When it comes to headphones, it’s hard to beat on-ear or over-ear cups to get the most immersive sound quality, but the trade off tends be lack of portability. While larger earphones offer more power and tend to block out background noise better, they can really eat up a lot of backpack space and are usually too bulky to wear around the neck. The smart folding design of the Urbanears Plattan headphones resolve this issue quite handily.
Using thin metal wire frames to connect the earcaps to the headband, the set folds into itself to be not much larger than two smartphones stacked on top of each other. The sound quality is vastly superior to your average $20-30 headphones, and this combined with the plush, snug-fitting comfort of the set makes the $70 easily worth the cost in terms of durability and usability. Optimized for use with Apple products, the Plattan model features a remote and microphone attached to the fabric cord so that you can navigate your music and make use of voice commands without removing your device from your pocket.
One thing that took me entirely be surprise with the Plattan is what they call the Zound Plug, an additional 3.5 mm jack on the left earcap that allows someone else to plug into what you’re listen to, so you can share music without disturbing anybody else around you. Use of the Zound Plug doesn’t deteriorate sound quality in the slightest, so it can even be used as a makeshift extension cord if you need more than 47” of wire.
Which brings me to my first complaint about the set, the length of the wire is great for use with phones, MP3 players, and other portable devices, but render the Plattan headphones not very useful with other devices. Sitting at my desk using them to listen to music on my desktop or for gaming, turning my head often resulted in the headphones becoming quickly disconnected from my desktop PC. I love the choice of durable fabric for the cord, resembling a high-grade shoelace, but I tend to prefer some extra length from my headphones.
Take into account that my head is somewhat larger than the average, but while the Plattan headphones feel like they fit really well, if used long term to watch a movie or for extended listening, they started to feel tight and like they were squeezing a little bit. I would definitely recommend the feel of the earcaps for a commute to work, less so for a flight or road trip.
Overall, the Urbanears Plattan fit their price range very accordingly. If you want to take a step up from low-end models in terms of sound quality, construction, and comfort without getting into top-shelf professional DJ-style headphones, the Plattans will serve your needs well. From treble-heavy classical to the buzzing rumble of dubstep, the Urbanears Plattan handle the task admirably.
- ZoundPlug allows for simple music sharing with any other 3.5mm jack headphones
- Strong, fabric cord ensures prevention of wires becoming damaged
- Folding design allows for ease of transport in travel bags or cargo pockets
- 47” cord makes use with non-portable devices a near impossibility
- Snug fit can become painful with prolonged usage
- With the compact design, some kind of carrying case would help protect from damage inside a crowded backpack
Urbanears Plattan Headphones are available on Amazon for $64.99.
Born in the Midwest, living in the Southwest, Michael Radon grew up wanting to make video games for a living before finding his calling as a writer. Though he often heads out on spur-of-the-moment adventures with little to no preparation, he's just as sure to remember his toothbrush as he is at least two portable consoles, a laptop and five to ten games on his person at all times just for those lulls in the action where he can squeeze in a few levels of gaming.