Photo voltaic-powered devices are nothing new — Logitech has offered keyboards you by no means need to plug in for over a decade now. However an audio headset the place barely-there photo voltaic cells mix into the design? Till this week, we’d solely ever tried a type of. Now, there are at the very least 4.
On Tuesday, Adidas introduced the RPT-02 SOL, a $230 pair of self-charging Bluetooth cans with Exeger’s Powerfoyle photo voltaic cells constructed proper into the recycled plastic headband (via Engadget). That’s the identical precise photo voltaic expertise as within the Urbanista Los Angeles solar-powered headphones we reviewed final yr, and so they additionally quote the identical 80 hours of “reserve” battery life, even in a pitch-black room.
We haven’t tried the Adidas headset but, however the photo voltaic tech completely labored when my colleague Jon Porter tried it within the Urbanistas. Even indoors, with out leaving them to cost within the solar, we noticed impressively low battery drain. “The beauty of the Los Angeles headphones is that you don’t really have to think about it,” Jon wrote. Adidas makes no point out of energetic noise cancellation (one thing the Los Angeles has) or any fancy audio codecs, nevertheless it does have IPX4 water resistance, a microphone, and a USB-C port for backup charging. And Engadget writes that their predecessor, made by Zound, had remarkably good sound.
Urbanista can also be now bringing the Powerfoyle panels to a set of true wi-fi earbuds (effectively, technically, their charging case), and an organization known as Blue Tiger additionally simply put what it claims is the “world’s first solar powered communications headset” on sale late final month, once more with the Powerfoyle cells and a noise-canceling growth mic. The Blue Tiger Solare costs $220.
I additionally noticed this upcoming POC Omne Eternal bike helmet, which makes use of the cells to energy a flashing rear security blinker.
It wasn’t a on condition that this tech would take off, even to this preliminary diploma. JBL crowdfunded a pair of headphones like these on Indiegogo again in 2019 however wound up canceling the challenge and handing out refunds. One other Indiegogo marketing campaign for solar-powered earbuds by an organization named Pearl Audio is presently “under review.”
However the tech really works, at the very least for low-power gadgets like these. And it’s very nice whenever you don’t have to consider charging devices.