Should You Buy? Review of Shokz OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction Headset

I have been using a variety of bone conduction headset models for several months now and the latest model I have been using most often is the Shokz OpenRun Pro which out of all the bone conduction headsets I have used provides the clearest sound and has the best microphone, even if the mic is a tad fuzzy compared to more dedicated headset mic’s.

What is a Bone Conduction Headset?

A bone conduction headset is one that delivers sound waves into the bones near your ear so that you hear the sound in your eardrum without needing drivers/speakers that produce the loud sound volume that others can hear around you.  The primary benefit of bone conduction headphones is the open ear design which allows them to be worn and keep your ear canals completely open and unblocked which allows you to hear any passive and ambient sounds while listening to your music.  The primary benefit of this of course is safety first and foremost and comfort is the second. Some people cannot have something sticking into their ear canals for one reason or another, and others need to be able to hear what is going on around them.  Those who work in say an environment where they need to hear an alarm, a car, or other machine noise as well as anyone who jogs or takes walks in the early morning or late night hours  and has to be on the side of a road or cross streets, or simply is alone jogging in a park.  The open ear design of bone conduction headphones allows you to hear any cars or ambient sounds that give you that noise to help your body make a fight or flight decision if needed.

Shokz OpenRun Pro

The Shokz Open Run pro comes with a nice shell carrying case, has good battery life and was able to reliably play music for 7+ hours on a single charge for me though the higher the intensity and volume the less battery life as the vibration intensity reduces battery life.  They are super comfortable to wear and all Shokz model open ear bone conduction headsets I found were more comfortable than competing brands.

How do the Shokz OpenRun Pro Sound?

So right off the bat, you won’t get the fidelity and clarity from bone conduction headphones that you do with premium earbuds or headsets with high end drivers.  The primary benefit is the open ear design not for a supreme listening experience.  The Shokz OpenRun Pro sounded much better than other bone conduction headsets I have used, especially in the mid to high range frequencies.  Audiobooks and podcasts sound the closest to as if you are using traditional headset with minimal degradation of sound quality, classical and high frequency instrument soundtracks sound clearer and really good.  Very heavy deep bass frequency music including Metal, Electronica, Dub Step is where you start getting a bit muddy.  These bone conduction headphones don’t produce as much “bass” as another model I have tested, but also don’t muddy the deep bass sounds either, instead they just sound weaker than you would want if you were listening to that music in the confines of your own home office or bedroom.  The trade-off though is more than worth it for being able to be out and about and listen to the world around you, and the quality isn’t bad at all.

I was comfortable able to listen to music on the Shokz OpenRun Pro for hours, though the first time using the bone conduction headset you may have some fatigue with your jaw muscles and temples due to the vibrations and needing to get used to it.  I did get a headache the very first few times I used bone conduction headphones when listening for long periods of time but I no longer get them after my body became used to them.

The microphone quality on the Shokz OpenRun Pro is also better than competing ones, using their dual microphone and it sounds better when making voice calls on the phone than when doing recording with the voice recorder app.  I did a test recording with camera software and the microphone did not pick up the noise of the portable air conditioner which was only 5’ away from me at the time, though the voice quality wasn’t great, it was passable for calls if you need to take them while out jogging or walking.  Again it sounds better on calls than actually doing the video recorder app or voice memo, and I don’t know why the audio and mic quality is better when actually making phone calls but it is.

For me when someone asks which bone conduction headphones I recommend, my current is still Shokz and OpenRun Pro, though if you don’t need a microphone you can save money by getting the OpenMove version of their bone conduction headphones too.

You can get the Shokz OpenRun Pro and the Shokz OpenMove bone conduction headphones on Amazon.

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