(Cybertech) – When it comes to charging accessories, we’re largely getting used to companies finally jumping aboard the USB-C bandwagon and being pleased with themselves for that level of progress.
There are other ways to innovate, though, and Urbanista claims to have taken an impressive leap of its own with its new Los Angeles headphones. They’re solar-powered, harvesting energy from ambient light to free you from charging altogether.
A solar panel built into the Los Angeles’ headband can charge them while you use them or while they’re turned off, from ambient light – with the rate of charging varying according to the quality of light. Outside, in sunshine, you could get three hours of listening from an hour in the sun, while an overcast day will cut that to two hours gained, and an indoor room lit artificially will just get the one hour.
That solar panel is made by Exeger (whose founder we interviewed on the Cybertech Podcast last year), and is more formally named Powerfoyle.
The best Lightning headphones 2021 for your iPhone or iPad
Top headphones capable of handling lossless 48kHz digital audio from Apple devices.
With a 50-hour base battery life and the option to charge traditionally if needed, it should make for a degree of versatility that’s really welcome, and Urbanista is unsurprisingly branding the playtime as “virtually infinite” if the weather’s on your side.
The headphones also feature active noise cancellation for better isolation while you’re listening, and on-ear detection to stop playing your music when you remove them.
This may bring back memories of the JBL Reflect Eternal project, which actually used the same Powerfoyle technology to offer a similar proposition. Those never made it to market, though, with JBL going so far as to refund those who pitched in to crowdfund them.
The Urbanista Los Angeles also lack a precise release date at this point, with pre-orders slated to go live at some point soon, but we do have a price for them – £169 or $199.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.