Adidas have unveiled a new set of wireless headphones that promise to keep running when your workout stops, with their new RPT-02 SOL on-ears boasting self-charging tech.
The headphones clevely make use of an Exeger Powerfoyle solar panel that’s built into the headband. This absorbs light of any kind, be it natural or artificial, meaning you can charge up the battery both indoors and outdoors without needing to plug the headphones into a wall socket.
Further enhancing their sustainability credentials, the new Adidas cans are made using recycled plastics and polyester, while they’re also ready for most outdoor conditions thanks to their IPX4-rated splash resistance.
You can count on up to 80 hours of stored playtime from the built-in battery. If you're presumably living in a cave and can’t charge the headphones by normal means, the RPT-02 SOL can also be juiced up via a USB Type-C cable.
While the RPT-02 SOLs come in a more rugged, ready-for-action form factor, it's not the first time we’ve seen a set of cans use this sort of renewable energy tech.
Exeger previously provided the same Powerfoyle light source panels to fellow Swedish brand Urbinista for their solar-powered Urbanista Los Angeles headphones late last year, which unlike Adidas’ latest effort, feature active noise cancellation.
Urbinista has since gone on to also unveil a pair of true wireless earbuds that use a solar-powered charging case that also feature a similar panel.
While Adidas haven’t yet revealed how much light is required to power their new headphones, an hour of direct sunlight to the Urbanista Los Angeles was enough to keep them running for three hours of playback.
The Adidas RPT-02 Sol are priced at £199.95 (about $240, AU$344), and are set to go on sale on 23rd August.
Analysis: New Adidas cans could signal a new era for solar-powered tech
Those of us that are old enough to consider ourselves children of the ’80s will likely remember Casio’s HS-8 – a pocket calculator that almost magically didn’t need batteries thanks to its small solar panels.
The HS-8 offered a window into a possible future without discarded Duracells or unwieldy power supplies. Things, of course, didn’t quite pan out like that.
Thankfully there have been signs that solar power is back on the agenda once more with tech firms.
Samsung has notably featured light source panels in its latest high-end TV remotes, with the South Korean firm also widely rumored to be developing a sun-powered smart watch, while these latest headphones from Adidas show it’s not just low-powered devices that can utilize the tech.
The success of the RPT-02 SOLs will of course depend on how good they sound, but if their output can match their sustainability credentials, Adidas are surely onto a winner.