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Urbanista London earbuds are cheap AirPods rivals with wireless charging

(Image credit: Urbanista)

Swedish lifestyle audio brand Urbanista has just announced London, a pair of noise- cancelling wireless earbuds, complete with wireless charging case. And while they look strikingly similar to a well-known and hugely popular Apple product, they're actually a whole lot cheaper than the AirPods Pro

As regular readers (and anyone interested in portable music) will know, the category of best wireless earbuds is a hotly contended one, but the AirPods Pros are among the pricier pairs, at £249 / $249 / AU$399.

Don't fancy forking out for those but still want the look – and apparently, the features? The Urbanista London include noise-cancelling tech just like the AirPods Pro, but here's the thing: they're a whopping $100 / £120 cheaper. That pricing also makes them some of the most affordable noise-cancelling earbuds we've seen with a true wireless design.

According to Urbanista, battery life comes in at 25 hours in total – that's five hours from the earbuds themselves, and a further four charges from the case, which can be charged wirelessly on a Qi-certified mat (or via USB-C) making them very similar to the AirPods Pro in terms of stamina.

Urbanista's new offering comes in four colourways: midnight black, dark sapphire (navy), rose gold, and white pearlescent.

(Image credit: Urbanista)

An IPX4 waterproof rating means the London earbuds should withstand a little sweat or rain, and the active noise cancelling (ANC) feature promises to completely switch off the outside world 'at the press of a button' – so it's unclear whether the 'stem squeeze' function (as seen on the AirPods Pro) is available here.

The Urbanista London earbuds also have a built-in ear detection technology that is programmed to pause when the sensors detect that you've removed one bud from your ear. The music will stop playing completely when both earbuds are removed.

If you want to buy a pair, you'll have to wait until 25th May, when they'll be priced at £129 / $149 (approximately AU$230, although pricing for this region is yet to be set in stone).

Whether these in-ears stand up under scrutiny when compared to the AirPods Pro – or indeed, What Hi-Fi? Award winners like the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 and Sony WF-1000XM3 – for features, user experience and sound quality remains to be seen, but for that money, the tech onboard here is intriguing...

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.