AfterShokz has changed its name to Shokz and released new ninth-gen bone-conduction headphones that offer improved bass performance compared to the company’s earlier flagship model, the Aeropex (now called the Shokz OpenRun). That makes the OpenRun Pro the best bone-conduction headphones you can get right now, although they still can’t match the sound quality of traditional headphones.
Bone-conduction wireless headphones don’t go on your ears — they actually deliver sound through your cheekbones. The big benefit of this technology as a safety feature for running is that, thanks to its open design, you can hear what’s going on around you — traffic noise in particular — while listening to music or having a phone conversation (yes, they perform well for voice calls). Also, some race coordinators don’t allow runners to wear anything in their ears, which is where headphones like this come in handy.
They do offer fuller sound with more bass, but it’s an incremental improvement, not a huge leap forward. Like other bone-conduction headphones these are strongest in the midrange where voices live so they’re best for podcasts, talk radio, newscasts and audiobooks. They’re also good for making calls and, like other Shokz models, have multipoint Bluetooth pairing.
Shokz also makes other more affordable models as well. The, which integrates a boom microphone, also has multipoint Bluetooth pairing.