Cordless headphones are great as they allow you to partake in the joys of listening to music without needing to worry about a clunky cable getting in the way. They are without a doubt the future of listening – and more importantly – escaping the rest of the world. The biggest problem with them though is battery life. While improvements have definitely been made in this regard and many headphones boast several hours of playtime before needing a recharge, it can still be annoying if you forgot to recharge your headset and then have your listening time cut short quite drastically.
JBL is working on a solution to this last problem with a new pair of headphones that use an array of solar panels on their headband to offer potentially unlimited battery life under the right conditions. Called the Reflect Eternal headphones, JBL claims that wearing the headphones outside for just 2.5 hours a day could be enough to get you “virtually unlimited playtime” between charges for example. It’s an ambitious claim from the company though and one that will probably require the perfect amount of sun to probably achieve – something which South Africa is fortunate to have a lot of though.
The company has started a crowdfunding page on IndieGoGo to garner interest for the device and hopefully help fast-track its development. The headphones can currently be preordered for the reasonably low price of $99 (R1500) with an expected shipping date of October 2020.
Along with its Exeger Powerfoyle solar charging, the headphones will also feature support for Google Assistant and Alexa along with a traditional USB charging port for those rainy or wintery days where the sun is not the most ideal source of power. The company doesn’t reveal any further details of the headset and it’ll be interesting to see what type of audio quality they pack into them.
I think there is definitely a market for a headset like this, though given that people are looking for smaller ear pods these days, it might only garner a niche appeal for those few audiophiles that really need long playtime or don’t have the ability to regularly charge their headphones (travelling for instance). If they allowed headphones on running races, it could definitely be of use to my ultramarathon running too, because current audio kit just doesn’t last long enough. If this experiment works for JBL, expect to see a whole lot of more similarly solar-powered headphones arrive on the market.
Last Updated: December 18, 2019