Swedish audio maker Urbanista has lifted the lid on a new pair of true wireless headphones with a charging case that can only run on solar power.
Following the launch of Urbanista Los Angeles in-ear headphones last year, the brand has applied a similar design philosophy to its new wireless Phoenix headphones, which promise to do away with the need for restrictive cords and charging cables thanks to a case that continuously recharges when exposed to all forms of external or internal light.
Given how effective the Los Angeles charging technology proved to be in testing, we’re less skeptical about the Phoenix’s claim to be the first true wireless headphones powered by solar power than we could have been. Still, it is worth mentioning that the need to expose their case in sunlight (i.e. the part that normally sits in your pocket) is a big disadvantage compared to the Los Angeles setup where the headband houses the most important solar panels.
The headphones themselves aren’t sloppy, though. Phoenix features hybrid active noise cancellation and noise reduction microphones that filter out ambient sounds – including an Apple-like transparency mode AirPods Pro headphones – while they also boast a playtime of eight hours and a total battery reserve of 32 hours (which are pretty good numbers in today’s market).
They also have an auto-off feature, as well as touch controls, voice assistant support, IPX4 sweat resistance, and USB Type-C charging (in case you find yourself on a solar eclipse).
As for its appearance, the Phoenix comes in two colors: Midnight Black (black) and Desert Rose (pink). And while they’re not the most inventive-looking headphones, their AirPods shape and custom-fit silicone tips are very contemporary.
Price-wise, the latest Urbanista buttons will retail for $149 / £129 (about AU$220), which puts them well into the mid-range, in line with the tastes of Beat Studio Buds — but their novelty value as the world’s first solar-powered wireless headphones could give them an edge over the competition.
We will be testing Urbanista Phoenix as it becomes available so that we can make a proper assessment of its value. When that will happen, however, nobody knows. There is still no official word on when the new headphones will hit the market, but Urbanista has opened a signup page on your website (opens in new tab) if you want to follow the ads.
For more things related to Urbanista, check out our reviews of Miami urban planner over the ears and Stockholm city planner true wireless headphones.