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Urbanears Stadion


Urbanears Stadion

The wireless Urbanears Stadion earphones have a unique look and feel with a crisp, clear sound, but exercise buffs motivated by big bass might be disappointed.


  • Pros

    Solid audio performance with crisp, clear high-mids and highs. Stylish, reflective design. Secure fit.

  • Cons

    Not for those seeking massive bass sound. Eartips don't seal off ear canal.

  • Bottom Line

    The wireless Urbanears Stadion earphones have a unique look and feel with a crisp, clear sound, but exercise buffs motivated by big bass might be disappointed.

By Tim Gideon

Neckband-style, exercise-focused wireless earphones are now a familiar sight, but Urbanears takes the design in a slightly different direction with the $99 Stadion. The earpieces don't seal off your ear canal, there's a coiled cable, and the band rests above the neck, against the back of your head. Like most Urbanears products, the design is stylish and functional, but if you're looking for a boosted bass experience to power you through your next workout, you'll probably be disappointed. The audio experience is solid—it's just not for those seeking a ton of bass.

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Available in black, blue, pinkish red, and white, all with reflective details to make you easily visible in the dark, the Stadion looks a little bit different than most neckband-style earphones we've reviewed. As mentioned, the neckband is more like a back-of-the-head band, resting higher up than your neck. The hard plastic section that sits against your head is also where the controls are located—a unique decision, as opposed to placing them on the cable itself. Coiled cabling—another eye-catching, unique touch—extends the earpieces to the ears. According to Urbanears, the Stadion is sweat- and moisture-proof, but there's no IP rating to confirm this.

There are three controls on the outside panel of the band—plus and minus buttons, and a central multifunction button. The plus and minus buttons control both volume (working in conjunction with your phone's master volume levels) and track navigation, which makes it easy to accidentally skip a track when you mean to only adjust the volume. The central button controls playback and call management.

Urbanears AudionThe Stadion's earbud-style earpieces are flat, with rubber covers that enter your ear canal slightly with a nozzle-like tip. However, this is not the same as having in-canal drivers, as only the rubber cover's nozzle enters the canal. This style of earpiece is often a recipe for weak bass response and uneven stereo images, which we'll tackle in the next section.

There's no denying that, once you have the earpieces in, they feel very secure and are ideal for working out. Many exercise buffs might also appreciate the fact that your ears aren't sealed off completely, allowing more outside noise in from your surroundings, which is especially useful for runners in urban environments.

The mic, located on the right earpiece, offers decent intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 6s, we could clearly understand every word we recorded, but the recordings had some minor audio artifacts, which is par for the course with Bluetooth earphone mics.

The Stadion ships with three sets of eartips with differently-shaped fins to secure the fit, as well as a micro USB charging cable and a padded pouch.

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Urbanears estimates battery life to be roughly seven hours, but your results will vary with your volume levels.


On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife's "Silent Shout," the lack of an in-ear seal takes its toll. The Stadion doesn't sound weak or particularly light on bass, but it's clear that the drivers are actually capable of more than we get to hear—sending sound through a funnel to the canal rather than placing the driver just inside of it changes bass response dramatically. The Stadion delivers a laudable thump, but if a mega-bass sound signature is what motivates you when working out, the Stadion doesn't have much on the competition.

Bill Callahan's "Drover," a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the overall sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on bass-forward earphones, but the Stadion perhaps has the opposite problem—the drums sound more like a polite tapping than an insistent thumping. There's no sense of deep lows in the drumming. Callahan's rich baritone gets a pleasant low-mids presence, however, and there's excellent definition in the high-mids and highs, lending his voice some crackle and added treble edge to the guitar strums.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," the kick drum loop gets plenty of high-mid presence, accentuating its attack and allowing it to cut through the several layers of the mix. But the sub-bass synth hits lack much of a punch, and the thump of the drum loop isn't terribly powerful. What we have a is a crisp, well-defined sound that accentuates the vocals, but is light on bass response for exercise.


The Urbanears Stadion is a good choice if you're looking for earphones that fit securely and look stylish. The bass response is dialed back a bit, but it's not thin or brittle, and the design lets in some ambient noise so you're aware of your surroundings. Anyone seeking a big bass sound will want to look at other exercise-focused neckband models. The Beats BeatsX, Jaybird X3, JBL Reflect Mini BT, and Skullcandy Method Wireless are all good alternatives that deliver a much stronger helping of deep lows to keep you moving.

Tim Gideon By Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, Audio

Contributing Editor Tim Gideon has been writing for PCMag since 2006. He specializes in reviewing audio products, and is obsessed with headphones, speakers, and recording gear. More »

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