There are some runners who will say that the most important item in a runner’s arsenal, aside from their shoes, is a pair of headphones. Some may even go so far as to say that headphones are more important; that’s how big of an impact music can have on the running experience. There have been numerous scientific studies that link music to improving human abilities, both mental and physical. With this fact in mind, runners like you may no longer be wondering whether or not they need a good pair of headphones. Instead, you are probably curious as to what kind of headphones you should get.
For the past few decades, portable audio listening accessories have remained relatively the same. Just about every offering on the market is a variation on the headphone or earbud model, with the former offering improved sound quality and comfort while the latter offers a lighter and more portable experience. However, there are some manufacturers who are making a noble effort to improve on these archaic structures and fix some of their perceived faults. Aftershokz is one of these manufacturers, and their Trekz Titanium headphones offer an approach to portable music listening design that is worth your attention.
Running is easily managed while wearing these headphones regardless of the kind of environment in which the wearer prefers to run. In fact, the distinctive way that this Aftershokz product supplies music to the wearer’s ears makes it one of the best options for particular situations. The fact that it transmits audio through the wearer’s jaw via bone conduction means that jogging or running in an urban environment or along the side of the road is a safer experience. With their ears exposed, the wearer is much more aware of their surroundings and will be better equipped to navigate potential hazards.
Aside from running, these headphones can be used for some other physical activities as well. They are a welcome accessory for individuals who like exercising in the gym, whether they like to lift weights, operate cardio machines, or practice sports. The fact that they are wireless further enhances the Trekz Titanium’s versatility in these situations, as does their sweat-proof coating. Unfortunately, the one form of physical activity that this Aftershokz device cannot accommodate is any form of swimming, since they don’t offer full waterproofing.
The construction of this Aftershokz product emphasizes its strengths in terms of convenience and safety. The headband that connects each bone conductor wraps around the back of the wearer’s neck and contains no wires. This comes with the admittedly minor consequence of requiring a charge in order to function and connect to compatible listening devices, so a micro USB cable is included to help users charge this product.
A common concern for headphones and earbuds is audio bleed, where the sounds coming out of their speakers leak and become audible for individuals nearby. This problem is exacerbated in the case of bone conduction headphones since the placement of their speakers doesn’t provide any natural noise isolation properties. Fortunately, this particular model of bone conduction headphones comes with Aftershokz’s proprietary Leakslayer technology which can prevent audio bleed from occurring.
Unfortunately, this product doesn’t come with any kind of inline remote that would allow wearers to adjust volume, track, and calls without accessing their device. Something that is provided as a compensatory feature, however, is Aubrey Says. This is a series of prerecorded audio prompts that instruct wearers on how to access and adjust certain features, of which there are many. More advanced features are described in the next section.
Fortunately, Aftershokz has taken these criticisms to heart and responded with some features that vastly improve the overall listening experience. The first major addition is the previously mentioned Leakslayer technology which does an admirable job minimizing the presence of audio bleed. Aside from that, however, the Trekz Titanium offers something called PremiumPitch+. Although it isn’t as intuitive or convenient as customizable EQ features, it is a preset adjustment that compensates for the limitations of bone conduction technology by boosting lower ends of the sound spectrum. As a result, the listening experience for this product is much closer to that of traditional headphones and earbuds, although it still isn’t the best option for individuals who want the best possible level of audio fidelity.
With that being said, Aftershokz does offer a decent amount of color choices for customers to choose from at the time of purchase. These colorways range from a low-profile black palette and some similarly muted tones, to much brighter yellows, greens, and blues. With a wealth of options to choose from, prospective customers may be unsure as to which color they want to purchase; something that may help them come to a decision is the fact that most of this color will be obscured by any hair or headgear, making this aspect largely inconsequential.
For starters, the Trekz Titanium is small and constructed with relative simplicity. The lack of many small components or thin cordage effectively removes most weak points that would otherwise be present in a headphone’s design. Instead, this product essentially resembles a thin band that wraps around the back of the wearer’s head. And as its name would imply, the Trekz Titanium is made from titanium metal. This is what allows this Aftershokz product to be able to withstand an impressive amount of punishment: far more than would even be encountered during a hardcore trail running session. The only exception to this durability has to do with water since this product is only IP55 certified. As a result, it can resist brief exposure to sweat or other liquids but cannot survive complete submergence for an extended period of time.
Additionally, this music listening device will need to be paired via Bluetooth, so users will need to ensure that both of their devices are in pairing mode and won’t be subjected to signal interference. However, the most damning aspect of this product that interferes with its intuitiveness is the fact that it doesn’t provide any sort of inline remote. As a result, most adjustments will need to be made on the device connected to the Trekz Titanium rather than through the device itself. The one feature Aftershokz provides that does improve its ease of use is Aubrey Says, the aforementioned prerecorded guidelines.
On a full charge, this product has an average battery life of 6 hours when actively listening to music or taking calls and a standby time of 10 hours. This is far from the most impressive battery life provided by a pair of wireless headphones but it is enough to accommodate the majority of users who simply want something to help them listen to music while running or training in a gym.
- Jawline conductors transmit music through bone conduction
- PremiumPitch+ for improved sound quality
- Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity
- IP55 water resistance rating
- Leakslayer technology prevents audio bleed