Go to any group run or event around the country and you will inevitably see swathes of people wearing Aftershokz Bone Conductor headphones. But what is all the fuss really about?
After months of seeing people wearing them and hearing great things, I bit the bullet and bought a pair. Now they aren’t cheap. A pair of the latest Afterhokz Air cost a tidy £99 (recently reduced from £150 – anyone else think a new release might be imminent).
What are they?
Aftershokz Air Bone Conductor headphone are no ordinary headphones. Rather than sitting inside your ear, they rest against the outside. They work by vibrating against your cheek bone allowing you to “hear” the music. It’s an odd sensation and speaking from experience not one to try if you already have tooth ache (I learned that the hard way).
This technology leaves the ear open and means you can hear the environment around you. Not only is this safer, particularly when running on roads, but it’s also a lot more social during group runs. No longer do you have to choose between music and hearing your fellow runners anecdotes of last weekends ultramarathon (definitely not jealous).
They are Bluetooth, meaning no irritating wires to get tangled up in while running and sweat resistant – a real must for any dedicated running headphones.
The big question: Are they worth the money?
Honestly, yes. The sound quality might not be as good as a £300 over ear pair of Bose headphones with noise cancelling technology. Some songs may have a decidedly tinny tinge. But overall the sound quality is more than acceptable and the fit is great – they don’t move at all when i’m running.
One things that’s worth taking into consideration is the UKAA (Athletics governing body) will only allow bone conduction headphones at any event which is held on public roads. Aftershokz Air headphones meet all the requirements. It’s certainly worth checking the rules and regulations at your next event.
Would I buy another pair… without a shadow of a doubt. I will not go back to running in a normal pair of headphones every again.