Following from the review of the Blue Yeti microphone for gaming teens, it seemed obvious we needed some pure headphones to go with it – we’ve covered headsets (which combine the two) previously – but if you have a separate microphone on your desk, then all you need on your head are headphones.
But teens are always the most demanding of creatures, aren’t they? You don’t want any old earbuds – no no no. They have to be supremely comfortable, they have to look achingly cool – and they have to have astonishing sound quality too.
Yeah, they don’t want much.
But it would appear that Sennheiser may well have pulled off the impossible – the Urbanite XL is an over-the-ear headphone with some serious style credentials. They don’t look like big & bulky nerdy gamer headsets. Oh no – these boys are sleek, crisp and stylish.
The headband is covered by a textured denim cloth with premium stitching and insubstantial-looking cushioning underneath. I thought these would never be as comfortable as the deeply padded Razer Blackshark headset I’ve been using for the last 18mths – but actually they’re incredibly comfortable even for long periods.
For me the biggest worry would always be the folding hinge – so practical for headphones on the go, but you just know that hinge will be the weak point. However on the Urbanite XL it is a sturdy premium stainless steel construction that doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere fast. Sennheiser claim that they’re designed for
“lasting passion… the relationship lasts for years, not minutes.”
The aluminium sliders adjustment mechanic is really well-design to create the perfect fit, and the ear cushions are softly padded fabric which create no ear-burn even o long sessions with league of Legends or a Tarantino gun-bursting movie fest.
“real beauty is their “rougher is better” design, which makes them able to withstand vigorous activity. Don’t be afraid to throw them around a little.”
The cable is a little shorter than I’m used to, and the flat rubbery wire is very different to the braided cord I have previously loved. However tangling hasn’t been an issue, and I love that I can pair them to my phone with the inline remote (which also contains a microphone, volume rocker, and play/pause button).
But what do they sound like?
Sound from them is crystal clear with great depth. I expected a barrage of booming bass, but though there’s certainly enough for my EDM sessions, it doesn’t drown out the richly textured and dynamic upper layers. The noise cancellation isn’t perfect but is perfectly enough to mute younger siblings whilst still allowing you to hear the parents bellow.
The bass manages to be pure and not muffled, but the crisp and clear mid and high ranges mean that whether I’m playing EDM or Bring Me The Horizon, watching Bob Ross on Twitch or simply trying to tear the ceiling off my bedroom with Mad Max explosions, these headphones repeatedly astonish me.
The Sennheiser Urbanite XL are currently reduced from £200 to just £130 – get in quick and hit BUY; you will genuinely never regret it, and your teen will love you for years…