I’ve been using Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) headphones for 4 years now. I started using the Air in 2018, but for the past 2.5 years I’ve been using the Aeropex model and sometimes the OpenMove. They’ve now given the Aeropex a small upgrade and renamed it to OpenRun.
Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) makes bone conduction headphones. The vibrations go via your bones to your inner ear rather than via your eardrum and since the headphones sit in front of your ear rather than in it or over it, you are still able to hear your surroundings.
Bone conduction headphones are great for use outdoors and during sports. I use them while I’m outside running, cycling or walking. They are also great for handsfree calling, that’s why I also wear them while I’m volunteering at parkrun. If one of the other volunteers needs to reach me for whatever reason, I can easily pick up and talk to them without having to get my phone out and still having my hands free to continue whatever I was doing (setting up the course, barcode scanning ect).
I often get the question if you can wear the headphones with glasses or a hat. Yes, I wear them with sunglasses in summer without any issues and I also wear them with a hat when it rains or a beanie when it’s cold. If you wear a thick scarf that might push against the band at the back of your head, but I’ve never had them fall off my head in all these years and I’ve never had the feeling I couldn’t wear them in combination with another accessory.
So the new OpenRun is almost the same as the previous Aeropex, it has the same sound quality and the same 8 hour battery life, except now it has a quick charging function which allows you to quickly charge the battery for 10 minutes to get 1.5 hours of playing time. I actually think that’s great, because I’ve had it happen multiple times that I was about to go out for a run, turned on the headphones and it would tell me the battery was low. So that can now easily be fixed by charging it for 10 minutes and you’re good to go.
It now also automatically tells you the battery status when you turn it on, which wasn’t the case with the older editions of the Aeropex, but the newer ones also do that I believe. It also seems to me that the lady who does the talking when you turn the headphones on or off (Audrey is her name by the way) speaks a bit faster in this version and also has a slightly different voice. Overall the headphones seem to react slightly faster than the Aeropex, but it’s not a huge difference.
The packaging has also changed a bit, it’s no longer a magnetic box that you open up like a book, but nothing major and that obviously has nothing to do with the product itself. And you now get one charging cable instead of two, but you can easily order a new one online if you happen to lose yours.
A difference that you will notice is the difference in price. The Aeropex used to retail for €169.95 ($159.95 or £149.95) when it was just released. The OpenRun now retails for €139.95 ($129.95 or £129.95) for basically the same product. I suppose because they’ve changed the line-up and removed the mid-price headphones, the Air (which used to retail for €119.95). And since the Aeropex was released in 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shokz releases a new high end pair of headphones in the near future, since they seem to regularly release new products.
Not only did they change their brand name from AfterShokz to Shokz and the name of the Aeropex to OpenRun, they also changed the name of the Xtrainerz to OpenSwim. So the current line-up is now OpenRun for sports, OpenSwim for swimming, OpenComm for communication and the OpenMove for more general everyday use. But I’m sure there are stores that might still have some Aeropex or Air left in stock somewhere.
Comparison between the current models:
|Battery||8 hours||8 hours||8 hours||6 hours|
|Sound||8th generation||7th generation||7th generation||7th generation|
|Charging time||2 hours||1 hour||2 hours||2 hours|
|Weight||26 grams||33 grams||30 grams||29 grams|
In conclusion, the OpenRun is still the same pair of bone conduction headphones that the Aeropex was, with the same battery life and great audio quality, but with an added quick charging feature and a better price.
Note: The OpenRun was given to me by Shokz for this review, but all opinions are my own and Shokz has no say over what I put in this review.