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Bone Conduction Headphones – Comfort, Safety, and Awareness

Bone Conduction Headphones

Have you ever wished you could enjoy your music or podcasts without blocking out the world around you?  It would come in handy when you are running, walking your dog, or riding your bike. Bone conduction headphones, a revolutionary technology that allows you to listen to audio content while still being aware of your surroundings. Although it has existed for a few years now.  I have been following its evolution, but hesitated in investing in one. That is until I discovered the Shokz OpenMove, an affordable and reliable option in the bone conduction headphone market.

What are Bone Conduction Headphones?

Bone conduction headphones work by transmitting sound vibrations through your cheekbones, bypassing your eardrums. This innovative technology lets you listen to audio content without covering your ears, making it an excellent choice for people who want to stay aware of their environment, such as cyclists, runners, or anyone who needs to keep an ear out for safety reasons.

Comparison to Traditional Headphones:

Bone conduction headphones like the Shokz OpenMove prioritize safety and situational awareness over sound quality. While traditional headphones typically offer superior audio fidelity and noise isolation, they can compromise your ability to hear ambient sounds, making them less suitable for certain activities where safety is a concern.

Design and Comfort:

The Shokz OpenMove features a lightweight, flexible, and comfortable design. The headphones wrap around the back of your head, and the earpieces rest gently on your cheekbones. They are IP55-rated for water and dust resistance, making them suitable for workouts and outdoor activities. It does take some getting used to when putting it on. You would have to adjust the angle of the headphones around your neck to find the most comfortable way to wear it, especially when lying in bed.

Sound Quality:

music, comfort and safety

While bone conduction headphones don’t provide the same audio fidelity as traditional headphones, the Shokz OpenMove offers decent sound quality, thanks to its PremiumPitch 2.0 technology. The audio is good enough for casual listening and is suitable for podcasts, audiobooks, and music during workouts or outdoor activities. However, there are later models that have improved the sound quality over the years, but they are a little more expensive.  I actually prefer wearing bone conduction headphones in the plane, because when I wear traditional ear buds or headphones, I found that I would have to turn up the volume way up to drown out the noise in the cabin. I found that if I get a pair of safety ear plugs from any pharmacy, and put them in my ear, then wear bone conduction headphones, I found that the quality of the sound is actually better than traditional headphones and it drowns out the ambient noise better.

The Shokz OpenMove is suitable for talking on the phone, thanks to its built-in microphone and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it’s important to note that the microphone quality may not be as good as traditional headphones or dedicated headsets designed specifically for phone calls. In noisy environments, the person on the other end of the call might have difficulty hearing you clearly.

That being said, for casual phone conversations in relatively quiet settings, the Shokz OpenMove should perform adequately. Personally, I never had any problem or any complaints from anyone I talk to using the OpenMove headphone. If your primary use is for making phone calls, especially in louder environments, you may want to consider other options that prioritize microphone quality and noise cancellation.

Battery Life:

The Shokz OpenMove boasts a battery life of up to 6 hours on a single charge. This is sufficient for most users, although it may not be enough for ultra-long workouts or travel. The Shokz OpenRun, offers 10 hours of battery life, while the Shokz OpenRun Pro offers 12 hours. The headphones use a proprietary magnetic charging cable, which could be a drawback if you misplace or damage it. I personally prefer the C type connector charger that came with the previous version, for that reason.


Music, Comfort and Safety

The OpenMove features a durable titanium band that connects the two earpieces, providing strength and stability to the overall design.  The headphones are made of a flexible, lightweight material that can withstand moderate impacts and bends. This design also allows for a comfortable fit during prolonged use. I’ve had mine for almost two years, and I don’t see any signs of wear. I am very impressed with the built quality of Shokz.

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable pair of bone conduction headphones, the Shokz OpenMove is a solid choice. They offer a comfortable fit, decent sound quality, and adequate battery life, making them ideal for workouts, outdoor activities, or anyone who wants to stay aware of their surroundings while enjoying audio content. The build is solid and durable.  Just keep in mind that the sound quality may not be on par with traditional headphones, and the proprietary charging cable could be a potential inconvenience.