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If there’s one type of travel gadget we see again and again here at Vagabondish.com HQ, it’s headphones. Available in a million shapes, colors, and sizes, it’s often hard to separate the good from the bad.
But I’ve a bit of a soft spot for retro DJ style and culture, which is why the Urbanears Plattan headphones particularly piqued my interest.
First, the manufacturer’s lowdown … the Plattan headphones are touted as:
Full-size fashionable, functional, and stylish headphones
- Full-size headphone provides rich, secluded sound
- Features exclusive “zound plug” which allows a friend to plug in and enjoy music with the user
- Folds down to the size of your fist providing maximum mobility
- Features custom microphone and remote compatible with the iPhone and Nokia, HTC and Blackberry phones along with two extra cable extensions making the headphones compatible with a majority of all devices
- Available in 14 fashionable colors like Salad, Army, Ocean, and Chocolate
From the too-cool-for-school Urbanears.com website to the modern chic, Apple-esque product packaging, it’s clear the Plattan are intended to be a whole lot snazzier than your Momma’s headphones.
It’s hard not to like the ultra clean design of Plattan. It’s as though Fatboy Slim designed a pair of compact headphones with a touch of Scandanavian minimalism.
And, just to reiterate, they’re available in 14 colors like Salad, Army, Ocean, and Chocolate. (I know, I know … finally, someone’s dipped their toes into the Salad-colored headphones market.) Our light gray test model has an understated aloofness that says, “I’m thoroughly enjoying The Tragically Hip’s latest release from beginning to end right now. Please do not disturb me.”
As many Vagabondish.com readers are aware, I’m no audiophile. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a $5,000 and a $500 speaker. But I know what I like.
The Urbanears Plattan headphones provide good, rich quality sound, especially given the relatively small package and smallish price tag. The audio is a touch bass-heavy, but some minor EQ finnagling helps to remedy this.
We’ve tested other headphones at twice the price that boasted only half the sound quality.
The padded headband is a welcome reprieve from the typical, uncomfortably hard plastic bit that holds many cheaper headphone models together.
Independently adjustable left/right ear cups that swivel horizontally and slide vertically help provide an excellent fit.
My one minor gripe is that, after extended wear, the Plattan begin to feel too tight. This is an effect of the headband pulling the two sides of the headphones in together too strongly. On an entirely related note, I’m blessed with a head that is in bobblehead-like proportion to the rest of my body; that is to say, I’ve got an ample noggin. For folks with more average skulls, my sense is that this tightness won’t be an issue.
Pricing & Availability
Available now at Nordstrom, KarmaLoop.com, and other retailers for around $59 USD.
At a hair under $60 USD, the Urbanears Plattan are priced in the sweet spot between $20 blisterpack throwaway earbuds and $100+ noise-canceling, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink headphones from Sennheiser and the like.
Along with a relatively small form factor, retro cool styling and a variety of nifty color choices to “customize your listening experience” (did I really just write that?), we think the Plattan headphones are a definite winner for travelers. Recommended.