Adidas’ popular RPT-01 on-ear workout headphones have been redesigned to work with a power source that will be with you wherever your outdoor training sessions take you. The $229 or 200 British pounds Adidas RPT-02 SOL are equipped with a headband that can harvest solar energy, which is used to keep their internal rechargeable battery topped up with power. It goes on sale August 23 at adidasheadphones.com.
It’s not the first time a company has released a set of solar-powered headphones. Urbanista did that in 2021 with its Los Angeles headphones. But the Los Angeles are a larger, over-ear model that aren’t especially well suited to workouts, which arguably makes the Adidas RPT-02 SOL a better fit for the benefits of solar charging.
Like the Los Angeles, the RPT-02 SOL uses a Powerfoyle light-harvesting solar cell from Stockholm-based Exeger. You probably won’t be able to charge them using solar energy alone, but if you start with a full charge — which Adidas claims is good for a remarkable 80 hours — and spend most of your play time outside, you could theoretically never need to plug them in again.
To help you understand how the solar charging works, you can see real-time information in the companion app, and there’s an LED indicator on the headband that tells you when you’ve positioned the headphones in sufficiently bright light.
When we tested the Los Angeles, we found they lived up to their claims, but only if you could spend a good amount of time each day in very bright conditions — most indoor lighting wasn’t sufficient to offset the energy drain on the battery from regular use.
In addition to being environmentally friendly from a power perspective, the company says that the headphones have been sustainably made. 51% of the product is made from plastic and that material is 87% composed of post-consumer recycled plastics.
Like the RPT-01, the RPT-02 SOL are IPX4 water-resistant, and all of the fabric components on the headband and ear cushions are washable — handy for repeated use with sweaty workouts. But other than their larger battery capacity (80 hours versus 40) and their solar-charging capability, the RPT-02 SOL appear to be virtually identical to their non-solar sibling. Given the $60 price difference (the RPT-01 sells for $170), you’ll need to be very dedicated to helping the planet — and working out on bright days — to find the extra money a worthwhile expense.
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