We all deserve to have our own personal audio experience, but not everyone can wear earbuds or headphones. Earbuds can be incredibly uncomfortable for some and can cause headaches or earaches, while headphones are sometimes just too cumbersome for some uses, such as working out or activities that require a lot of movement. That’s why Shokz (formerly AfterShokz) bone conducting open-ear headphones exist and why those who are super active should seriously consider a pair of the Shokz OpenRun Pro for all their music listening needs when working up a sweat.
In the past, we did check out another Shokz product, the OpenComm. That one was geared more towards communications and office use while the new OpenRun Pro is geared more towards fitness and an active lifestyle. The OpenRun Pro also features 9th generation bone conducting technology (Shokz TurboPitch Technology) and two added bass enhancers for a more balanced sound.
While I was already impressed with the older 7th generation technology in terms of sound quality, the 9th generation on the OpenRun Pro sound a tad bit better. The audio is still very clear but now the bass sounds a bit deeper and you can feel the vibrations from it on your skin. The audio is still not quite as good though as using over-the-ear headphones, but you can get that feeling if you cup your hands around your ears. It does improve the sound quality, but it could also be because you’re shutting out other sounds around you.
Speaking of which, that’s one of the advantages of an open-ear system. It allows you to not only enjoy your music but also be aware of what’s going on around you. As an example, you’ll be able to hear traffic around you while running outdoors, people calling your name at the gym, or the timer on the oven going off if you’re just trying to enjoy some music. Whatever it is, you’ll be able to actually be aware of the outside world.
Like their other headsets, the only thing I do not like about them is the proprietary charging system. It means I need to carry around an extra cable when I travel instead of just using a standard USB-C charging port. If you lose the cable, you’re screwed and have to buy another one.
Aside from this, I do like how the Shokz OpenRun Pro feels. They’re really comfortable, low profile, and lightweight. The frame is made of durable titanium and they’re built to IP55 water-resistant standards and they’ll last about 10 hours between charges.
I’m still a big fan of bone conducting open-ear headphones. They are so much more comfortable than earbuds I also like the fact that the OpenRun Pro doesn’t have the goofy-looking microphone on it and instead keeps everything streamlined. While the audio quality is about on par with earbuds, they aren’t quite as good as regular over-the-ear headphones, but then again, neither are earbuds. These are perfect however for fitness and active lifestyle use and are a terrific alternative to traditional earbuds.
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