Urbanears Pampas over-ear headphones review: Long battery life, limited features

Urbanears Pampas

Headphone companies like to present a particular image each time a new product gets launched. With Apple's Beats, it's flashy and hip; over at Bang & Olufsen, there's pure luxury, while Bose offers a professional, but some would say monotone, look.

For over a decade, Scandinavia-based Urbanears (opens in new tab) has been releasing understated audio products that are urban-chic yet economical. With the company's all-new Pampas collection, the harmonic Nordic look is still there, but it comes at a price that's steeper than previous products.

Are the Urbanears Pampas headphones for you? It's time to find out.

The Good

  • Lightweight, collapsible design
  • 30+ hours of wireless playtime
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • instant music sharing

The Bad

  • Limited color choices
  • No accessories
  • Built-in microphone lacks
  • Sound is sometimes choppy

Effective design

What are the Urbanears Pampas headphones?

The Urbanears Pampas over-ear headphones offer over 30 hours of wireless bliss in a package that's both comfortable and stylish. Featuring a collapsible, minimalistic design, the clothy headphones are available in black, green, and beige. Onboard you'll find a single control knob on the right earcup that allows you to skip tracks, adjust volume, and pick up calls. The knob is also an on/off button, which you use to connect to your phone, tablet, or other devices through Bluetooth 5.0.

The headphones also include an 3.5mm jack, this time on the left earcup. The intention here isn't to transform Pampas into a wired device. Instead, it's there so a friend can attach their headphones and also listen to your music.

Beyond this, the headphones have a USB-C port and somewhat confusing LED that's supposed to indicate the headphones' battery status.

Inside the box, you'll find the headphones, USB-C charging cable, and user guide.

Bass-y

Urbanears Pampas: What I like

Make no mistake, the Urbanears Pampas headphones are bass-centric. Backed with 40mm dynamic drivers in each earcup, they provide a frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz with a 32-ohm impedance. The bass, which works very well at high and mid-levels without distortion, never seems overpowering. Coupled with its 30 hours of battery life between charges, the Pampas have been designed to go-go-go mostly with success.

Though some might call it gimmicky, I like the shareable 3.5mm jack. It's ideally suited for travel buddies and partners alike and adds a little bit extra to a decidedly feature-lite audio product.

Limitations noted

Urbanears Pampas: What I don't like

Sound works well on the Pampas except in two instances. First, despite offering Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity, the Pampas introduced a muffled sound even before reaching its maximum range of 30 feet of listening range. In tests inside, this range was closer to 25 feet, although I did reach 32 feet outside. The sound is also compromised during voice calling as the built-in pinhole microphone and remote failed to impress. Think sometimes muted, other times garbled sounds.

Upon first hearing about the Urbanears Pampas headphones, I couldn't wait to try them out. When they arrived, however, I was slightly disappointed by the color of my review unit, Field Green. That disappointment grew more pronounced when I realized that the only other color choices for Urbanears' latest flagship device were drab Charcoal Black and Almond Beige. Blah.

Though Urbanears headphones will never be mistaken for boldly colored cans from Beats, they have typically launched in brighter hues than what's offered for the Pampas at launch. Where's the sun-ripened Tomato or Powered Pink found on the Plattan 2 Bluetooth (opens in new tab), or the summer-made Malibu or Amethyst Purple available on the Sumpan (opens in new tab)?

I'll also throw some shade on Urbanears' decision not to include a carrying case with the eadphones or even an AUX cable for wired use. These type of accessory omissions make sense on $49.99 Black Friday headphones from some unnamed audio company. However, given the price point of the Pampas, it's less acceptable. It's even more so given the headphone's collapsible design that screams for at least an inexpensive nylon carrying bag.

Finally, there's the LED indicator. LIttle more than a pinhole on the Pampas' right cup, the LED starts blinking when the battery runs low. Unfortunately, the LED is difficult to see because of its position on the bottom of the can, which is often covered, depending on the movement of the cup. Urbanears should have made this indicator LED bigger or ditched it during the development process.

A nice return

Urbanears Pampas: Bottom line

These headphones are priced around $50 more than they should be, although even a modest sale will remove this obstacle. Despite this, they are still worth considering if you're looking for wireless headphones with long battery life and unique sharing capabilities. Just don't rely on the indicator light to make battery-charging decisions. Luckily, with 30 hours of music between charges, being able to see that LED isn't necessary all that often.

See the Urbanears Pampas at Urbanears (opens in new tab)

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about the Urbanears Pampas or headphones in general, let us know below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.