Urbanears Plattan Headphones (Review)

Urbanears Plattan Headphones (gray)

If there’s one type of travel gadget we see again and again here at Vagabondish.com HQ, it’s headphones. Available in a million shapes, colors, and sizes, it’s often hard to separate the good from the bad.

But I’ve a bit of a soft spot for retro DJ style and culture, which is why the Urbanears Plattan headphones particularly piqued my interest.

The Skinny

First, the manufacturer’s lowdown … the Plattan headphones are touted as:

Full-size fashionable, functional, and stylish headphones

  • Full-size headphone provides rich, secluded sound
  • Features exclusive “zound plug” which allows a friend to plug in and enjoy music with the user
  • Folds down to the size of your fist providing maximum mobility
  • Features custom microphone and remote compatible with the iPhone and Nokia, HTC and Blackberry phones along with two extra cable extensions making the headphones compatible with a majority of all devices
  • Available in 14 fashionable colors like Salad, Army, Ocean, and Chocolate

Urbanears Plattan Headphones
The Many Faces of Plattan

In Detail

From the too-cool-for-school Urbanears.com website to the modern chic, Apple-esque product packaging, it’s clear the Plattan are intended to be a whole lot snazzier than your Momma’s headphones.

Styling

It’s hard not to like the ultra clean design of Plattan. It’s as though Fatboy Slim designed a pair of compact headphones with a touch of Scandanavian minimalism.

And, just to reiterate, they’re available in 14 colors like Salad, Army, Ocean, and Chocolate. (I know, I know … finally, someone’s dipped their toes into the Salad-colored headphones market.) Our light gray test model has an understated aloofness that says, “I’m thoroughly enjoying The Tragically Hip’s latest release from beginning to end right now. Please do not disturb me.”

Audio Quality

As many Vagabondish.com readers are aware, I’m no audiophile. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a $5,000 and a $500 speaker. But I know what I like.

The Urbanears Plattan headphones provide good, rich quality sound, especially given the relatively small package and smallish price tag. The audio is a touch bass-heavy, but some minor EQ finnagling helps to remedy this.

We’ve tested other headphones at twice the price that boasted only half the sound quality.

Construction

The padded headband is a welcome reprieve from the typical, uncomfortably hard plastic bit that holds many cheaper headphone models together.

Independently adjustable left/right ear cups that swivel horizontally and slide vertically help provide an excellent fit.

My one minor gripe is that, after extended wear, the Plattan begin to feel too tight. This is an effect of the headband pulling the two sides of the headphones in together too strongly. On an entirely related note, I’m blessed with a head that is in bobblehead-like proportion to the rest of my body; that is to say, I’ve got an ample noggin. For folks with more average skulls, my sense is that this tightness won’t be an issue.

Pricing & Availability

Available now at Nordstrom, KarmaLoop.com, and other retailers for around $59 USD.

Bottom Line

At a hair under $60 USD, the Urbanears Plattan are priced in the sweet spot between $20 blisterpack throwaway earbuds and $100+ noise-canceling, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink headphones from Sennheiser and the like.

Along with a relatively small form factor, retro cool styling and a variety of nifty color choices to “customize your listening experience” (did I really just write that?), we think the Plattan headphones are a definite winner for travelers. Recommended.

27 Responses

  1. forest

    after reading many reviews of these headphones, i think i’m going to go and purchase some today. i love the idea of the zound plug.

    and erick, the plattan headphones fold into “the size of your fist”, so they are pretty portable.

    Reply
  2. SecurityLoon

    Purchased these today and I’m impressed! They aren’t the best sounding but having the inline mic is an awesome feature!

    Reply
  3. Caroline Castro

    i mean the most important thing here is the sound though..ultimately. im definitely not an audiophile either but i like my classic rock to sound like something other than muffled bass. ive read that everything except the sound quality is great about these headphones on other review sites…can someone who has them and listens to more than bass-heavy music tell me otherwise?

    Reply
  4. forest

    @Caroline Castro

    these headphones sound only mediocre. their bass response is loud, but muddy and chances are you won’t like it. they are however very stylish and the mic + remote and zound plug are handy. you sort of have to sacrifice sound for style with the urbanears, so only get them if you care more about style than sound.

    Reply
  5. Paxo

    to be honest i think all the discussion on sound is over the top – i found it fine for the price and style.

    My problem was that the remote didnt work with HTC Desire. Trying to skip tracks made phone calls instead – embarrasing when you keep ringing the same person.

    Had to bring them back

    Reply
  6. Amanda

    went into apple and purchaced on a complet whim mostly because they were purple and someone else i knew had got them and said they were good. that was an understatement. great headphones. i put them on and jumped around for 15 minutes listening to upbeat music! AWESOME headphones. worth it

    Reply
  7. nutchanun Poolworaluk

    it squeezes your head and ears when you wear for a long ammount of time :(

    Reply
  8. Han Bigsby

    These headphones are the tits. Great sound, and they look good. Obviously they aren’t the Beats by Dre, but you’re also not paying $200 for them. For the low price these are the best headphones I’ve listened to.

    Reply
  9. Summer

    why mine sounds strange if im not press the little buttom on the headphone. I thought that should be the microphone. anyone can help???

    Reply
  10. Laura

    great sound and there neat but BY GOD they are uncomfortable ! at first they seem fine but when you wear them over long periods your ears will actually ache ! my advice Dont buy !

    Reply
  11. Blink

    Initial reaction was they are great – but one set (we have 2) broke after 1 month of average use – cord appears to have worn out/spliced where it meets the part that gets inserted into the music device. I know they’re cheap but that’s ridiculus and of course, it failed right after the return period for the store expired and does not appear to be covered by the warranty.

    Reply
  12. biggeneralg1

    these are almost perfect only thing id say is that it leaks music out terribly !
    honestly the headphones are alomsot like a pair of loudpseakers as you could hear all the music alomost word for word.which therfore means you have to turn it down in public as you will be frowned upon ,obvuiously.
    just because of that id give it 8/10.

    Reply
  13. m

    They broke 2 monrhs after buying them. I didn’t even treat them bad, I was peacefully listening to music and they just suddenly stopped working on one side. I really hope I get a replacement because if not what a waste of 60€!
    Other than this they were lovely while they lasted

    Reply
  14. rmadrid

    I have this headphones and they r great I got them for 40 dollars,but now they are at 60 so get them now. I heard a 300 dollar beats 3 days ago and the urbanears are better in everything, sound,texture, these have a microphone,
    Pause, and go button and r very comfortable best 40 buck I had ever spend

    Reply
  15. Maria

    I just got the Urbanears Plattans. They are perfect. The music was loud and clear. I just love them. Nice and snug against my ears. Comfortable.

    Reply
  16. Emma

    Really awesome headphones – love the look, the cord has a cloth feel to it so they dont tangle. Really really good sound when i listen on my ipod, but when i use it on my laptop (Sony vaio) it only works if its half unplugged or I have to hold the button. Any ideas why?

    Reply
  17. Doris

    @Emma and @Summer
    When you don’t have a apple, blackberry or HTC the microphone does not work. So you have that part you put in your mobile, or computer. It has 3 rings, you should have 2 rings, i have an extra part, you have to plug it in and you have a ‘plug’ with 2 rings.
    My plug was broken when i got him. A lot of headphones break after a while, you can make them by put a new plug on it but than you have to solder it… And you have to have a plug you can solder.

    Reply
  18. Shamima

    I love those headphones n got a cool burgundy colour but was disappointed when i tried them. Although it blocked the noise from outside they also worked as speakers. Everybody around me could hear what I was listening to. The only way this did not happen was if I turned the music so low that I could hear the outside more than the music. Anybody had the same experience? The shop tells me that this is common with most headphones. I personally think they were talking a whole load of crap.

    Reply
  19. colm folan

    I bought a set of white plattan headphone for a Christmas present for my son. within a few weeks I had to replace them as one side had lost sound completely.
    The replacement came with a minimun of fuss- great so far!

    Then the replacement set lost sound as well- we checked it out on other devices so it wasn’t “fluff” in the socket!- again I sent off the faulty headphones to be replaced- which were replaced with the minimum of fuss.

    The THIRD set is now faulty- these headphones have nearly cost as much in postage to replace, as they were to buy. Not a satisfied customer at all.

    I believe that there is a major design/production flaw- would be interested in how many others have had the same problems with these headphones.

    Reply
  20. Justin

    I just bought a pair of these. I bought them with some of the money I got from selling my Beats Studio headphones – I wanted something more modest and minimal, that also had good sound.

    Frankly, I’m disappointed. It might just be because I had been used to the Studios. My $20- Skullcandy earbuds have better sound quality and clarity than these.

    They’re stylish, and the microphone is nice, but the sound is not great. Seems just slightly better than the sound coming out of my Macbook’s speakers, to be honest.

    Reply
  21. Jennifer

    I bought these a few hours ago. I love the sound, but it gets very uncomfortable and soon started hurting my ears. I had to constantly take them off and on because it was really tight on and small. Not worth $60 but I got mine on sale at Nordstrom for $38… So I guess I didn’t feel too bad about it.

    Reply
  22. Rob

    Heard these cans a few times in Department Stores, thought they sounded great for the money, not muddy in the least, with good mids & clean highs, slightly shouty quality in the lower treble, upper mids & very low bass is down a bit, would still buy a pair, great looks & very portable.

    Reply
  23. laura

    Had the same pair for over 2 years, still going strong, and I wear them at the gym 5 days a week, just ordered pumpkin ones and can’t wait… The sound is decent, they are 59 dollars, I’m happy with them enough to order another pair.

    Reply
  24. Paul

    I can only say good things about these headphones. I like them very much because of loudness and great comfortable use. Comparing them to Sony MDR-ZX300 I find they are more practise and cheaper than Sonys.

    Reply

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