“Humlan…is an on-ear headphone for those of you who appreciate fresh laundry as much as you do good sound.”
It’s rare I’ll start a review off with a quote from the company’s website, but I had to call attention to that line. I mean, I think I appreciate both? But this is the first time fresh laundry and good sound have applied to the same item. The Urbanears Humlan headphones are washable, in part, meaning they’ll always look good, and you won’t have order replacement pads after prolonged use (or after letting the wrong person borrow them).
We’ll start with the washability, since that’s obviously the product’s focus. The pads for the earphones and the cover for the headband snap off quite easily, and can be tossed into the washing machine; no more worries about germs, grease or that gunk you put in your hair. You may think you don’t need this, and a lot of headphones don’t. But with the cloth materials used and the bright colors available, this will help them retain their brand-new look.
Of course, it would be unwise to buy headphones simply because you can keep them clean, so Urbanears throws in some additional functionality. You’ll get an inline mic/remote for accepting calls and fast forwarding / rewinding your music. And since music is better shared (well…depending on your taste in music), Urbanears includes a Zoundplug in the right can. This is basically just an additional headphone port that allows you plug another pair of headphones into yours.
And, of course, the traditional Urbanears look applies to the Humlan headphones, as well. They’re almost entirely one solid color, in this case available in citrus, forget-me-not, julep, clover, cobalt, coral, dark gray, indigo, lilac, pumpkin, tomato, black and white. It makes for a rather striking design, and there’s bound to be a color for most everyone.
The Urbanears Humlan headphones do have a few issues, however. First the cord has habit of bunching up and wrinkling in an odd way. This hasn’t affected the audio, but it is unsightly. Second, the cans don’t pivot at all to fit your ears. They’re angled to provide a natural fit, but if it’s off for you, it’ll remain off. And finally, the audio is…okay. If you’re used to Apple’s earbuds or earpods, you’re good. But if you’re looking for a significant upgrade, you’re not going to get it. Separation isn’t all that great, and you’re going to be missing some of the detail you’d pick up with headphones running twice this much, to start.
Still, if you just need a pair of headphones to get you through a daily bus/train commute, or if you’re looking for a light, comfortable (and sanitary) option for the kids, Urbanears Humlan is a good choice.
Provides: Stereo audio reproduction with in-line music control / microphone for iPhones
Minimum Requirements: Audio device with 1/8 audio jack, iOS device for in-line controls