The Beats urBeats are simple and straightforward in-ear headphones. They don't leak much, they're easy to carry around and stable enough to use while jogging. Unfortunately, they don't have the most durable design and their sound quality is overly bass-heavy, which may be a deal breaker for some.
- Minimal Leakage.
- Stable and portable design.
- Subpar audio reproduction.
- Mediocre build quality.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The urBeats are straightforward in-ear headphones with a sleek, yet understated look. They're very portable headphones that come with a decent pouch, which makes them easy to carry around on your person. They're also stable enough to jog with but do not have any additional stability tips. However, their build quality does not feel very durable, and they have the typical in-ear fit, which may not be comfortable for everyone.
The urBeats have a simple but sleek in-ear design. They have flat cables and small earbuds that do not protrude much when in your ears. The inline controls and the ear buds look good, but the plastic used for their design feels a bit cheap upon closer inspection. They won't stick out in a crowd, especially, the gray and black color variation but the understated design will work for most.
These headphones have the typical in-ear fit. You will experience the same inconvenience in comfort if you don't find in-ear models comfortable. However, they do come with different sized tips to help listeners find a better fit. They're also incredibly lightweight and won't be a problem for those who regularly use in-ear headphones.
The urBeat's control scheme is simple and well-designed. They deliver call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons have a good feedback. Sadly they're relatively flat and a little cramped which makes them a less easy to distinguish by feel alone. However, you quickly get accustomed to it.
The urBeats like most in-ear headphones are inherently quite stable. The in-ear buds fit deeply into the ear canal and are relatively hard to dislodge by just pulling on the cable or running. However, these headphones do not come with any unique stability tips to make them more stable. This means they will still fall out of your ears every once in a while, and the audio cable can also yank the headphones out of your ears if it gets hooked on something.
The urBeats are extremely portable headphones. They comfortably fit into most pockets purses or bags which makes them easy to carry around on your person. There's no ideal way to fold them into their most compact format, but the cable is not too long or thick, and the ear buds are quite small, which doesn't take much space.
Comes with a unique pouch that protects the headphones and doesn't add too much bulk allowing it to conveniently fit into a pocket. However, the case does not shield the headphones from hard falls or water damage. The case also opens with a squeeze which is stylish but may cause some of the headphones accessories fall out inadvertently.
The urBeats have a decent build quality. The audio cable is flat, which makes it less tangle prone, and it's sufficiently rubberized to be durable. The ear buds are hard enough, to not break from a few drops. However, the plastic design of the earbuds and the inline remote is not as durable as some higher-end in-ear models.
The urBeats are overly bass-heavy and won't be the best headphones for critical listening. They have an excessive amount of bass, which may please some listeners but will be too emphasized for most. Instruments and vocals sound distant and muddy, resulting in an audio reproduction that lacks clarity and feels too dark. They have a poor soundstage due to their closed in-ear design but on the upside, they have low distortion and a good representation of the stereo image.
Poor Bass Range performance. The response is quite flat, but consistently overemphasized by more than 7dB. This makes the sound excessively bass heavy and muddy.
Average Mid Range performance. Low-mid is slightly overemphasized, which adds to the muddiness and boominess caused by the excess high-bass. Mid and high-mid are consistently underemphasized by more than 5dB, weakening vocals/leads relative to the lower instruments and pushing them to the back of the mix.
Poor Treble Range performance. The overall performance is underemphasized consistently by about 5dB. Considering the excess bass that these in-ears produce, the lack of high frequency emphasis makes these headphones exceptionally dark sounding.
Poor Soundstage. Due to the in-ear design, these headphones don't interact with the pinna, hence the poor PRTF number. This means that the Soundstage is likely to be perceived to be located inside the listener's head as opposed to in front. Also, due to the tight seal provided by these headphones, the openness value is low and the Soundstage won't be perceived as open and spacious.
Very good Imaging. The amount of phase error is quite low, although the amount of shift in the Bass Range is rather excessive. The driver matching results show excellent matching between the left and right drivers.
Very good Harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low, regardless of the level. However, at higher volumes there is a slight rise in distortion in the Mid Range while remaining within good limits.
The in-ear design of the urBeats blocks a fair amount of ambient noise. That coupled with the very low leakage means you can mask some of the ambient noise by playing your audio at high volumes without disturbing others. However, it might not be sufficient for very noisy commutes of flights, and playing audio at exceedingly loud volumes is not recommended.
Decent isolation. Although these headphones isolate passively, they perform on par with some active noise cancelling headphones. They achieve about 7dB of isolation in the Bass Range, which is very good for passive isolation. In the Mid and Treble Ranges the amount of isolation achieved is very good.
Excellent leakage. These in-ears leak very little, as the significant portion of the leakage is limited to the 1KHz-6KHz range, and the overall level of the leakage is also quite low.
- 100% SpNR
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- urBeats 2 Headphones
- Earbud tips (x3)
- Carrying pouch