A year has passed since I first took the leap and purchased a pair of open ear (aka bone-conduction) headphones. This style of headphone doesn’t cover the ears, but rather primarily delivers sound through the cheekbones. After extensive research in July 2016, I settled on the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, a 3rd generation model. I continue to wear this model almost daily and it has transformed my listening habits. Read more below, to learn why.
Why It’s Super
Unlike traditional headphones or earbuds, bone-conduction headphones leave the ears open for situational awareness, while still allowing the wearer to enjoy music, podcasts, and other audio. In my experience, there are two primary applications for this type of headphone:
- Hiking/biking/jogging in urban areas (to be aware of vehicles) or in rural areas (to be aware of animals).
- Working in an office, when needing to hear alerts or questions from coworkers.
The Trekz Titanium headphones have a solid feel, good controls, and feature Bluetooth 4.1 for clear audio. Battery life has been excellent, getting me through a full day of listening before needing to recharge. They fit securely but are so light and comfortable, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing headphones. The band has a titanium core, which is both flexible and strong, so I haven’t been afraid of breaking the headphones through repeated and active use.
Why It’s Sad
Nothing can beat the embrace of high-quality traditional headphones, the kind that can deliver rich audio while excluding the hubbub of the outside world. In situations where you can immerse yourself in sound and let the environment fade, don’t wear the bone-conduction headphones. But, if you need to be aware of what’s going on around you and still want to listen to your favourite tunes, I say give them a go!
My Trekz Titanium headphones have allowed me to bike to work more safely. They have allowed me to enjoy music while still naturally engaging with my co-workers as needed. For these two reasons, they have been my go-to headphones on an almost daily basis for over a year.