Feb 12, 2014

[Gadgets] Urbanears Humlan Headphones

So I received another accessory for review from Digits Trading Company, this time being the Urbanears Humlan brand of headphones. I'm really more of an inner ear headphone kind of guy, but  was pretty curious how this unit would compare in terms of performance.

Plus it has such an outlandish red color.

The Urbanears Humlan headphones is an interesting new concept when it comes to headphones - a wash & wear option. It comes in a wide variety of colors including Tomato Red (my photos came out a little orange though), Clover Green, Coral Pink and Pumpkin Orange to name a few. It retails for about P2,250.0 locally and is available at various Digits Trading partners including The A-Shop, Digital Walker, Astrovision, Electroworld, and iStudio.

The wash & wear function is centered around easily detachable parts of the unit that are completely machine-washable. These are the points that come into direct contact with your head - the foam bits that cover the speaker units and a headband that completely covers the rest of the unit. The foam ear muffs snap on and off decently enough and the headband has snap buttons at both ends in order to keep it secure. I'm happy with how snugly the headband is secured but the foam muffs are a little tricky to get on fully.

I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the speakers have a sloped design that pushes things around in an odd way. The design at least makes sense in terms of giving the headphones a clear way of putting it on your head.

There's certainly a playful attitude about the whole Urbanears brand which says a lot about they want user to feel about their products. The packaging is full of little reminders about which part goes where, the fact that you can wash the other components and how there's additional information underneath where the headphones where. The same reminders are also added to the headphones themselves around the parts that snap on and off.

Beyond the washable bits, the only other bit that is notable is the fact that they also went with nylon cords instead of the practically traditional rubber or plastic ones, which is something I really liked when I first encountered it with the Native Union Monocle. This time around the cord is actually thinner than what was used for the Monocle but still seems just has strong.

Other features of the Humlan headphones include Zoundplug, which is the ability to easily share your music with another person. It's basically a socket that someone can connect to another headphone or speaker unit in order to listen to the same music. This sort of feature seems to be more and more common among audio devices today, which is sort of ironic given headphones sort of send the message that you don't want to deal with other people at times.

The Humlan headphones are fully compatible with mobile devices and it acts as both a sound output device and a microphone for hands-free conversations. Sound quality is pretty good, although at times things seemed a little muffled to me compared to other sound outputs. When using my HTC One, it actually sounded a bit better when I turned off my Beats Audio function, although that does leave the bass somewhat unsatisfying for me. My partner didn't experience the same thing while using the headphones though, so I'm continuing to run additional tests to be sure.

The Urbanears Humlan headphone set is cute and clever at the same time. The ability to wash key pieces of the unit doesn't seem like a big feature, but anyone who has used such headphones for extended periods of time can tell you how funky they can smell when worn long enough. This simple improvement gives these headphones greater utility, coupled with a few other features that are interesting but not necessarily essential to all users. Thus I'd go ahead and rate this as a 4 out of 5 for getting the job done.
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  1. Hi! Did your headphones came in with the washing bag and a warranty card? Hoping for your reply!

  2. Hi! Did your headphones came in with the washing bag and a warranty card? Hoping for your reply!

  3. Hey @pinaynatsinay!
    Sorry, but I don't recall receiving a washing bag at the time - the photographs above show what was exactly in the box. But I did have a warranty card, I think.