Different people will always have their own personal definitions of “good audio quality”. Some might consider a pair of headphones to be good if they have a highly accurate sound signature with a nice balance of lows, mids and highs. Others want their music filled with jacked up bass and other artificial enhancements. Sennheiser is a veteran company in the audio industry, with a huge following by people that love their music balanced. However, a handful of other companies are carving out niches filled with younger people that love hip hop and electronica. Even though Sennheiser headphones like the Momentum handle these genres well, other competing products add some extra oomph even if it isn’t natural. Sennheiser is no longer taking that crowd lightly and wishes to tackle the new competition head on with the Urbanite brand. This product lineup consists of two sizes with the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones being on the superior side.
Design and Comfort
The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is basically the “over-ear” version of the Sennheiser Urbanite. This means that the earcups are bigger, along with the overall size of the headphones just to keep things balanced. Balance is what the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones do right, and that is crucial when picking your next headset. It has the same headband and the nice stitch accents as the non-XL version. The earcup sliding mechanism is present in the XL model too, and it works just as expected. You can easily adjust one or both cups until you get that perfect fit. What is even better is that once you find the right positions of the earcups, you can move on to listening, because the earcups do a good job in staying in place.
While the Urbanite targets a different crowd than the Momentum, the ear padding of the Urbanite is undeniably more comfortable than the latter. The padding is made of velour rather than Alcantara and it feels pretty nice. The clamping force is moderate so you won’t get that feeling of pillows right on your ears, but you can pivot each earcup 360 degrees to get a nice snug fit. The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a better choice than the original Urbanite in terms of comfort. These may not be the most comfortable Sennheiser headphones, but all-day listening with this pair of cans is definitely possible.
The Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones have the same level of build quality as the Urbanites, so you can try bending them out of shape and they won’t get ruined. They do feel significantly heavier though, making them less travel-friendly. Even so, a small fabric bag is included. These headphones are fairly easy to fold and fit in this bag. Despite the increase of weight, the XL version somehow manages to give off that illusion of it weighing less, all because of the wider weight distribution. The headband isn’t particularly soft but you won’t feel it digging into the top of your head.
Both the Sennheiser Urbanite and Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones do not possess active noise isolation capabilities. However, since the XL version has earcups that cover your entire ears, you will get a better passive noise isolation experience with this variant.
As with most headphones that are pricier than your average set, you will enjoy the luxury of having a flat 3.5mm cable. This cable does not tangle and does not compromise audio performance. In fact, the jack at the end of the cable feels quite durable. The cable also has a small remote with 2 volume control buttons and a multi-purpose button. iOS fans might be familiar with this button as it works the same way as other MFI-certified devices. Press it twice to skip the track, or press it thrice to skip the opposite direction. If you hook up the cable to an Android advice you lose the multifunction features. But if you never plan to use the Sennheiser Urbanite XL with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you may get a set of Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones that comes with a compatible cable for your Android phone.
The name “Urbanite” really makes its strengths obvious. These headphones are simply great for hip hop, electronic, dance and pop music. Bass fanatics will feel that satisfying pumping beat. It isn’t quite as raw and pure as the older Momentum, but the audio quality does live up to the cost. You could even enjoy those higher volumes of music, minus that annoying distortion. Compared to the on-ear versions, the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones are better since they have bigger drivers.
The Sennheiser Urbanite XL might seem like a pricey option even if you are impressed with the audio quality. But this Sennheiser product isn’t a one-trick-pony. It has excellent build quality and feels great on your ears for a long period of time. Being the XL version, it is best to give it a try along with the original Urbanite so you can really decide which size is best you. If you can settle for the extra weight and really want improved sound quality, noise isolation, and better comfort, the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones shouldn’t let you down.