One of the drawbacks of using wireless headphones is interrupting your listening session to recharge the batteries. Unfortunately, small-scale batteries do not come with unlimited power and need constant doses of recharge.
JBL wants to eliminate this frustration with a set of headphones powered by the sun. Parent company Harman has started an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the concept into reality. It’s an idea that could make wireless audio more sustainable than ever.
In fact, for those willing to pay up early, these self-charging pair of headphones currently feature a pretty hefty discount, with estimated shipping on October 2020.
According to JBL, the Reflect Eternal charges itself by turning light into energy courtesy of technology from Swedish company, Exeger Powerfoyle. JBL says just an hour and a half of outdoor light will keep them charged for up to 69 hours. The predicted playback time on a single charge is extremely higher than conventional wireless headphones and could be a deal-breaker for many.
They pack 40mm drivers with a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response range, multi-device pairing, and Bluetooth 5.0. They also come with support for both Google Assistant and Alexa, along with external microphones for taking calls.
There’s a back-up USB option too, just in case. JBL said that 15 minutes of USB charging can provide two hours of playtime.
The campaign has already met its crowdfunding goal, but it is still taking backers until January 14, 2020. JBL and Exeger are using the crowdfunding channel to gauge feedback and tweak the design. If the response is satisfactory, we could see a commercial launch soon.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality
With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.
It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.
In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality
Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.
It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.
Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines
A minor improvement
True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks to the charging case.
Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.
It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.
Price and availabilty
The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.
The Nokia Power Earbuds come with ‘150-hour battery life’
Available only in China
A few years ago, Nokia’s expansion beyond phones would have been preposterous. Since its dominance at the start of the millennium, Nokia has always found its closely guarded niche in the phone-making business. However, the company has announced the first Nokia-branded televisions late last year. Now, they are going even further.
Recently, Nokia has launched its own wireless earbuds in China. The Power Earbuds touts the most bombastic feature ever seen in wireless earbuds — a 150-hour battery life.
Design-wise, the Power Earbuds have the traditional set of components for the emerging technology: two in-ear pieces and a charging case. The set comes in two colors: charcoal black and light gray.
Inside, the earbuds sport a 6mm graphene driver unit, supposedly putting out high-quality audio. It is compatible with Google Assistant, allowing hands-free operation.
Further, they can support Bluetooth 5.0, extending usage by up to 800 feet. For durability, the Power Earbuds are certified for IP7 resistance. Supposedly, users can submerge the earbuds underwater for up to 30 minutes.
As for that battery life, Nokia presents an interesting caveat. The earbuds themselves don’t last for 150 hours; instead, they last for a more believable 5-hour charge. Each bud contains only 50mAh capacity for battery life.
The gargantuan battery belongs to the charging case. The 3000mAh case has as much battery life as a smartphone. As such, users can charge the earbuds multiple times through the case before charging the case itself.
The Nokia Power Earbuds are available exclusively online in China. They retail for CNY 699 or around US$ 100.
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