Urbanista Miami

Enduring, bass-tuned Bluetooth over-ears with ANC and ambient mode

With the Miami, the Swedish company Urbanista has expanded its range of headphones to include wireless over-ears that boast a long battery life and offer both active noise cancellation and an ambient sound mode for external awareness. In addition to Bluetooth 5.0 standard, this bass-tuned model also supports the high-quality AAC audio codec format.

When unpacking these Bluetooth headphones, I was pleased to note that they are impeccably manufactured, give the impression of high-quality robustness and come with a sturdy hardshell case, which is not necessarily a given. However, the fit is quite tight, this does not diminish the wearing comfort for a small to medium-sized head due to the ample padding but allows for sporty sprint interludes if necessary. For larger head shapes, the fit might be too tight, especially as the substantial padding leaves little room for your ears. However, if your ears are not too large, they have the advantage of being snugly enclosed, as the oval-shaped ear cups are not straight but angled and the suspension offers sufficient mobility for a flexible adjustment of the earpieces. But this means that the Miami cannot be folded to save space.

These wireless headphones proved to be powerful in our battery test, achieving a listening time of 51 hours at higher volume levels. In ANC mode, the running time was 43 hours before they need to be powered up, which was a remarkable result, especially as these headphones can be fully charged again after about 90 minutes using the USB-C port. Alternatively, wired use of these over-ears is also possible via the 3.5 mm audio input on the right side of the earcup, but noise cancellation and ambient mode are reserved for Bluetooth operation and cannot be used via cable. However, a corresponding mini-jack cable with an integrated 1-button remote, an aeroplane adapter and a USB-C to USB-A charging cable are included.

Device control

Pairing the Miami can be done as soon as the power is turned on by briefly pressing and holding the middle remote button on the right side of the earpiece, which automatically puts these over-ears into pairing mode. Once a wireless connection is established, the central multifunction button controls playback, and this button also serves to answer and end phone calls, while a press and hold rejects calls. Voice assistants can be activated by pressing twice. Separate plus and minus buttons are available for volume control, and these can also be used to select tracks by pressing and holding the plus button and jumping forward is done with the minus button. In addition to the remote, which works reliably, these over-ears have sensor-based on-ear recognition, so that playback is paused when the headphones are taken off and resumed when they are put back on. However, since the ear recognition reacts quite sensitively, the playback can be interrupted for a short time even when the headphones are slightly moved. On the positive side, we noticed that the Bluetooth connection was stable even through several rooms, and an above-average range of about twelve metres could be obtained in an urban environment. When talking on the phone, the other person could be understood clearly, while one’s own voice was quite quiet and a little muffled.

Sound

The Miami’s bass reproduction is truly opulent and possesses a full-bodied low bass, which seems massive and very powerful in bass-oriented productions. However, the reproduction does not sound crisp and punchy, especially since the ample bass doesn’t seem sufficiently defined, has a certain dullness and can start to falter when called upon to deliver for hip-hop or electro. With pop and rock songs, on the other hand, a rich bass foundation is discernible, the sound overall seems quite warm, dark rather than bright, and a little dull and muffled. The basic tone is quite relaxed and laid-back rather than forceful or impulsive. In view of the low-frequency presence, the midrange and treble reproduction seems restrained, but vocals and lead instruments are represented cleanly and clearly, and have a down-to-earth depth, sounding full-bodied rather than flat. No harshness or peaks are discernible in the higher registers even when the powerful output is fully utilised, and sibilants are reproduced softly and unobtrusively.

Noise Cancellation and Outdoor Perception

In ANC mode, the sound appears to open up a bit and seems clearer overall, as the bass range is lowered and sounds noticeably drier as well as more defined, although the reproduction still reaches down low. Voices also gain presence. At the same time, the noise reduction noticeably reduces low and medium frequencies, while the high-frequency range is only slightly muffled. The filtering is quite effective, as only a high-pitched hiss from a kettle, for example, can be heard. However, a slight background noise must be accepted, which is not the case in the ambient mode, which has a fuller bass reproduction. The ambient sound mode impressed us with a precise amplification of the outside world so that fellow human beings and loudspeaker announcements can be understood crystal clear when playback is paused. Even during playback, good intelligibility is maintained up to a medium volume, while orientation in your surroundings remains possible even at higher levels. A function button on the left earcup is used to switch between operating modes; this activates the noise reduction and then the external perception, and you can return to the basic sound by pressing it again.

Maike Paeßens
2 weeks ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Urbanistas Miami score points with very good endurance ratings, offer a stable wireless connection over a long-range and have a well-executed ambient mode. The noise cancellation on these Bluetooth over-ears is also quite effective in the low and medium frequency range, but only slightly attenuates high frequencies and has a perceptible background noise. The dense, bass-heavy sound benefits from a clear mid-range and treble reproduction, while the massive low bass seems somewhat unrestrained.

  • Long battery life
  • USB-C port
  • 3.5 mm audio input
  • Good ambient mode
  • High Bluetooth range
  • AAC format support
  • No aptX
  • Rather muffled, bass-heavy basic sound
  • ANC with slight background noise
  • Rather tight fit, not recommended for larger head shapes

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Impedance±15 % @ 32 ohms
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)@1 KHz: 107±3 dB
  • Weight with cable323 g
  • Weight without cable310 g

What's in the box

  • Mini jack cable with 1-button remote
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Aeroplane adapter
  • Hard case

Special features

  • available in black, white, red and green
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC
  • BT version: 5.0
  • BT profiles: 2DP1.3, AVRCP1.5, HFP1.6

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