Until recently, we thought buying a pair of true wireless earphones for under $100 meant giving up something. Then we tested for this Urbanista Atlanta review — which although they had an initial price of 119 euros, can also be found on the official website for 99 euros.
They have a sound full of character, with ear-filling bass despite its small size and weight. Above average battery life, functional and precise touch controls, they handle calls well. They even have the ricarica wireless it’s a multipoint connection (which works much better than that of much more expensive solutions).
We are not saying they are perfect. Some more expensive headsets have lossless audio — for those with ears that can tell the difference. And some earbuds in this price range have more “flexible” audio, though few have bass comparable to the Atlantas. Other headsets have one better management of the ANC and transparency mode (which is not bad either), but to find them you have to sometimes double the price.
In short: Urbanista didn’t make an audio miracle. But she created a complete product and with some excellent features, all in an affordable price. We think the Urbanista Atlanta is a really cool option – in this review we help you figure out if it’s for you.
Urbanista Atlanta, review: full earphones and great bass
Urbanista with these earphones has decided to focus on substance and it shows right from the package. Entirely made of cardboard recyclable, contains the headphones in its own box, and apparently nothing else. Instead, by lifting the package you will find the manuals and inside the cardboard structure, well protected, there are a USB-C cable for charging (rather short but solid) and others two pairs of silicone eartips.
A theme that we will also review in the earphones themselves: these earphones are worth more than what the appearance seems to suggest.
Simple but functional design
Urbanista has given us the version for this review Steel Blue of the Atlanta, although on the official website you can also find the more austere ones Pure White e Midnight Black, along with the flashy Vibrant Red. The blue version we tested seemed to have enough character without being too gaudy: we really like it.
The case, the same color as the earphones, turns out slightly larger and bulkier than the average product in this price range. However, we did not find it uncomfortable to keep it in your pocket: the rounded edges do not bother you and the fact that it is rather flat makes it easier to put them even in the pockets of your shorts. Keys and coins do not seem to damage the plastic surface (at least in the test days), which is soft but rather resistant.
On the lid, which has a zipper that seems resistant and snappy to us, the word “Urbanista” stands out. On the front you will find the only physical button and at the bottom the USB-C input. The fact that the lid is flat makes charging easier, especially if you use crooked cables (like the one supplied).
The earphones have a simple look (let’s say already seen), with a short stem (again, with the Urbanista writing) in bottom at which you will find two pins for recharging. Magnetic charging helps to store the earphones in the case. But the fact that the entry for the stem in the case is quite narrow makes putting them back in more awkward than other headphones. Let’s say you have to “take aim” a bit, while in other products you can almost throw the earphones into the case.
The head of the earphones is round, ending with the silicone eartips. The fit with the ear, in our case, is really perfect – which further enhanced the excellent bass of the headphones. This is a subjective data: they may not fit perfectly even to your ears. But with the right size of the eartips we are sure you can find the perfect fit too – they are very well made earphones.
We point out that the earphones are IPX4, therefore they are resistant to splashes of water. This also makes them interesting for training. We have used them without problems, even if in cardio activities such as running (especially in the summer heat) we do not recommend them: they need dedicated products. But for the gym or for a brisk walk they are fine.
Urbanista Atlanta Review: Good audio, strong bass
Urbanista had told us right away that the Atlantas are earphones that focus heavily on bass: we could only start this review by trying to put them in difficulty. Connect the headphones with the Bluetooth 5.2 in a moment, we had the app open Urbanista Audio (iOS and Android) to choose the Bass Boost audio profile. And we started the test from hip hop.
Since the earphones are called Atlanta, we started listening in Georgia: the bass of So Fresh, So Clean by Outkast immediately made our ears vibrate, without losing any of the words of André 3000. Who with Ms. Jackson’s treble showed us that these headphones are made for rap: we hear the bass as if came from an in-ear subwoofer, while the highs and mids remain free to range. Effects-heavy tracks like Childish Gambino’s Bonfire also sound really good: we hear a good level of detail, even if the lower frequencies make our ears vibrate.
Even ranging between the two coasts, and even arriving in Italy, the Urbanista Atlanta seems perfect for hip-hop and trap. And in general for all tracks that feature immersive bass, like Mark Morrison’s R&B in Return of the Mack or Frank Ocean’s complex tracks.
Maybe we have uneducated ears, but the Bass Boost didn’t seem bad even listening to Miles Davis or Beethoven: there are a few less details than we would like, but overall the experience is good.
The only modern genres that we seem to lose a bit with Bass Boost are hard rock e il metal. But raising the Tremble or using more varied profiles like Energize or that of Default The Beatles’ Helter Skelter and Metallica’s Master of Puppets shine again. Although we have to say that they are less nuanced than other headsets: the 10mm dynamic driver of these earphones seems to be designed especially for genres with deep bass and great dynamism. Some of the detail in the mid-tones gets lost a bit.
So, after several tries, we settled on leaving the audio on Bass Boost and enjoying the bass, even when some tracks suffer a bit. And then to see videos and series are ideal: the dialogues feel good, the special effects great.
On the other hand, we didn’t feel too much about the lack of codecs for lossless audio (supports SBC or AAC codec). Most streaming sources broadcast lossy but well compressed audio, you need to have a really sensitive ear to hear the difference. And if you do audio editing or work in the music business you want something more than a pair of Bluetooth headsets, in any case.
Audio Cancellation, Transparency and Multipoint connection
You have to like the audio full of bass: we really appreciated it, but there are those who might want more neutral profiles. But what everyone will appreciate about these earphones is that, in a double-digit price, they manage to include lots of cool features.
The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Transparency mode they don’t reach the peak levels of some earphones that cost more than twice as much. But switching between the two options you can clearly feel the difference. The ANC doesn’t completely cancel out the hum of the cleaning robot or louder noises in city traffic, especially if you’re listening to podcasts or audiobooks. But turning the volume up a bit on the tracks makes the noises more manageable. And even if you don’t fully understand who’s talking to you with Transparency mode, you’ll know right away they’re talking to you even if you’re turned away and you’ll be able to hear road noises for added safety.
On the other hand, the Multipoint connection mode works very well – something we can thankfully now find in less expensive earphones as well. We have connected both laptops and smartphones, without the need for additional software or special settings. We simply connected the bluetooth of both, and then tested them with a YouTube video on the PC and YouTube Music on the smartphone. If, tired of the video, we want to switch to music, just press play on the smartphone for the headphones to immediately switch to the other source. The same is true during calls: if you are connected to the PC, you can answer the smartphone call with a double tap on the earphones, and vice versa.
A great implementationespecially in this price range.
Our Urbanista Atlanta review: Calls also promoted
On purpose: calls are heard very well, even if some of our interlocutors reported hearing our voice a bit distant – perhaps due to the positioning of the microphones too much towards the ear. But our voice remained well understood, reducing the surrounding noise so that it was clear.
A simple but well made app, responsive controls
The application Urbanista Audio has attractive graphics and works consistently. Something that unfortunately we cannot say about all the earphone applications on the market. The possibilities are limited, but very clear and simple. You can turn on or off the ANC and mode…