So, a couple of weeks ago, inspired by some of the snake oil products shown off at CES, I made a purchase.
I purchased a set of bone conduction headphones, and i want to review them now.
Now, I did a fair bit of research before i made the purchase, including figuring out if the headphones are the right size to fit my head. Aftershockz was the highest reviewed brand among all the reputable bone conduction brands, and the Trekz Titanium is their premium offering, despite their apparently fascination with swapping zeds for esses warez style..
Now, the specs quoted promise increased situational awareness, vibrant mids and highs, and solid bass, and six hours of playback time.
Well, that's an interesting set of specs.... Let's take a look at them all.
Situational awareness is unparalleled, they don't cover the ear cannal at all so unless you are using the included ear plugs there is no noise isolation. They're perfect for using in the office so you can listen to music without being unable to hear the conversations around you. so i can't fault them at all there. The inclusion of the ear plugs and plastic carry case for them is a nice touch as sometimes you just want to make the world go away and rock out to deathmetal while you code.
Now for the sound quality. That's not quite as good as they say, but it's still pretty impressive. Bass is somewhat muted, but it's no worse than you would expect for decent earbuds with their tiny drivers. Mids and highs are pretty good actually. they distort a bit at high volumes, but at normal listening volumes is clear as crystal. At least so long as you don't flex your cheek muscles. Flexing those muscles, either by smiling, talking, or chewing, alters the distance between the transducers and the bone and so affects the sound quality. The headphones deal with this pretty well and the most of the effect is a variable volume. It's nothing that one wouldn't expect knowing the technology. To improve matters one would need an implant so i'm giving this one a pass.
As for the playback time, i was worried at the shortness of it. But it seems i had nothing to fear. that measurement was for at full volume (and thus maximum draw on the battery) Most people listen somewhat lower in volume and so the life is expanded significantly. I'll often get ten hours of listening in the day and the headphones won't have started asking for charge. Not to mention that the charge port is positioned such that you can plug them in while wearing them comfortably. They will turn off when plugged in to improve charge time, but if you turn them back on after they'll work and charge the battery at the same time giving effectively unlimited play time if you have a decent battery pack.
And for comfort of wear.... I have no complaints. they are about the most comfortable headphones i have ever used. They stay in place even during strenuous "exercise" ( ) without shifting or needing adjustment.
Overall I give these 9/10. and would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a good pair of headphones and is willing to experiment with bone conduction.
and yes, i got them in pink. what other colour could i have gotten?