The Los Angeles headphones look great, but does the promise of never-ending power stack up?
Leading headphones brand Urbanista has launched the world’s first solar-powered wireless headphones. The Swedish audio brand hopes that the stylish Urbanista Los Angeles headphones will deliver “virtually infinite playtime,” never running out of battery when you’re least expecting it.
Urbanista Launches Solar Powered Headphones
The Urbanista Los Angeles could become a great step forwards for self-powered audio technology—but how effective their solar harvesting is hasn’t been put to the test by reviewers yet.
The company claims that the headphones can charge both indoors and outdoors, allowing the Los Angeles to provide a “nonstop audio experience.”
The Urbanista Los Angeles will generate three hours of playback after one hour of sunshine on a sunny day. That drops to two hours of playback on a cloudy day, but it’s enough to keep the music playing. Interestingly, the Los Angeles headphones will also generate power even while indoors, in a “well-lit room.”
Under the hood, the Urbanista Los Angeles uses a high-tech solar cell technology developed by fellow Swedish company, Exeger. Exeger’s solar material, Powerfoyle, can convert any form of light into power and can be printed directly onto plastic, opening up a new realm of self-charging products.
But if the thought of relying solely on the sun’s infinite rays doesn’t sit well with your audio requirements, the Los Angeles comes with 50-hour battery life by way of a 750mAh battery that you can charge using a USB-C cable.
The headphones come with Bluetooth 5.0, hybrid active noise canceling, ambient sound detection, on-ear detection, and of course, support for voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant. Audio comes from the 40mm neodymium drivers, which have a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response range.
Urbanista CEO Anders Andreen said, “Urbanista Los Angeles is everything we stand for as a brand, in a product. Bringing together innovation, sustainability and all the features you could wish for in a headphone, Urbanista Los Angeles is designed for someone who lives an on the go lifestyle.
Will the Urbanista Los Angeles Deliver the Power?
Visually, the Urbanista Los Angeles is similar to the company’s previous headphones, such as the tidy Urbanista Miami headphones released earlier in 2021. Fans and newcomers to the Urbanista brand won’t mind that a jot, as the Miami headphones look and sound great, with a similar 50-hour battery to boot.
How the Urbanista Los Angeles performs when put to the test is another thing. Self-charging headphones are an exciting step forwards for tech attempting to leave a smaller footprint, but it might take some time to perfect the formula.
Furthermore, while Exeger’s Powerfoyle solar cell material is exciting and full of promise, it isn’t the first time it has been seen on an audio product. JBL’s ill-fated Reflect Eternal headphones were launched with a similar buzz for their self-charging properties but never saw the light of day. That’s not to say that they won’t emerge at some point, but the long wait has no end in sight at the current time.