Disclaimer: I received a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Airs to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I’d consider myself a music guy, a musician even — I listen to a lot of music. But look back over the last couple of years of my run selfies on Instagram and you’ll not find many with me wearing earphones.
I think I have funny shaped ear holes or something. I’ve always struggled with finding comfortable earbuds that will a) sit in my ear canals comfortably for an extended period, and b) not fall out or need readjusting during exercise.
For this reason I mostly go without. It just hasn’t been worth the hassle…
Recently I have had the opportunity to try a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Airs — earphones that don’t even go in your ears. That is because they use bone conduction technology!
Sounds futuristic doesn’t it, but the idea has been around a while. A man called Hugo Gernsback applied for a patent in 1923 (granted in 1924) for a bone conduction device which you held in your teeth. It is also said that the great composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven used bone conduction while playing the piano. He would attach a rod to his piano and grip the other end in his teeth. Amazing!
How does bone conduction work? Basically, the bone conduction device (in this case, AfterShokz Trekz Air earphones), perform the job of the eardrum. They convert the sound to vibrations and transmit through your jaw bone to your Cochlea, bypassing the eardrum altogether.
Comfort & Safety
This leaves your ears completely open to hear your surroundings. This is great for runners or those exercising outdoors. It’s so good to be able to listen to music while also hearing a car approaching!
Because of how you wear these earphones, it means no more wires (if you haven’t tried BlueTooth earphones before), uncomfortable earbuds that keep falling out, or heavy headphones that act like air brakes. For me, this is exactly what I needed.
The Trekz Air are super light to wear and really comfortable. They are not bulky and can easily be worn under a head band or hat. I’ve been on several runs now with them and they do not move around or need readjustment. In fact, you could easily forget they are there.
It’s not uncommon for races to ban earphone use for safety reasons. Perhaps earphones like AfterShokz Trekz Airs need to be excluded from that?
Sound Quality & Battery Life
I’ve used bluetooth earphones before while running and found that they would seem to drop the connection or glitch every so often. Not a lot, but enough to be annoying. I did not experience this at all with Trekz Air. Not once.
The sound quality is solid. I do like my earphones to be a little bass heavy and I found the Trekz Air to not meet my expectations in that area. But considering all the other advantages, I can totally live with that.
The battery life is amazing. The specs say six hours, but I know people that have got closer to eight hours out of them. They come with a usb cable for charging, which is simply plugged into your computer, or a usb wall adapter.
The earphones are really well made and I have definitely put it to the test as far as sweating goes. I also took them out for a run in the rain. Absolutely no problems whatsoever.
Ok, how can these be noise cancellation earphones if your ears are wide open?! Well, within the packaging for the Trekz Air is a set of earplugs. AfterShokz package these to prove bone conduction is a real thing.
They encourage users to put in the earplugs and see that the sound actually does come through your jaw bone and is not simply leaking from a speaker in the earphones!
I have read several reports of people using earplugs in combination with the Trekz Air to block out their surroundings when that is desired — on an airplane for example.
Where To Get Them
The AfterShokz Trekz Airs cost $179 and if you use the coupon code TRUCKER at checkout they will throw in a BibRave trucker hat with your order.
Don’t Just Take My Word For It
A few of my BibRave friends are also reviewing these earphones, so don’t just take my word for it. Go check out their reviews as well.