, the new Sony XB950BT was the best portable I’ve heard this year in 2014. Next year’s portable market may have a new champion soon in the ATH-ESW9LTD. I would like to see Sennheiser put something out in 2015 that sways the market back into their favor otherwise they may end up chasing the game a bit if that happens.