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Urbanista launches first 'self-powered' solar-charging wireless headphones

Due out later this year, Urbanista's Los Angeles wireless noise-canceling headphones have a built-in solar-charging component.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read
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The Urbanista Los Angeles are full-size noise-canceling headphones with a new Powerfoyle solar panel integrated into the headband.


Sweden-based Urbanista has a number of headphones on the market, all named for various cities. Recently, it released the Miami ($149), an over-ear noise-canceling model. Now the company is teasing its west-coast version, the Los Angeles, which features a solar-charging element in the headband that the company says makes it the first "self-powered" set of wireless headphones. The Los Angeles will be released later this year and costs $199.

To create the headphones, Urbanista teamed up with another Swedish company, Exeger, that has developed a solar-cell technology called Powerfoyle that "converts any form of light into clean energy and can be seamlessly integrated into any design."

Urbanista says just an hour spent outside on a sunny day generates three hours of playtime. And even being outside on cloudy days will net two hours of playtime for every hour you spend outside. The company adds that the headphones will continue trickle-charging indoors in a well-lit room and you can leave them by a window for an hour to add another full hour of playtime. Note that these playtime numbers are all based on moderate listening levels and I can't confirm them because I have not tested the headphones yet.

When fully charged, the headphones offer up to 50 hours of battery life (again, that number will drop if you really crank your tunes). They do charge via USB-C if you're looking for faster charging. Here are the Los Angeles' key features, according to Urbanista.

Key features

  • Always charging when exposed to light, both outdoors and indoors
  • 50-hour battery reserve
  • Hybrid active noise canceling
  • Ambient sound mode
  • On-ear detection
  • USB type-C charging
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Siri and Google Assistant
  • Compatible with iOS, Android and Windows
  • Will be available in two color options, including black, for $199
  • Shipping date: TBD