Last week a package arrived at my office, it included a press release and a pair of over ear bone conduction headphones that don’t actually plug or fit into the ear, I had not only never heard of the Aeropex brand and their Aftershokz headphones before, I have also never ever reviewed a pair of bone conducting headphones.
The technology behind these devices is radically different from what the big headphone brands such as Sennheiser, Bose and Beats have traditionally dished up, and after trying it I was hooked.
The Aeropex headphones rely on fingertip-sized transducers to push sound through the left and right sides of your cheekbones, instead of putting a bud in the ear this technology sits on the outside of the ear canal.
The transducers vibrate as music plays, much like a driver inside of an earbud does, except this vibration makes its way to your inner ear by taking an alternate route through your skin and bones.
The effect is crystal clear sound and you also have the benefit of having your ear free when someone wants to talk to you eliminating the need to hit a pass through button or take out a pair of buds.
I like Aftershokz’s new Aeropex more than I thought I would, and I truly believe that there is a big future for this type of technology.
Whether you are playing a song from Spotify or taking a call the audio is crisp and clear though you do occasionally get to feel the audio vibrating if the transducers that sit just above one’s ears are slightly out of alignment, if this is an issue it could be that the volume is up too high. It’s tough not to notice the vibration at first, but the effect disappears as one spends more time with these headphones on.
This technology is also ideal for cyclists as it allows a rider to remain in the moment and alert without a headphone clouding out background noise.
One can not only sit them on your head with them held in place by your ears they allow one to also have a conversation in a coffee shop or listen to music while also picking up other noises around you, they are also far more comfortable to wear than a traditional over ear or in hear headphones.
Aftershokz claims that the new transducers have better sound quality than its predecessors, when I was listening to music with the Aeropex the sound was clear and crisp but if the transducers move away from the bone the sound can turn a touch hollow.
There was good clear depth in the mids and highs, so rock and pop music as well as other genres that typically place more emphasis on those frequencies, sound food. I played a big dose of Aretha Franklin, some smooth Jazz and a lot of Motown and Bruce Springsteen and whatever track I chose it sounded good enough when walking or moving around.
If you want audiophile quality these are not the headphones for you, and neither are the bulk of tin ear headphones that are hitting the
These bone conduction headphones also deliver a unique refined look and are not as noticeable as a pair of white Apple AirPods that look like massive earrings.
In the box are two proprietary cables that magnetically latches to the water sensing charging pins, the headphones are IP67-rated and can handle being submerged for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water.
You can also pair two devices to these headphones, and they can seamlessly switch between them.
This is a neat pair of headphones that are highly practical, more comfortable than many other buds or in ear headphones that we have tested during the past two years.
The sound is exactly what you want crisp and clear but more importantly the concept of bone conduction eliminates the problem of having a headphone stuck in your ear that restricts natural sound flow. You can still wear them in a coffee shop and be able to have a conversation or when riding a bike hear other noises that add an additional safety element.
At $249 these are well worth the investment and I am sure because of the design you stand a better chance of not losing them.