Sennheiser is going Bluetooth Wireless with the Urbanite XL Wireless (Carnoy, 2015), converting many of their beloved Wired models, such as the Urbanite XL.
Priced at US$300, they kinda expensive but live in the same price range (Deer, 2015, May 9) as US$280 Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone. It carries over many of the design cues of its wired cousin, even retaining the option to switch back to wired functionality with a port for a 35mmm Audio jack.
Available only in black and made mostly of plastic with metal hinges, the Urbanite XL Wireless is sturdily built. It folds up into a compact portable form factor and fits well into its somewhat cheap -looking carry pouch.
Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless – Headphones with smartphone Touch Interface for Music
Aesthetics aside, the Urbanite XL Wireless is functionally perfect with some unique, almost smartphone-like controls. Whether in its Wireless Bluetooth mode or wired mode, controlling your music is achieved with the tap on the side of the headphone. Tap once and the music pauses or plays, depending on what state it was in originally.
Double tap and you advance the track forward, with upward and downward swipes increasing or decreasing the volume. Be careful how you use this feature, as the touch controls are very sensitive and you can accidentally disrupt your flow if you accidentally touch your headphones out of idleness.
Music playback may not be as smooth as expected due to the lack of active noise-cancellation technology like the Beats Studio Wireless and the Momentum Wireless headphones. But the soft material that the cups are made of provide adequate isolation from external background noise while making them comfortable to wear and not hard on your ears.
Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless – Never miss a phone call while jammin’ to your tunes
The dual microphones allow you to make phone calls with a cord in wired mode. That cord has a 35mm jack end and has an inline remote. This allows you to be able to make and receive phones calls even while listening to your favourite tunes. Good to note here the Touch controls only work when the Urbanite XL Wireless is in Wireless mode.
The Wireless mode is dependent on the batteries, which when fully charged gives you twenty five (25) hours of music playback. The quality of the music in wither wired or Wireless mode isn’t significantly different, possibly sounding slightly crisper and with less lag than the Wireless mode.
This option to switch to a Wireless mode is really for situation where it may be more appropriate to do so, such as when you’re expecting an urgent phone call that you don’t wanna miss. With two years warranty on a pair of headphones that cost US$300, albeit out of my reach, I’m sold on the unique users interface in Wireless mode.
I’d like more variety in colour as well as the use of metal in the design. Otherwise, Sennheiser will find going Wireless by converting wired models and retaining their previous functionality will be music to their ears, as that makes these headphones a hot commodity for any true music lover.
Deer, L. (2015, May 9). US$280 Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone is a true Wireless Headphone System. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/sennheiser-rs-175-rf-Wireless-headphone-system/
Carnoy, D. (2015, Nay 4). Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless review: A dynamic Bluetooth headphone. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/uk/products/sennheiserurbanitexlWireless/