Bone conduction technology? Say what now? Huh? Is that even a thing?
That’s what I was thinking when I first heard about it. And after doing a little research, I realized that bone conduction technology is pretty well known and widely used in technology and medical device circles and quite frankly, a significant breakthrough for sound technology. It is used frequently for the hearing impaired, the military, and now for playing music, podcasts, audio books, or even taking phone calls.
I mention all of this because I recently got a chance to try a pair of Aftershokz headphones, their claim to fame is that they make headphones that don’t actually go inside your ears (say what!?!). Instead they rest on your cheekbones and transmit vibrations directly to your innermost ear. Sounds gimmicky? Unreal?
Yeah I thought so too.
I actually used to hate wearing headphones. Or really, anything in my ears for that matter. In fact, I almost never wear headphones while I run – unless it was less than 3 miles and I needed a way to distract myself from a tough run – partially because I don’t like how they feel in my ears and partially because I hate when they fall out of my ears or the wire slips out of my phone. But most of all, I really don’t like when I can’t hear my surroundings. I don’t know, I think it’s good to be aware. Cautious. Present.
The only thing I would ever regularly (and sometimes begrudgingly) use headphones for is phone calls. Because, well, hands free. And if I wasn’t in a place to broadcast my call (ahem, speaker phone), then headphones it would be.
Ever since getting my hands on Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones, I’ve been an avid headphones user. I’ve been sporting them for runs (even long ones!), conference calls, walks around the neighborhood with the dogs, and even to listen to podcasts or music while I wash the dishes or do laundry, not to mention when I take calls in the car. And I am LOVING it. I am a total convert.
Sound: The sound quality is pretty amazing. Given that they are on my cheekbones rather than inside my ears, I almost couldn’t believe I would be able to hear anything at all when I first put them on. But I can hear everything crystal clear. There’s a little vibration feeling, kind of like using a Clarisonic that takes a minute to get used to but its way better than fiddling with headphones in your ears if you ask me. And way, way, way safer.
Design: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones are super lightweight; they are so lightweight that I actually forget they’re on my head. And while they can sometimes cause people to take a second glance (what is she wearing?), I personally really like the way they look. Almost retro. And hey, neon green.
Comfort: I really like the way the Aftershokz fit. They stay on my ears and don’t rub or feel heavy. And they even work with sunglasses.
Safety: Aside from the sound and the look of them, the other plus is that Aftershokz don’t go inside your ears. So when I was out running on the busy Portland waterfront during the evening commute (ie bikes EVERYWHERE), I could still hear what was behind and in front of me and listen to my podcasts or music at the same time. Bike bell? Yeah, heard that. On your left. Yep, heard that too.
Signal and charge: The signal is really, really good. I leave my phone in one room and continue to talk on the phone in the next room and boom, I still have great sound quality. Makes conference calls and getting chores done while listening to music a breeze! And, they last a long time – they say 6 hours – but I haven’t gone that long at a time with them just yet.
Noise: When there is excessive noise, like a loud bus going over a loud bridge, the sound gets a little muffled. But hey, I’ll take that over having something in my ears any damn day.
I’m a huge fan of Aftershokz. As a runner, dog mom, frequent conference caller, and someone who loves a little distraction while cooking and doing housework, they are the perfect alternative to earbuds. And just for y’all – my readers – if you use SWEATPINK at checkout, you’ll receive 20% off a pair of Aftershokz.