While we’re all living with the fear of an impending ‘port-less iPhone’, one company’s got a clever workaround to the charging woe. Meet the Urbanista Phoenix, a set of TWS Earbuds with solar panels built into their case. Sure, the Phoenix comes with a USB-C port to conventionally charge your earbuds, but it also ambiently charges every time you leave the case on a table with access to sunlight. It’s a clever, elegantly-executed solution that works without cables, wireless chargers, or even human intervention!
Don’t you hate it when you pop your AirPods into your ears only to get a notification that you forgot to charge them? Well, the Urbanista Phoenix seems to have an unusually sensible fix. Equipped with a Powerfoyle solar panel on the charging case, the Phoenix just keeps charging your TWS Earbuds whenever it has access to sunlight or any bright light. This isn’t the first time that Urbanista’s incorporated solar panels into its audio solution, though. Just last year, the company announced the Los Angeles, a pair of wireless headphones with a solar panel built into the headband. The Phoenix builds on that rather clever idea by introducing solar panels onto the charging case instead (because the TWS earbuds themselves are too small to put solar panels on). This effectively allows the earbuds to charge in their case without you needing to physically plug them in or place them on a wireless charging mat. It’s incredibly convenient, quite literally effortless, and seems like the kind of idea that other companies should rapidly adopt too instead of pushing us to buy chargers, dongles, and expensive phones with ‘reverse wireless charging’ capabilities.
The earbud themselves are just like your average TWS earbuds. They come with a familiar stemmed design that’s practically a design archetype now thanks to the AirPods, but they also sport silicone ear-tips for a better seal. They even have touch-sensitive controls built onto ths stems that let you control the Phoenix’s features, including being able to summon and talk to your phone’s voice assistant. Unlike the AirPods, however, the Phoenix also has built-in active noise canceling and is even equipped with noise-canceling microphones for crystal-clear audio conversations and calls. Other features include IPX4 water resistance so you can wear it while sweating it up during workouts, onboard sensors for in-ear detection, a companion app, and a battery capacity of 8 hours for the earbuds, and 32 additional hours with the charging case. Combine that with solar charging and it’ll probably be weeks or months before you even need to find a USB-C cable to charge the Phoenix.
The Phoenix’s game-changing feature still remains its solar charging ability. The only minor trade-off is that as a result, the Phoenix has a slightly large charging case to fit the panel, but the benefit absolutely outweighs the con. The result is a pair of TWS earbuds that, at least in theory, never need plugging in. As long as you can keep the charging case near a source of light, the Phoenix will run perpetually without requiring a charging cable or a charging mat. Moreover, and this is the biggest win so far, you don’t need to REMEMBER to charge the Phoenix. Something most scatterbrained people like me will really appreciate!
The Urbanista Phoenix comes out later in the year, priced at $149.