Before I get into my review, let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with headphones. Our relationship throughout the years has been, well…a bit complicated. It’s usually hard to find a set that fits consistently and doesn’t die out quickly. I’ve also had issues with some not jiving with my iPhone – for whatever reason, some headphones will activate the voice control on my phone and interrupt my music. This is the most irritating thing to ever happen on a run. You get into a zone and then suddenly your music stops and Siri asks, “What Can I Help You With?” Annoying.
This has led to a graveyard of headphones in my junk drawer. It’s quite sad, but I don’t really know what to do with them. I feel bad just throwing them out like garbage when I know they meant well and they tried, they really tried…but the relationship just wasn’t working out and we had to part ways. So I just keep them there for emergencies in case my first string headphones (a popular wireless brand that used to be endorsed by a certain music producer) get injured and I need to call upon a backup pair.
So when I heard there was a brand of headphones that don’t actually fit inside your ears, but rather go on the OUTSIDE of your ears, I was intrigued. I originally thought, No way these will work at all!
Allow me to introduce you to…Aftershokz!
Aftershokz headphones are different because they are bone-conducting. What does that mean? Basically the sound is transmitted through your cheekbones to your inner ear via vibrations – avoiding your eardrums altogether. Pretty sweet, huh? No more worrying about killing your eardrums with all that loud music and most importantly, you can listen to your music while staying aware of your surroundings. That second part was especially important to me since I run alone sometimes or while pushing my kids. Whether I’m running on a scenic path or around the neighborhood with a lot of traffic, I like the idea of being able to hear everything around me while still enjoying my tunes or a Bibrave Podcast.
You will first have to charge up your headphones even though they’re wired, but don’t sweat, it doesn’t take too long. The first thing I noticed about the Aftershokz headphones was that they fit really well! Even during a 5-mile run, they didn’t budge! And I could hear the music loud and clear! Now, if you are used to listening to your music at an obscene volume level, these will take a little getting used to…but your 50-year-old eardrums will thank you later. 😉 I could also hear my surroundings, which is great for trails!
Then I took my Aftershokz for a spin on the bike in the gym!
This was both good and bad. The good – I usually watch a Netflix show while I’m on the stationary bike and these headphones really bring your shows to life! If there was a train or a car in a scene, the sides of my head would vibrate – so it almost makes your favorite shows interactive. 😉 The bad – I could hear my surroundings a little too well. As in…other people’s conversations in the gym. So that part was a little distracting as I like to kind of zone out while I’m cross-training or strength training.
So what about that microphone part? Well, I put it to the ultimate test. I took it outside and made a phone call to an automated service. Gasp! Yes, and guess what? I didn’t have to repeat myself one time and I was transferred correctly the first time, every time. I was…Shocked. Also, when I received a notification on my phone I didn’t get an alert tone through the headphones, but the music did lower briefly and then increase again.
Can you hear me now? Just kidding.
How much does it cost? This model – the Sportz Titanium with Mic runs $59.95 and comes in 2 colors. You can learn about their other products here. And they always offer FREE shipping! They also offer a 45-day return period and a 2-year limited warranty.
So here is my overall impression:
- Open-ear concept – I liked being able to hear my surroundings while outside
- Good fit – lightweight and comfortable
- Reasonable price plus free shipping
- In-line controls with options to play, skip, and pause
- 12 hours of music on one charge
- Good quality microphone
- Being able to hear conversations in smaller areas
- No option to adjust the headband – while it worked fine for me, I’m not sure these are one-size-fits-all
- The power source is the heaviest part and is at the bottom of the wire, close to the headphone jack…which makes it a little cumbersome
- Wired – I’ve sorta gotten used to the wireless life so it takes a little adjusting to go back to wired headphones. However, it’s nice to know that these won’t automatically die after about 2 hours of play.
Overall, I was literally SHOCKED by the Aftershokz headphones! I’m now a believer in bone-conducting headphones! I’ll definitely be using these more often when I’m in an area where I need to hear my surroundings. I think I would invest in a pair of the wireless ones in order to use them ALL the time since the wire gets in the way sometimes. I also didn’t use the microphone feature a whole lot as I prefer to text or just ignore calls altogether while I’m running so it’s not something I would need right now.
But wait! There’s more! My headphones came with….you guessed it! SWAG!
Yep, they came with a sweet water bottle that I use all the time! I love that it’s stainless steel so it doesn’t hold all the bacteria that plastic bottles do. It also has a screw-top, leak-proof lid and keeps my water super cold all throughout my workout! It’s sleek and fits in most cup-holders and well, I think it looks pretty snazzy. 😉
Want one for yourself?! Order a pair of Sportz Titanium w/mic and score a FREE water bottle (a $14.95 value) of your own! But you must use this link! —> http://bibrave.aftershokz.com
Don’t you want to fall in love with your own pair? 😉 Happy running!
And catch me on #Bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 6pm PST! You may even win a prize! 😉
***Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones with microphone along with a water bottle for free to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro and check out Bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews!