Since I began working here at AC back in September 2017, I’ve become the go-to person for reviewing headphones. I’ve never considered myself to be much of an audiophile, but after testing out countless headphones and earbuds over the last couple of years, I’ve begun to train my ears a bit and get a good feel for what sounds great and what should be left at the front door.
One pair of headphones I had the pleasure of reviewing this year was the Urabanears Pampas — the first-ever pair of over-the-ear headphones from Urbanears. You may not have heard of these before, but they’re easily some of the best Bluetooth headphones for the money.
The Pampas have sat at a competitive price of $150 throughout this year, but for Black Friday, Urbanears is lowering them to just $126. These are among my favorite headphones that I have right now, and if you’re in the market for a high-end audio package but don’t want to spend Sony and Bose prices, this is about as good as you can do.
High-grade headphones at a phenomenal price
The Urbanears Pampas are a flagship pair of headphones through-and-through, but without the high price tag found with options from Sony and Bose. The Pampas sound incredible, have a gorgeous fabric design, charge via USB-C, and get over 30 hours of battery on one charge. At this special Black Friday price, they’re my top headphone recommendation.
$149.99 $23.74 off
So, what makes the Pampas so great? A lot, actually. Let’s start first with the design.
Instead of a generic plastic design, the Pampas are mostly constructed out of fabric and leather. Sure, there’s a plastic frame to keep everything nice and sturdy, but the exterior is soft and welcoming in a way most headphones aren’t. It’s a nice change of pace, and it also makes the Pampas stand out from just about everything else.
Comfort is another strong suit for the Pampas. The flexible headband easily adjusts to all sorts of different head sizes, the earcups are nice and roomy, and they don’t weigh too much at just 260 grams. I also love Urbanears’ single knob for playback controls. You can move it left, right, up, down, and press it in to play/pause your music, change the volume, skip through songs in a playlist, and turn the headphones on/off. It may sound like a nightmare to cram so many functions into a single button, but it’s honestly one of my favorite implementations of playback controls for any headphones I’ve ever used.
Another design-win for the Pampas is the charging port. So many headphones continue to charge with an outdated Micro-USB port, but that’s not the case with the Pampas. Charging is handled over USB-C, and for someone like me where virtually all of my gadgets have converted to USB-C, it makes the Pampas fit into my lifestyle a lot more seamlessly compared to most of its competitors.
Alright, alright — let’s talk what you all care about — sound quality.
The Urbanears Pampas sound excellent. They do favor a more bass-forward profile, but it’s nothing that overpowers the rest of the listening experience. Music is loud, punchy, and thoroughly enjoyable. The biggest knock against the Pampas is the lack of active-noise-canceling, but between the passive canceling you get from the design and how good the audio is, you can comfortably take these in a coffee shop or any other busy area and still enjoy your music or podcasts just fine.
To add further praise, the Pampas also offer kick-butt battery life. They’re rated for 30+ hours of use on one charge, and in my testing, I found that claim to be very accurate. Depending on how often you use them throughout a given day, you should be able to easily get one to two weeks of use before needing to charge the headphones up.
Whew! That was a lot, I honestly can’t praise the Urbanears Pampas enough. They surprised the hell out of me when I first reviewed them, and I love whipping them out to listen to my favorite songs while working at the nearest Starbucks. They’re a bit more expensive than some other Bluetooth headphones you’ll find this Black Friday, but if you want a higher-class experience while still staying on a budget, this is what you need.