The True Wireless earbud market is bursting with brands all trying to offer an alternative to the market-leading Apple AirPods Pro that cost £219 at John Lewis. The latest pair to try and offer that alternative is Swedish audio company Urbanears who have sent us the Urbanears Luma that cost £79.99.
These buds are designed for those who like that minimalistic style, as apart from the Urbanears logo they are very basic looking and come with a one size fits all design which could affect a number of people buying these. They fit perfectly in my ears but when my girlfriend tried she found they were not to be a good fit. Design-wise they copy that ear stem that Apple has made its own.
The Urbanears Luma also comes with a charging case that looks great with just the logo on the top of the case and the USC-C port at the back.
The case is well built and lightweight and also comes with a small cord if you wanted to attach these to a carabiner hook you might have on your bag.
They come in four main colours: Charcoal Black, Teal Green, Dusty White and Ultra Violet. In this review, we have been given the Dusty White.
The buds are made from a moulded plastic and like the Apple Airpods come with no ear tips. They are also IPX4 rated meaning you can get caught in the rain and be OK and they also won’t be affected by sweat after a big workout. Controls for the buds are touch-sensitive on the outside of each bud:
Double-tap on either bud = Play/Pause
Triple tap on the right bud= Skip track
Triple tap on the left Bud= Skip back a track
Press and hold for two seconds on either bud= Voice assistant
You are also able to accept and cancel calls with the tap of the bud. If you have never used a pair of buds like these you might find the touch control to be a little tricky but with these buds, it won’t take long. These buds also have in-ear detection sensors meaning if you take the bud out the music will pause. In testing these work when you’re listening to music but if you’re watching a Youtube video it won’t work so just remember that.
One downside is one which seems to be an ongoing issue with buds we have reviewed – the lack of volume control. But it’s only a small issue as you can control the volume via your phone or via the smart assistant you can use with a hold of the bud for 2 seconds.
The other downfall is that these buds say they can be recharged wirelessly. However, I have tested these on a number of wireless charging devices and can not seem to charge them via this method. I have emailed Urbanears to see if this is a device malfunction or if I am missing something.
Moving on to the audio quality I have looked online and in the press release that was sent but I was unable to find the driver size in these buds. That aside, a good fit aids the audio performance as it offers passive isolation which is a bonus as you miss out on ANC but it’s limited. When you’re on a train journey, the Urbanears start to struggle in busy environments with lots of noise. However, when you get a chance to enjoy some music the bass is decent especially when I put Alice Merton’s “No Roots” on Spotify. However, when listening to something like “The Flower Duet” from Katherine Jenkins you do notice a drop in the highs which was a little disappointing.
I think the average user will still enjoy these buds, it’s just if you have a pair of slightly educated ears and know what to look for you will start to find faults. A way they could have fixed this is to offer an app like Jabra have the Jabra Sound+ app so you can adjust the settings.
Finally, connectivity wise these run on Bluetooth 5.0 which allows pairing to be very easy. You connect these like any other pair of buds and once you have paired the first time the next time they will pair automatically.
Battery wise you get five hours in a single charge which is lower than the Jam Audio Exec at 8hrs that cost £69.99 so for £10 less you could have 3 more hours (and, I think, an overall better pair of buds). The charging case also offers an extra 20 hours and you also get a fast charge option to get you back up and running in no time.
Would I buy these?
If you are looking for a budget alternative pair of AirPods you won’t have a bad experience with the Urbanears Luma. These are designed for the minimalistic person in mind who wants a pair of great looking buds but with a simple design.
However, there are negatives. The charging case does not have an LED indicator so you are unable to see how many charges are left. You also miss out on active noise cancellation which if you’re not getting the passive isolation due to some fit issues some may have which is down the lack of adjustable fit. Sound quality is a bit of a mixed bag but overall decent for the price mark and for the average user.
For £79.99 I just feel it’s not a bad attempt but there’s room for improvement and for £10 less you get a better sound & bigger battery in the Jam Audio Exec we have recently reviewed so I would buy them over the Urbanears Luma.
Design – 4 Stars
Features – 3 Stars
Audio Quality – 3 Stars
Value for Money- 3 Stars
Overall rating: 3.25 Stars