For several weeks now I have been using the AfterShokz OpenComm Wireless bone conduction headset. When I go for walks, I get a lot of comments where people ask me what I’m wearing, and what is this thing and how it works because they see my ears are open, they’re not being blocked, they see me listening to music or talking on a headset to somebody when yet don’t see anything in my ear canal and can’t hear anything from speakers. And it’s just, it’s just weird, it gets attention when you’re out in public with it.
So these are bone conduction earphones that have these little like little tiny rectangle speakers. And it drives the sound more into your bones around your ear, and you pick up the vibration in your ear canal and hear in your ear drums just fine. Even though if you take them this far away from your head, you can’t hear sound at all, you only really hear the sound that it’s directly touching your skin right next to your ears, which means somebody can literally be within a few feet of you and they can’t hear what you’re hearing. Even when you have it on high volume, the sound does not transmit out far from the speakers it just goes directly into your skin and in your bones.
Now the way the bone conduction works, the higher frequency sounds in the treble range and the high range sound better and clearer. I said this before on streams that it works great for audiobooks, works great for classical, works great for instrumental too, but when you start getting the bass heavy music where you get that pounding deep frequency base, that’s where it starts getting a little muddy and a little buzzy, because I guess the lower frequency does not transmit through the bones as well.
But it still is good enough I recommend them, as you can listen to your music in any genre or category. It’s not bad. I mean, you’re not really using these because you want super high fidelity. You want these because you want the safety of listening to your music while you’re for run our job and not blocking your ear canal so that if you cross streets or you’re in a very busy area, you hear what’s going on around you. Let’s say you’re jogging down a busy track, and there’s a lot of joggers around while you’re jogging at night or in the dawn, you want to be able to hear somebody’s footsteps jogging up behind you jogging next to you, to me, having your ear open to be able to hear everything around you gives that level of safety that you could hear what you want to hear.
But you also don’t tune out the outside world so much that you put yourself at risk of not hearing something you need to hear or missing a cue or an audio cue that can help you avoid you know, getting injured or something like that. This bone conduction headset from AfterShokz is highly recommended. The only caveat I have with this thing is I’ve listened to for long periods of time and the most I could listen to this as about two hours, the vibration does eventually cause me to have a headache after about two hours of use, something about that vibration in my bones of my ears after about two hours I would start getting a headache. So I would say you know depending on how long 30 minutes was fine without issue, one hour kind okay most of the time as well, but definitely by two hours I had a headache.
I would suggest maybe if people are prone to, you know, migraines or something that it might not be a great choice, but worth investigating to see if you have any issues with it.
The adjustment control buttons are not touch sensitive, the headset has little rubberized buttons that you press and this is actually preferred for me, because I have a cold hand syndrome ever since 2012. My hands are always cold all the time. I don’t know if it’s carpal tunnel or what, but my fingertips are always chilly freezing. As a result products that have touch sensitive buttons, they don’t register my fingers half the time. I could touch I could tap but touch buttons require a little bit of heat in your finger to be accurate. So I have problems with touch button so I prefer a tactile button that actually presses in because something that’s touch sensitive because they don’t work as well for me. The AfterShokz OpenComm buttons are not touch sensitive, you actually have these little tiny rubber buttons you have to press in for increasing the volume decreasing line, pausing the play…etc which is preferred. And the magnetic charging cable just easily attaches itself to the pins for charging, it’s a no brainer and really simple.
AfterShokz OpenComm microphone is decent and certainly good enough for audio calls as well, though better indoors and the background noise cancellation isn’t great, especially when it’s windy, it is passable however and these headphones get a recommend because of the safety you get from having your ears open and the quality of the audio for that feature is really good, there is not that much of a sound quality trade-off.