Music

JBL's solar-powered headphones might never need to be plugged in

JBL's solar-powered headphones...
JBL hopes to start shipping its solar-powered headphones in October 2020
JBL hopes to start shipping its solar-powered headphones in October 2020
View 6 Images
Just a prototype at this stage, the JBL Reflect Eternals connect to a user’s devices over bluetooth and function much like a set of regular headphones
1/6
Just a prototype at this stage, the JBL Reflect Eternals connect to a user’s devices over bluetooth and function much like a set of regular headphones
The JBL Reflect Eternals include compatibility with Google Voice Assistant and Amazon Alexa
2/6
The JBL Reflect Eternals include compatibility with Google Voice Assistant and Amazon Alexa
Early pledges of US$144 are available for JBL's solar-powered headphones
3/6
Early pledges of US$144 are available for JBL's solar-powered headphones
JBL hopes to start shipping its solar-powered headphones in October 2020
4/6
JBL hopes to start shipping its solar-powered headphones in October 2020
The JBL Reflect Eternals are just a prototypes at this stage
5/6
The JBL Reflect Eternals are just a prototypes at this stage
JBL's solar-powered headphones are said to offer "virtually unlimited" playtime
6/6
JBL's solar-powered headphones are said to offer "virtually unlimited" playtime

Headphones with no wires offer music-lovers a new kind of freedom, but the reality is they require an onboard power source that inevitably needs recharging. Audio giant JBL is putting forward a possible solution to this dilemma via crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, where it is canvassing interest for a new set of solar-powered headphones that promise “virtually unlimited” playtime.

Just a prototype at this stage, the JBL Reflect Eternals connect to a user’s devices over Bluetooth and function much like a set of regular wireless headphones. The 700 mAh onboard battery can be fully charged in two hours via USB and offers up to 24 hours of playtime, an impressive figure in itself.

But where things get interesting is the solar-charging material built into the headband. Called Powerfoyle and produced by Swedish company Exeger, this is apparently engineered to generate power whether it is indoors or outdoors, even when dealing with artificial light or indirect sunlight.

According to JBL, provided the battery is fully charged to begin with, an hour and a half outside each day will keep the headphones running for up to 68 hours, depending on the lighting conditions. Two hours spent outside per day will offer up to 168 hours of playtime, while 2.5 hours sunshine each day will keep them running indefinitely.

Early pledges of US$144 are available for JBL's solar-powered headphones
Early pledges of US$144 are available for JBL's solar-powered headphones

Other features include compatibility with Google Voice Assistant and Amazon Alexa, hands-free calls and settings to allow more ambient noise to filter through.

It might seem odd for a company that has been around for 70 years to turn to crowdfunding to get something into production, but they aren’t the only big name to recently take this route. Sony crowdfunded a personal air conditioner back in July, while Canon did the same for its Ivy Rec clip-on camera around the same time.

For its part, JBL says it “wanted to tap a platform that welcomes new ideas and innovations,” and its first foray into crowdfunding will allow consumers to “provide early response to the concept.” These responses could even shape the commercial version, with JBL noting it will make “necessary product adjustments” as part of its go-to market strategy.

Early pledges of US$144 are available, with shipping slated for October 2020 if the campaign runs as planned. You can check out the pitch video below.

JBL REFLECT Eternal: Self-Charging Wireless Headphones

Source: Indiegogo

3 comments
lucius
Quoted from the article: "It might seem odd for a company that has been around for 70 years to turn to crowdfunding to get something into production..." Good grief, JBL is a subsidiary of Harmon International, which in turn is a subsidiary of Samsung. Samsung is the WORLD'S LARGEST MANUFACTURER of consumer electronics and semiconductors BY REVENUE, and their market capitalization is over 300 BILLION DOLLARS. If there was ever a corporation that can afford to develop their own products without resorting to crowdfunding, it would be Samsung. Samsung's shares are publicly traded on the stock markets in Korea, London, and Luxembourg. The shareholders of giant corporations like Samsung are the people who are supposed to be taking the financial risk for products that these companies develop, not crowdfund investors. I consider it reprehensible that corporations like Samsung and Sony are resorting to the tactic of crowdfunding.
neoneuron
I LIKE the headphone idea! Put a super-battery together with it, and be done with the problem of powering it.
neoneuron
I also love solar watches. (I I could afford one..)