I need music to run but admit I’m not keen on blocking out the whole world while I do it – AfterShokz Headphones aim to solve the problem.
The USP of AfterShokz is that they don’t actually sit in or on your ears, but on your face just in front of your ears (see look carefully at the pic of the sporty girl to your left). The music is then conducted through to your ears via vibrations in the bones of your skull – it’s pinched from military technology apparently. Anyway, the point to you is that in theory it’s a much safer way to exercise outside as you can more clearly hear what’s going on around you…
My Verdict on AfterShokz
My first thought was these were made by a man – or at least a woman who doesn’t have both a ponytail and glasses. It took a little bit of fiddling to get them in place and even as I headed off down the road my glasses were a bit skewy – which when you’re as blind as I am, makes your vision a bit off. In fact, it’s how I imagine jogging drunk would feel like (note to self: this might make good post during my upcoming trip to Krakow).
Once I’d wiggled everything about though I was pleasantly surprised at how clearly my music came through. Despite this though you’re definitely more aware of what’s going on around you with them in – you can clearly hear traffic and I dodged two of those runner/car combat zones where they are reversing out of their drive and you have to screech to a halt because neither of you are aware of the other because I did hear their engine. However, don’t let them lull you into a completely false sense of security – unless the music was on VERY low, I couldn’t hear my own footsteps while I was running, which means you also wouldn’t hear anyone running up behind you. You still need to keep your wits about you. So, what other pros and cons came up during my AfterShokz testing …
1) They don’t fall out. Unless my ipod earbuds are positioned exactly I can find myself fiddling with them for ages. This circumvents the problem.
2) They might be better for your ears: Recent research from India has shown that earbuds pick up bacteria and, if you don’t clean them often these bugs could trigger ear infections. Because these don’t go in your ears that’s not going to happen.
3) They’d be great in events. I know a lot of races now ban headphones, but in those that don’t these give you the best of both worlds – you can listen to music but also listen to the banter of people around you and instructions from the marshals.
1) If you live in the vicinity of a school full of oiks like I do, the lovely comments about the suitability or otherwise of your boobs for running are not blanked out. I advise combining them with a Panache sports bra to mitigate the potential for grief.
2) You do have to remember to recharge them. If you are an organised person this is not a problem, if you are me, this could potentially lead to silence halfway through your work out
3) For any super musos out there The Boyfriend – who listens to his music on speakers that make the house shake says the base quality isn’t perfect.
4) I now know that the orthotics in my trainers squeak, really, really badly. If this sounds like you too check out some solutions here
Overall though, they’re good if you run in highly trafficked areas and if I ever get fit enough to enter any events again I’ll definitely use these for them. If you run in quiet places, it’s still best to leave the headphones (of any description) at home though.
So, have you tried AfterShokz? If so, what did you think – or what are your favourite running headphones and why?
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Since I first tried these headphones AfterShokz have expanded their range quite significantly. I tested the entry level model (that’s the blue ones in the first picture below) which cost less than £50. But they’ve also added a newer version that contains a built-in microphone that you can pair with your phone. Those are the pink ones below – although they do come in other colours. To find out more details, click on the picture and you’ll head off to the AfterShokz page on amazon where you’ll find full details.
*NYNHB is a member of Amazon Associates so I get a small (much appreciated) commission if you click on any amazon links and buy anything. – oh and this post was originally written before I signed up so est assured it’s completely independent