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Urbanista’s solar-powered headphones promise “virtually unlimited” playtime

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Urbanista has promised “virtually unlimited” playtime with its latest Los Angeles headphones, a set of solar-powered over-ears said to be greener for the environment.

The Los Angeles headphones are the first to use Powerfoyle – a solar-cell material developed by Sweden-based Exeger – to draw power from natural and artificial light sources. The cans are said to constantly charge as long as they’re exposed to light; the brighter the better, says the company.

The solar strip itself is built into the headband, making it almost invisible. How effective is it? Well, Urbanista told Wired that an hour of sunlight will work out to roughly three hours of playtime, while an hour in cloudier conditions will generate two hours.

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As for indoor listening, the company says ambient light from a well-lit room will keep the cans charging, but there’s also a 50-hour, 750mA battery onboard.

Apart from that, the cans appear identical to Urbanista’s Miami model, featuring active noise cancelling and “on-ear detection” which pauses playback when the cans are taken off your head. They also charge with USB-C and connect via Bluetooth 5.0.

Urbanista’s Los Angeles headphones aren’t available just yet but will be priced at £169 ($199) and come in their own carrying case.

One of Urbanista’s potential competitors looks to be JBL, which ran an IndieGoGo campaign for its solar-powered Reflect Eternal headphones back in 2019. However, these are also yet to launch, as JBL reported “major delays” in December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Backers of the Reflect Eternal headphones have been offered refunds.

Learn more at urbanista.com

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Date: 19 April 2021
Author: Daniel Seah