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Endless Sound Playtime: ‘Urbanista Phoenix’ Solar Powered Earbuds

3 mins read

Endless Sound Playtime: Urbanista Phoenix Solar Powered Earbuds Equipped with Exeger Powerfoyle solar cell technology, the charging case can be powered by either solar power or ambient light, eliminating the need for a USB cable. The earbuds themselves boast a comfortable design and come in black and Desert Rose colors. They also feature active noise cancellation, voice assistance integration, noise-reducing microphones, automatic detection when placed in the ears, automatic power off, and support for various voice assistants. With the Phoenix earbuds, Urbanista offers a unique and convenient solution for users who frequently find themselves away from a power source.

Urbanista, a Swedish company, believes that the ability to have nearly endless playtime on your earbuds is worth $150, as that is the price for their new Phoenix solar-powered earbuds. These earbuds are unique as they are the first self-charging wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation and voice assistance integration, powered by light through Powerfoyle technology. It should be noted that Urbanista also offers the Los Angeles solar-powered headphones, utilizing the same technology.

Solar Powered Charging

The main attraction of these earbuds is the capability of the case to charge from either solar power or ambient light through the use of Exeger Powerfoyle solar cell. During testing, the case with the earbuds was placed in a southern-facing window and within a couple of hours, a full charge was achieved. The earbuds were also left in different parts of the house to soak up ambient light, which provided a slower but enough charge to keep them topped up throughout the day. This feature is significant as most solar cells only react to sunlight. This means that a USB cable may not be needed, although it has a USB-C port for fast charging. The charging case is large as it requires a lot of surface area for the solar cell, measuring 90 x 68 x 20mm and weighing 72 grams (80 grams with the earbuds inside). These earbuds could be extremely useful for power users who often find themselves away from a power source such as hikers or campers, or even teenagers who wear earbuds all the time.

Design & Features

The Phoenix headphones by Urbanista have many appealing features. They have a similar design and size to the Apple AirPod Pros 2, with the added colors of black and Desert Rose. They are comfortable to wear and easy to forget due to their lightweight design. According to the company, when fully charged, the earbuds provide 8 hours of playtime, and the charging case offers 34 hours of reserve power. The earbuds were found to have a playtime that is consistent with the rated playtime. Other notable features include noise-reducing microphones, automatic detection when placed in the ears, automatic power off, support for various voice assistants, USB-C charging and Bluetooth 5.2 for a longer battery life and faster pairing. The headphones are also IPX4 rated, making them resistant to most small splashes but not waterproof.

Pairing the earbuds with a phone using the Bluetooth settings was found to be straightforward. The included app automatically picked up the earbuds and provided information on the charge level and reserve time. The app also offered a selection of equalizer presets, including Default, Speech, Bass Boost, Trebel Boost, Energize, and Balanced. However, custom EQ setting was not available. Switching between the noise canceling modes such as full, transparency and off, was stated to be easy to do through the app, but slightly more difficult using the earbuds themselves.

Phone Pairing Interface

The touch surface on each earbud is reported to be fairly responsive and reliable, though it could be more responsive and consistent. Through the companion app, the play/pause, skip tracks, and long press functions can be defined. The app also offers six EQ presets, such as Energize which is described as suitable for workouts or that perfect Friday feeling. The active noise-cancellation can be switched between on, off, and transparent, and it gives an indication of how much power has been gained and remaining battery life. However, the ability to create custom EQ settings would be preferred. The mics embedded in the earbuds which also handle telephony and noise cancellation, were found to be more than adequate for relaying requests when the source player’s native voice assistant is used. The call quality is also reported to be not bad at all.

Audio Performance

Despite the advanced charging technology, the sound quality of these earbuds can improve. They have been described as bass-heavy with a muffled mid-range and tinny high notes. In comparison to more expensive earbuds such as Apple AirPods Pro 2, the Urbanista Phoenix earbuds have been found to have lesser definition in the beats and harsh high notes. However, it should be noted that the Urbanista Phoenix earbuds are priced nearly $100 less. The noise cancellation feature was also found to be less satisfactory, with more noise reduction than actual noise cancellation. In comparison, the AirPods Pro 2 almost completely blocked street and construction noise, while the Urbanista Phoenix earbuds reduced the volume to a murmur. It should be noted that the sound quality and noise cancellation feature of the Urbanista Phoenix earbuds may still be considered fine for those who do not require 100% noise reduction.

Going Ahead With Urbanista Phoenix

The Urbanista Phoenix earbuds offer a unique solution for users who frequently find themselves away from a power source. The solar-powered charging case, equipped with Exeger Powerfoyle solar cell technology, allows for charging through both solar power and ambient light, making it convenient for users who are always on-the-go. The earbuds themselves have a comfortable design, come in black and Desert Rose colors, and have active noise cancellation, voice assistance integration, noise-reducing microphones, automatic detection when placed in the ears, automatic power off, and support for various voice assistants. While the sound quality and noise cancellation may not be as advanced as some high-end earbuds, the Phoenix earbuds are a great option for users looking for a reliable, solar-powered earbuds that offers an almost unlimited playtime.

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