Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Those hip Urbanears headphones are in Digital Walker!

When it comes to headphones, I tend to ask friends for recommendations before buying because those hip-looking earphones I see in computer shops may be eye candy but may not necessarily have great sounds. This is why my last purchase was the original Apple earphones with a built-in mike which set me back some P1,600. Better safe than sorry.

When Carlo invited me to Digital Walker Eastwood's launch of Urbanears headphones, I thought that I'd have the chance to check out something other than Apple products. The Apple earphones I had were okay, sound-wise, but the metal earpieces hurt my ears after prolonged use. I was longing to find another option.

Urbanears is a company out of Stockholm, Sweden. Their team is made up of entrepreneurs, industrial and graphic designers, tech nerds, former retailers, salesmen and businessmen. They have backgrounds not only in electronics and design but in fashion as well. Their aim is to produce earphones that do not just have excellent sound quality but great fashion sense as well.

Vic Icasias of Technoodling

I picked up some very interesting trivia about Urbanears from Technoodling.net blogger, Vic Icasias:

* The models - Urbanears' 4 models (Bagis, Tanto, Medis, Plattan) are derived from the names of suburbs in Sweden. In fact, the coordinates of each town is found in the packaging of the related Urbanears, just like this one.

* The colors - The way Urbanears chooses its colors intrigued me because this is one of their popular come-ons to the young generation. They release 2 collections annually. Each collection has about 12 colors but halfway through a cycle, it releases another 2 colors. Choice of shades try to achieve a balance between dark and light, masculine and feminine, classic and experimental. While black and white are mainstay colors in each collection, their other shades are changed from collection to collection. We were told that if you saw a shade you liked, you better buy the headphones already as you are not likely to see it again.

* The packaging - Whatever is the packaging's color is the earphone/headphone's color. Now that makes everything easy, right? Also, the packaging materials are almost all biodegradable. I noticed that everything was made of carton and the headphones/earphones were not stored in plastics.

Smart, compact packaging

No plastics!

* The fabric cord -  Unlike the usual earphones and headphones that are wrapped in rubber or plastic, Urbanears earphones and headphones are wrapped entirely in fabric. We were told that the purpose was to improve noise reduction, sound quality and prevent tangles.

* The microphone - This one I like. All their models have built-in microphones. You don't see that in other earphone brands!

Here are the different models:

Bagis (SRP Php 1,200)

This is the entry-level model. It's an in-ear type of earpiece for direct sound and efficient noise reduction. The rubber housing is the soft kind so it is very comfortable on the ears. A unique feature of the Bagis is that it snaps together so it can be worn around the neck.

Tanto (SRP P1,950)

The Tanto was made for maximum mobility. It is lightweight, portable and has a minimalistic look.

Medis (SRP (PhP 2,450)
This headphone combines ergonomics and functionality. Its Earclick solution secures the earpiece at two points instead of the usual one. This relieves pressure to almost nil.

 Plattan (SRP PhP2,950)

This is the classic headphone, an on-ear model. But it is not a fixed headphone. It folds down to the size of a fist and flat enough to be easily packed in luggage. It's winning feature is the ZoundPlug that allows another friend to plug into the Plattan and share your music in full stereo sound.

I was very happy that Digital Walker gave Bagis earphones to each of the bloggers so that right there and then, we could test the sound as well as at home. I plugged mine into the iPad I had with me and the sound was very good. So far, I've also plugged it into my Macbook and got very good sounds.

For comparison, I did listen to my music again using the Apple earphones I already have. The volume level using the Apple earphones seemed to allow me to make the music louder. The Urbanears earphones, at maximum, seemed pegged at a lower decibel. Maybe those who listen to rock or prefer their volume high would balk. But for me, a Mom whose kids have earphones almost permanently glued to their ears, I would go for Urbanears because it seems kinder and gentler to the ears and yet produces very good stereo sounds.

Considering that I bought my Apple earphones with microphone for about PhP 1,600 some years back, the Urbanears Bagis (which is bundled also with a mike) at PhP 1,200 is a very good option to consider.

Drop by Digital Walker at Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City, Libis and check out their range of Urbanears headphones. There's a big plus there -- they are right beside a Digital Walker Cafe! Shop and snack in just one place.

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