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Urbanears Luma review

Urbanears offers attractive true wireless earbuds at a low price

Urbanears Luma review
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The Urbanears Luma demonstrate that you don't have to spend a fortune on true wireless earbuds to enjoy good sound quality and looks. The Urbanears Luma occasionally miss a beat with sound quality but it's a small concession to make at this price.

For

  • Simple setup
  • Look great
  • Very well priced

Against

  • Mids a little weak
  • Not adjustable fit
  • Oversensitive touch controls

It's clear from the outset that the Urbanears Luma true wireless earbuds take inspiration from the Apple AirPods, both in aesthetic and overall panache. Fortunately, they're a remarkably solid pair of earphones for the price. 

Launched alongside the cheaper Urbanears Alby range, these are the Swedish firm's first attempt at true wireless earphones and they're an impressive new entry to the fold. While they might lack some key features like active noise cancellation, they're a compelling alternative to more well-known brands and will save you a fair amount of cash along the way. 

The Urbanears Luma have a lot in common with the Apple AirPods, eschewing any adjustable ear tips – a minor issue, depending on the size of your ears – in favor of a one-size-fits all approach. These buds sport a protruding ear stem design reminiscent of the AirPods, with an attractively simple appearance overall. Cheap as they are, the Luma earbuds don't feel poorly made. The case, as well as the earpieces themselves, is well-built, smooth and suitably classy – if a little more lightweight than the competition. 

They’re also splash-resistant, with IPX4 protection, meaning they're suitable for working out too. You won't have to worry about rain or excessive sweating with these earbuds and a snug fit means they're unlikely to fall out any time soon. 

Controls are dictated by touch-sensitive areas on the outside of each earbud, allowing you to control your music's playback and any accompanying phone calls. Best of all, the earbuds also have wear-detect sensors built-in, meaning they auto-pause your music the moment you remove an earbud.

Urbanears Luma review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bass-heavy music is what sounds best with these wireless earbuds, but mostly everything sounds fairly crisp and appealing. The soundstage is welcoming and warm, although the mids are a little weak when taking in classical music and more orchestral pieces.

Overall, while the Urbanears Luma don't offer noise cancellation features like the Apple AirPods Pro, and they don't feature a ton of extra features, they're still immensely appealing. They look good, take seconds to get started with, and the sound quality is good enough for most casual listeners.

Urbanears Luma price and release date

The Urbanears Luma were released on August 1, and are available to buy for $99.99 / £79.99 / AU$180, making them a considerably cheaper alternative to the Apple AirPods. They're generally cheaper than most other true wireless earbuds out there, although they do lack active noise cancellation, unlike others in their class.

There's a choice of four colors for the Urbanears Luma: Charcoal Black, Ultra Violet, Dusty White, and Teal Green. It's early days for these new earbuds, but we'd expect to see some price reductions for the black and white variants further down the line, with quirkier colors keeping their RRP for longer. 

Urbanears Luma review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

The Urbanears Luma earbuds look pretty nice. They're made purely of moulded plastic with no ear tips to adjust or swap out, which may be an issue for some ears, but should be fine for most users. While they're nothing to boast about in terms of the materials used, they look good yet unassuming in your ears. The Urbanears logo is embossed on the sides of each earbud, but it’s not obtrusive or overly noticeable.

Each earbud also has touch-sensitive controls. These are used to control music playback, as well as accept or reject phone calls. They're a little fiddly and oversensitive at first, and while we found ourselves getting used to them after a while, the lack of tactile feedback is disappointing. Annoyingly, there's no volume control here, though there is voice assistant support. 

The Luma earbuds also feature wear-detect sensors that automatically detect when you take an earbud out, saving you the hassle of pausing a track manually. It’s fairly accurate, too.

The Urbanears Luma come with a flip-top charging case that's the same color as the earbuds. It has a small fabric handle that's useful to grip onto to avoid the slippery nature of the case itself. The case is small enough to toss into your bag or your pocket. Don't expect any indication of battery life on the outside of the case though. For that, you'll need to open the charging case. 

Urbanears Luma review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

Urbanears is surprisingly shy about sharing many technical specifications for the Urbanears Luma with only vague information about its 13mm driver gleaned from elsewhere. Fortunately, while the Urbanears Luma are clearly marketed at those looking for good looks over audio quality, you'll still be impressed by how they sound – at least when you consider the price tag.

Bass sounds suitably punchy, with Childish Gambino's Feels Like Summer cutting through in an immediately appealing way. That's a similar story for any modern pop or R&B, with The Weeknd's Blinding Lights sounding similarly tight and lively.

We noticed a drop with orchestral music, though. These higher frequencies lack a lot of detail, and the sound comes across as far more subdued. The audio isn’t poor by any means, and shouldn’t bother most of you, but it's not as strong or as exciting to listen to here.

Whatever your preferred genre, though, the lack of any equalizer app for you to tweak the settings means you won’t be able to calibrate them for different styles of music – as you would with the Jaybird Vista earbuds. However, if you simply want to listen to music on your commute or during a workout, and you like a good strong beat, the Urbanears Luma still scratch that itch.

Urbanears Luma review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life and wireless connectivity

Battery life comes in at five hours of continuous playback, with the charging case offering an additional 20 hours – for a total of 25. A fast charge mode means you can get back to enjoying music fairly quickly too. 

Pairing is speedy, taking seconds to do. While you can't pair each bud independently, we didn't suffer any dropouts while testing these earphones other than when removing an earbud. 

Should I buy the Urbanears Luma?

Urbanears Luma review

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy them if...

You're on a budget
For $100 / £80 / AU$180, you really can't go wrong with the Urbanears Luma if you want budget-friendly true wireless earbuds. So simple to use and sounding mostly pretty good, they're an ideal purchase for many.

You want simplicity
The Urbanears Luma just work. They might lack volume controls, but other than that, they offer everything you could expect for the price, and they take seconds to set up.

You want good looks
Looking suitably classy (if feeling a little plasticky), they're going to look good during your workout or walk. The lack of cables mean you won't have to worry about them getting in the way either.

Don't buy them if...

You listen to a lot of instrumental music
The Urbanears Luma sound mostly pretty good, but the understated mids when listening to classical music is noticeable. It won't bother everyone, but it's not ideal.

You need adjustability
The lack of an adjustable fit on the Urbanears Luma means they won't be for everyone's ears.

You want an expensive finish
The Urbanears Luma feel good and comfy, but they don't feel expensive because, well, they're not. If you want to feel like you own premium earbuds, these aren't for you.