Bone conduction headphones?? What does that even mean??
Great question! I had no clue until about 2 years ago when I had the chance to try a pair of AfterShokz wireless headphones. I was one of those people that did NOT understand why bluetooth was so necessary and why wireless headphones were all the craze…. until the 45th time that my flailing arms pulled the cord out of my ears while on a run (think Phoebe from Friends… if you know you know) then it suddenly hit me – OHHHHH yeah if I didn’t have a cord this wouldn’t happen.
Ironically a week later I was asked to review and giveaway a pair of AfterShokz wireless headphones (see old review here cause it shows my wireless headphone epiphany) which uses their amazing bone conduction technology.
BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAAAN??
Simmer down, here it is…. it’s a super cool technology that delivers music through your cheekbones (what? Yes!) via mini vibrations to your inner ear, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds. It may be hard to grasp how this works but the sound to me is almost better than earbuds in my ear. This is beyond fantastic considering I use them to listen to my (rap with explicit lyric) music while cleaning the house so I can still hear “Mommy I need to potty!!!!” being yelled from the other room while protecting my kids from the words they prob don’t need to hear ;) Of course I also use them for running and in that case I can hear traffic coming, other runners, bicycles, etc. Even when I’m doing workouts at home it’s great because I can listen to MY music but still hear the instructor on videos. (click here for more info on the bone conduction technology)
But wait, listen to this!!!
This is so cool I had to come back in and edit this post. If you follow us on Facebook you may have seen the post where I hinted there *may* be a discount code coming…. Within the 100+ comments of excitement about our new partnership with AfterShokz I saw one of our members who said “These are great. Since I wear hearing aids it is hard to run with anything that goes in the ear and running without the hearing aids… let’s just say it is a very silent world! These allow me to wear my hearing aids, hear my music, and other sounds around as well. Absolutely love them!”
I mean – is that not an AWESOME testimony to how unique their bone conduction technology works!? Thanks Shavonne for sharing that with us! Then minutes later another member chimed in that she wears hearing aids too and she would love something compatible with them. Yall… Isn’t it awesome when your perspective shifts from something you never considered to how useful a tool like this can be for runners who may have hearing loss? Not to mention all those who just can’t stand the feeling of something IN their ear – these are perfect since they sit on top!
So what do I love about the AfterShokz Headphones?
Well first off you need to know that I’ve been using my Bluez 2s (previous version) for 2+ years without a single problem!!! I’ve poured sweat, run in rain, done yardwork, cleaned house, washed my car, jumped up and down in HIIT workouts, climbed 55 flights of stairs, and not One. Single. Problem. Oftentimes I will write a review after using a product only to find out down the road I encounter issues. Literally, not a single issue with these. HOWEVER – when they offered to let me try the newest versions I figured why not! Lemme just tell ya…. They just kept getting better!
The first pair I tried were the Trekz Titanium (standard size) – Typically I have a “normal” sized head but these unfortunately felt a little too big – MY FAULT for not using their size chart before requesting the standard size. Duh…. BUT they are a wonderful company and shipped out a pair of the Trekz Titanium Mini which has about a 1 inch shorter titanium band. Fit like a dream!! Please, use their size chart!!!
Here’s some bullet points of my favorite features because people like to scan ;)
- Super comfortable fit over my ears and on my cheekbones. I can’t stand stuff IN my ears so this is such a huge bonus that they sit on top.
- Sound quality is spot on! Busta Rhymes and Eminem never sounded better!
- They are super light weight (1.27 ounces if you wanna get nerdy) and I never have issues with them getting uncomfortable.
- Battery life is fantastic! 6 hours of continuous play and this holds true! / 1.5 hour charge
- The range is amazing! When I’m cleaning my house I can leave my phone charging in the kitchen and walk upstairs and to the back of my house and they still pickup! I even had my phone at the front of my house and went allllll the way to the back shed and just BARELY started breaking up. But if you are running I’d say you prob need to keep them in your pocket as I’m not sure they will work if your phone is at gear check haha
Overall I’ve been hooked on the Trekz Titanium Mini – that is, until my MRTT Chapter Leaders said “Hey Pam, what’s the difference between Air and Titanium?” And I’m all “Ohhhh yeah they sent the other pair too! Lemme go put them on and tell ya. Meanwhile enjoy these bullet points for your reading pleasure (then gave them a list of differences and facts)”
Essentially here’s the major improvements of the Trekz Air from the Trekz Titanium:
- 20% lighter than Trekz Titanium (1.06 ounces vs 1.27 ounces)
- Bluetooth: v4.2 vs v4.1
- Trekz Air has a full titanium frame.
- The dual noise cancelling microphones are improved for better mic quality.
- Bass is improved and there’s a wider sound range.
*Pam puts on the Trekz Air*
At first I was like “Hmmm not sure these fit as good as the Trekz Titanium” – but here’s the deal…. I have a TON of hair. Like seriously, if you think you have thick hair just double or triple it and that’s how much hair I have. It’s often compared to a horse’s tail. I’ve finally had to accept this as a compliment. SO when I put them on with my hair down and the weight of my hair kinda pushed the band down making them sit funny. Without realizing that I grabbed my hair clip because I was about to get for-real serious on some computer work and wanted to test them out, so up my hair went and then I put the Trekz Air on – YEAHHHHH now that’s the stuff!!! I know the weight difference may not seem like much but they are seriously super light and without the weight of my hair they fit amazingly well!!! These only come in one universal size but this universal size fit my head perfectly. When I sit them side by side to the Trekz Titanium Mini they look bigger but they def fit me very well. I tried to lay them on top of both pairs of the Trekz Titanium and it was hard to capture in a photograph – but they fit every bit as perfect as the Trekz Titanium and still room if your head is bigger ;)
Sound quality of the Trekz Air (these are the geeky specs):
- LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
- Redesigned bone conduction transducers deliver enhanced bass and a wider dynamic sound range
- EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
- Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
Now here’s the Pam-ified version.:
- Yep – I can tell a difference in sound quality and enhanced bass – Waka Flocka Flame was on Fi-ya! Yes, I’m obsessed with rap… but to be fair I threw on some Ed Sheeran and he sounds every bit as good. Here’s the deal….. I can’t say the sound is “lesser” on the Titanium because flipping them back and forth they both sound great – but there is def a difference in the “crispness” of the sound in the Trekz Air and I can definitely hear the bass difference. At a higher volume I can “feel” more of the vibration on bass with the Trekz Air but they also offer EQ presets which boost bass and reduce vibration on the go. I played with this a bit and didn’t notice the vibration as bad. At a lower volume you can’t tell/feel a difference – I just like my rap LOUD.
- Called my mom to test out the audio and she said I sounded clear! I even tested the folks at AfterShokz and Dan from Motigo while we were on a conference call by not telling them I was using the headphones to talk and just said “Hey, can yall hear me ok?” (The typical conference call greeting if you’ve ever been on one) and all responded with “Hear ya great!” To which of course I replied “Good because I’m talking on my AfterShokz” hahha.
If you are trying to decide between the Trekz Air and Trekz Titanium – UGH that’s a tough one. You really can’t go wrong! I honestly love both. One of our chapter leaders mentioned compatibility with the Garmin Forerunner 645 (which I don’t have) and they suggested the Trekz Air. I’m currently loving the crispness of the Trekz Air so these will prob be my default for running and lifting, but the Trekz Titanium are great all around and when I’m not all about that bass, bout that bass, I’ll sport these. Yeah, so did I still not help pick for you? Sorry haha. Bottom line the AfterShokz are just amazing wireless headphones. Pretty sure you will love them too!
AND guess what? They are offering an EXCLUSIVE $30 discount to MRTT SRTT members on the Trekz Air and Trekz Titanium now through May 31, 2018. Just enter your email address* below and you will be taken to the AfterShokz website with the discount code!
I hope you truly enjoy them as much as I do. I don’t sing praises unless I FOR REAL love something which is why yall don’t see me post many reviews, but I can honestly say that after 2+ years of using AfterShokz this is one company I can stand behind a million percent and absolutely swear by their product!