We have reviewed a number of headphones here, but none are perhaps more interesting than those from Aftershokz. They have built their reputation on building solid performing headphones, but with one catch… they don’t go on your ear. Instead, the Aftershokz system uses bone based audio conduction and sit just in front of your ear. Recently, we had our chance to get up close with the Trekz Air Bluetooth model and put them through their paces.
What’s in The Box
The Aftershokz Trekz Air includes the headphone unit itself, a well designed carrying bag, a micro USB cable, and then all the usual manuals. The packaging is well done and the entire design does have a nice premium feel.
Battery Life and Charging
The Trekz Air charges via a micro USB interface on the left under side of the unit, adjacent to the volume and power controls. It sits behind a rubberized door which seals well and prevents the entry of sweat and water. A single charge takes roughly 2 hours and will allow for 6 hours of continuous runtime. During our testing, we found this timing to be fairly consistent and if anything it even charges quicker in most cases.
The Aftershokz Trekz Air is really unlike anything that most people have ever tried before. It changes the way you think headphones in by removing it from the ear and really adds a new layer of safety to some degree to your run. This is primarily due to the fact that in-run if you were a headphone user, you are honestly missing a lot of external activity given the bubble that you’re in. The Aftershokz model using conduction audio is more like listening to a speaker and honestly keep you more hyper aware of what’s happening around you in our opinion. It does take some getting used to of course because the sound is very different, things are a bit more muted in terms of what you’re listening to, but I mean that in a good way.
While in-run it works very similarly to any any other headphone meaning the controls and the playback. The sound quality is quite good again it’s more of a speaker than something you’re hearing directly in ear so again some adjustment period, but the over-arching performance and functionality is identical. During all of our testing, the bluetooth connection remained consistently strong throughout the run. That unit itself is very light and handles sweat and rain without much difficulty. They show 6 hours of continuous, but the battery life is slightly suspect for longer runners.
Little things we loved were the nice handy carry bag, the simplicity of the design, and honestly the unit itself feels very high-quality both in terms of aesthetics and actual feel. It is definitely something I would use more regularly as part of my routine given that I feel like it adds that extra layer of protection to my run and allows me to get the sound that I like to have when I run, but also leaves me free to listen to what’s happening around me.
The Aftershokz Trekz Air is something entirely different from what you’ve experienced prior. Don’t let that talk you out of it though, it offers a great mix of sound, and safety due to its design that a lot of headphones just don’t offer. The big drawback is of course battery life and the utilization on longer runs. That being said, for most runners these things are dead simple to use, probably better for your hearing in the long run, and they keep you safe are because you’re more diligent about what’s happening around you while you’re out there. They also come in 4 different color choices, which is always a huge plus!
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 1.06 oz
- MSRP: $149.95
- Available: Now