It's funny how the minute I say I'm all done buying new things this marathon cycle, something else comes up and I end up buying it. A few weeks ago Amazon had their annual Prime Day and they had an amazing deal on the Aftershokz Aeroplex that I just couldn't resist. I've used my Aftershokz for a few weeks now and in this post, I'll share with you my review and if they live up to the hype.
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What Are Aftershokz?
Aftershokz are headphones that seem like they're everywhere (they kind of remind me of Goodr sunglasses!). I first heard of Aftershokz on an episode the Ali on the Run podcast and that got me curious. The big appeal to Aftershokz is that they use bone conduction technology - I'm not going to get into the science because it's way above my head, but basically it makes it so you can hear the sounds from your headphones without sticking anything inside your ears.
I'm currently training for my 5th marathon and one issue I've been having lately with my AirPod Pros is that they do almost too good of a job tuning out my surroundings (even in transparency mode) that sometimes I can't hear bikes around me on the trails. After a few close calls on the trails, I started looking more into getting a pair of Aftershockz and grabbed them as soon as they were on sale on Prime Day. Normally the Aftershokz Aeropros are about $130, but I got mine for $90.
Setting Them Up
I was beyond excited that my order was eligible for same-day delivery, so only 3 hours after ordering I actually got my pair delivered. I was hoping to take them out on a run that day but the battery seemed pretty low so I decided to charge them instead. Charging ended up taking an hour or two, so I decided to use them on my short recovery run the following day.
Pairing the headphones with my iPhone was super easy to do! When the headphones are off, hold down the Volume+ button for a few seconds and then the light will start flashing Red and Blue, indicating it's in pairing mode. Then go into your phone and under bluetooth settings, you'll see AfterShokz appear. Click on it to pair and then it's all set!
The next day I was ready for my run and to really try out my new headphones! I had 6 miles easy on schedule, which would take me a little over an hour to do. I put on the headphones, started up my podcast and was on my way.
The first thing I noticed about the headphones was how good the sound was. I thought it would take a few tries to get the bone conduction sound to work properly, but to my surprise it worked perfectly on the first try. I could hear my podcast clearly and it almost sounded identical to listening to it on my AirPods. The difference became clear, however, when I hit the trails and cyclists came by. I could still hear my podcast clearly, but I could also hear them perfectly too! I'll admit - this was weird at first but also really cool. I had never been able to hear my surroundings so clearly (unless I was running without headphones).
About 45 minutes into my run the headphones started to feel a little heavy on my ears. They weren't painful, but they were starting to bug me a little. I was able to wear them for the remaining 2 miles of my run and when I took off the headphones I noticed my ears felt a little sore. The soreness went away after a few hours after my run, and I figured maybe it was just me breaking in the headphones.
I continued to wear them for my short runs and then after about a week I used them for my long run of 2 hours. By this point my ears were used to them and I didn't have any soreness! I found I almost totally forgot I was even wearing them, similar to my AirPods.
I've now been using Aftershokz for almost 2 months and absolutely love them. While they did take some breaking in during the first week to getting used to wearing them, I find them super comfortable now and they're my go to running headphones. The battery life is amazing and I find one charge will get me through almost all my runs for a week (up to 9 hours). The only downside, I've found, is that the headphones don't automatically turn off after I take them off so I need to be mindful about that.
I use my Aftershokz with my hair up and a pair of Goodr sunglasses and haven't had any issues with anything getting in the way or making the headphones bouncy. The only thing I have noticed is that if my ponytail is too low it can sometimes hit the back of the headphones and move them slightly, but that doesn't happen often.
Aftershokz also come with ear plugs so you could turn the headphones into noise cancelling headphones, like AirPods, but I haven't tried those yet since I haven't really found a need. I'm planning to use my AfterShokz as my running headphones and keep my AirPod Pros as my work and travel headphones.
Overall I think the Aftershokz do live up to the hype and are an amazing running accessory. I feel safe now when I run because I can hear everything around me, and I don't have to worry about my headphones falling out. They've become an essential part of my running gear and I would definitely recommend them to any runner!
If you're a runner and are looking for headphones that will let you hear your surroundings, I would highly recommend Aftershokz! They took a little getting used to but now I absolutely love them. The sound quality is great, they don't fall out, and the battery life is incredible. I feel much safer running with them because I can hear everything around me, and I would definitely recommend them to any runner!