No matter which model you buy, the best wireless headphones all have the same limitation: sooner or later they'll run out of charge, sending you scurrying for a power point or digging around in your backpack for a battery pack. But the new A6219 GO headphones from Philips have no such problem, because they're solar powered – and they'll recharge indoors as well as out.
The headphones feature a Powerfoyle solar cell, which it claims can provide up to 80 hours of playing time from a single charge. That's not quite unlimited battery, I know, but it's an exceptionally long period of time for a wireless pair of the best headphones. The cell can recharge via indoor light as well as out, so recharging it should be something that simply happens without you needing to think about it.
Light of the charge brigade
The A6219 have been designed to keep weight to a minimum for long-term comfort. The ear cups are even filled with gel to keep your ears cool during protracted listening, and the covers are washable as well as breathable – handy if you want headphones you can get sweaty in while wearing them. They're also IP55 rated for water, sweat and dust resistance, making them extremely rugged.
Of course, no amount of battery life will compensate for bad sound, but these new headphones sound promising. There are newly developed 40mm drivers inside and they have the same Philips sound profile as the Fidelio range. In our detailed review of the Fidelio L4, we praised the rich and crisp audio, which we felt was up there with the Sony WH-1000XM5. That's high praise indeed, so if these new headphones deliver a similar sonic equivalent Philips could be on to a wearable winner.
In addition to the new A6219 GO on-ear headphones, Philips is also looking to rival the best running headphones and best over-ear headphones, with its new open-ear sports headphones called the A6709 and new over-ears called the H6509. What we don't know yet is how much these headphones will cost, or when they'll be available. We'll keep you posted.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.