When we think of truly wireless earbuds, the first name that comes to mind is Apple AirPods. The AirPods have only become better over the years, with the second generation and the AirPods Pro offering improved noise cancellation. But now there is a more practical design in case of the Pro, and fantastic sound quality, not to mention better battery life and wireless charging. However, have you heard of truly wireless earphones that you can charge with nothing more than just plain sunshine?
That is exactly what Pearl Audio's latest true wireless earbuds are – a stylish pair of true wireless earphones that you can charge using sunlight.
Solar-charging wireless earbuds
Pearl Audio has put the innovative solar-powered earphones up for crowdfunding on Indiegogo and they have exceeded their crowdfunding goal and should begin shipping as soon as April this year. While you may have seen or used a solar-powered watch or a solar-powered car, this is the first time we are hearing of solar-powered earphones, and true wireless earbuds at that, although JBL is said to have solar over-the-ear headphones called the JBL Reflect Eternal in the works.
According to the Indiegogo crowdfunding page, the project team has already started turning their prototype into the final product. The new earbuds are described as "AI-Powered Earbuds with Solar Charging", and they can also be charged via USB-C or wirelessly with a Qi-certified wireless charging pad. The premium-looking earbuds are claimed to offer up to six hours of battery life by themselves with a further 24-hour battery life provided by the charging case.
An eco-friendly alternative to AirPods
The specs are quite similar to the Apple AirPods Pro with the Pearl true wireless earbuds featuring active noise cancellation (ANC), touch sensitive controls, as well as an IPX5 water resistance rating, which means they can be worn while working out without the fear of sweat damaging them. The page also says that the earbuds offer two noise cancellation modes, a quiet mode that blocks 50 per cent of outside noise, and a silent mode that blocks 100 per cent noise from the outside.
They look similar to the AirPods Pro with silicon buds, but that is where the likeness ends. The Pearl has a more premium overall look with hammered metal housings made of acetate and stainless steel that come in three glossy finishes, black, silver, and gold.
The earbuds come with a claimed frequency range of 5 – 40,000Hz which puts them on the same level as some of the high-fidelity over-the-ear headphones. They also make use of beryllium drivers which should offer rich sound and lots of bass.
Powered by industry leading Qualcomm QC5121 chipset, the earbuds claim to deliver premium sound and active noise cancellation on par with the best true wireless earbuds in the market. The AI-powered claim also suggests that the true wireless earbuds come with "AI active loss prevention" which could simply be a feature similar to Apple's Find My technology, which will help you locate the earbuds in case you lose them. The specs also suggest that a 30-minute charge in the sun would give it enough juice to last 2+ hours of music playback.
Pricing and availability
The pricing and availability are still not confirmed. However, the early bird offer running on the crowdfunding campaign has put the Pearl at $114 per pair and $206 for two pairs for the first 200 buyers. It is listed at $149 per pair and $274 for two pairs for subsequent buyers. These prices are not indicative of the final prices when the product finally hits the stores.