Urbanista Brisbane review
With its simple Scandinavian designs, decent sound quality, and affordable prices, Urbanista has carved a solid niche in the Bluetooth speaker and headphones market.
With Urbanista Brisbane, that trend has continued. This Bluetooth speaker is named after the third-largest city in Australia, continuing Urbanista’s tradition of naming products after major cities. It might not look particularly special, but it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sound quality.
We put this powerful portable speaker to the test to see just how well it performs – and we’re impressed. There’s no doubt you’ll see the Urbanista Brisbane in our round-up of the best Bluetooth speakers.
In terms of speakers, The Urbanista Brisbane isn’t one of the most eye-catching – which is both a problem and an advantage, depending on your perspective. It’s a subtle item that can be placed on a bookcase or cabinet so it doesn’t interfere with the decor, but its design is a little boring.
It weighs about 1 kg / 2.2 lbs and measures just over the length of an iPhone XS (about six inches) – just right to give you a sense of sturdiness without being too bulky. You can easily move it between rooms with one hand, but you probably wouldn’t pack it in a carry-on suitcase when traveling (unless you’re willing to sacrifice some clothes for your music).
However, that’s fine. Although the Urbanista Brisbane is advertised as a portable speaker with Bluetooth connectivity, we would likely use it mainly as a speaker for the home. Due to the lack of bumpers, we wouldn’t want to take it on any kind of rugged trip, but the IPX5 water resistance does mean that you can easily take it to the garden for your next barbecue, knowing that a little rain will not damage it.
The controls are located on top of the speaker. There’s a Bluetooth pairing button, a power button, and volume keys that double as rewind and fast forward buttons. With your fingers, you can feel each button, and the gaps between each button are large enough that it’s unlikely you’ll press the wrong one. However, the lack of lit-up buttons is a bit discouraging if you want to use it in a low-light party environment.
The device has a micro-USB port for charging and an AUX input if you want to listen wirelessly instead of using Bluetooth. These two are hidden behind a rubber cover that aids in splash-proofing.
Due to the 8000mAh capacity of the Urbanista Brisbane, the battery life is solidly reliable. Urbanista claims it lasts for up to 10 hours of continuous playback with a 90-day standby time.
The battery certainly lasts as long in use as Urbanista stated, but we did not have time to verify that number. Additionally, it only takes a few hours to recharge.
If you want the longest battery life, we recommend keeping the volume relatively low. However, as you’ll discover, even the lowest volume is quite potent.
Despite its small size, the Urbanista Brisbane packs a serious punch. There are two 10W drivers on either side of the device, creating a well-balanced soundstage that is wider than you might expect.
It doesn’t offer 360-degree sound as the UE Boom 3 does, but you could enhance its soundstage even further by pairing it with a second Brisbane speaker for true stereo sound. In the end, though, the Urbanista Brisbane has a lot of oomph on its own.
The bass is strong and smooth even at the lowest volume. Our traditional favorite for putting speakers through their low-frequency paces was Another One Bites The Dust, and it sounded powerful without overwhelming the other frequencies. Despite the deep, punchy bass and mids, the overall sound is even and smooth at all times. We continue our journey through Queen’s catalog with Under Pressure, which sounds crisp and detailed.
In the end, it is the volume of the Urbanista Brisbane that we are most impressed by. It’s compact but fills the room so well that it can be used as a great background music source for gatherings.
The Urbanista Brisbane wasn’t just about the bass during a family dinner when John Legend’s All of Me played in the background smoothly.
Even with music from a local artist – meaning it isn’t professionally remastered – it maintained a crisp sound that didn’t crackle or sound distorted, even at maximum volume.
The Urbanista Brisbane may not come with an accompanying app, but its default settings sound fine – even if some users desire the psychologically reassuring effects of an equalizer app, it is not necessary to enjoy a punchy portable speaker.
|Good battery life||Unremarkable looking|
|Second speaker pairing||Could be more rugged|
|Great audio performance|
The Urbanista Brisbane looks unexceptional and blends in well. With its crisp sounds and great volume levels, it’ll instantly impress you, while also blending seamlessly into your living room setup.
Although you shouldn’t expect to take this speaker on an outdoor trip, nor will anyone gush over its looks, you will enjoy the quietly confident level of sound quality – it may not sound quite as expansive as the UE Boom 3, but the Brisbane still does an admirable job.
In the end, the Urbanista Brisbane is a good buy for its price. There are other options, but they will cost much more. As a whole, this mid-range speaker is a great pick for anyone who wants the freedom of wireless listening without sacrificing sound quality – and that’s why we’ve included it in our roundup of the best Bluetooth speakers of the year.