Kit review: AfterShokz Sportz 2 Open Ear Sport Headphones
My guest reviewer is Stevie Grant, who has been training for the long-distance running event, the 53-mile Hoka Highland Fling. He likes to listen to music during his long training runs so he is the perfect person to review a pair of AfterShokz Sportz 2 Open Ear Sport Bone Conduction Headphones.
The bone conduction technology has been used in military special operations for years and it also the principle being used by Google Glass. Bone conduction was apparently first championed by Beethoven when his hearing was all but gone and he sawed the legs off a piano and lay his head on the floor beside it to hear the vibrations from the music.
At first Stevie says he wasn’t too sure about the new style of headphones. He said: “The wraparound headband didn’t look comfortable and the control unit looked quite bulky so I have to admit I wasn’t feeling totally positive.”
However, when he put them on he found the headphones to be “extremely comfortable to wear”. Stevie says: “The headband sits comfortably behind my neck and I was quickly used to the earphones sitting on the jawbone just in front of my ears.
“I tried them in the house first. I was able to listen to music at a medium volume and still chat to people. This was quite a surreal experience.
“The music quality is good, better than the free headphones you get with an Apple device but not up to the standard of a really good pair of in ear/over ear headphones, which I doubt many people would expect.”
When running Stevie was impressed by how well the headphones performed.
“Out in the wild you can hear the birds singing and the brooks babbling, which is perfect if you like music for motivation but still want to feel part of the countryside.”
Stevie found a solution to the “bulky-looking” control unit by securing it on his hydration pack, rather than the suggested T-shirt.
He also did a five-hour run in the rain and the bone conduction headphones continued to operate perfectly.
Stevie only has a couple of gripes. He said: “I would like the control unit to be a bit smaller.
“The other little annoyance is that the headphones do emit some noise so if you’re using them in the house, for example, and turn them up loud other people will get some background noise.”
He gives them 4 out of 5 (they would be scored 5 if it wasn’t for the control unit and the “fairy high price”) and now rates them as his running headphones of choice.
Greaves Sports in Glasgow sell the AfterShokz Sportz 2 Open Ear Sport Bone Conduction Headphones in three versions with prices starting from £59.95.