Disclaimer: I received the Trekz Titanium BlueTooth Wireless Headphones from AfterShokz as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
Introducing Trekz Titanium from AfterShokz
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have been testing a couple of new running products as part of my affiliation with BibRave. A couple weeks ago, I provided a review of the Oofos recovery sandals. The other product in the testing inventory is an innovative set of wireless headphones from AfterShokz. I signed up for this test because I was interested in evaluating their approach to sport headphone technology.
These are not your normal headphones in that they are not placed into the ear – they sit just below the ear on what is part of the upper cheekbone. The sound is transmitted through “bone conduction.” I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical to this solution – actually, I really wasn’t sure it would work!
I’ll use the summary from the product website for the overview:
The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.
About that bone conduction.
Trekz Titanium wireless headphones are powered by bone conduction technology which guide mini vibrations
through the cheekbones directly to the cochlea.
Some key points that stand-out:
- Open ear design – this means that while the music is playing your ears are open allowing for outside noise to be heard. This is potentially a huge benefit in terms of being cognizant of your surroundings and current state.
- Premium music play – the sound has to be good for athletes to adopt these headphones.
- Sweatproof and secure – earphones that move around will drive me insane and for these to be effective running they need to stand up to sweat, rain, and water.
- BlueTooth/Wireless – not specifically in the description but I am not returning to wires.
- 2 year return warranty.
A couple years ago I spent several frustrating months in search of a Bluetooth system that would work for running. I went through several units from lower price sets to the high end. Most of them ended up being returned to Amazon before I finally found something that worked. So, with that experience, I was in a good position to put the Trekz to the test!
In the Box
As part of this promotion a stylish zippered hard-shell case was included (more on that later).
The set also included the headphones, charging cable, ear plugs and soft carrying case.
The ear-plugs are included for situations where the user may want to eliminate all external sound. This defeats the “be open” premise. But for travel or just relaxing at home, it may be desirable to block out the surrounding noise.
Setup is very straight forward and I had no issues pairing to my iPhone 6. The plug for the charging adapter is easy to find and sits next to the volume controls on the right side. The multi-function button used for pausing, skipping, answering calls etc is on the left phone piece and easy to access. After the initial pairing, I was very impressed with the speed to connect on subsequent uses. The headphones pair to my phone instantly after power-up with a voice prompt confirming the connection.
What about the Specs?
Data, data, data. AfterShokz were kind to forward some technical data to help with our tests and reviews. The following specs provide an outline of the performance and functionality of the system.
- The open ear design keeps ears free from ear fatigue or an uncomfortable fit from traditional earbuds.
- Because nothing goes inside or over the ears, Trekz Titanium allow you to enjoy music and calls without
shutting out the world around you.
- They are IP55 certified to repel sweat, moisture and wicked weather.
- Dual noise canceling microphones reduce background noise for crystal clear calls.
- Trekz Titanium offer a premium audio experience with their wide dynamic sound range and deep bass.
- Trekz Titanium will give you six hours of continuous music and calls on a single charge, and a 10 day
- There are 2 EQ settings on Trekz Titanium; one is intended to be used without earplugs, and the other is
intended to be used with earplugs.
- Bluetooth v4.1: Wireless range is 33 feet or 10 meters
Sound quality is very good as claimed. I’m not sure about deep bass but keep in mind these are designed for active lifestyles. I will say the volume is excellent and I like it loud! Most of the time, I have it set to maybe 50% and I can rock my Motivational Music Playlists with no issues. I can also hear cyclists approaching me on the trail, unless I choose to drown them out by turning it up higher 🙂
Battery life spec is 6 hours with 2 hours to charge and up to 10 hours standby time. It feels like I have gone over 6 hours at a time without a charge but I defer to the product technical documentation. Battery life can be determined by holding the + volume button for a second when not in play mode. A return of high, medium, or low is provided. I would prefer a % value but that’s a minor note.
I tested a couple of phone calls and had great clarity transmitting and receiving during the conversation. I performed a successful phone test from outside of my house, leaving my phone on the inside while making a call. The microphone has a built-in noise cancelling feature to provide clarity when talking.
Bluetooth connection has been solid. I have not experienced a single drop during my test runs and I run with my Garmin app also connected via Bluetooth to my watch. There have been no issues with devices competing for Bluetooth bandwidth.
On my Garmin app, I usually have the voice prompt activated to announce my heart-rate and average pace every 10 minutes and the music fades flawlessly before resuming volume. BlueTooth connection distance is listed at 33 feet or 10 meters but I believe it is further. A fellow BibRave tester reported connections up to 150 feet (45 meters).
The Be Open Fit
Comfort is listed as a premium with this unit and I totally agree. On first inspection, I was a little concerned that the headphone pieces looked a little bulky. This was never a problem and I have really started to enjoy not having anything in my ears. I have found that traditional ear buds or phones cause fatigue after an hour or so which becomes an annoyance on a long run. I have not experienced any discomfort and they do not move around!
As I mentioned, sound quality is top notch for athletic performance headphones that can withstand the rigors of daily running and workouts. I got rained on a couple times and ran through a 5 mile sweat-fest in 85 degrees and humidity earlier today. I wavered but my tunes didn’t!
For overall athletic performance, sound, and a technical solution that allows me to stay tuned in to my surroundings as well as my tunes, I give this unit a solid thumbs-up. I have been extremely picky over the years with regards to my headphones but these “bone conductors” sound amazing and meet all my athletic listening needs. The price point at $129.95 is in line with comparable high-end headphones but still significantly less than some other models that I hit with the Amazon return label.
There were several other BibRavePros participating in this product test so for additional reviews and opinions, as well as different models, check out my BRP friends:
Join us on the BibRave Twitter #bibchat this Tuesday at 6pm Pacific to visit with AfterShokz and discuss all things running!
Can I get a discount?
Remember that stylish hard case I showed you earlier? Code “FREECASE” scores you that case with your order.
I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own based on my personal testing experience.
- Do you have a favorite set of headphones that you use when running or working out?
- Have you tried the Aftershokz be open bone conducting technology – any thoughts?
‘Till next time,
Run safe, run strong, run happy!