Review: Urbanears Tanto Headphone
Urbanears is a lifestyle audio brand from Sweden that specializes in headphones that look chic, sound great, and offer value for money. I’ve pretty much tried all of their products and one of my favorites is their on-ear lightweight cans, the Tanto. If you’ve owned a Sony walkman before and remember what the headphones look like, you’ll probably appreciate the design of the Tanto. It was purposely made to pay homage to the first headphones that became popular way back in the day. However it’s definitely not the same since this one comes in different colors, has more advanced features, and delivers much better sound quality.
Not your usual dull-looking black cans
If there’s one thing Urbanears is consistent with all of their products, it’s that they put a lot of effort into creating funky and nice-looking headphones. That philosophy is even present in how they package their stuff. The Tanto comes in a printed carton box with the same color as the headphones. Note that just like other Urbanears products, the Tanto comes in a variety of colors. This is actually something that they can take advantage of since some of their colors actually match the colors of the new iPod Touch and iPod Nano.
When you open the box, the first thing that will greet your eyes is the Tanto. The way they packaged it just makes you want to quickly pull it out and put it on, hehe. Anyway, it’s made mostly from a mix of durable plastic, metal, and foam. The earcups are retractable so you can adjust it to fit your head. The cable is covered with cloth, the same material used in the Urbanears Medis. Along the cable you’ll find the in-line remote control with microphone.
Unfortunately there’s no carrying pouch inside the box. I would have wanted one since the Tanto is very light which means it might not be able to stand a lot of abuse. Be careful when stuffing it in your bag. From my personal experience most headphones or earphones get broken because people are careless when they’re storing them.
It sounds surprisingly good… if you put it on right
The sound quality of Urbanears products have polarized a lot of audio fans. Some like em, some don’t. However based on my personal testing they actually sound good if you put them on correctly. The best example here is the Medis. If you don’t get a snug fit, it will sound like crap. However if you find the right silicon nudge that will lock it in perfectly, it will sound much better. The same can be said with the Tanto. In some angles the sound quality is horrible. However if it’s properly facing your ear then you’ll actually hear a very balanced, neutral, and detailed tone. The mids are warm and highs are clear (there’s a bit of treble roll off at the high end though). Bass might be a little too light for some people though but not everyone is a basshead.
Pricing and Availability
Everything considered, the Tanto is a great upgrade from the stock iPod and iPhone earphones. It lives up to the aspirations of Urbanears which is to offer stylish and affordable headphones that offer nice sound. It sells for a little less than Php2,000 in Digital Hub, Digital Walker, Beyond the Box, and the Urbanears Concept Store in Podium.