The urBeats 3 are Apple’s in-ear offering as a potential upgrade for out of the box smartphone headphones and the Lightning connector EarPods shipped with the latest iPhones.
What’s included with the urBeats 3?
As with Beats products we have seen in the past, the unboxing experience is present once again with the urBeats 3. Everything you need is included from the ear tips with four size options, removable secure-fit wingtips, and a much-appreciated pocket-sized carrying case. The number of tips and wingtips offered to allow you to customize the fit to your liking based on ear shape and desired utility. The pocket-sized carrying case is always nice to see, and the one Beat’s has included is a high-quality silicone texture that not only protects the headphones during transport but allows you to easily insert and remove the urBeats quickly.
urBeats 3 Design
The urBeats 3 embraces a simplistic but modern design similar to the wireless Beats X, and continuous with the over-ear headphone line. The core components of the headphone are constructed out of plastic but still feel quite durable. The urBeats 3 is offered in two different models including a universal 3.5mm and Apple Lightning connector option, the 3.5mm model is offered in White, Black, Blue, Gray, while the Lightning models can be found in Matte Gold, Matte Silver, and Black. As an in-ear headphone intended for casual everyday use, the urBeats 3 excel in the looks department by remaining lowkey but sleek.
Some other subtle but important design touches include the same tangle-free cable found on the Beats X and magnetic earbuds. When coiled up and stowed away, the tangle-free wires did an excellent job for the most part while the magnetic ear buds work especially well when you might not want to listen to music but prefer to keep the headphones around your neck for quick access.
Both models also feature an in-line remote with built-in microphones for taking calls, controlling music, adjusting audio volume, and with Apple devices, enabling Siri through RemoteTalk.
How does the urBeats 3 sound?
Beats claims that the “Fine-tuned acoustic design delivers and exceptional listening experience,” and at the price point of the urBeats 3 would likely be a candidate for those looking for an upgrade from included smartphone headphones. From my experience, I found the sound quality to be decent but not impressive with a narrow soundstage and outspoken bass, but often lacking in clarity throughout the treble and mids. A strong bass is much characteristic to Beat’s lineup of headphones, and some may prefer the emphasis especially with hip-hop music, but there definitely could have been a better balance in the other areas as well. As acceptable as it is to have a certain level of the soundstage tuned to standout, the listening experience is definitely degraded when complimenting tones are drowned out. For the price, the urBeats 3 are a reasonable step-up from included headphones, but do not surpass some of the other offerings within the range.
Are the urBeats 3 comfortable?
Beats includes everything you need to try to find the most comfortable configuration with the urBeats 3. Although the four eartip sizes ensure the perfect fit, I found the comfort to be fine for regular listening periods but slightly uncomfortable after long periods of time. The ear tips perfectly rounded which can cause pressure points in some areas, and from past experiences, oval ear tips were seemingly the solution. Although everyone’s ear will be different, these were just some of my observations. The included wingtips are effective for active situations where the headphones may be prone to fall out in motion.
Are the urBeats 3 worth it?
After testing, overall impressions of the urBeats 3 are quite mixed. From a design standpoint, Beats has done a good job in the aesthetics, tangle-free wire, magnetic earbuds, and in-line remote with microphone, but from a performance standpoint, the urBeats 3 are mediocre at best. Although it is nice that Beats has included multiple ear tips, wingtips, and a carrying case, the price point still yields for reasonable expectations to sound quality. If you’re a fan of Beats products or the sound characteristics found in the bass emphasis, the urBeats 3 might be a solution, but I believe offerings from Klipsch for a similar price simply offer more when it comes to comfort and sound quality. If you’re in consideration of a wireless option from Beats however, the Beats X offered a surprisingly better sound experience from my testing despite sharing a similar design. The integrated W3 chip on the Beats X also brings a seamless connectivity experience for Apple users.
You can find a great selection of earbuds and headphones at Best Buy.