Solar-powered HEADPHONES could offer 'virtually unlimited playtime'

Solar-powered HEADPHONES that use the sun and artificial light to recharge could offer customers ‘virtually unlimited playtime’

  • Reflect Eternal headphones will be fitted with cutting-edge Powerfoyle material 
  • Will allow them to be recharged by sunlight as well as indirect and artificial light 
  • Total of 2.5 hours in sunlight every day will provide ‘virtually unlimited playtime’

Solar-powered headphones that use the energy of the sun to recharge are being developed by audio company JBL. 

The firm says it will use solar rays to provide ‘virtually unlimited playtime’ in the headphones, known as Reflect Eternal. 

Unlike most solar technology, its efficiency does not depend on the availability

Production is expected to start in August next year and the first customers will receive their own Reflect Eternal headphones in October 2020. 

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JBL’s self-charging headphones concept known as Reflect Eternal (pictured). Unlike most solar technology, its efficiency does not depend on the availability of sunlight as it can reportedly use artificial and indirect light to charge as well


24 Hours Battery Life

Battery Type: Polymer Li-ion Battery 

Charging Time: 2hrs from empty (via USB)

Music Play Time with BT On: Up to 24 hrs (with no SOLAR charging)

Music Play Time with BT On: Unlimited (with SOLAR charging¹) 

Colours: Green or red 

Alexa and Google Assistant equipped.  

External microphone     

Solar cell maker Exeger is working on the project and is hoping to use its Powerfoyle material which is specifically engineered to generate power from indirect and indoor light, as well as the sun. 

The manufacturer anticipates that two-and-a-half hours outside each day is enough to keep the headphones going for unlimited listening between standard charging.

But for those stuck in offices or on public transport for the vast majority of the day, a one hour stint in the sun produces an estimated 68 hours of playtime. 

Approximately three hours indoors will provide one hour of listening if the lights are on. 

And if the exposure to sunlight is minimal and indoor light is failing to keep up, then the headphones can be charged with the traditional USB cable.  

Aside from the solar-powered capability, the headphones function in much the same way as the alternatives on the  minute at the minute. 

They are equipped with both Google Assistant and Alexa and have external microphones to allow the wearer to hear whats going on around them without having to take them off.   

JBL has launched a crowdfunding page to get insight and feedback from customers on the self-charging headphones, currently known as Reflect Eternal. 

‘We are looking forward to hearing from our customers and workshopping this sustainable technology with them in real time,’ said David Owens, vice president of business development at Harman, JBL’s parent company.

‘JBL has been working closely with our partners at Exeger to bring this cutting-edge solar technology into a headphone with JBL’s legendary Pro Sound, and we hope our customers are as excited about it as we are.

‘JBL is pleased to be working with the right partners to contribute where we can to a more sustainable future.’

The fundraising site has already sold out of the 250 ‘Early bird’ options to get hold of a pair but there are £98 and £75 options available still. 

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