Many people listen to music while they workout. Trying to figure out this aspect of running for me has been a bunch of hit and miss. In the early days, it consisted of me carrying my phone in my hand, through the summer months, while being tied to my old fashioned earbuds from Apple. I cannot describe to you the freedom I felt when I finally invested in the latest technology for running accessories, the armband. That’s right, a good old fashioned velcro strapped device that I could put on my arm and not have to hold that stupid phone in my sweaty hands the entire run.
Over the next few years, few developments would be made. I would upgrade from the old school earbuds to Apple’s new design. From there, I went from an armband to a hydration vest that holds my phone. All the while, I am still dealing with this annoying white cord flapping around or restricting my head movements. On top of that, having my ears plugged with buds while they filled up with sweat got pretty uncomfortable. Especially on those longer runs. I can’t tell you the amount of times I just stopped listening to anything because I didn’t want anything in my ears anymore.
Enter the next revolution in my audio running experience, the Aftershokz headphones. I had seen these things all over social media and the more I heard about them, the more I thought, “WANT!!” They are bone conducting headphones that sit OUTSIDE your ears. The thought of having my ears unplugged and open to the air around me, let alone open to the sounds around me, seemed too good to be true.
Luckily, it wasn’t. Aftershokz has these headphones in bluetooth and wired models. I got the bluetooth model and cannot be more happy with them. No more wires, no more plugged ears, no more sweaty filling up my headphones. Just throw them on and head out. The amazing thing is, they don’t move either. Ear buds would bounce around and side out of my ears. These stay put, even during those hard track workouts.
One hesitation I had with them was that I heard if you have a larger head, they don’t fit quite as comfortable. I know from when I go to buy fitted baseball hats, that my size is usually pulled from the back of the store because it’s not the average size. I have been using these babies for over a month and can tell you that they sit comfortable throughout the entire run. I use them for everything. Around the house, at work, and working out. The only time I feel anything is if I wear them all day at work, but that’s quite a bit of time.
The headphones also have built in volume controls and playback controls for your music, allowing you to turn your music off and on without pulling out your phone. The battery life on them lasts quite awhile, up to 6 hours. There is a battery gauge that will show up on your phone so you know where you’re at and when they are close to needing a charge, Aftershokz will remind you to “Charge Me.”
The only issue that I’ve experienced with them is the bluetooth pairing. They connected easily the first time and would connect no problem for the first several weeks I’ve had them. More recently I’ve had to forget the device on my phone and go through the repairing setup a few times. Even having to shut down my phone and turn it back on again. It’s a minor bug, but it’s a little bit annoying at times. Not sure if it’s because I’ve now paired them with other devices in my home (ie. my laptop), but they always pair again and I’m back to enjoying podcasts and music in no time.
I cannot recommend these highly enough. They have been game changers for me. One day I forgot to charge them and had to do my long run without them. It’s amazing how I debated not even bringing wired headphones on my run just because of how annoying they are to me now compared to the new found freedom of wireless, out of ear headphones.
If you’re in the market for some new headphones, even if you’re not, I’d give these a shot. The sound quality is great, the vibration you get from the bass feels really cool and the comfort of all the perks wireless, open ear headphones have to offer are all here.