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Sennheiser Urbanite XL review: A Beats competitor with quality bass and good clarity

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The Good The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a well-designed, comfortable to wear over-ear headphone that offers exciting, dynamic sound with quality bass. There's an integrated remote/microphone for calls (both an Android and iOS version of the headphone is available).

The Bad The nylon carry "pouch" is skimpy.

The Bottom Line The Sennheiser Urbanite XL is a well-designed Beats competitor that costs less and sounds as good or better.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Sound 8.0
  • Value 7.0

Meet the Urbanite XL, Sennheiser's new, hipper, more fashionable over-ear headphone that retails for $250 (available in the UK for £200) and comes in a few different color options. In Australia, the XL goes on sale in mid-November and will cost AU$399.

It's a little bit of a departure for Sennheiser, which has staked out more of an audiophile audience in the past. But Beats has had such a profound impact on the market that Sennheiser's decided to come out with a headphone with a little more flair that seems designed to appeal to the Beats audience.

A smaller, on-ear Urbanite retails for $50 less -- $200 (also available for £150 in the UK; AU$299 in Australia) and is appealing for those who don't to wear quite such a full-size headphone, particularly for mobile use.

Both models are comfortable to wear, but this XL model is arguably a bit more comfortable and it does a good job of passively seal out a decent amount of sound without clamping down on your head too firmly. The headphones fold up into a more compact form factor and they come with a carrying pouch, but it's pretty skimpy, which is a little disappointing.

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A smaller on-ear Urbanite is available $50 less. Sennheiser

While the headphones are mostly plastic, they do have metal hinges and seem sturdily built. They're not light for an over-ear model, but they aren't heavy either and are designed for both home and mobile use. A detachable, thick flat cable with an integrated remote and microphone is included and Sennheiser says both iOS- and Android-friendly versions of the headphone will be available (we tested the iOS-friendly version and call quality was decent using the headphones as a headset).

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The Urbanite XL folds up and comes with a skimpy carrying pouch. Sarah Tew/CNET

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