I’ve been an AfterShokz user for the past 2.5 years now. AfterShokz is the number one company for bone conduction headphones. The transducers on the headphones send small vibrations through your cheekbones to your inner ear. Through bone conduction it bypasses the ear drums and leaves your ears open so you can still hear your surroundings. It’s great for anyone who exercises outdoors or anyone that wants to listen to audio whilst still being aware of what is going on around them.
There are also more and more races that advise runners not to wear regular headphones during races, because you can’t hear the people around you or marshals giving you instructions. Often those races do allow you to wear AfterShokz headphones, because they don’t go into your ear or cover your ear, but they go in front of your ear.
I don’t only use my AfterShokz headphones whilst running, I also use them while traveling, walking, biking or around the house. They are great for hands free navigation whilst you are riding your bike or making hands free calls so you can do two things at the same time. Or for listening to audiobooks or a podcast while you are going for a walk. You can also easily switch between two devices, so for example between your phone and your computer.
I first used the Air and after that I switched to the Aeropex. The line up from AfterShokz used to be (from cheapest to most expensive): Titanium, Air, Xtrainerz (for swimming) and Aeropex. Now AfterShokz has upgraded its cheapest model, the Titanium, with their new OpenMove headphones.
Aftershokz headphones stay on your head while running, they don’t bounce around and you can wear them with (sun)glasses and a hat without any issues (or sunglasses and a biking helmet), because the frame goes around the back of your head and not on top of it. The OpenMove comes in four different colors: Slate Grey, White, Blue and Pink.
I never had the Titanium, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with the OpenMove, since I’m used to the Aeropex. AfterShokz describes them as follows: “For those who’ve never tried open-ear headphones, we believe comfort, situational awareness and secure fit are crucial elements when it comes to headphones for daily use; that’s what motivates us to develop open-ear headphones with bone conduction technology. We hope the OpenMove makes bone conduction technology accessible for anyone who’d like to enjoy listening to audio comfortably and safely.”
The OpenMove is not as flexible as the Aeropex and there is basically only one way you can wear it, whereas with the Aeropex you can shift it around a little. The design is also a bit less sleek, but that doesn’t really bother me. I’ve tested the OpenMove on runs and used it to make phone calls and listen to podcasts. Because it’s less flexible it is a bit less comfortable than the Aeropex, but it’s nearly half the price as well.
So what’s new with the OpenMove? It has the same IP55 waterproof rating as the Titanium and Air, but that’s mainly due to the charging system. The OpenMove is the first model that has USB-C charging. It also has the same 6 hour battery life as the Titanium or Air. However, it is lighter than those two. It only weighs 29 grams.
Something else that has changed is the EQ (equalization) settings. All other models have 2 settings, generally a standard setting and one for when you are wearing earplugs (for when you do want to block out noise). But the OpenMove has an extra EQ setting, a voice setting. For when you are making calls or listening to a podcast or audiobook. Which brings me to another big improvement, the sound. It is clearly better than that of the Air and close to that of the Aeropex. The Aeropex has a bit deeper sound, but the OpenMove comes close. And when it comes to the voice EQ settings, I can hardly notice a difference in sound between the OpenMove and the Aeropex.
|PremiumPitch 2.0||PremiumPitch+||PremiumPitch+||PremiumPitch 2.0+||PremiumPitch 2.0+|
|6 hour battery||6 hour battery||6 hour battery||8 hour battery||8 hour battery|
|29 grams||36 grams||30 grams||30 grams||26 grams|
|3 EQ||2 EQ||2 EQ||2 EQ||2 EQ|
The OpenMove is a great choice if you want to use bone conduction headphones and think you’ll use them regularly but for shorter periods at a time. Maybe for a two or three hour workout or for commuting to work or making a few phone calls. If you think you are going to use your headphones for hours on end every day, I would recommend you go for the Aeropex instead. However, the OpenMove is a great deal. It has a great sound, only weighs 29 grams, has 3 EQ settings and it’s only €90.
Note: The OpenMove was given to me by AfterShokz for this review, however all opinions are my own.