Disclaimer: I received Aftershokz headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
During my last few races, I found myself wanting some music, but not wanting to deal with the headphones. I had never gotten on the bluetooth headphone train, but I was getting so frustrated with my headphone cords, or with the ear buds getting sweaty and falling out! I was so excited when BibRave presented me with the opportunity to try out some sick new headphones – the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium. What made me really excited was what makes these headphones different than other wireless headphones – they transmit sound through bone conduction!
Now, what is bone conduction, you say? Well, it’s great that you asked (and that the audiology classes from college are coming in handy)…
We have three little bones in each ear (the smallest in our bodies) that together are colled the ossicular chain that transmit mechanical energy that through a process is “heard” by our brain. Normally, sound waves vibrate our ear drums, therefore vibrating the ossicular chain. What you may not know is that these bones can also be set into motion by transmitting vibrations from your zygomatic (cheek) bone. Using this process for people with “normal” hearing lets you receive two inputs of sound at once!
All nerdiness aside, the #1 reason I love these headphones is because they allow my ear canals to be open. I used to avoid wearing headphones when running in my neighborhood or in Downtown Baltimore because I felt unsafe when I couldn’t hear my surroundings. Now, with my Aftershokz, I can! They are great for work when I want to zone out, but still want to make sure I can hear if someone is calling for me, or has a question I can answer.
In terms of sound quality, the Trekz Titanium are amazing! I think the sound quality is great, and if anything, it is improved because any ear wax build up (gross) or issues with the ear drum won’t affect the sound of whatever you’re listening to. The range is great, as I can be downstairs cleaning and my phone can be upstairs – with no connectivity or sound issues!
But, do they stay on? Fo sho! I’ve run 10-12 miles in them multiple times and haven’t had to adjust them at all. Even with my nuclear sweat, they stay in place and don’t bother me. There are also buttons on the side where you can change the volume so you don’t have to get out your phone.
There are very few negatives I could ever say about these. One is just simply that I have to wear my hair braided when I use them, or else I have a rat’s nest at the end at the run. I also wish I had gotten the smaller size – they stay on but the back does bounce a bit on me. The other downside is the price $130 is steep, for me. BUT now that I’ve tried them, they are worth every penny and I hope they last a long time!
Now, since I’ve been using headphones more often, what have I been listening to? During the first (easier paced) half of my long run, I listen to audiobooks. Other than that, I have a Spotify playlist that I’ve been changing for months. Here are a few of my favorites right now!
Also on my playlist are Disney songs! Seeing as how I used this training cycle to build a strong base for half marathon + marathon training for the Goofy Challenge in January. I can’t not share my favorite Disney running songs!
So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones, I highly recommend a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium ($129.99). They come in two sizes and four colors. If the price point is a little steep, they also have other models, that I bet are wonderful as well! If/when you order, use the code FREECASE for a free carrying case.
What are some of your favorite running tunes right now?
Do you use wired/wireless headphones when you run?