Before we jump into the review, let’s talk about Urbanista. The company was born in 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden out of love for cities and urban life. Their products draw inspiration from the cultures of the most vibrant cities while the design aesthetic is rooted in Scandinavian minimalist tradition. The result is a sleek and stylish product with unrivaled sound quality accessible by anyone that provides the soundtrack for a life in motion.
The Los Angeles is probably one of the most feature-rich pairs of headphones I’ve ever reviewed. Where to start? First, it has built-in solar panels on top of the headband. They constantly charge the headphones whether you’re indoors or out. I charged them once with the cable initially and that was it. Working in the office and someone needs to talk to you? No need to pause the music, these headphones have a built-in light sensor in the right ear, so when you lift it off your ear it automatically pauses the music for you. Very clever features by Urbanista.
- Always charging when exposed to light
- 80h battery reserve
- Hybrid Active Noise Canceling
- On-ear detection
- USB Type-C charging
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Siri and Google Voice Assistant
- Compatible with both Android and iOS (app)
I really wanted to like the headphones from an audio perspective, but they were lacking a bit. Bass is quite strong while mids and highs feel drowned out. This however can be a good thing; more bass-heavy music sounds great. And if you like a great gym workout with some hip hop these are a great choice for an active lifestyle. But if you’re more of a headphone purist, they’re a bit wanting.
While the sound may not be the best, the active noise-canceling is surprisingly good. I used them with ANC on for most of writing this review and they are excellent, not the best noise-canceling I’ve used but definitely the best for less than $200. It does an amazing job at blocking out most sound and keeping you focused. If you need some very good noise-canceling headphones for cheap, you need to check out the Los Angeles.
Of course, these are active headphones designed for activities like jogging, gym use, and outdoor work. The headband has a forward tilt to it and at first, I thought it was an odd design, but as I used them more, it made sense to help them stay on your head better as you move about. I wish the ear cushions were a bit bigger for better comfort, but overall, I would say the Los Angeles are about average comfort among the headphones I have tested. If your head is on the smaller side, these should fit perfectly.
The app is simple and allows you to change over the modes with ease, I like it as the headphone’s physical buttons are a bit confusing. Ironically, they’re too close, unlabeled, and hard to use, while the app is a breeze. Just download the app to change modes.
At the end of the day, these are good headphones with only a few weaknesses, good-not-great sound, and overly bass-focused. The buttons really need some work, while the active noise-canceling is amazing for the price and really surprised me. I would love to see more headphones with a built-in solar panel, I always forget to charge mine. If you need a pair of bass-heavy cans for hitting the gym or jogging, these are a great deal that you can actually forget about charging. Urbanista is going in the right direction, if they can tweak the audio (or include an equalizer in the app) and make the buttons larger and easier to see, the Los Angeles would be a home run.