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AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, Ocean Blue, (AS600OB)
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- BONE CONDUCTION TECHNOLOGY - Our bone conduction technology and OpenFit design delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring your ears remain completely open to ambient sounds for maximum situational awareness during long-term wear.
- BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY - Modern wireless headphones with Bluetooth v4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing compatible with your iOS and Android Bluetooth-ready smartphones or tablets and Mac and PC computers and laptops.
- DESIGNED FOR LONG WEAR - Trekz Titanium wraparound headbands are lightweight and flexible to ensure maximum comfort during extended wear. Combined with a long battery life, this compact, slim fit allows you to enjoy continuous music and calls for six hours at a time.
- QUALITY SOUND - Innovative AfterShokz headphones deliver a premium audio experience. With PremiumPitch technology that delivers a wide dynamic range and rich bass, and LeakSlayer technology to significantly reduce natural sound leakage, you are ensured the best on-the-go audio.
- ULTIMATE DURABILITY - Our IP55 certified sport headphones repel sweat, dust and moisture throughout your indoor or outdoor exercise routine. These sturdy workout headphones withstand your most strenuous running, cycling, and more! EQ presets reduce vibration.
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For the reasons listed below, I think this is the best "cyborg"-style audio interface to the brain available. There are limitations and it's not "one headset to rule them all", but overall I'm quite happy and if you took mine today I'd buy another tomorrow.
- For most use cases (and any casual listening), audio quality is just fine. Frequency perception across the spectrum will never be as consistent as headphones designed foremost for AQ, but you'll only be disappointed if you A/B them with a set of monitors or audiophile headphones.
- The headset doesn't block your hearing. If you play music much louder than ambient sounds, then ambient sounds still get hard to hear, i.e. your situational awareness still suffers proportional to listening volume, but less so than for normal headphones. I still usually hear cars approaching from behind while cycling.
- It feels more "natural" to talk on the phone with this than with obstructing headphones or earbuds, because you hear the sound of your own voice normally.
- This headset is 100% compatible with glasses and helmet straps, and it's easiest if you put on the headset after everything else. (You may have issues if the temple arms of your glasses are especially thick, but I don't.)
- The headset is plenty comfortable to wear for a few hours; I wear it in anticipation of a phone call. (Like anything worn on the head, you'll eventually you'll want to take it off.)
- The rubber-coated "spring" connecting the two halves is pretty durable as advertised. It got bent a little out of shape from traveling in a backpack, and I bent it back. The included case is soft-sided and probably doesn't make much difference.
- I've owned several "glitchy" bluetooth devices and this isn't one of them. Turn it on and your paired computer/tablet/phone connects right away.
Some awesome, unexpected use cases:
- Voice directions for GPS navigation while cycling -- much better and safer than looking down at a navigation display.
- Videoconferencing via Google Hangouts and the like -- I've given 2-hour remote presentations wearing them, and they are barely noticable on camera.
- Sometimes I'll use it while driving instead of the car audio system, and when I get where I'm going, I step out and walk away with no interruption in the audio or having to fidget with anything.
- The microphone doesn't handle background or wind noise well. It's OK for phone conversations while driving, but people can't hear me while I'm washing dishes. Wind from forward motion greater than about 5-8 MPH also drowns out the microphone, so, walking on the phone is fine but cycling on the phone doesn't work.
- Forward motion greater than ~15-18 MPH catches enough wind noise to drown out the headphones, even at high listening volumes. As a cyclist, this is fine for commuting and mountain biking, but on fast road stretches I hear mostly wind.
- At high volumes the drivers vibrate your face a lot at certain bass frequencies. I notice this most when listening to a podcast with a lot of bass in the recording. The equalizer has two settings, 'less bass' and 'more bass', and sometimes switching to 'less bass' mitigates the vibration.
- When there is a constantly high ambient noise floor (e.g. on an aircraft), it's hard to hear whatever you're listening to, even at high volumes. You can put in earplugs(!) to shut this out, and your audio will sound clearer yet bassier. Noise isolating headphones are really better for flying.
- Sometimes changing the equalizer setting seems to have no effect, which could be a firmware bug or just my unsophisticated ears.
- There is some external audio leakage which gets worse at moderate-to-high volumes. It's not bad enough to annoy people in an office if you're listening at volumes that allow you to hear someone trying to get your attention.
- Multipoint pairing doesn't work. It will remember multiple paired devices but only ever connect to one at a time. If you want to connect your computer you need to disconnect your phone first.
- You get about 10 minutes of warning before the battery dies. This isn't a big deal because the battery life is pretty long and quick to charge, thankfully with the same micro-USB cable that everything else uses.
You may ask "why four stars with all these issues?" They're all manageable/minor annoyances or corner cases. I also feel that we should support unproven, promising new technolgies that may improve everyone's lives, especially when developed by non-megacorps. With that perspective, perhaps I'm more likely to forgive little issues. Looking forward to see how much better these get in a few years.
Not only am I interested in using them listening to music while im working out, but even more-so with the ability to have a clear conversation on the phone.
In the past, I have used ear plugs and over the ear phones.. and in both cases, I really hated the way it isolated me from my environment, so I would inevitably leave on ear plug out, or leave one or both of the over the ear phones an inch or two off my ears. This was so I could hear my environment, whether it be my co-workers trying to get my attention or that car that is about to smash into me while im riding.
My other requirement was a desire for stereo sound, mostly for being able to understand someone on the phone.
These headphones meet all of my requirements and even exceeded them.
The fact that I can pair it to more than one device, means that at work, I pair my AfterShokz to my desk phone (bluetooth) and at the same time to my cell phone, so I can stream pandora. When a call comes in, the music pauses and I take the call. The call is clear, I have never had any complaints about the quality of my microphone. They are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, but I will on occasion just wear them around my neck ready to put them back on once needed.
The controls are pretty easy, there is on main multi-function button and two volume buttons.
The sound is surprisingly better than I expected. I have read numerous reviews about bone conduction head phones, so I was pretty well aware that I likely wouldn't get the full audio immersion. So, while I agree, if you are an audiophile and looking for maximum qaulity of sound largely in the lows/bass you might be dissapointed. But call clarity was on point, and the music was still pretty good if not great by my standards.
If you have never experienced bone conduction headphones, it might be a little different. When you turn the volume up the pads will kinda, tickle your skin. Other people largely wont be able to hear anything until the volume is turned up. But for references, when the volume is turned up, I can take the headphones off and I can hear the music, likely more faintly than a pair of ear plugs or over the ear phones.
When you use the provided ear plugs or even just plug your ears with your fingers, the sound improves dramatically.
I have only had these headphones for a couple of days, so I will update my review as I continue to put them through their paces.
after using these headphones for 2 or 3 weeks, I can still safely say I enjoy them a lot! I have gotten much better at locating and using the built-in buttons (mutli-function and volume buttons etc). I use them constantly for taking and placing calls from both my bluetooth enabled desk phone and cell phone. The multipoint feature of these things is great.
The sound quality is surprisingly good. I often leave the volume down low, so I can hear more of the ambient sounds. I find that it is very similar to being in a restaurant that is playing music in background. If they turn it up, you wont hear conversations as well.. but if is low, you can hold a conversation perfectly well. So there is a constant trade-off to how much ambient sound you can hear based on the volume level. and again, as I mentioned earlier, the ear plugs dramatically improve the sound quality.
With that said here is my criticism:
I really hate the way they ride on my head. it is a behind the head setup with the titanium band. So it really becomes irritating when I try to lean back in my chair, lay down on my pillow, or wear clothing like.. for example a hoodie, or a heavy coat... invariably it causes the band to come into contact with something that causes the transducers/pads to move or shift into a less than ideal place. Sometimes when I crane my head back to look up, that band contacts my neck.
This is literally my only complaint at the moment.
in hot summer weather my ears sweat like crazy in normal headphones, so these are perfect
Good for running (my head is on the smaller side, but they don't fall off)
Good for making phone calls, can hear the person I'm talking to clearly, and the mic seems to working fine too (no complaints from the other side, at least)
- Whether you like the sound or not, depends on type of music you listen
- The user manual is too short and confusing: the package includes some weird rubber bands with tentacley things - "for size adjustment" - but from the manual I couldn't understand how to use them. Also some pics with recommendations on how to fit the headphones propertly on your head would be nice, but there are none.
- the build quality is no good - I've been using them for two days only, and the rubber-y blue thing on the side started falling off already! ( see pic) For 130 dollars it's somewhat disappointing.