Urbanista unveils ANC earbuds with a light-powered charging case

The company is using Powerfoyle solar cell material for its $149 Phoenix earphones.


Urbanista has revealed its latest set of earbuds, and you may never need to toss a charging brick in your bag if you travel with them. That's because the Phoenix buds have a charging case with Exeger's Powerfoyle solar cell material. The company says this can top up the case's battery using any kind of indoor or outdoor light.

The earphones offer eight hours of playback time, according to Urbanista. The brand says the charging case has a total battery reserve of 32 hours as well. The Phoenix charging case looks much taller than cases for other true wireless earbuds, likely to ensure there's sufficient surface area for the solar cell material.

The earbuds have hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) support, along with noise-reducing microphones and a transparency mode. They have multipoint connectivity, meaning you can connect them to two devices at the same time. You'll have access to touch and voice controls, as well as deeper customization through the Urbanista mobile app. There's IPX4 water resistance too.

Urbanista Phoenix earbuds and charging case

Urbanista previously used Powerfoyle tech in its Los Angeles over-ear headphones. In trying them out, we found that direct sunlight was able to charge them at a faster rate than the battery drained as a result of playback. However, the headphones charged much slower in ambient light.

It's unclear who might be able to use the Phoenix buds to their full effect. If you're outside a lot and are able to leave the case in direct sunlight while you're using the earphones, you might never need to plug in the USB-C cable to top up the battery. At the very least, it's an intriguing product that offers a look at another possible use case for the solar cell material.

The Phoenix earbuds are available in black or pink. A set costs $149/£129/€149.