These Bone Conduction Headphones Are The Most Comfortable Headphones I’ve Ever Worn


In spite of many years of refinement, in excess of-ear headphones frequently glance absurd, except you’ve bought a matter for Princess Leia buns. But they also talk that you’re not to be bothered — which I have found to be a large benefit when working with catcallers on the streets of my hometown, New York Metropolis.

Having said that, following two months of hoping out the smooth new OpenRun Professional headphones from Shokz, I am prepared to go away big sounds-canceling headphones powering. Not only are the OpenRun Professional headphones the most cozy kinds I have at any time worn they also built me experience safer out in the entire world than any around-ear or sounds-canceling headphones at any time could.

Which is since there are main downsides to putting on any form of sound-canceling headphones though you’re out and about, regardless of the sizing. Avenue harassment isn’t the only threat out there. There is also the danger of finding hit by a car or truck or bicycle (or an adult on a Razor scooter) that you never listen to coming due to the fact your ears are blocked up. Lots of contemporary headphones like AirPods do offer a “transparency” mode to allow the listener to listen to what’s likely on close to them, but it can be tempting not to use it.

“Headphones minimize people’s situational awareness, which can elevate their danger for damaging results, this kind of as accidents ensuing from collisions,” claimed Ed Maguire, the director of Arizona Condition University’s General public Protection Innovation Lab.

The OpenRun Professional headphones permit you to be knowledgeable of what’s likely on all over you because they count on bone conduction, a phrase that calls to intellect some type of Tim Burton–esque opera. Somewhat than sending the new Justin Bieber solitary straight to your eardrums, bone conduction transmits seem by vibrating versus the bones of the head and jaw. The OpenRun Pro, which seems to be like a slim headband with paws on the stop, has a thumbprint-sized speaker that sits proper towards the top of your jaw and sends the vibrations into your head. Beethoven used this same technique to make audio soon after he went deaf by biting down on a steel rod that was connected to his piano. This authorized him to obtain the audio waves as bodily vibrations, all devoid of making use of his eardrums.

Some exploration has discovered that bone conduction headphones can make it simpler to hear what’s going on all around you, while just one 2017 analyze warned that they can impair your skill to evaluate the place hazards are positioned. A 2018 review uncovered that leaving the ear canal open up built bone conduction headphones a safe and sound and practical solution though driving, even though other research have revealed that they do result in much more distraction than no headphones at all. But there’s no doubt I sense safer donning bone conduction headphones on the road. Though I sometimes want fewer situational consciousness if it’ll encourage men and women not to hassle me, I know that it’s safer to know what’s likely on. In numerous methods, the OpenRun Professional headphones are the opposite of sound cancellation: When you are donning them, you simply cannot rather dismiss the environment all over you (and the catcallers certainly will not overlook you either).

Bone conduction also suggests the OpenRun Pro is really snug. The headphones have hooks at the finish that go all-around your ears, not not like a backward pair of sunglasses. Due to the fact the speaker sits at the leading of your jawbone, there is practically nothing actually plugging up your ears. I left them on all working day and endured no ear suffering with these beauties, a problem I’ve confronted with every other established of headphones. In truth, they’re so cozy that two times I assumed I’d lost them, only to later obtain them on my head.

The battery did not operate out when I wore them from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — even far better than the company’s promises of lasting 10 hrs — and it took about 30 minutes to recharge when it was entirely drained. This is in line with the headphones’ speedy-charging aspect a five-moment cost is supposed to present up to just one and a fifty percent several hours of listening. I found 5 minutes essentially received me a little far more than that.

The solution has its have charger, which is a little bit bothersome. But the charger somewhat redeemed alone by employing magnets to attach to the headphones in a deeply fulfilling way. The accompanying Shokz application allowed me to see just how a great deal battery life was left in the headphones, and I could enhance them for songs vs . spoken information like podcasts, which I believed led to a slight enhancement in audiobook high quality.

The OpenRun Professional headphones are also far more cozy than other bone conduction pairs I have tried out out in the earlier, which have been a lot heavier. My initially pair from 2016 was a much less expensive model also from Shokz (at the time, the brand name was acknowledged as AfterShokz). It charge $50, relative to the OpenRun Pro’s $179.95. Nevertheless, simply because of my penchant for leaving them at the bottom of a crowded backpack, I went by way of a handful of fewer high priced pairs, bringing the price up to…well, more than the OpenRun Pro’s selling price tag.

In comparison, the key reward of the OpenRun Pro headphones was how light and comfortable they are. I appreciated that they had a lesser layout, which made it fewer cumbersome to determine out how to dress in them with a hat or sun shades. Additionally, the battery lifetime lasts a whole lot for a longer period. I utilized to wrestle with Shokz headphones dying midway by way of a exercise session — and that states a good deal, provided how short my workouts are.

In our regular try to make engineering lesser, we forget that in some cases there is a little something to be said for enlarging it.

Just simply because I could simply hear almost everything all around me does not indicate the OpenRun Pro’s audio quality experienced, which was an issue in past pairs of Shokz headphones. Contrary to the frequent OpenRun headphones, the Pro features supplemental bass transistors, which certainly assisted the listening knowledge. Jamming together to Sour with the OpenRun Pro was probably the closest I’ll ever get to an Olivia Rodrigo live performance. I’m an avid listener of podcasts and audiobooks, and these headphones authorized me to listen to the twist in my newest correct criminal offense obsession perfectly without lacking the announcement for my subway halt. And the sound did not leak out, which is suitable for an individual with my own songs flavor. Thank you, OpenRun Pro, for keeping my Ashlee Simpson playlist amongst us. Even if you are an individual who’s responsible with your headphones, I believe the OpenRun Professional is value the included price for the convenience and improved seem excellent.

The OpenRun Professional is specially built for operating — and though I’m not a normal runner, I would guess that these super-gentle headphones won’t sluggish you down during a marathon. When I wore them on a two-mile jog, I observed they stayed snugly on my head, and sweat was not an difficulty (even though, to be reasonable, it was winter season, and I was not operating all that rapidly). I didn’t have to modify the headphones the moment — which was a bit of a downer, as I could have used the justification to just take a split. They are stretchy much too, which not only helps them sit on my head but also implies they are significantly less possible to break at the base of my backpack.

Nonetheless, I’m keenly knowledgeable of the trade-off I’m earning by applying lightweight headphones like the OpenRun Professional. The smaller sized the headphones, the less very likely that folks can see I’m donning them — and go away me by yourself. In our continual try to make know-how scaled-down, we fail to remember that sometimes there is one thing to be claimed for enlarging it. It’s asking a whole lot for headphones to persuade leering adult males to be polite, but tremendous kinds at times do.

Over-ear headphones are unquestionably desirable in some situations far too, these as listening to tunes in your own property or office environment. When you are now in a secure place, they can quietly talk to your family members or coworkers that now is not the time to bug you. But when you’re out on the streets, bone conduction is the way to go.

So though these headphones did almost nothing to fend off the catcallers, I was capable to listen to both my music and almost everything going on all over me. The OpenRun Professional will not tell people to leave you alone, but it features a at ease, harmless, and superior-excellent practical experience — even for those people of us who aren’t runners.


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