Call me ignorant but I had never heard of bone conduction earphones prior to testing out the Aeropex by AfterShokz. Let me tell you, it is life changing especially for someone like me who can never find any right fitting earbuds that stay in place for more than five minutes.
For those not in the know, bone conduction earphones use vibrations to convey sounds to the brain. The earphones aren’t in or over one’s ears but instead sit on the temporal bones to pass the sound waves directly to our cochlea.
Look and feel
The matte rubber gives the earphones a clean, minimal look and you’d be surprised at how light the Aeropex feels against your skin. I took the earphones out on a run... okay, a very slow walk around the neighbourhood... and it stayed in place between my cheeks and ears, without pinching my skin or slipping down from sweat.
The headband goes around the back of my head without making any contact with my head, and it doesn’t constrict my movements. The controllers are placed on both sides – on the right is a multi-purpose button to answer calls, skip songs, while on the left are the volume and power buttons.
Sound it out
While headphone purists might question the quality of the sound produced by bone conduction earphones, a regular Joe would be satisfied just as it is. The audio is quite clear – whether it is listening to music or having a phone conversation.
A plus for bone conduction earphones is that you can still be aware of your surrounding noises – like approaching vehicles – when out for a run or cycling.
And if you want to totally disconnect from the world while using the headphones, there is a pair of earplugs in the box that will block any ambient noise, and this is best used in a closed environment like an airplane or a lounge. It works even when you're up to 10m away from the connected device.
You can connect the headphone to two devices at once. Getting this to work is a little tricky, but follow the instructions in the accompanying manual and you will do just fine. The earphones have an IP67 dust/water resistance rating, meaning it can be submerged in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes.
And if the headphones are wet, you will get an alert when trying to charge it. It also offers up to eight hours of music and calls with a single charge – and it takes up to two hours to fully charge the wearable. Unfortunately, it uses a proprietary charging cable with magnet, which means that you can't afford to lose it, but the good news is that the box comes with an additional charging cable, just in case you do.
At RM739, the Aeropex by AfterShokz is a pricey, but surely a clever, investment in bone conduction earphones. It offers good sound quality, though the heightened vibration when listening on high volumes can be a distraction for some. It is available in Lunar Grey, Cosmic Black, Blue Eclipse and Solar Red.
Bone Conduction Headphones
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0; Up to 10m wireless range
OTHER FEATURES: Water and dust resistant (IP67)
BATTERY LIFE: Up to eight hours playback
RATING: 4/5 PRICE: RM739
Review unit courtesy of Nove Marketing (www.nove.my)
PROS: Light; doesn’t constrict movements; IP67 rating.
CONS: Proprietary charging cable; buzzing at high volume
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