Unlike most headphones and earbuds, which seal the ear canal off from outside noise and transmit sound through the eardrum, AfterShokz bone conduction headphones sit flush against the cheekbones. Sound is transferred by vibrations that circumvent the eardrum and buzz directly through the bone and into the inner ear. It’s totally bizarre the first time you try bone conduction headphones, but the result is that you can be listening to music at full blast and still hear a twig snap.
Testers loved the increased awareness delivered by the AfterShokz Aeorplex bone conduction headphones. One of our female gear testers is typically uncomfortable hiking her local trails while wearing headphones due to assaults on solo female hikers and joggers. A male trail running tester noted that he has nearly collided with oncoming runners three times in the last two months while wearing regular earbuds. AfterShokz Aeropex headphones have been a gamechanger for both testers, as the innovative headphones allow them to be completely aware of their surroundings while listening to music and podcasts on the trail.
There are undeniable negatives to the bone conduction design. First of all, the AfterShokz sound quality doesn’t compare to the sealed symphonics of Apple Airpods, Beats, or Bose—that said, they are surprisingly decent. Also, you won’t want to use these headphones in a noisy coffee shop, gym, or airplane—even if you turn the volume all the way up, you’re still going to hear everything around you. AfterShokz does include earplugs for these instances, but we’d rather use the AfterShokz for specific workout scenarios and stick to traditional earbuds or