Urbanista Seoul Review Earbuds Without ANC For Gaming And Music

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Fill your soul with joy with Urbanista's new Seoul - a beautiful pair of true wireless earbuds without ANC for music listening and gaming!

Seoul are a sleak and stealthy looking pair of earbuds with a snazzy charging case to match. Both the case and earbuds have a smooth matte finish. The Seoul charging case has an ultra thin form factor that makes it convenient for carrying the earbuds inside a small trouser pocket. The Seoul charging case lid opens up upright revealing a spacious charging docking area. The earbuds cannot be pinched and lifted out of the case with the fingers so, you have to push them out at an angle in order to remove the earbuds from the case. 
The hinge lid has medium resistance. It isn't the strongest but it is not wobbly either. The lid stays upright relatively securely when moving the charging case around. The Urbanista Seoul charging case weighs 34 grams and measures 4.5cm deep, 6.5cm long and 1.7cm high. The Seoul earbuds weigh 4 grams each, making the total combined weight with the case 42 grams.

Opening the charging case triggers automatic pairing, which allows you to keep the earbuds in the case while connected. The Seoul earbuds have a quirky design reminiscent of a pair of hair dryers with a big body shell and short nozzle. The 2.5cm long stem has a wonky style, which adds to the overall quirkiness of the Seoul earbuds. 
The wonky stem is also functional too, helping to anchor the earbuds to the ears. The finish of the earbuds is the same as the case - non-rubbery matte plastic - which is soft to the touch and seems to hide marks and fingerprint smudges. The Seoul earbuds have a subtle Urbanista logo printed in white on the front of the stem where the touch control panel is located. The case has stealth branding with the word "Urbanista" carved on top of the lid.
 The Seoul earbuds bluetooth 5.2 chip supports absolute bluetooth volume, SBC codec, AAC codec and a special low latency (70ms) codec for gaming. Bluetooth multipoint connection is not supported; hence you cannot connect and use the Urbanista Seoul earbuds with different devices at the same time.
The  Seoul earbuds are comfortable to wear, thanks to the low weight and silicone eartips, which have a soft flange and thin inner bore. The tips aren't as highly isolating as thicker ones but then again, Seoul aren't ANC earbuds. If ANC is a feature you want, check the Urbanista London ANC earbuds. They have a similar design to Seoul. In terms of charging time performance, the Seoul case takes 3 hours to charge via cable and 6 hours via 5W wireless charging. Fast wireless charging is not supported. 
The Seoul earbuds take 1 hour 30 minutes to charge and have a runtime of 8 hours at medium high volume (70%) in normal mode (game mode off). With game mode turned on, the battery life is around 6.5 hours. The Seoul charging case holds about 24 hours of extra charge. Total playtime available is around 30 hours.

Mobile app support is another feature you get with Seoul too. The Urbanista Audio app does not require an account registration - only accept terms and enable location in order to use the app, which is easy to use and has a user friendly interface. Upon launch, the Urbanista Audio app connects automatically to the earbuds. The Urbanista Audio app shows battery percentage indicator for each earbud (not for the charging case), automatic power off, touch control function remapping, EQ (equalizer)  settings and two listening modes: default (normal mode) and game mode. 
Touch controls include three gesture controls: double tap (answer/end/reject calls and play/pause), triple tap (skip tracks to next/previous) and long press, which can be remapped from the Urbanista Audio app. The long press can be for voice assistant, game mode, volume down or, you can select "nothing" which disables the long press gesture control. There is no single tap gesture control, which is unusual for earbuds.

Potential deal breakers for the Urbanista Seoul include no anc, no multipoint, no quick charge support, no ambient sound mode and limited mobile app support. You can only remap the long press gesture control. The automatic power off can be enabled/disabled, which is nice but only has one default setting, which tuns off the earbuds after 30 minutes. 
The EQ menu is also very basic and only features 5 preset sound modes. There is no band equalizer for tweaking the frequencies; hence you cannot create a custom sound signature. The noise cancelling performance of the microphones is a weak point too. Call quality is okay for casual calls in a gym or coffeehouse but not suitable for conference calls due to the amount of background noise that leaks into the call.

Seoul has many selling points, which include ultra thin/slim form factor, wireless charging case, good sound separation between bass and high tones, available in four different colorways, 4-led battery indicator for charging case, comfortable, ergonomic earbud stem for secure fit, mobile app support and voice alerts (gaming mode on, gaming mode off). The Urbanista Seoul earbuds also have one of the lowest low latency gaming modes on the market (just 70ms), which is very low latency - perfect for online mobile gaming. 

One of the biggest selling points for the Urbanista Seoul is that they are simple to use, which will be appealing to someone looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds with just the basics (audio playback control and casual calls). Urbanista's model naming (using words instead of numbers) is also a strong selling point. The name "Seoul" is a lot easier to remember than, say, WH 1000XM4, which is the earphone model naming scheme used by Sony. Accessories you get with Seoul include different size eartips and an unbranded short charging cable (USB-A to USB-C). You can buy the Seoul true wireless earbuds from amazon. Check out the review of the Urbanista Stockholm Plus and Urbanista Athens earbuds.

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