JBL has announced a pair of self-charging over-ear headphones it says can convert natural and artificial light into energy and provide, theoretically, virtually unlimited playback.
The audio giant says that with just 2.5-hours of usage outside per day, and 3.5 hours in total, wearers will not have to worry about charging the JBL Reflect Eternal headphones.
To achieve this, JBL is deploying the Powerfoyle material from Exeger, which is capable of drawing power from sunlight and indoor lighting. So, if your headphones are exposed to a light source of any kind, they will be sopping up energy.
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The tech, which is similar to that within the Lenovo K750 PC keyboard, sits in the headband so it’ll always be exposed to whatever light source the wearer is.
The company says: “The JBL Reflect Eternal gives you peace of mind by charging as you go through your day, and music when you need it. That’s one less device you need to worry about charging!”
Of course, outdoor usage is most effective, but even if you only spend 1.5 ours of your 3.5 hours of daily listening outside, that’s enough to glean 68 hours of play time. Of course there’s a USB speed charge back-up in case you live in Finland, which will give you two hours of additional playback in just 15 minutes hooked up to a power source.
Beyond the unlimited power, they offer hands-free call buttons on the cups, compatibility with Alexa and the Google Assistant, easy switching between Bluetooth sources, an ambient noise mode, and 40mm drivers
JBL says it has a working prototype of the headphones, but is looking to crowdfund the solar-powered cans via the Indiegogo platform, with early bird prices starting at £54 (now sold out) and ranging up to £97.
The company is planning to ship to backers in October 2020, with the campaign running on Indiegogo until mid-January. So far it has ensnared 683 backers, already surpassing its goal of 500.