Onbeat Solar-Powered Headphone…Charger?

I am an avid music listener. Whether it’s enjoying Jack Johnson or A$AP Rocky, I enjoy a huge range of genres, and just like any other music-lover, I am constantly looking for great headphones. At a meeting with Noel Lee a year ago, I received a pair of SOL Republic headphones, and just last week I decided to try out the Tour Beats earphones. However, there is one that has caught my curiosity just this morning.

A Glaswegian family-run business has come up with an innovative solution to smartphone battery life: OnBeat, solar-powered headphones that recharge your phone on the go.

“People are listening to music on their phones and draining their batteries,” says inventor Andrew Anderson. “So why not have your headphones, which you’re using to listen to the music, charge your phone up again?”

His father Frank Anderson came up with the idea in June 2012. They created their first prototype using an off-the-shelf solar phone charger and have since worked to develop their idea further.

Flexible solar panels on the headband connect to two lithium ion batteries — one in each ear cup. Your iPhone or iPad, or any USB chargeable device, then connects via USB and receives charge. It can also be charged up at home via mains, making the device like a solar-powered Morphie rolled into a pair of headphones.

But Anderson, who is also a music producer, hasn’t scrimped on audio quality. ”We don’t want to create a novelty [product],” he says. “We want to create a good quality set of headphones”.

As of now, the company is still looking to raise money,  and the product is still at the prototype stage, but it seems to be retailing at approximately $180. Maybe a bit much, but maybe the electrical bills for charging your phone will even out. Anderson expects to begin shipping by February 2014. Once I get my hands on one, I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on how the actual product performs.

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