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A popular headphone maker just came out with the best wireless speaker I’ve ever tested
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Instagram / @urbanears After six years of making headphones, Urbanears has recently launched their first set of speakers.
The company sent me one of the higher-end models — called Baggen— to try out and I've been very impressed.
With an emphasis on aesthetics, connectivity, and sound quality, Urbanears makes a strong case for replacing a traditional stereo for most people.
The Baggen has a minimalist design that will fit into whichever room it's in easily. It comes in a handful of colors, some of them nontraditional for speakers. The model I tried was pink, and it drew the eye of the few people who have come into my apartment recently. I mean that in a good way; this speaker looks modern and more like a piece of furniture than audio equipment.
Flipping the speaker on its side reveals a place to plug in a power cable and an auxiliary input if you'd like to hook up a turntable or other analog wired device. The Baggen isn't portable. It has to be plugged in at all times, which differentiates it from most wireless speakers currently on the market, but there's a good reason for that.
Urbanears designed this speaker — and its smaller sibling, — to be connected together for multi-speaker setups. That can't work consistently if the speakers aren't always on and synced with one another, so it was a trade off worth making for audio options in this price range.
Speaking of connectivity, the Baggen supports every major wireless audio standard I've come across: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Chromecast, and Airplay are all options. For a majority of testing I connected via Bluetooth, which was easy enough to set up. I was able to connect to the speaker through Wi-Fi, too, but it took multiple attempts and required me to use Urbanears' app.
Looks and functionality aside, the most important part of audio equipment is how it sounds, and the Baggen is the best-sounding speaker I've tested to date. To be fair, its 0 price tag suggests it should sound excellent, but its clear that Urbanears spent a long time sweating the details. The aim of high-end speakers is to make music sound balanced — every instrument should be audible and distinct.
That was the case during my tests; I was able to pick up very small details from my favorite songs. Music from all genres, whether it was recorded in 1967 or 2019, sounded excellent.
For most people I know, the Baggen could easily serve as the only speaker they'd need. It's loud enough (too loud, at maximum volume for my small apartment) and sounds excellent. It's not going to replace a traditional stereo for real audiophiles, but that doesn't seem to be Urbanears' target market.
In alignment with its look, you should consider the Baggen to be a piece of furniture, something static that performs its function very well.
Regardless of how you like to listen to your music, or which genre you listen to, this speaker will likely impress you almost every time you use it.
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