Urbanista Miami ANC Review Hybrid ANC Headphones With Auto Play/Pause

Monday, March 01, 2021

Most people probably recognize Miami for its sandy beaches but, it's also a thriving cultural hotspot for music subgenres such as Miami Bass Music, which Urbanista has named their latest ANC headphones after. As you probably have guessed, "Miami Bass" is all about bass but, it also has captivating visuals to go with, just like the new Urbanista Miami ANC headphones and its top notch presentation!
The words "Enter A Journey Into Sound" can be seen prominently written in bold letters, which is a true statement as there is a bit of a "journey" before getting to the actual headphones, which are nicely packaged inside several layers of outer packaging. There is the outer box, as well as Urbanista's branded box packaging, which houses inside it a snazzy pear-shaped hardshell carry case. 
The Urbanista Miami ANC are non-bulky and lightweight (308 grams) headphones with a slimline profile that has been achieved by using slim earcups (6cm diameter with 1.5cm depth) and a rod headband system, which replaces the traditional headphone yoke ratchet band with a straight metal bar that slides up and down, joining the earcups to the headband. The bar slides quietly in and out of the headband, staying securely in place via friction. Urbanista can be seen carved into the front of the earcups. The styling is very similar to the new Urbanista Los Angeles solar self charging headphones.
The Miami ANC headphones should fit most heads comfortably, thanks to the earcups which can rotate and tilt up an down. The tilting mechanism has been cleverly integrated within the earcup and works by pivoting off a centre axis, rather than a yoke like most headphones do. The Miami ANC headband measures 3cm wide and has cushiony padding that runs along the entire underside of the headband.
The Miami ANC earcups feature physical buttons, as well as pinholes housing the active noise cancelling microphones (two per earcup). The ANC microphones are located inside and out of each earcup; hence the Miami ANC headphones have a hybrid ANC design, which most top of the line ANC headphones have, although the Miami ANC performance is on par with most budget ANC headphones. This means, the Urbanista Miami ANC headphones don't block you out from the world completely, other than suppress a decent amount of constant low frequency ambient sounds such as low rumbles (i.e. car engine, desk fan, etc).
The ANC function works in both Bluetooth and wired mode and you can you listen to audio in wired mode when the battery is flat, thanks to the audio port being passive. This is worth knowing because the audio port on some bluetooth headphones is active, which requires power. Ambient mode works well as it should, removing the natural dampening effect of the earcups so, you can hear outside sounds clearly without having to remove the headphones.
On the right earcup, you will see three flat buttons, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack, while the left earcup integrates the ANC button and the USB-C charging port. The buttons make a very quiet clacking sound and control several functions: volume, skipping of tracks, calls (answer/end/reject), play/pause, voice assistant and power. There is a small white led to feedback bluetooth connection and battery but, there is no status led for ANC. The white led does not flash during audio playback, which likely helps the Miami ANC headphones to achieve such a long battery life. At 70% volume and with ANC on, you can easily get 40 hours of battery life (50 hours with ANC off).
The Urbanista Miami ANC earpads have large hole openings (4.5cm wide and 5.5cm high) with a slight oval shape to them. There is protein leather covering the earpads, which have 1.5cm thick memory foam padding that cushions and hugs the area around the ears stopping a lot of sound from leaking out even at max volume. The earcups have a depth of 1.5cm and thin padding covering the 40mm drivers. The outer dimensions of the Miami ANC earpads are 9cm high and 8cm wide.
There are several voice prompts integrated in the Miami ANC headphones, including a battery low warning, which kicks in 30 minutes before the battery goes completely flat. You will also hear loud and clear the words "Ambient On", Ambient Off" and "ANC On" when toggling the ANC button. There is no function to manually turn off the ANC so, the only way to turn off ANC is by enabling Ambient on or off. There is no voice prompt or audio beep when maxing out the volume.
Audio-wise, the Urbanista Miami ANC can be used as both wired headphones and wireless headphones via Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, which supports SBC and AAC (there is no aptX support). When playing audio, the volume amplification is noticeably louder via bluetooth than wired. The bass gets deeper and more prominent with ANC on, while with Ambient (on or off), the bass becomes more balance with the midrange and treble.
As mentioned earlier, the Urbanista Miami ANC has two microphones - the onboard earcup microphone and the inline cable microphone - both of which pick the voice loud and clear. That said, the inline microphone has the advantage of being on the cable, which means you can bring the microphone closer to your mouth when you don't want to project your voice too loud. The audio cable inline microphone is located 13cm up the cable so, it hangs down at shoulder blade level when plugged into the earcup. The Miami ANC audio cable measures 1.2 meters long and weighs 24 grams. The inline microphone, itself, it's just a couple of grams and 0.5cm in diameter so, the inline mic is very discreet.
You can charge and listen to audio at the same time via cable but not when connected via bluetooth. Also, once the Miami ANC headphones are paired to a device, you can seamlessly go from bluetooth audio to wired audio as the Miami ANC headphones will automatically re-connect the bluetooth connection when unplugging the audio cable. There is a small proximity sensor inside the right earcup designed for the auto pause function, which works as it should. Take off the headphones and audio pauses. Put the headphones back on and audio resumes. The auto play/pause (on-ear detection) feature is mainly found on in-ear earbuds such as the London true wireless as most headphones do not integrate it.

The Miami ANC hardshell case outershell is covered with rugged water-resistant polyester fabric, as well as an Urbanista metal brand glued on to the bottom right corner. The hardshell case opens up clamshell style via a single metal slider that runs smoothly along a reverse coil zipper, which has the advantage over a regular coil zipper of minimizing water and dust ingress. The carry case weighs 171 grams and measures 23cm long, 19cm wide and 6cm high.
The inside of the Miami ANC hardshell case is lined with soft fabric material and has a preformed cut-out, specifically made for the Miami ANC headphones. The headphones fit easily into the cut-out without having to fiddle around like you do with some folding headphones, which have to be folded and twisted before you can store them away. The Urbanista Miami ANC headphones have a rubber coated finish, which makes them look and feel more premium than plastic. The downside though, it's the type of rubber used (likely ABS) easily marks with greasy oily smudges.
The audio cable that is included with the Miami ANC headphones is high quality with thick strain reliefs reinforcing the plug terminals. The cable is made of rubber, including the plug terminals, which are branded with Urbanista logos on them. The audio cable terminates in a straight plug and a right angled plug and, it also has inline a small single button inline remote/microphone. Most headphones don't come with an inline remote/remote cable, which is always advantageous to have because it means you can also answer calls in wired mode. The single button on the remote is made of plastic and controls audio only (no calls), including play/pause (single button press), next track (two button presses), restart song (three button presses) and voice assistant (long press)
The Miami ANC headphones do not support multipoint connection pairing but they do support quick charge, which gives you 2 hours 30 minutes of playtime from a 5 minute recharge. You can buy the Miami ANC headphones directly from Urbanista and amazon when they become available. Check out more Urbanista reviews Stockholm Plus earbuds and Brisbane Bluetooth speaker.

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