Bone Conduction Headphones

A few weeks ago, I was running a half marathon in Syracuse – I was more than ½ way there on a two-hour trip when I realized I forgot my headphones! I love the Powerbeats Pro, as they’re basically AirPods that don’t fall out my ears every five minutes, or require silicon covers when exercising. but there was no way I was turning around and adding an additional two hours on a trip I was already running behind for.  

I figured I could just run to Target or Walmart and get something cheap to hold me over, so I continued, and ran to pick up my race packet at the local Fleet Feet. I figured I’d look around and see what they had in their active electronics section and noticed the Bone Conduction headphones – Shockz, a rebrand of Aftershokz. I’d heard of them before, advertising on TWiT shows, but I after trying something similar at Brookstone a few years ago I never really had any interest… but that was a few years ago, and this is Tech. I figured I’d give them a shot and save the packaging, if I didn’t like them, I could always return them as I only needed them for one day. When I checked in to my hotel, I broke them out and immediately paired them and gave them a test run. 

The first comment I had on these was “where’s the bass?”  

But the quality of the mid-range really made up for it! The USB-C connector was a nice change from the traditional Micro-USB methods of charging on so many devices still, though as a hardcore Apple user, lightning is everywhere in our house. As you can see in the image, they rest right above, and in front of the ear, on the upper edge of the jawbone. There is virtually no audio bleed from these either, and I had the volume quite high.  

The open ear concept is perfect for running and outdoor activities in general in busy areas, it allows you to still be (mostly) aware of your surroundings letting in the noise around you, but still letting you hear what you want to hear – it really came in handy with a pack of 2000 other runners with the occasional car going by on the not as blocked off roads. I should’ve bought a pair of these sooner!

I turned them on at about 7am, the race started at 8am, they made it through the whole 13.1 Miles, my time was about 1:56 or so, and they still had just about 75% battery life, so you’re looking at a 6 to 8 hour battery life based on usage type. Not too shabby! I’ll be hanging on to these for use when I go for bike rides in particular, where that extra awareness is key, but also for those days I go for runs at odd times to get my activity in. 

In case you’re wondering, I placed right around the middle of the pack, 700-something place I believe out of just shy of 2000 runners. With all of that, it was also fun to get back out with a group of people like that, looking forward to Buffalo in May! 

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