Urbanears Hellas review:

Wireless sports headphones with washable ear pads and good sound

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Urbanears Hellas are an attractively designed, lightweight, sweatproof wireless Bluetooth headphone with a removable headband and earpads that are washable. The headphones are pretty comfortable (for on-ear) and stay on your head securely, even while running. They have touch controls that work well and the sound is decent for Bluetooth. Battery life is good.

The Bad They look a plastic-y, and they work OK, but not great as a headset for cell phone calls. Material on earpads is slightly rough out of the box.

The Bottom Line The Urbanears Hellas are an appealing set of wireless workout headphones that can also be used for running and everyday use.

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

Urbanears' Hellas, a lightweight on-ear wireless Bluetooth sports headphone that retails for $119 (£80, AU$179) and comes in multiple color options, has a few things going for it.

First, it sits on your head securely, making it suitable for running or gym use, and is fairly comfortable for an on-ear headphone though it's a good idea to work it in a bit so it doesn't clamp down on your ears too firmly (the material on the earpads is slightly rough out of the box). It also has touch controls on the right earcup that work well. With a swipe of your finger you can raise and lower volume, skip tracks forward and back, and pause and play your music as well answer and end calls -- yes, the headphone has a built-in microphone.

The headphones come with a carrying/washing bag and a USB charging cable.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Another plus is that you can easily remove the earpads and headband and wash them by sticking them in the washing machine. A washing bag is included along with a USB charging cable, and battery life is good at 14 hours.

And finally, the sound is decent. I like their sound better than Urbanears Plattan Wireless, which looks similar but has a different headband design and costs $20 less.

I wouldn't say the Hellas sound great, but the sound is definitely a step up from an entry-level Bluetooth headphone. They sound fairly well balanced (the bass is ample but not over-accentuated) and offer a reasonable amount of clarity, though there's a touch of harshness in the treble. The on-ear design and cloth covered foam ear pads muffle ambient sound better than you'd think, but enough sounds leaks in for you to hear traffic if you're running or biking.

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