Review: Urbanista Lisbon

Not for the music lovers

Nice little earbuds are all well and good, but sometimes they can have consequences you don't want.

Published 2022-03-23 - 8:00 am
Urbanista Lisbon
Åsa Warme

The mint green Urbanista Lisbon gives me some funny memories from the late 80s, when the colour had its heyday, and it brings a smile to my face.

The case, which seems a bit plasticy, is small and snug, and hides two small earbuds. If I thought the Noc NS 1100 Air were big and bulky, these earbuds are the exact opposite. Very small and delicate, and I wonder to myself what the implications might be.

When I take Lisbon out of the case and put them in my ears, I hear a voice telling me that the earplugs are “connected”. There’s also touch control, which works brilliantly – if only I could remember which command does what – but my failing memory isn’t the earplugs’ fault.

Otherwise, there are no features or an associated app to make adjustments, but given the low price, that’s not something I expected either.

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The small, compact case hides two small, handy earbuds. (Photo: Åsa Warme Hallén)


Surprisingly, there are no tips in the box; they’re more like ear studs here. But each plug has a little rubber sleeve with a wing or hoop that makes them sit surprisingly well in my ears, and they’re so comfortable in fact that I quickly forget they’re there.

I usually find that earbuds hurt my ears a bit, and most of the time it’s because I have to find the right tips so that they fit snugly in the ear canals and don’t just hang out in front. But that’s what they do here.

Still, they actually stick well when I move – I wasn’t expecting that!

The sound of Urbanista Lisbon

The Lisbon has an open design, which means they let in a lot of background noise. Combined with the fact that the earplugs are so small and not tight, this makes the weight and pressure of the bass almost non-existent. The sound experience becomes thin and details disappear.

I tried to listen to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” on my playlist, but I was struck by the lack of thunder …

Darin’s “En säng av rosor” contains no thump-thump, and given the open design, it should have been a perfect match. I close my eyes and imagine it’s just me, Darin and his musicians in the room. But although it sounds airy, the detail disappears and the crispness of the guitar and the glorious depth that the cello is supposed to provide are not present.

In my attempt to bring out the cello, I press the right plug to push it a little further into the ear, which results in the volume being turned up. But the sound experience as a whole doesn’t improve.

As podcast or audiobook listening plugs, they work fine as you can use them for hours without any pain. As long as you’re in a quiet environment, or the rest of the family understands how to be quiet.

I usually always call someone to test the call quality and my daughter, who is usually very critical, had nothing to complain about. It sounded a bit bathroom-y, but otherwise she could hear everything I said. Or maybe she just wanted to get rid of me …

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The design means Lisbon doesn't fit as tightly as many other earbuds. However, the small hoop means that they sit securely in your ears. (Photo: Åsa Warme Hallén)


Urbanista Lisbon is a handsome and nice pair of earbuds that you can wear in your ears for a long time. Unfortunately, the construction and design have consequences for the music experience, which is generally thin, without punch and detail. They also let too much ambient sound through for them to function in any environment. However, if you appreciate a quiet moment to yourself with a podcast or audiobook, they work just fine.

And don’t worry: If mint green isn’t your favorite color, they’re also available in orange-red, yellow-beige, cherry and – of course – black.

Urbanista Lisbon

We think

Very comfortable and fit well in the ears. Thin and undetailed sound with no punch when listening to music.

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