I broke the Urbanears Pampas

by Volker Weber

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This did not take long. My Pampas Over-Ears from Urbanears are already kaputt. They are breaking at the weakest point:

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You can fold the headset if you want to put it inside a bag. It does not come with a protective case so you just have to throw it in your bag, and I am pretty sure it won't survive there for long. The hinge is broken on one side, and the headband on the other. In both cases it is the part below the fold.

If I would have to guess, I would say the gap between both parts is too small and you break the hinge, when you fold the earcup inwards. Since there is not enough space, the hinge blocks and something has to give.

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Zound Industries has two major brands: Urbanears and Marshall Headphones. Marshall has a matching headphone called Monitor with a sturdier metal construction. Older versions of the Marshall Major headphone would also break at the hinge, but Mid (on-ear with A.N.C.) and Monitor (over-ear) are excellent and very tough:

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This just reinforces my belief, that you need to test stuff for more than a few days. I would always pick Monitor over Pampas, even more so after I broke Pampas after having had it for only about six weeks. On paper Monitor is 100 € more expensive, but it currently sells for the same price as Pampas.

Update 12 June: Urbanears was quick to respond. They say I have a sample from the first production run, and that the issue has since been fixed. They are promising to send a new sample. I will keep you posted.

Update 06 July: I was distracted by other things for a while. Emailed Support a week ago and now have a new headset. From the looks of it, it seems to be constructed exactly the same way. Maybe it was an issue with the material. As Jim states in his comment, the headset does feel fragile, since you can easily twist it. Being flexible can be an advantage though.

Comments

I had these too, but felt they were extremely fragile. Maybe it was the very flexible headband, but I did also look at the hinges and they did not really inspire confidence. I do hope to see how they fixed the problem once you get your new pair.

Jim Rietveld, 2019-06-13

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