In recent years, Sennheiser has introduced some wildly popular headphones for more portable uses; from the almost ubiquitous PX100 series to the larger closed back Momentum and Urbanite models, both full-size and on-ear.
And never one to sit still, Sennheiser has introduced another flavour for the similarly restless – the Urbanite XL Wireless.
Wireless operation and track/volume control
Foldable for easy storage
Comfortable for long periods
Cable can be used to save battery power
Supplied pouch could be more protective
Overall, a very good quality headphone with versatility to match. Perfect for travel and for relaxing at home alike, the Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless presents the great Sennheiser sound which anyone can enjoy. A good all-rounder, with which any genre can be enjoyed.
The main point of note is the wireless bluetooth feature of course, and there is an intuitive touch-sensitive panel on the right side by which the user can select tracks, alter volume and answer calls. There are no buttons, a more ‘swipey’ approach has been employed, so a tap pauses, a double tap skips to the next track and a swipe up or down changes the volume.
Should the battery become depleted, a universal cable is included with similar functionality so the music needn’t stop.
The battery can be recharged via the supplied Micro-B USB cable, and like its wired forebears the Urbanite XL Bluetooth can be folded up for easy storage.
An audio cable is also supplied to save on battery power or if it is exhausted, and a soft cloth pouch for storage.
Given that we’re no strangers to the previously released Urbanite XL model, the design and extras are no surprise. The stylish looks, solid build and comfortable fit are never a problem to experience again but even so, the extra Bluetooth functionality has stolen the show! With an Android handset playing on one side of the office here, the headphones made it all the way to the other side of the building (some 15 metres) and no drop-outs were encountered.
The control panel on the right side is a very slick feature; however there’s always a chance that a quick touch to adjust the position of the headphones might result in an unintentional track skip but with practice this can be avoided.
It should go without saying that a certain amount of quality is lost within the Bluetooth transfer method, but the result is still very pleasing; also with the MP3 still being the king of formats for many, this is not a major concern.
The bass is very well controlled and clear with plenty of punch; the micro-velour type earpads may soak up a little of the lower sub-bass region but overall the bass impact is very impressive.
Midrange gives a wonderful sense of space and both male and female vocal are well complimented, with reverb/echo easily cutting through. There’s next to no clutter here and harmonics shine.
Treble is rolled off slightly; the Urbanite XL Wireless does not hold it back, but there are brighter-sounding headphones. As it is, there is enough treble to enhance details such as percussion, but without much chance of fatigue – it’s a good comfortable sound.
Separation and soundstage are excellent; individual instruments can be picked out with the soundstage extending beyond the physical confines of the headphones themselves.
Using the cable, maximum volume was lower although this of course depends on the maximum amplification of the smartphone being used. The Urbanite XL Wireless has an internal amp which only comes into play when used along with its wireless capability.
Isolation is fair, but you may be inadvertantly sharing your music with those nearby if listening at high volume levels.
It’s a time of year when we are all looking forward to the longer days and warmer temperatures promised by summer (at least in the northern hemisphere!) and we’re to be found making plans and dreaming about lazy days in the sunshine. Snag-free music seems like a great way to enhance that feeling of freedom and those carefree (cable-free?) moments out there. With the Urbanite XL Bluetooth being worn with it’s XL earpads, our ears might be in the dark but at the same time most enlightened!