Not having access to electricity shouldn’t mean you’re left without earbuds to insulate you from the outside world. New buds from Urbanista Phoenix help ensure you’re never left without juice by, leveraging a charging case that’s built with a solar cell.
The Phoenix’s case is built with Powerfoyle solar cell materials so it’s constantly recharging when exposed to light, either indoors or outdoors. On their own, the earbuds get eight hours of playback, but the case has a battery reserve of 32 hours. Of course, if you’re stuck inside or run into a string of cloudy days, you can always just charge the earbuds traditionally with a USB-C cable.
These earbuds and their bulky case might not appeal to everyone, but could be an added convenience for those who already spend a lot of time outdoors. The only downside is that the case itself houses the self-charging feature, meaning you’ll still have to store the earbuds for some charging time in case you do run of out juice.
Standard features — The Phoenix earbuds aren’t out yet so we don’t have exact specs, but Urbanista shared a few details. The earbuds will have hybrid active noise cancellation and noise-reducing microphones for better call quality. You can also pair the earbuds with the Urbanista app to fine-tune the audio for your tastes.
The Phoenix model also has some of the common features you see in other earbuds, like touch controls, voice assistant, and multi-point connectivity. The earbuds are IPX4 water resistant, so they can handle sweat and rain just fine, but just don’t go fully in the water with them.
Second solar model — It’s not the first time Urbanista built solar charging capabilities into its audio gear. The company previously made its Los Angeles model, a wireless over-ear headphones with the same Powerfoyle charging tech on the headband. With solar cells on the headband, the design of the Los Angeles means it would constantly be exposed to sunlight when outside.
Urbanista isn’t the only company with the idea to incorporate solar charging into its headphones. JBL by Harman was working on a similar over-ear product that also uses Powerfoyle solar cells. The JBL Reflect Eternal exceeded its funding goal on Indiegogo, but eventually had to stop the project and refund all backers due to complications caused by COVID.
As for the Urbanista Phoenix, it does have an actual release scheduled by the end of the year. The Phoenix will come in black and pink colorways, and cost $149.