AfterShokz open-ear headphones review

Listening to music while you run can help you go faster and further. It can also make a long run less monotonous and boost your runner’s high. Unfortunately, running anywhere except a treadmill while wearing headphones or earbuds can be dangerous because it isolates you from your environment. 

AfterShokz has a solution. The company’s bone conduction headphones don’t cover your ears — they transmit sound to your eardrums via vibrations sent through bone. According to the manufacturer, these workout headphones have an “innovative open-ear design” that allows the runner to stay present. They’re lightweight, flexible, sweatproof and durable.

This sounded like the perfect set of running headphones, so we tested the AfterShokz Air, and here’s what we found.

Testing the AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Our tester has used these wireless headphones for the past year. They wear them for extended periods and are most interested in comfort, ease of connection and the ability to make hands-free calls without breaking up. They have also tested the AfterShokz Air headphones with different music in various environments to gauge their overall performance in numerous situations.

What are the AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones?

AfterShokz headphones are open-ear headphones. This means they don’t cover your ears. Instead, they transmit music and other audio to the eardrums through the bones of the head and jaw, leaving your ears free to take in ambient sounds. They have a lightweight design at just 1.06 ounces and are made with sweat-resistant rubber. We found these two characteristics made these innovative Bluetooth headphones ideal for athletes.

AfterShokz Bluetooth headphones come with earplugs, a USB charging cable and a silicone travel case. They’re available in four different colors: Slate Grey, Midnight Blue, Canyon Red and Forest Green.

AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones price and where to buy

AfterShokz Air wireless headphones are available for $99.95 on Amazon

How to use the ​​AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Fit

These headphones are very comfortable. They fit around the top of your ear and are snug enough to feel secure but not so tight that they feel uncomfortable. Unless you’re laying down with your head on a pillow, you don’t even feel the wraparound frame. We could wear these headphones for extended periods with no discomfort.

Pairing

Pairing the AfterShokz Bluetooth headphones was easy. All it took was holding the “plus” button for a few seconds to initiate the process. Once you do that, we found we could connect to any device. Throughout the trial period, we connected to a MacBook, an iPhone, a Google Pixel 4 and Amazon Omni Fire TV. We experienced no issues with any device.

Audio quality

The bone-conducting technology doesn’t diminish the audio quality of these headphones. The sound comes in crystal clear for both podcasts and music. While the bass is good, it isn’t as prominent as other headphones on the market.

Phone quality

Compared to other Bluetooth headsets we’ve used, AfterShokz is excellent. We rarely experienced a dropped call due to the Bluetooth connection, and the ability to answer with just a tap makes wearing this headset super convenient.

AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones benefits

We loved the combination of high-quality audio and comfort found in these headphones. The ability to hear your environment helps keep you safe and present while wearing. It was easy to get a snug fit, and the batteries lived up to the company’s claim of lasting up to six hours.

AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones drawbacks

While these Bluetooth headphones offer excellent performance, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you want to block out environmental noise, you must use the included earplugs. There is no built-in voice assistant or hands-free controls. After wearing these headphones for several hours, we noticed our temples could get a little tender, but it wasn’t to the point of discomfort.

Should you get the AfterShokz Wireless Bluetooth Headphones?

AfterShokz Air wireless headphones

The AfterShokz Air wireless headphones are so unique they’re hard to compare to other models. If you’re an athlete or you need to hear what’s going on in your environment while listening to music or podcasts, these headphones are one of the best options available. They offer excellent sound quality, long-lasting comfort, are sweat-resistant and feature innovative technology. If, however, you’re looking for noise-canceling headphones that isolate you from the environment, these are not the headphones for you.

Consider other products

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max

Apple AirPods Max are a high-end over-ear headphone option. They have a two-button interface, are easy to use and offer an active noise-canceling mode as well as a transparency mode. Apple’s spatial audio makes it sound like you are listening to music in a room, not wearing a pair of headphones. 

Sold by Amazon

Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Sony’s wireless headphones have a remarkable 30-hour battery life with an impressive quick charge that can provide up to five hours after just 10 minutes. The simple touch controls let you play, pause, skip tracks, control volume, answer phone calls and more. 

Sold by Amazon

Bose 700 Noise-Canceling Headphones

Bose 700 Noise-Canceling Headphones

These headphones are from a recognized name in audio. They can be fine-tuned via an app, which gives them superior sound quality that you can tailor to your tastes. They’re lightweight and work with both Alexa and Siri. 

Sold by Amazon

 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.