back to article What do you mean your eardrums need a break? Samsung-owned JBL touts solar-powered wireless headphones you don't need to charge

It's hard, isn't it — plugging in kit? You've got to grab the item in question, find a charger, and then give it a bit of USB-C. Wouldn't it be simpler if your gadgets just magically charged themselves, using the abundant energy provided by the Sun's rays? Well, that's the basic premise behind the JBL REFLECT Eternal. …

  1. status203

    Re: Marketing lies

    "You've got to grab the item in question"

    For a second, I thought it was early Dabbsy Day.

  2. iron Silver badge

    > 1.5 hours of sunlight

    So, never going to charge here in Scotland then. :(

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      I wondered if they'd provide guttering with a waterwheel generator for all Jock Tamson's bairns

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Not such a silly idea. As we have more and more devices that have very low energy requirements, maybe nano-hydro has a future. Something to fit in a gutter downpipe that charges a battery to power a small LED outside light?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Scotland? You'll be needing a...

          direct-ethanol fuel cell then.

        2. Caver_Dave Silver badge

          Tried it

          Given a reasonable size roof it works well. I tried to make one many years ago and it worked reasonably well. On rainy days it lit a small LED light. I reckoned that about an hour of drizzle would give about 8 hours of light. It really needs a tiny solar panel as well for those rare days when it does not rain in the UK.

          Main problems I found:

          As water tends to run down the inside walls of the drainpipe it needed a funnel type arrangement to move this to centre and concentrate the flow. However, when it rained heavily this made the pipe back up! A diversion pipe slightly higher up the pipe, bypassing the funnel, would resolve this and could be built into the battery holder (I actually used a large capacitor).

          It was quite a pain to build, but that would be much easier with a 3D printer.

          I didn't do a patent search, as I was never going to sell the devices, but I'm sure there must be one out there. And if there isn't a patent - then this is prior art!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, never going to charge here in Scotland then. :(

      grab a high-powered searchlight, plug it in, and hey, presto, you've got the same result in 126 hrs... Eternal sunshine, where the light don't shine, my ass...

      1. Dabooka Silver badge

        Re: So, never going to charge here in Scotland then. :(

        Better still, get a solar powered searchlight and point it at itself.

  3. Efer Brick

    Government subsidy?

    for this ?

  4. Paul

    samsung audio brands

    I recently discovered that Samsung own AKG and B&O (via Harmon), and now I find they own JBL.

    It makes me wonder whether there's anything electronic you can buy which isn't made by, or doesn't have Samsung components inside of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: samsung audio brands

      my guess is that the only one without Samsung would be Samsung. Well, perhaps also that "other brand" of phones...

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: samsung audio brands

        Apple buys components from Samsung if that's who you are refering to.

    2. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: samsung audio brands

      Are you sure about Samsung owning B&O, I thought they belonged to a Danish pension fund.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: samsung audio brands

      The brand that came to mind was McIntosh ... but somehow I rather suspect that even they have a Samsung chip (or several) inside each and every box they sell.

    4. Timbo

      Re: samsung audio brands

      Harman (and hence parent Samsung) own the Automotive division of B&O.

      and B&O sold their Czech based engineering/manufacturing division a while back.

      The rest of B&O is owned by Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension and Sparkle Roll Group Limited.

    5. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: samsung audio brands

      Apart from their SSDs, I think a standard desktop PC might not have any Samsung stuff in it.


      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: samsung audio brands

        "a standard desktop PC"

        Who makes that?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

    Two and a half days ? I call bollocks on those numbers. First of all, I don't believe that wireless headphones can last 68 hours on a full charge, full stop. Next, I seriously doubt that a small band of photovoltaic cells can recharge whatever battery it has to 100% in a mere 90 minutes - even if you live at the Equator in the middle of a drought.

    Somebody post some figures that are more realistic.

    1. AndyMulhearn

      Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

      Yeah, it's not as simple as the headline suggests - see

      Start fully charged, listen to music for 3.5 hours per day and change for 1.5 hours under light at 50,000 lux and it's claimed you get 68 hours of listening time. A bit like fully charging your normal pair of headphones then topping them up for half an hour each day.

      Still not too bad but a bit too marketing speak for my liking.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

        "a bit too marketing speak for my liking."

        ITYM "marketing bullshit".

      2. SamX

        Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

        Actully, it's really exciting tech. we mains charge it fully just once, then it keeps topping up with sun light and lasts much longer (as opposed to much less hours without the sun light). Future versions will gradually become more powerful.

        1. John 104

          Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

          Probably similar to my watch. Citizen eco drive. always charging and to date, i've never replaced the built in battery - going on 10 years?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

            Now you've done it. It's sure to fail by Solstice. You should never speak of equipment longevity. Ever.

            1. LucreLout

              Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

              Now you've done it. It's sure to fail by Solstice. You should never speak of equipment longevity. Ever.

              And yet the landing gear on Air Force One is a remarkable piece of kit - it's lasted ages!

              (No really NSA/CIA/USA this IS a joke)

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: "68 hours of playtime from just 1.5 hours of sunlight"

      The solar panel might generate up to 300mW/h with 1.5 hours of intense perpendicular sunlight. That works out to, at best, an unusable 4.4mW for 68 hours. My guess is that some fine print says that it runs for 68 hours if you're using it 30 minutes a day for phone calls.

      1. TheProf Silver badge

        24 hour

        Totally off topic, unless the topic is marketing BS

        I use a mouthwash that boasts 24 hour protection*

        *use twice a day.

        Solar powered mouthwash? Where do I make a patent application?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh noes...

    What a dilemma for today's (male) youth: keep the hoodie up and risk running out of music or, horror of horrors, lower the hoodie voluntarily!

    1. sbt Silver badge

      Or female; they wear hoodies, too.

      The big challenge for male youth seems to be getting them out of their mother's basement (not a euphemism). Can't see solar panels working well down there.

      Mine's the one with the hand-crank generator in the pocket. -->

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh noes...

      OK boomer

  7. John H Woods Silver badge

    REFLECT Eternal?

    Absorb, surely!

  8. Timbo

    Why not recharge cars via solar?

    I know Hyundai (IIRC) have announced a new car that can trickle charge it's electric batteries via solar, but why aren't more firms following this idea - after all, there's plenty of flat horizontal surfaces on a car that could lend themselves to having solar panels fitted...and likewise with coaches, buses and trucks.

    Just seems too sensible I s'pose?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Why not recharge cars via solar?

      Cost/benefit says no.

      There aren't enough usable square $UNITOFMEASUREs to do more than trickle-charge the system, giving you a couple miles of extra travel per day at best. In other words, your round-trip before range anxiety starts to set in is increased negligibly for a relatively high cost.

      By way of reference, good consumer grade solar cells typically put out about 15 Watts per square foot, or 160 Watts per square meter. Keep in mind this is under ideal conditions. A Tesla Model S takes about 13,000 Watts to cruise at 55MPH, 20,000 Watts at 65MPH and 32,000 Watts at 80MPH. More if fully loaded.

      At current technology levels, solar is good for one thing when it comes to automobiles: Keeping the battery from going flat during long periods of non operation. But you'll have to park it in full sun when you leave it in long-term parking ... don't pick that shady spot, and forget the garage.

      1. spold

        Re: Why not recharge cars via solar?

        Just need DeLorean style gull wing doors for extra square microfurlongs. Cover these with solar cells and pop them open as you are driving along if the sun is shining. Might fly! Might deal with pesky cyclists!

      2. sillyoldme

        Re: Why not recharge cars via solar?

        I'm pretty sure you meant watt-hours.

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. John Geek
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Eternal

      wired phones get their power from the headphone jack in the form of analog audio. but I'm sure you know this.

      my good full sized headphones require significantly more power than most any small audio source can output, so I have to use a headphone amplifier with them, which yes, has a rechargeable battery.

      wireless phones need power for both the Bluetooth radio receiver, the Bluetooth compression decoder, and the audio amplification needed to drive the phones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eternal

        Bless the troll question getting such a good genuine answer!

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