I have been testing Shokz’s new open-ear design, wireless earbuds called OpenFit. The earbuds connect to your devices via bluetooth and sit on the ear so you can listen to music, audio books or take phone calls.
Unlike other headphones that block out ambient sound, Shokz OpenFit allows you to hear conversations around you, so you remain aware of your surroundings.
This makes the Shokz OpenFit earbuds ideal for outdoors exercise, where you want to listen to music or podcasts but you still want to be able to hear other people, cars etc around you.
Features of Shokz OpenFit earbuds
- DirectPitchTM technology to “send sound waves into the ear without having to push in an earbud or cover the outer-ear”.
- Comfort over-the-ear design
- Simple-to-use controls
- Dual noise-cancelling microphone
- 10m wireless range
- Rechargeable (USB-C charging cable) – up to 7 hours of listening on a full charge
- Protective charging case extends the earbuds to 28 hours of all-day listening
- A five-minute charge gives an hour of battery life
- IP54 water resistance
- Soft silicone – double-layered silicone design to mould gently to the contours of your ears
- Dolphin Arc Ear Hook – to ensure a secure and stable fit
- Shokz OpenBass
- Customised dynamic driver unit – built with an ultra-light composite diaphragm crafted from carbon fibre and a polymer surround.
- Shokz App – works with Android and Apple phones
- Available in black or beige
- Two-year warranty
- RRP: £179
- See www.uk.shokz.com and buy on Amazon (I receive a small commission for sales through my Amazon)
My thoughts: Shokz OpenFit wireless ear buds
While I usually wear noise cancelling over-ear headphones because I like to block out the sound of other people and general noise, there are times when this can be dangerous. For example, when walking or running near traffic, if you can’t hear your environment there is a risk you will not hear a vehicle coming towards you.
However, there are people who like to be able to listen to music or podcasts when exercising and so it can be useful to wear open-ear headphones. These allow you to hear the audio, but also at the same time allow you to hear sounds around you.
My first thoughts on the Shokz OpenFit wireless ear buds are they are very lightweight and very comfortable. I ended up wearing them for hours, even when not listening to music, because I completely forgot they were on my ears.
They fit neatly over the ear with one end tucking behind the ear and the other part resting on the entrance to the ear. They stay in place even when I turn upside down (as I might do when doing yoga or circuit training).
The silicone is soft and there are zero irritations from these ear buds.
Once I’d linked the ear buds to my phone via a bluetooth connection, the sound quality of music, phone calls and podcasts was good. My Bose noise-cancelling headphones have better audio quality in my opinion, but the Shokz OpenFit ear buds are more than adequate for general listening.
I asked Hubby G if he could hear any sounds emitting from the headphones. He said if he concentrated hard and came close to me, he could hear a bit of sound but not enough to be annoying. If you turn the volume up vey high – which is not good for the ears in any case – then you can hear noise coming from the ear buds but the volume does need to be turned up high.
When listening to music through the ear buds I was still aware of sounds around me. I could actually have a conversation with my husband and still have the music on low in my ears. They are very easy to wear when walking, running or doing circuit training.
The volume is controlled via the connect device, or via the app. You can also double tap the left ear-bud to pause the audio so that you can, for example, have a chat with someone without the interference of also listening to music.
Charging is really easy, via the case.
These are not cheap ear-buds but they do appear to be good quality and they are useful if you enjoy listening to music while doing sport or tuning into a podcast or audio book while doing other things, such as walking or cooking.
I will still choose my noise cancelling headphones for most situations but if I want to do sport and listen to music I can see these over-ear wireless earbuds being very useful.
They are the most comfortable ear buds I’ve ever used and this includes my over-ear Bose noise cancelling headphones.