Lots of things are currently changing at Shokz (formerly AfterShokz). They’ve changed their name and the product names of some of their products and now they’ve launched a new product, the OpenRun Pro. 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.
In recent years I’ve used almost all of their bone conduction headphones, mostly while running, walking, and biking, but also to make hands-free calls. I use them to listen to music as well as audiobooks and podcasts. I started off with the Air, then the Aeropex, I’ve also used the OpenMove and use the OpenComm for online meetings, and recently I’ve been using the OpenRun, which is basically the Aeropex but with a quick charging function. Are you lost yet? No worries, I’ll explain and there is also an overview further down in this article.
The OpenRun and the OpenRun Pro are two different models. However, the Aeropex and OpenRun are almost the same product, but they just changed the name and added quick charging. All of the Shokz product names now start with Open, it’s the second part of the name by which you can tell them apart.
So, what’s the difference between the OpenRun and the new OpenRun Pro? The OpenRun Pro now has a longer battery life of 10 hours and it has bass enhancers built into the transducers. The buttons are also a bit bigger (to accomplish this they had to move the charging port a little) and it also has a quick charging function, which is even a bit faster than the OpenRun. If you charge it for 5 minutes, it should give you around 1.5 hours of listening time. And in general, it also charges faster, To fully charge the OpenRun takes around 1.5-2 hours, while the OpenRun Pro takes an hour. I’ve tested this and it does take me around an hour to fully charge the OpenRun Pro.
The OpenRun Pro comes in 4 different colors: Black, Blue, Pink and Beige (slightly different colors than that of the OpenRun), although the colors were not released all at the same time, so if you’re not able to find a certain color, that might be the reason why. The fit of the OpenRun Pro is quite similar to that of the OpenRun, you can wear them for hours and hardly notice you are wearing them. The transducers of the OpenRun Pro are a bit wider and flatter, but it’s not a huge difference. I guess that’s also why they didn’t give it an entirely new name, the OpenRun Pro is an upgrade, but it’s not an entirely new experience.
The OpenRun Pro now also comes with a hardshell carrying case. In previous editions, the carrying case was often quite thin and flexible so not ideal if you wanted to take your headphones along with you while traveling. There were third-party cases available of course, but that still wasn’t ideal.
And there is now an app that you can use to change the settings on your headphones, although it’s still possible to change them via the buttons as well. With the app you can change the EQ setting between the standard mode and the vocal mode or set up multipoint pairing. It also seems to allow for possible future software updates.
The only downside is that it went from IP67 water resistant in the OpenRun to IP55 with the OpenRun Pro. I’m assuming that’s because the OpenRun Pro has some openings on the transducers, presumably to help with the bass. It can still take some rain and sweat, but the OpenRun can really take the pouring rain (although those aren’t entirely waterproof either since you can’t swim with them, if you want to do that you should look at the OpenSwim).
Comparison between the current models:
|Battery||10 hours||8 hours||8 hours||8 hours||6 hours|
|Sound||9th generation||8th generation||7th generation||7th generation||7th generation|
|Charging time||1 hour||2 hours||1 hour||2 hours||2 hours|
|Weight||29 grams||26 grams||33 grams||30 grams||29 grams|
In songs where there is a lot of bass, you can clearly hear there is more of it compared to the OpenRun, which sounds a bit flatter. But I also do think the OpenRun Pro has a little bit more sound leakage than the OpenRun since it has added openings. The added 2 hours of battery life is nice, but for the average person it probably doesn’t matter too much.
So, should you upgrade? That depends on which model you have now and on your budget of course. If you really care about the bass or a longer battery life, the OpenRun Pro would be the better option. But the OpenRun gives you 8 hours of battery life, also has quick charging, and has a higher water resistance, but it’s a bit cheaper. Both are great headphones, it just depends on your priorities.