Urbanears Pampas Bluetooth Over-Ear headphones are brand’s first over-ear model (or Over-Ear for close friends), the Urbanears Pampas is designed to be used wirelessly via a Bluetooth 5.0 connection and a range of up to 30 hours. As with its previous products, the helmet benefits from special attention in terms of its design, with a still very refined style that is starting to prove its worth.
- Bluetooth 4.0 headphones
- Over-ear design
- Light and comfortable
- Very intuitive joystick
The Urbanears brand comes straight from Sweden and the new Pampas helmet is largely inspired by current Scandinavian trends. Available in black, beige or olive green tones like the example tested today, the helmet stands out with its sober and elegant design. Visually, it is quite successful and users looking for a discreet headset but capable of going out of the ordinary will be served.
From the first grip, one of the first things that jumps out is the weight of the Urbanears Pampas. With only 260 g on the scale, the helmet is particularly light and its size is also reminiscent of that of the usual “On-Ear” models.
The headphone is mostly made of plastic and has a thin but robust headband, able to withstand the worst tortures. Its upper part is covered with a rather successful mesh coating , which is also found on a good part of the ear cups. The internal part of the arch has a very light padding as well as a faux leather covering.
The helmet can be adjusted to most body types via a sliding system incorporating about fifteen notches. Fairly flexible, they can be adjusted without necessarily removing the headphones from their ears, but we may regret the absence of visual cues to easily identify their favorite setting.
The ear cups of the Urbanears Pampas can be folded up towards the inside of the headband so as to limit the bulk when you want to store the helmet in a bag. Problem, the hinge is in our opinion far too flexible and the absence of a real notch of fixation does not necessarily inspire a real feeling of confidence. The fact that the latter is entirely made of plastic reinforces this cheap side a little for a helmet offered, as we recall, at nearly € 150.
Besides the design of this hinge itself, note that it is also not possible to rotate the ear cups 90 ° in order to improve comfort when wearing the helmet around the neck.
The earbuds themselves have a much more convincing design, especially when it comes to the controls. On the edge of the right atrium, there is indeed a small joystick reminiscent of what we had observed in other models like the Marshall Monitor Bluetooth and Major III Bluetooth .
With a single command, it is thus possible to switch from one track to another, to adjust the sound volume, to manage the playback / pause. By holding the button to the left or right, it is even possible to take advantage of rewinding or fast forwarding, which are rather rare options on Bluetooth headsets.
Apart from listening to music, this multifunction button can also be used to answer a phone call (a microphone is integrated into the headset) or activate Siri or Google Assistant.
As far as comfort is concerned, as explained a little earlier, the headphones have circumauricular pads, which completely encompass the ears and not rest on them like the previous Urbanears Plattan. Their size nevertheless remains quite compact and the ears may tend to touch the edges as well as the inside of the pads.
In practice, however, the whole remains perfectly comfortable, mainly thanks to the featherweight of the helmet. The headband effectively distributes the pressure points on the top of the head while the padding of the pads is effective over time. Once on the head, we quickly forget the Urbanears Pampas, unlike some more imposing and heavy competitors.
Bluetooth connection and battery
The headset is especially designed to be used wirelessly, via a Bluetooth 5.0 connection. The connection is made in the traditional way, by keeping the main button pressed for a few seconds to activate the pairing mode.
Once the connection is established, no major problem is to be noted on the side of stability and one enjoys a range of between 10 and 15 m. It is not possible to connect a second source in parallel and no NFC chip allows faster pairing than through the menus of your smartphone.
As for the autonomy, it will take about 30 hours of listening, which remains in the average of the best current models. Obviously, this value may as often vary by a few hours depending on the listening volume. A voice announcement warns you when it is time to recharge the headset, allow about 2h30 to go back to 100%.
As for additional features, no frills for this pair of Urbanears Pampas. The headset does not come with any mobile application or an active noise reduction module. A bit difficult to digest, especially when comparing the Urbanears model to the recent Plantronics BackBeat GO 810.
On the other hand, the headset has an interesting option, allowing you to connect a second headset in order to share your music or the audio of a video with a second person. Rather practical if you want to watch a movie on your tablet or laptop on the train or plane for example. Activation is very simple, by connecting to the left atrium of the Pampas via a 3.5 mm cable. We just regret that it is not present in the box!
Sound performance of Urbanears Pampas
The headset incorporates 40mm speakers with a frequency response between 20Hz and 20kHz. In use, we benefit from a convincing sound rendering but not necessarily exceptional for the price displayed.
With a profile clearly focusing on the lower part of the spectrum, we enjoy a punchy sound offering a pleasant listening but necessarily suitable for all musical genres. Fans of Hip Hop and other electronic music will probably find their way there, while fans of Rock may be a little more hungry.
The bass can sometimes tend to take over the other frequencies, where models such as the BackBeat GO 810 and other Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT are able to offer more controlled performances.
The most picky may also regret the lack of compatibility with aptX and aptX Low Latency codecs, allowing to enjoy better wireless speeds but also to limit latency when you want to enjoy a video.
Finally, let’s finish by emphasizing that the headset has a microphone that can be used for your telephone conversations or activate your voice assistant. No miracle aside, but it does the job as long as you don’t find yourself in too noisy environments.
Urbanears Pampas – Conclusion
With its successful design and intuitive handling, the Urbanears Pampas should be able to appeal to users looking for a sober and elegant wireless headset. However, with a manufacturer price of 149.99 € , it is difficult to recommend it with closed eyes.
If the whole is perfectly comfortable and has correct sound performance, we clearly expect more from a model displayed at such a price. The lack of an active noise reduction module, a mobile application or additional accessories come up against the competition for this Pampas.
A model such as the Plantronics BackBeat GO 810, now available for around € 120 , is in our opinion much more complete and convincing. The same goes for the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC , perhaps not as elegant but having the advantage of having an NFC chip, aptX compatibility or even active noise reduction.
Positives of Urbanears Pampas
- The Urbanears Pampas seduces with its neat style
- Easy-to-use controls.
- The sound performance is decent
- Battery can use up to 30 hours.
- Charging by USB-C.
Negatives of Urbanears Pampas
- No active noise reduction.
- Bass a little too pronounced for some users.
- Not enough accessories for the price displayed.