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Sennheiser Urbanite XL review

Sennheiser promises massive bass. We get classy, refined sound instead. We approve

Over-ear headphones usually suffer from a debilitating sound issue – a lack of bass. With the Urbanite XLs, Sennheiser has tackled the problem head on. Promising massive bass and an intense club sound, the Urbanite XLs certainly talk a good game. The bass is big, no question. Sennheiser has succeeded in providing a pair of headphones that do offer plenty of low-end, but don’t overpower like a pair of Beats cans would. Instead the bass is amplified naturally and the result is a sound true to the original recording. That heavy, dirty bass doesn’t come at the expense of the overall sound.

Clarity and warmth is exceptional at all frequency levels, which will appeal to a wider audience. Sound is refined no matter what you listen to. Dre’s funky basslines sound electric, Springsteen’s sweeping Americana fresh and The Horrors’ subtle intricacies crystal clear. But great sound is nothing if design doesn’t match. Luckily, the Urbanite XLs triumph in that respect too. The stitched denim headband looks great and the earcups are velvety soft. We’re pleased to report that comfort is not going to be an issue. Noise cancellation is very good and leakage minimal, even when you pump up the volume.

Adjusting the fit is as simple as moving either cup up and down, while they fold inwards to boost portability and there’s a drawstring bag inside the box. Colour-wise there are five different options, and our metallic bronze test pair looked the part. We did struggle to get used to the in-line remote. For a start, it’s on the left side when your brain expects it to be on the right. It’s quite big, too, and initially hard to navigate blind. But don’t let that put you off. The Urbanite XLs really are a gorgeous pair of over-ears.

The price tag certainly isn’t obscene. Similar products that mix hip design and immaculate sound can garner astronomical outlays, so Sennheiser should be praised for its austerity. There’s a two-year manufacturer warranty inside the box, too: Sennheiser is confident these cans are built to last, and so are we. They’re mightily impressive on so many levels.