I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the wireless earbud market is oversaturated with the same products in different shells. That makes what Urbanista is doing quite intriguing and refreshing. The company has unveiled a new pair of wireless solar-powered earbuds called the Urbanista Phoenix, which converts solar energy into listening time.
Urbanista first brought this concept to wireless audio in their solar-powered headphones, which had a panel lined in the headband that would catch the light while you were out and about. The idea was that you would never truly need to charge the headphones since the simple act of wearing them allowed you to keep a full charge for what was essentially endless listening.
Cut to now, Urbanista has brought that design and incorporated that same useful solar technology into wireless solar earbuds. Unlike the solar headphones, the Phoenix earbuds don’t carry small panels in the stems – rather, the Powerfoyle panels are lined in a somewhat unwieldy case. Of course, adding the panels to the earbuds themselves would likely prove to be inefficient, given the more real estate you have on a solar panel, the more energy you can gather.
The downside of this understandable approach is that the user would need to make sure the charging case is left out to gather energy. Urbanista claims that just about any light will charge the solar earbuds, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. As long as you can see the charging case, it should be gathering juice from the surrounding light.
In contrast to the headphones developed by the company previously, you would never be able to wear these for more than the 36 hours Urbanista claims the solar-powered earbuds can get. Since the case is equipped with the panel, you’d need to remove the buds every so often when the charge depletes. The Phoenix earbuds can play continuously for up to 8 hours. With the case on a single charge, you can keep listening for up to 32 hours (via The Verge). Thankfully, the case can charge over USB-C as a sort of backup plan if you can’t get a good enough charge off of pure sunlight.
The Phoenix earbuds offer IPX4 sweat resistance, which means decent protection. Along with that, the buds have Bluetooth 5.2 and come with multipoint pairing support, which allows multiple device connections at one time. Additionally, Urbanista stuffed hybrid ANC into the Phoenix earbuds, as well as a transparency mode.
Urbanista’s Phoenix earbuds won’t be available for a couple of months. When they do go on sale, you’re looking at around $149 for the solar-powered earbuds, which come in a black and pink colorway.
More on earbuds:
- The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are Bluetooth LE Audio-ready and pack 3D audio for $229
- Pixel Buds Pro Review: This is what we’ve all been waiting for
- Bluetooth LE Audio standard has been finalized, ready for Android 13 with some big improvements
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