Bluetooth headphones are just about the best accessory you can buy if you train frequently, but it’s not easy to find a pair that delivers on all fronts without spending upwards of £100. The Urbanista Boston headphones (opens in new tab) have their faults but if you can overcome their connectivity issues, they offer fantastic value for money at a price of just £60.
Let’s start in positive fashion with the Urbanista Boston’s good points. Undoubtedly their best feature is a rock-solid fit, with three options of buds to ensure you get a good match for your ears.
Even during fast runs or high-intensity exercise, the headphones stay in place, with the chunky battery block helping to keep the cord from flying around too much. The block, which is admittedly quite ugly, can also be tucked under the hem of a T-shirt to really stop the headphones from moving at all.
The headphones also have a built-in mic and a remote that can control your phone, and are water resistant so they won’t break down after running in the rain. They come in a range of colours with enticing names like Coral Island (blue), Sunset Boulevard (orange) and, most intriguingly/bizarrely, Dark Clown (black).
The sound quality is also decent considering the price. To my ear there was an emphasis on bass, with vocals sounding a little tinny and quiet, but the headphones were fine for listening to both music and podcasts when exercising in and outside. They’re also not completely isolating, which is useful for outdoor running and cycling.
At six hours, the battery life is solid enough, but you don’t get any indication of how much charge you have left when you turn the headphones on. Battery updates are a common feature on most Bluetooth headphones, and stop you having to track your usage to avoid running out of juice without warning mid workout.
The bigger problem is the Bluetooth connection. If you keep your phone or MP3 player on an armband, jacket pocket or belt-bag while exercising, it’s fine, but if you opt for a front trouser or shorts pocket the connection can be unusably unreliable during more active workouts where the phone moves a lot. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but it’s something you need to think about before starting your workout.
The Urbanista Boston headphones offer good value for money, with a great fit and decent sound quality, if you’re happy to work around the limitations of their Bluetooth connection. £59, buy on uk.urbanista.com (opens in new tab), available for £42.26 on amazon.co.uk (opens in new tab) (at time of review)
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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