Urbanista’s Malibu wireless speaker charges using the power of the sun

Urbanista Malibu
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Bluetooth speakers are often designed to be used outdoors, but few actively draw on the elements to give them a boost. Urbanista’s new Malibu portable speaker is the latest addition to the company's line-up of light-powered products, becoming the world's first solar-powered speaker thanks to Exeger's Powerfoyle technology.

The waterproof Malibu self-charges whenever you expose it to either indoor or outdoor light, meaning you can keep your music topped up wherever you are (although it’s best to avoid dark caves and spooky dungeons).

Made out of recycled materials, the Malibu is designed to be a sustainable sound solution for the eco-conscious audio consumer. Not that it appears to be particularly delicate: the environmentally friendly unit is IP67 rated, meaning it’s pretty much fully waterproof and protected against the ingress of small particles. 

The Malibu comes with its own companion app that offers a customisable EQ and updates on the speaker’s live light charging and historical data so you can make the most out of your playtime. Better still, the Malibu comes with a full-day battery reserve, ensuring you don’t run out of charge when the skies turn grey. 

Urbanista Malibu

(Image credit: Urbanista)

According to the manufacturer, the development-stage samples of the Malibu have the speaker reaching a playtime of up to 30 hours, a figure that extends by about 15 hours through 50k lux solar light charging (that's the amount of outdoor light you'll normally get on an average sunny day).

There is a USB-C port for traditional charging if required, as well as a supplied carrying lanyard for ease of portability. If you’ve got two speakers, you can employ Stereo Link technology to get them both playing at the same time for boosted sound wherever you go. 

According to Giovanni Fili, the CEO of Exeger (the company behind PowerFoyle): “We continue to push the pace and boundaries of innovation as this is our third light-powered product launch in three years. To bring yet another world’s first product with Powerfoyle technology to market is something we are very proud of and we are excited to see the adventure people go on with Urbanista Malibu.”

The Urbanista Malibu is priced at £149 / $149 and comes in three colours, including Midnight Black and Desert Gray. It will be available to buy from late September 2023.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs.