Kinivo URBN Review – The Headphones You’re Wishing For

Yes, I’m a Kinivo (“kee-nee-voh”) fanboy!  I’ve reviewed several Kinivo products for iTechTriad, and I am very satisfied with all of them. I feel their products are top-notch. I have never reviewed a pair of headphones for them. That’s until now.

This past spring I started a new day job and I commented to my contact at Kinivo that I felt that my new co-workers probably don’t want to hear my music during the work day and I asked if he could help me out.  I was told that there were some new headphones coming out later in the year and they would be worth waiting for. I wasn’t disappointed.

My pair of Candy Apple Red (also available in “Graphite Grey” and “Midnight Black”) URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones arrived just last week and they haven’t been off my head since then. Well, okay, I did take them off once or twice.



I should let you know that my only other experience with personal listening devices would be a pair of Monster iBeats (“Beats by Dr. Dre”) earbuds I got about five years ago as a gift. The URBN blows the iBeats away.

The URBN comes in a very nice hard shell carrying case. The case zips open and shut. It has a mesh pocket to hold the 3.5” stereo cable and charging cable. The case has a small carabiner type clip on a loop on the outside of the case. The carabiner can be used to clip the case to a belt loop or a backpack.

 

The URBN itself is folded up inside the case. Just unfold it, pair it to your device, and you’re good to go. The URBN uses NFC pairing, so I was up and going in less than a minute (sorry iPhone owners). If your device doesn’t support NFC pairing (iPhone owners), setup is very easy. The URBN comes with a quick setup guide that will get you going and listening to your favorite tunes.

On the right side of the URBN are all your controls. On the back is your power switch and volume rocker. On the front you have your previous track, pause/play, and next track buttons. There’s also a mic for you to use for phone conversations.  If your phone supports it, you can also use the microphone to talk to your phone and issue commands, like “Play Bon Jovi.”  On the underside of the right part of the headband is the micro-USB charging port and the 3.5” AUX port.  You won’t have to use that charging port very often, because the URBN has a 20-hour battery life.  The AUX port is so you can connect to a stereo or other device that does not support Bluetooth.  When using the AUX port, you can use the URBN powered off, so you’ll save battery life, but you can’t dance around your living room, unless you have a very long cord.

Now let’s get into actual usage.  The moment I slipped on the URBN I fell in love!  These things are super comfortable!  My biggest concern about over the ear headphones is that they’ll be uncomfortable and five minutes after putting them on, you’ll want to take them off.  I’m giving away my age, but remember those behemoth headphones they had in schools.  The headphone padding was made of sandpaper (well, not really).  They were so uncomfortable.  You couldn’t wait to get them off your head.  Not so with the URBN.  I wore the URBN for over three hours testing them out and I never tired of having them on my head.  My ears were not sore after the three-hour listening experience.

The sound is so sweet!  The sound is so pleasant.  To my non-audiophile ears, the iBeats are just too overbearing.

If you’re using the URBN paired with your phone, you don’t have to worry about missing a phone call.  If the phone rings, you will hear an audio alert via the URBN.  Press the “Pause/Play” button and the phone will be answered.  After the call is over, press the “Pause/Play” button to conclude your call and your music will start where it left off.  When I tested making a phone call, I did not tell the person on the other end that I was on a Bluetooth headset.  I conducted a regular conversation.  It was only after I told the other party that I was using a headset did they say something about it sounding like I was on a headset.

As of this writing, I’ve been using the URBN for about three days.  The only downside to using the URBN is that I wish it had some sort of indication of the battery level.  As I mentioned above, Kinivo says that you should get 20 hours of battery life (at average volume, the lower the volume, the longer the battery life), but I want to know if I have 20 hours or 30 minutes left.  The directions state that the LED light will flash red (instead of blue) when the battery is low, but I can’t see the LED when the headset is on my head.  Also, I still don’t know how much time I have if I see a red LED.

The sound isolation is excellent.  I don’t hear other sounds in the house.  My daughter came up behind me and I didn’t know she was there until she popped up next to me and scared the poop out of me.  I was also able to filter out my daughter’s requests to try on the headphones.

As a wearer of glasses, I can tell you that the URBN does not interfere with my glasses.  I am very comfortable wearing the URBN and my glasses.

Here are some specs:

  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • NFC Pairing
  • 40 mm drivers (Oh yeah!!!!!)
  • Takes about 2-3 hours to charge and up to 20 hours of listening pleasure.
  • 3.5” AUX IN port

With the AUX IN port, you can plug in a Chromecast Audio and stream music without worrying about interruptions from your phone (phone calls, text messages, notifications).

I definitely found something to allow private listening.  Now I just need to find something to do with the iBeats.

The URBN is available directly from Kinivo or from Amazon.  As of this writing, the URBN is listed on Kinivo’s website for $99.00, but Amazon has it listed for $99.99.

Here’s an incentive to get the URBN for the audiophile in your house before the end of the year.  If you use the code URBN2015 when ordering on either Kinivo.com or Amazon.com, you’ll get $30 off the URBN.  That’s almost enough to pay for a Chromecast Audio to go with it.