Urbanista Malibu Solar Speaker: Battery Life, Specs, Price, Release Date

Ever since Swedish audio model Urbanista first introduced out its mightily spectacular solar headphones that, sure, charged even whereas they had been getting used, WIRED has been hoping the corporate would take this tech and take a look at it in a bigger audio product. Now it has, and the result’s a brand new moveable wi-fi speaker, the Malibu.

The Urbanista Malibu, similar to the model’s Phoenix photo voltaic earbuds and Los Angeles headphones, makes use of Exeger’s Powerfoyle photo voltaic cells to recharge the Bluetooth speaker’s battery. This means the Malibu can recharge whereas unplugged utilizing each ambient indoor lighting and out of doors sunshine. The speaker additionally has an IP67 ranking, that means it’s absolutely waterproof and guarded in opposition to sand, mud, and filth—supreme for the seaside.

The $149 (£149 or €169) speaker could be linked to a different Malibu to kind a stereo pair, and it comes within the compulsory black and a brand new Desert Gray. A chat with Mårten Sahlén, product director at Urbanista, reveals that the rugged design homes a 3,600-mA battery, which powers twin 10-watt amplifiers inside. That battery could be absolutely charged by the photo voltaic cells, however there’s USB-C charging too.

The accompanying app permits you to customise the sound profile and maintain observe of the speaker’s stay light-charging and historic information (do you have to be concerned about how a lot free vitality you’ve harvested over the product’s lifetime).

Urbanista says the photo voltaic speaker comes with a full-day battery reserve, which it says equates to a play time of as much as 30 hours. But the query is how for much longer the Malibu can pump out the jams whereas sitting in daylight. We requested for this information, and the model carried out some in-house checks for us. Urbanista used a curated playlist of songs and set its speaker on the quantity it believes different manufacturers are utilizing for testing.

Apparently, the Malibu can lengthen its 30-hour play time by as much as 15 hours with 50,000 Lux photo voltaic mild charging, which is the extent of outside mild you’d discover on a mean sunny day. Solar mild ranges from roughly 20,000 to 100,000 Lux, so the technical group at Urbanista determined to go for “half-sun strength” for testing. Still, a complete potential run time of 45 hours in full solar is attractive, if considerably troublesome to realize in actual life.

Photograph: Urbanista

Lit Up

There are, in fact, solar-powered audio system in the marketplace from lesser recognized manufacturers, equivalent to Abfoce and Cyboris, however what makes Urbanista’s mannequin fascinating is the considerably superior effectivity of the Powerfoyle photo voltaic cells. As lengthy as you don’t utterly drain the battery in a single lengthy listening session, the speaker can prime up when not in use and lengthen the play time significantly. Sahlén provides three examples of battery drain if the Malibu is used on this means.

Scenario 1: If the speaker is used twice per week for a complete of seven hours and all that point stored in full darkness, the battery ought to final for as much as 30 days.

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